Dead Pool 24th April 2022
Welcome all, to a death-lite version of the Dead Pool Newsletter. Unsurprisingly, no points this week, but with a certain Russian upping his ante, I’m sure we’ll all be dead ten times over by next week.
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Robert Morse, 90, American actor (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Tru, Mad Men).
- Cynthia Plaster Caster, 74, American visual artist.
- Eric Chappell, 88, English screenwriter (The Squirrels, Rising Damp, Home to Roost).
In Other News
Everyone’s favourite ‘superhero’ has been arrested in Hawaii for the second time in recent weeks and charged with second-degree assault after allegedly throwing a chair at a woman. Hawaii Island police responded to an incident at a Pahoa home early Tuesday morning and arrested Ezra Miller, aka The Flash. Police said that the 29-year-old actor “became irate” after being asked to leave a private residence and threw a chair at a woman, striking her in the head. The woman reportedly was left with a cut on her forehead half an inch deep. This is not the first legal issue Miller has faced in Hawaii recently. In late March, the Fantastic Beasts star was arrested in a karaoke bar in Hilo for disorderly conduct and harassment. He was accused of harassing a woman at the bar, at one point grabbing a microphone from a 23-year-old woman and later lunged at a 32-year-old man playing darts. Miller was then arrested and his bail was set at $500 (£381), which the actor paid. He’s certainly setting himself up as a woman hater as back in April 2020, a video surfaced in a since-deleted tweet that appeared to show Miller choking a woman and throwing her to the ground. The video was confirmed to have taken place at Prikið Kaffihús, a bar in Reykjavik that Miller frequented when in the city. A bar employee identified the person in the video as Miller and said he was escorted off the premises by staff after the incident. Miller, who was born in New Jersey, has played The Flash in the DC universe for a number of years and is set to star in a standalone movie scheduled for release next year. I bet DC wished they stuck with Grant Gustin.
Former World Darts Championship finalist Mike Gregory has died aged 65. Gregory, known as the ‘Quiet Man of Darts’, was confirmed to have passed away on Tuesday morning, 30 years after his remarkable final appearance in the World Darts Championship. Gregory faced Phil Taylor in the final, and excruciatingly missed six match darts to clinch the title after a superb showing. The 65-year-old enjoyed a glistening career in darts, reaching the final of World Masters twice in 1983 and 1992 as well as winning the Unipart British Professional, the MFI World Matchplay and the News of the World twice. His last major title came in 1995 in the Unipart European Masters, and Gregory then proceeded to take a break from darts, making only a few appearances in the Scottish and Welsh Open before officially retiring. Having then continued as a county player, it occasionally looked as though Gregory could return to the BDO scene, but it never came to fruition.
Vladimir Putin’s health has been called into question yet again after a video showed him tightly clutching a table throughout a meeting with Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu. The clip has sparked fresh theories about his health, which has reportedly deteriorated since he launched Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In the footage posted online by the Kremlin, the 69-year-old Russian president grabs hold of the corner of the table with his right hand as soon as he sits down for the meeting, and keeps hold of it for the entirety of the 12 minute clip. Mr Putin can also be seen intermittently holding the edge of the table with his left hand while Mr Shoigu reads him a statement. The footage shows Mr Putin’s right thumb constantly moving as he listens to his defence minister, and it has been suggested that the fidgeting could indicate that he was trying to hide a tremor typical of Parkinson’s disease. Sir Richard Dearlove – former MI6 head – and Professor Gwythian Prins – previously a Nato adviser – have claimed that Mr Putin has shown signs of the progressive nervous system disorder. In the clip, Mr Putin moves his feet up and down, appears restless and tense, and clears his throat a number of times while listening to his defence minister – who reportedly suffered a heart attack recently at the age of 66. The Russian president also sits slightly hunched, with his spine pressed flat against the back of the chair, in contrast to Shoigu who appears to be sitting more upright and without the need for any support. Anders Aslund, an author and former adviser on Russia and Ukraine, said that both men looked like they were not in good health. “Shoigu has to read his comments to Putin and slurs badly, suggesting that the rumours of his heart attack are likely. He sits badly. Poor performance. Worth watching,” he said.
Martin Roberts has described the terrifying moment he saw doctors plunge an eight-inch syringe into his chest before undergoing emergency heart surgery. On Thursday, the Homes Under the Hammer presenter shared a video to social media explaining that he was in hospital after experiencing chest pains he had initially believed to be due to asthma or long Covid. Instead, doctors found that his heart was surrounded by “a massive amount of fluid”, which was preventing it from working. He had emergency surgery that night and was later told that he’d had “hours to live” when he was operated on. Speaking to the flying monkeys at the hospital, Roberts said that the incident was “the nearest thing to not being here that’s ever happened to me”. He was seen within 45 seconds of arriving at the hospital, where it was discovered that his blood pressure was half that of a healthy person. “It was severe,” he said. “My liver and my kidneys were down to 30 per cent of their normal operational capacity.” Roberts was given local anaesthetic, before doctors drained a litre and a half of fluid from his lungs with a large syringe. “I watched as they drew out syringe after syringe after syringe of this liquid,” the property expert said. “I was awake for this, but I was bit woozy. There was a tube that went in through my chest cavity, down into the sack around my heart.” Roberts said that doctors suspected he had an underlying respiratory problem that had spread to the heart, adding: “It remains to be seen whether I get full function back of my liver and kidneys. I don’t know about the lungs.”
UK singer Tom Grennan is recovering from an “unprovoked attack” which has left him with injuries including a torn ear-drum, his manager has announced. The 26-year-old is said to have been attacked and robbed outside a bar in Manhattan after performing in New York on Wednesday. He has been forced to postpone a gig in Washington DC on Friday as a result. Grennan’s track Little Bit of Love was nominated for song of the year at this year’s Brit Awards. “In the early hours of this morning after Tom’s New York show, he was the victim of an unprovoked attack and robbery outside a bar in Manhattan,” his manager John Dawkins said in a statement posted online on Thursday evening. “Tom is currently being assessed by doctors for his injuries which include a ruptured ear, torn ear-drum and issue with his previously fractured jaw.” He added: “Despite this Tom is in good spirits but needs to temporarily recuperate whilst doctors assess his ability to continue with his touring.” His manager went on to thank Grennan’s American fans, noting how the singer was “desperate not to let anyone down”, but that the “precautionary decision” had been made to postpone his Washington show until later notice. Grennan initially found fame as the guest vocalist on Chase & Status’s track All Goes Wrong, and he went on to score a number one solo album with 2021’s Evering Road. The Bedford-born singer received two recent Brit Award nominations, including best rock/alternative act, while losing out to Adele’s Easy on Me in the song of the year category. Last month he revealed that therapy had offered him “light at the end of a tunnel”, as he opened up about his fashionable mental health battles.
On This Day
- 1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for the crew of the sunken Endurance.
- 1967 – Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. He is the first human to die during a space mission.
- 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
- 2013 – A building collapses near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring 2,500 others.
- 1731 – Daniel Defoe, English journalist, novelist, and spy (b. 1660).
- 1974 – Bud Abbott, American comedian and producer (b. 1895).
- 2004 – Estée Lauder, American businesswoman, co-founded Estée Lauder (b. 1906).
The Fun in Physics
Particle accelerators are machines that propel charged particles at incredible speeds, generally to collide with other particles. It’s highly advisable that the particles the high-speed particles collide with should not be part of your head, as one man learned the hard way.
On July 13th, 1978, particle physicist Anatoli Bugorski was working his job at the U-70 synchrotron, the largest particle accelerator in the Soviet Union. The 36-year-old was inspecting a piece of equipment that had malfunctioned when the accident happened. Unbeknownst to him, several safety mechanisms had also failed, meaning that when he leaned over to get a good look at his task, a proton beam shot through the back of his head at close to the speed of light.
Or at least, closer to the speed of light than you’d like a proton beam to be traveling at when it shoots clean through your face.
At first, he felt no pain. He knew what had happened, as he had seen a light “brighter than a thousand Suns,” as well as the gravity of the situation. At this point, he didn’t tell a soul, and merely completed his day’s work before heading home and waited for the inevitable to happen.
Absorbing 500 rads of radiation would usually lead to death. Though he didn’t yet know it, he had been hit with between 200,000-300,000 rads. In the night, his face began to swell beyond recognition, prompting him to visit the doctors the following morning. From there, he was taken to a clinic in Moscow, though largely so that his death could be observed rather than for any expectation that his life could be saved.
The next few days saw his skin peel off around the entry and exit wounds, showing a clean path burned right through his skin, skull, and brain. Remarkably, he did not die. The brain tissue continued to burn away over the ensuing years, and his face became paralysed on the left side, where his hearing was also lost. Weirder still, as he aged the right side of his head showed signs of ageing, while the left side did not.
Over the next few decades, he experienced seizures but remained functional, continued his work as a physicist, and completed a PhD. As far as people who have put their heads into a particle accelerator go (and to be fair, that’s a demographic of one) he was pretty lucky. The narrow focus of the beam, though it caused massive damage, likely kept the damage limited to an area of brain that he could live without.
For the decade after his accident, he was unable to tell anyone about it, given the notorious secrecy of the Soviet Union. He survived well beyond the end of the USSR, however. In fact, the man who put his head in a particle accelerator and lived to tell the tale remains alive to this day.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Jack Quaid (30), Joe Keery (30), Aidan Gillen (54), Djimon Hounsou (58), Shirley MacLaine (88), Barbra Streisand (80), Rory McCann (53), John Cena (45), Dev Patel (32), Gemma Whelan (41), John Hannah (60), Lee Majors (83), Blair Brown (76), John Oliver (45), Amber Heard (36), Jack Nicholson (85), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (56), Machine Gun Kelly (32), Sheryl Lee (55), John Waters (76), Michelle Ryan (38), Robbie Amell (34), James McAvoy (43), Andie MacDowell (64), Toby Stephens (53), Tony Danza (71), Iggy Pop (75), Queen Elizabeth II (96), Andy Serkis (58), Clint Howard (63), Jessica Lange (73), Veronica Cartwright (73), Carmen Electra (50), Ruth Connell (43), Ryan O’Neal (81), George Takei (85), Leslie Phillips (98), Nicholas Lyndhurst (61), Michael Brandon (77), James Franco (44), Hayden Christensen (41), Tim Curry (76), Maria Sharapova (35), David Tennant (51), Hayley Mills (76), