Dead Pool 21st June 2020

What a week! The Evil Flying Monkeys didn’t disappoint! It’s the first week in what seems like ages that some well known celebrities have bitten the dust! And a very big hitter for us: Vera Lynn! With her sad passing I can award the following 47 points each: Neil, Gwenan, Paul C, Lee, Laura, Shan, and Dave! Also Big Three points of 147 to Ron, Martin, Christine, and Paul G. Well done all of you and a bit of a change at the top of the leader board too. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Alex Zanardi, the ex-Formula One driver-turned Paralympic champion who lost both legs in a motor racing accident 19 years ago, has been taken to hospital by helicopter after being involved in a serious accident. The 53-year-old Italian was airlifted to a hospital in Siena, with police confirming that he was involved in a “serious accident” with a “heavy vehicle”. A Carabinieri police official in Montepulciano confirmed that it was Zanardi involved in the accident, and that he believed the Italian was still alive. Zanardi, a two-time Champ Car champion and 41-race F1 driver, was competing in the ‘Obiettivo tricolore’ national road race for Paralympic athletes on hand-bikes on Friday when the accident occurred. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that Zanardi was travelling on Highway 146 between Pienza and San Quirico at the time of the crash. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Zanardi was descending down a hill when he lost control of his hand-bike and veered into oncoming traffic. Emergency services were able to attend the scene after his fellow competitors helped to raise the alarm of the accident. Zanardi won the 1997 and 1998 CART Championship, which earned him a return to F1 with Williams in 1999, but following a disappointing season that included 10 retirements he returned to American open-wheel racing the following year. However, Zanardi had both of his legs amputated following a horrific crash during the 2001 American Memorial CART race at Lausitzring in Germany, though in 2005 he was able to resume his motorsports career in World Touring Cars and the Blancpain Endurance Series thanks to modified hand-controlled vehicles. His finest sporting achievement came outside of motorsports though as he won four gold medals in hand-bike at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. 

One of Britain’s top pole dancers has died suddenly at the age of just 27 after posting that she was finding lockdown ‘so hard’. Jess Leanne Norris, from Bolton in Lancashire, was a two-time winner of Miss Pole Dance UK. Details of how Ms Norris died have not been revealed, but last year she launched a fundraising drive in aid of mental health charities. In April she also put up an emotional post on Facebook saying she was finding lockdown ‘so so hard’ and that a lot of us are feeling ‘stressed, lost and lonely’. The post on April 4 read: ‘I myself am finding this so so hard…it always takes me time to adapt to ‘change’ mentally as I’m one to need structure to cope with mind! ‘A lot of us are all feeling stressed, lost & lonely… but please don’t feel alone… We’re all in this together.’ Ms Norris also has a separate ‘health and wellness’ Facebook page called ‘You Matter’ where she posted about her depression and anxiety as well as sharing quotes about mental health. Friends said she had a huge influence on the pole dancing industry, setting up her first pole dancing studio at the age of 15.  She won her first Miss Pole Dance UK title in 2011, and claimed the crown for a second time in 2015.     

The pet that inspired the book series and film A Street Cat Named Bob has died aged 14. James Bowen met Bob in 2007 during his battle with  drug addiction when he found the cat abandoned and injured and decided to look after him. He began taking the ginger cat, often seen wearing a scarf, with him when busking or selling The Big Issue in London. Bowen then wrote a book about their relationship, titled A Street Cat Named Bob, which became a smash hit and was made into a film in 2016 in which Bob played himself alongside six lookalikes. In a statement on the official Facebook page for Bowen’s books, the author said Bob had saved his life. He added: “It’s as simple as that. He gave me so much more than companionship. With him at my side, I found a direction and purpose that I’d been missing.” He said the success they found together was “miraculous”, adding: “He’s met thousands of people, touched millions of lives. “There’s never been a cat like him. And never will again. I feel like the light has gone out in my life. I will never forget him.” 

On This Day

  • 1734 – In Montreal, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique is put to death, having been convicted of setting the fire that destroyed much of the city.  
  • 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet at Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed are the last casualties of World War I.  
  • 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.  
  • 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  
  • 2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
  • 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards.


The Rise of Non-painful Execution 

Trends in most of the world have long been to move to private and less painful executions. France developed the guillotine for this reason in the final years of the 18th century, while Britain banned hanging, drawing, and quartering in the early 19th century. Hanging by turning the victim off a ladder or by kicking a stool or a bucket, which causes death by suffocation, was replaced by long drop “hanging” where the subject is dropped a longer distance to dislocate the neck and sever the spinal cord. Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar, Shah of Persia (1896–1907) introduced throat-cutting and blowing from a gun (close-range cannon fire) as quick and relatively painless alternatives to more torturous methods of executions used at that time. In the United States, electrocution and gas inhalation were introduced as more humane alternatives to hanging, but have been almost entirely superseded by lethal injection. A small number of countries still employ slow hanging methods, decapitation, and stoning.

A study of executions carried out in the United States between 1977 and 2001 indicated that at least 34 of the 749 executions, or 4.5%, involved “unanticipated problems or delays that caused, at least arguably, unnecessary agony for the prisoner or that reflect gross incompetence of the executioner”. The rate of these “botched executions” remained steady over the period of the study. A separate study published in The Lancet in 2005 found that in 43% of cases of lethal injection, the blood level of hypnotics was insufficient to guarantee unconsciousness. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 (Baze v. Rees) and again in 2015 (Glossip v. Gross) that lethal injection does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Chris Pratt (40), Juliette Lewis (46), Lana Wachowski (54), David Morrissey (55), Lana Del Rey (34), Nicole Kidman (52), John Goodman (67), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (30), Miles O’Keeffe (65), Lionel Richie (70), Brian Wilson (77), Zoe Saldana (41), Aidan Turner (36), Kathleen Turner (65), Paula Abdul (57), Richard Madden (33), Carol Kane (67), Isabella Rossellini (67), Paul McCartney (77), Jodie Whittaker (38), Will Forte (50), Arnold Vosloo (58), John Cho (48), James Bolam (85), Helen Hunt (57), Courteney Cox (56), Neil Patrick Harris (47), Ice Cube (51), and Jim Belushi (66).

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