DeadPool 28th April 2024

A fairly quiet week again, I’d send out the Flying Monkeys, but I’ve misplaced the cage key. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Terry Carter, 95, American actor (Foxy Brown, McCloud, Battlestar Galactica). 
  • Mike Pinder, 82, English Hall of Fame musician (The Moody Blues) and songwriter (“The Best Way to Travel”, “A Simple Game”).
  • Frank Field, Baron Field of Birkenhead, 81, British politician, MP and member of the House of Lords, prostate cancer. 
  • Marla Adams, 85, American actress (The Young and the Restless, The Secret Storm, Splendor in the Grass). 
  • Maria Feliciana, 77, Brazilian singer, worlds tallest woman 7ft 3in.

In Other News

The ITV News presenter Rageh Omaar is “receiving medical care” after becoming unwell live on air. Omaar, who is the network’s international affairs editor, was leading Friday evening’s News at Ten programme when he appeared to have difficulty reading the bulletins on the autocue. In a statement released after the programme aired, ITV News acknowledged viewers’ worries and provided an update on the situation. “We are aware that viewers are concerned about Rageh Omaar’s wellbeing,” an ITV News spokesperson said. “Rageh became unwell while presenting News at Ten on Friday and is now receiving medical care. He thanks everyone for their well wishes.” The nature of Omaar’s illness during the broadcast is currently unknown. Across social media, the hashtag #itvnews began to trend in the UK, as viewers shared messages of support and worry for the newsreader. ITV pulled the show from its scheduled re-runs on ITV+1, with a message instead telling viewers that ITV was “temporarily unable to bring you our +1 service. We will resume shortly.” it read. Many on Twitter have admonished others for sharing the footage or Omaar’s broadcast, during which he stumbled over reading some words. Omaar has worked on ITV News since 2013, beginning his tenure as a special correspondent and presenter. Update: Following medical treatment at hospital, he is now recovering at home with his family. The nature of Omaar’s illness during the broadcast still remains unknown.

Harvey Weinstein, the former movie mogul and convicted sex offender, has been hospitalised in New York City, his lawyer said on Saturday. Arthur Aidala, a lawyer for Weinstein, told The Flying Monkeys that Weinstein was moved to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan after he arrived to the city jails from a prison in upstate New York. “They examined him and sent him to Bellevue. It seems like he needs a lot of help, physically. He’s got a lot of problems. He’s getting all kinds of tests. He’s somewhat of a train wreck health wise,” Mr Aidala said. The news comes just days after a New York appeals court vacated his rape conviction after finding the trial judge made “egregious errors” by allowing prosecutors to call witnesses whose allegations were not related to the charges at hand. Weinstein was moved from Mohawk Correction Facility in Syracuse to Rikers on Friday after his 23-year prison sentencing was vacated. The 72-year-old remained in custody due to his 2022 rape conviction in Los Angeles.   

Norway’s king plans to scale back his participation in official duties “out of consideration for his age”, the country’s royal household has said. Officials said the move would see King Harald, 88, make a “permanent reduction” to his public engagements. Harald is one of Europe’s longest reigning monarchs, serving since 1991. But he has battled illness in recent years and was admitted to hospital in Malaysia in February after falling sick while on holiday. He was treated for an infection he contracted while staying on the resort island of Langkawi. He was later fitted with a pacemaker to compensate for a low heart rate. Harald has not been seen in public since his hospitalisation. His son, Crown Prince Haakon, has carried out the king’s duties in his absence. In a statement on Monday, the royal household said “practical arrangements will also be made in the conduct of his official activity”, but offered no further details on what the arrangements would be. Monday’s announcement comes just days after Harald formally resumed his constitutional duties, having taken two months of sick leave after being released from hospital. His official diary listed three separate meetings, including a summit with the head of the country’s armed forces. Last year, the king carried out 431 public engagements. They included chairing cabinet 35 times and holding 110 audiences with leaders such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Despite his advancing age and ill-health, King Harald has openly ruled out abdicating. In January, he told reporters that he had taken an oath that “lasts for life”. “It’s that simple for me,” he added. “We’re at it until the bitter end.” Despite his health issues, polling suggests that the king remains extremely popular with Norwegians. A survey earlier this year showed that 64% of the population did not want him to abdicate in favour of his son, while some 72% of Norwegians remained supportive of the monarchy. Harald has been known to hold progressive views throughout his time on the throne. In 2016, he made an impassioned speech in support of LGBT equality and refugees, paying tribute to his fellow citizens from “Afghanistan, Pakistan and Poland, from Sweden, Somalia, and Syria,” and saying that Norwegians “are girls who love girls, boys who love boys, and girls and boys who love each other”. 

