Dead Pool 21st April 2019

A quick writeup this week, I know you’re all enjoying the holidays and can’t be bothered to read up on dead people. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Actress Joan Collins has praised the NHS and fire crews after a “terrifying” blaze at her flat in central London. The London Fire Brigade said they were called to a seven-storey building on Eaton Place, Belgravia, at about 16:30 on Saturday. About 10 firefighters tackled the blaze which was brought under control by about 17:35. The actress needed treatment for smoke inhalation and praised her “hero” husband. In a tweet, posted on Sunday, Collins thanked the NHS and ambulance service, as well as the Metropolitan Police for blocking off the street and the fire brigade for putting out the fire. She also thanked her husband Percy Gibson, who “doused the flames consuming the entire wall with handheld extinguisher.” A spokeswoman for the fire brigade said: “Part of a flat on the first floor of the seven-storey building was damaged by the fire. “Two people left the property before the brigade arrived.” A Metropolitan Police spokesman said two people were treated by the London Ambulance Service but did not require hospital treatment, adding that the fire was deemed non-suspicious.  

In an apparently Frankensteinian effort, US scientists have partially revived pig brains four hours after the animals were slaughtered. The findings could fuel debate about the barrier between life and death, thus provoke arguments over points, and also provide a new way of researching diseases like Alzheimer’s. The study showed the death of brain cells could be halted and that some connections in the brain were restored. However, there were no signals from the brain that would indicate awareness or consciousness. The surprise findings challenge the idea that the brain goes into irreversible decline within minutes of the blood supply being cut off. How was it done? Thirty-two pig brains were collected from an abattoir. Four hours later the organs were connected to a system made by the team at Yale University. It rhythmically pumped (to mimic the pulse) a specially designed liquid round the brain, which contained a synthetic blood to carry oxygen and drugs to slow or reverse the death of brain cells. 10 hours after the pigs were decapitated, there was no sign of the brain-wide electrical activity in an electroencephalogram (EEG brain scan) that would signal awareness or perception. Fundamentally they were still dead brains. The Yale scientists were so concerned the pigs might become conscious that they gave drugs to the disembodied brains to reduce any brain activity. And the team were constantly monitoring the brains to see if there was any sign of higher brain functions. 

On This Day

  • 753 BC – Romulus founds Rome. 
  • 1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.  
  • 1918 – World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.  
  • 1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).  
  • 1989 – Nintendo launched the original Game Boy in Japan. The portable video game system had four Japanese launch titles; Super Mario Land, Alleyway, Baseball, and Yakuman.


  • 1910 – Mark Twain, American novelist, humorist, and critic (b. 1835)  
  • 2003 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and activist (b. 1933) 
  • 2016 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1958)  
  • 2018 – Verne Troyer, American actor (b. 1969)

Last Week’s Birthdays

James McAvoy (40), Toby Stephens (50), Andie MacDowell (61), Tony Danza (68), Iggy Pop (72), Queen Elizabeth II (93), Veronica Cartwright (70), Andy Serkis (55), Jessica Lange (70), Clint Howard (60), Carmen Electra (47), Ryan O’Neal (78), George Takei (82), Nicholas Lyndhurst (58), Leslie Phillips (95), Michael Brandon (74), James Franco (41), Ashley Judd (51), Hayden Christensen (38), Tim Curry (73), David Tennant (48), Eli Roth (47), Rick Moranis (66), James Woods (72), Hayley Mills (73), Conan O’Brien (56), Sean Bean (60), Rooney Mara (34), Jennifer Garner (47), David Bradley (77), Victoria Beckham (45), Claire Foy (35), Ellen Barkin (65), Maisie Williams (22), Seth Rogen (37), Emma Watson (29), Luke Evans (40), Emma Thompson (60), Samantha Fox (53), Sarah Michelle Gellar (42), Adrien Brody (46), Robert Carlyle (58), Julie Christie (79) and Peter Capaldi (61).

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