Dead Pool 29th June 2014
Welcome all to this week’s attempt at deadly humour. Some of you may have noticed that the media picked up on the fact that Eli Wallach has died, but the loss to the Wallach family has given Barry, Liz and Dave 52 points each!! All finally breaking their death duck and shooting them unto the giddy heights of joint last but one place. Well done all three! Now lets see what else has happened in the world of pain that we live in…
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Steve Rossi, 82, American comedian (Allen & Rossi), cancer.
- Shogo Kubo, 54, American skateboarder (Z-boys), suspected drowning.
- Eli Wallach, 98, American actor (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent Seven, Baby Doll).
- Mary Rodgers, 83, American composer (Once Upon a Mattress) and children’s author (Freaky Friday).
- Bobby Womack, 70, American Hall of Fame R&B singer (“Lookin’ for a Love“, “Woman’s Gotta Have It“) and songwriter (“It’s All Over Now“, “I Can Understand It”).
- Terry Richards, 81, British movie actor and stuntman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tomorrow Never Dies)
In Other News
Sting has revealed his children will not inherit his £180m fortune, fearing that his riches are “albatrosses round their necks”. The former frontman of The Police grew up in a working-class family in Wallsend, North Tyneside, and has gone on to become one of Britain’s wealthiest musicians. He said he has told his six children not to expect to inherit much money because he doesn’t believe in trust funds. The 62 year old singer believes his kids should go out and work and not ask for a penny from him. Let’s rename him Stingy eh?
On the other hand, since his death five years ago, Michael Jackson seems to be raking it in. The Michael Jackson Estate – which runs his affairs on behalf of Jackson’s mother and three children – has earned over £411million!! Not bad since the King of Pop was struggling to avoid bankruptcy when he died on June 25, 2009. Looks like Prince, Paris and Blanket are laughing it all the way to the bank, wonder if they will take the piss out of Stingy’s kids??
Maybe they should use a few pennies of that fortune to buy Michael Schumacher’s medical records. Yup, someone has nicked his paperwork. Schumacher’s representatives say they will press charges and sue for damages against any publication of the content of the notes, so they seem a bit pissed off about it. Not to worry though, Michael’s wife has gone out and spent £10 million on a private medical suite at their home on the shore of Lake Geneva. So by the sound of it, he’s not going to be driving anything anytime soon, unless its a mobility scooter…
On This Day
- 1613 – The Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground.
- 1644 – Charles I of England defeats a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil.
- 1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel‘s Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.
- 1914 – Jina Guseva attempts to assassinate Grigori Rasputin at his home town in Siberia.
- 1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.
- 1995 – Space Shuttle program: STS-71 Mission (Atlantis) docks with the Russian space station Mir for the first time.
- 2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.
- 1933 – Roscoe Arbuckle, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1887)
- 1967 – Jayne Mansfield, American actress and singer (b. 1933)
- 1995 – Lana Turner, American actress and singer (b. 1921)
- 2003 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress and singer (b. 1907)
Horrible Ways to Die #8 – The Electric Chair by Dexychik
The electric chair had been used in the USA since its invention in the 1880s. It is still offered in five states, as an alternative to lethal injection. It was considered a relatively painless death, and some employees of Thomas Edison utilised alternating current to make a chair o’death. It replaced hanging as the execution method of choice (possibly because hanging was associated with lynching) until the 1980s, when lethal injection slowly superseded it.
The first man to die in the chair was William Kemmler, in 1890. He’d killed his partner with a hatchet. The most recent is Robert Gleason, who first shot a man in a drug-gang related incident, then murdered two cell mates to ensure he’d get the death penalty, which he did last year. Ted Bundy, charming serial killer, was electrocuted, as was Bruno Hauptmann, responsible for the Lindbergh baby murder and Anna Marie Hahn, poisoner extraordinaire.
The first electric chair had two electrodes, attached to the head and base of the spine. Alas, when William Kemmler was initially shocked for 17 seconds with 1000 volts, he didn’t die. He was shocked again a few minutes later, with 2000 volts for EIGHT minutes, with the current only switched off when blood pooling around the electrodes began to burn. Thankfully by then, he really was dead, and a post-mortem showed his brain had burned into his skull. There was a lot of debate before his execution over whether this method could be classed as cruel and unusual punishment. Oddly, they surmised it didn’t.
The technique has had a good 140 years to be perfected, and should you opt for electrocution on death row, you should expect to have your head and legs shaved. You will have your jaws bound shut. You wear a metal electrode on the head, buffered by sponge moistened with saline. You’ll be strapped into a sturdy wooden chair, and another electrode will be attached to each of your legs, with conductive jelly on it. The executioner will apply a 12 amp current to you, for a few seconds, and then another. You’ll probably be dead after the first jolt, but some people survive it. You will piss and shit yourself, your brain tissue will actually boil, smoke rises, and it doesn’t smell good. You die from the damage to your medulla, which controls your heart and lung activity. There is no conclusive proof that you will feel nothing. At least anything you do feel won’t last long. In Florida, your executioner will be paid $150, a relatively small price to kill someone. Oh, and your final meal has to cost less than $40. No Wagu Beef for you.
As with all executions, things can go awry. Spare a thought for Willie Francis, who in 1946 was electrocuted for the murder of his former employer who’d probably been sexually abusing him. Willie, who was only 17, screamed for help as the first jolt was applied. The guard who had set up the chair had been drunk and done it wrong. He appealed against being electrocuted again, citing that it wasn’t his fault the machine hadn’t worked. This didn’t work (possibly because he was a black man in 40s Louisiana), and he was re-electrocuted, successfully, a year later.
John Evans, executed for armed robbery and murder in 1983, needed three jolts of electricity to finish him off after one of his leg straps came loose. He was checked and found to be alive after the first jolt. The strap was adjusted, but John survived the second jolt as well. The officials present asked the governor for clemency at this point. The governor said no, and the third time was the charm.
So, should you commit a capital crime in one of the states still carrying the electric chair, you should probably opt for lethal injection. Which, coincidentally, I’ll be covering next time.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Minka Kelly (34), Kris Kristofferson (78), Meryl Streep (65), Cindi Lauper (61), Ricky Gervais (53), Carly Simon (69), George Michael (50), Toby Maguire (39), Mel Brooks (88), Kathy Bates (66), John Cusack (48), Frances McDormand (57), Zinedine Zidane (42), Solange Knowles (28), Jason Schwartzman (34), Chris O’Donnell (44), Selma Blair (42), JJ Abrams (48), Chris Isaak (58), Mick Fleetwood (67), Jeff Beck (70), Felicia Day (35), Aileen Quinn (43), Amanda Donohoe (52), Gary Busey (70), Al Molinaro (95), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (25), Bruce Campbell (56), KT Tunstall (39), Selma Blair (42) and Joss Whedon (50).
2013 League Table
Next week peeps!