On This Day

  • 1869 – Chinese and Irish labourers working on the First transcontinental railroad lay ten miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched.
  • 1881 – Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico.
  • 1923 – Wembley Stadium is opened, named initially as the Empire Stadium.
  • 1945 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are shot dead by Walter Audisio, a member of the Italian resistance movement.
  • 1973 – The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, recorded in Abbey Road Studios goes to number one on the US Billboard chart, beginning a record-breaking 741-week chart run.
  • 1986 – High levels of radiation resulting from the Chernobyl disaster are detected at a nuclear power plant in Sweden, leading Soviet authorities to publicly announce the accident.


Gods of Death

Hades, Pluto, and Hel are some of the most well-known gods of death and the underworld from ancient mythology, but nearly all ancient cultures have one. Each death god from around the world represents the unique views different cultures have of death. Let’s have a  look at a few. 

Hades – Greek God of Death: In Ancient Greek mythology, the Greeks believed many gods ruled over the various elements of life and death. They would often perform ceremonies and sacrifices to earn favour, be it a good harvest, wealth and prosperity, or entrance to the afterlife. Among these gods, Hades, the Greek god of the underworld, ruled over the dead. Often depicted with a somber expression and a beard, Hades was known for his helmet, the Helm of Darkness or the Cap of Invisibility, and his companion, Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to the Underworld. His name means Unseen One, but he is also known as the Giver of Wealth, or Pluton. He is most known for his roles in the mythological stories about his parents, the Titans, and his niece, Persephone. As the god of the underworld, Hades typically remained in his realm and does not appear in as many myths as other gods.

Pluto – Roman God of Death: The foremost of the Roman chthonic (“subterranean”) deities, Pluto was god of the dead and lord of the underworld. A figure of enormous dread and terrible might, Pluto dispensed luck and controlled the fates of all mortals. As commander of the subterranean realms, he was the master of ores, metals, and the precious stones found within them. For this reason, he was celebrated by many as the bringer of wealth. Pluto was the Roman counterpart to Hades, who ruled the underworld of the same name. Pluto lived underground in a gloomy palace, and seemed to have little interest in the world of men. Likewise, Pluto seldom involved himself in godly affairs. He rode a chariot, carried a staff, and was often depicted wearing a warrior’s helm. Pluto was often accompanied by Cerberus, a three-headed hound that served both as his pet and guardian of the underworld.

Hel – Norse God of Death: Hel is a giantess/goddess who rules over the identically-named Hel, the underworld where many of the dead dwell. Her name’s meaning of “Hidden” has to do with the underworld and the dead being “hidden” or buried beneath the ground. Hel is the daughter of Loki and the giantess Angrboda, and therefore the sister of the wolf Fenrir and the world serpent, Jormungand. This makes her part of a highly dangerous and disreputable family. Hel is generally presented as being rather greedy, harsh, and cruel, or at least indifferent to the concerns of both the living and the dead. However, her personality is little-developed in what survives of Old Norse literature. Her appearance is described as being half-black, half-white, and with a perpetually grim and fierce  expression on her face.

Kali – Hindu God of Death: Kali is the Hindu goddess of death, time, and doomsday. She is often associated with sexuality and violence but is also considered a strong mother figure and symbol of motherly love. Kali is most often represented in art as a fearful fighting figure with a necklace of heads, skirt of arms, lolling tongue, and brandishing a knife dripping with blood. Kali’s name derives from the Sanskrit meaning ‘she who is black’ or ‘she who is death’. As an embodiment of time Kali devours all things, she is irresistibly attractive to mortals and gods. 

Anubis – Egyptian God of the Underworld: Anubis was a jackal-headed deity that guided souls and dead kings to the afterlife. There they were judged by Osiris through the weighing of the heart. Anubis would also embalm the dead and protect them. Anubis was one of the most important gods in Ancient Egyptian history. People viewed him with respect as a god of the underworld. He was depicted as a jackal-headed god because jackals were frequently seen roaming around tombs in Ancient Egypt. Anubis was said to have invented the mummification process. In world mythology, gods of death are often associated with evil. However, this wasn’t the case for Anubis. The Egyptian people viewed him as a good, protective deity. 

Ah Puch – Mayan God of Death: Ah Puch is an extremely fearsome deity usually depicted as a skeleton, often with rotting flesh. Ah Puch is the god of death, darkness, and disaster and yet also apparently represents regeneration, child birth, and beginnings. Ah Puch likes to surface at night and skulk around, there is only one way to escape his attentions. Howl! 

Mictlantecuhtli – Aztec God of Death: Mictlantecuhtli was the Aztec god of death who ruled over Mictlan, the land of the dead. Mictlan was where most people would spend their afterlife, regardless of moral standing. His name comes from his status as the ruler of Mictlan, and simply means “Lord of the Land of the Dead.” Mictlantecuhtli was most commonly depicted as a skeletal figure, though reliefs have also been found depicting him as a skull with eyes. He was sometimes shown with his mouth open, ready to receive the setting stars that disappeared during the day. As the Aztec lord of the underworld, Mictlantecuhtli didn’t act as the judge of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli simply tried to maintain order in his domain.

The Shinigami – Japanese Death Gods: In Japanese folklore, the Shinigami are death gods who play an essential role in the afterlife. People believed them to be spirits who guided the dead to the next world. In most cases, they are considered benevolent beings who guide the dead to the afterlife. Though many assume they are look similar to the Grim Reaper, most literature portrays them as something less frightening. They are said to wear black kimonos and have long white hair and can hide in plain sight or be invisible until you are  close to death.

Maman Brigette – Haitian and Voodoo Death God: Maman Brigitte is a lwa, or intermediary between the human and divine, of both life and death in Haitian Voodoo. She is always seen drinking rum infused with hot peppers, or sometimes she simply seen eating the peppers. She’s also said to swear frequently, and is associated with black roosters. She’s the partner of Baron Samedi, the male lwa of life and death. She protects the dead, gravestones, tombs and cemeteries. Maman Brigitte use of obscenity is a reminder not to be afraid to tell the truth and speak from the heart. She likes to have fun and is not afraid to say what is on her mind. Maman Brigitte is tough, serious, fun loving, the life of the party, caring, protective, religious, respectful, loud, rowdy and wild. Despite the fact of her rude and foul mouth she is also well spoken and behaves in a regal manner. Even though she has the power over the dead Maman Brigitte is priestess and teacher in healing.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Jessica Alba (43), Penélope Cruz (50), Mary McDonnell (72), Ann-Margret (83), Jay Leno (74), Jenna Coleman (38), Russell T. Davies (61), Giancarlo Esposito (66), Pablo Schreiber (46), Channing Tatum (44), Tom Welling 47), Kevin James (59), Jet Li (61), Joan Chen (63), Melania Trump (54), Renée Zellweger (55), Al Pacino (84), Gina Torres (55), Hank Azaria (60), Talia Shire (78), Djimon Hounsou (60), Jack Quaid (32), Joe Keery (32), Shirley MacLaine (90), Barbra Streisand (82), Rory McCann (55), Dev Patel (34), John Cena (47), Lee Majors (85), John Hannah (62), Gemma Whelan (43), Blair Brown (78), John Oliver (47), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (58), Amber Heard (38), Jack Nicholson (87), and Sheryl Lee (57).

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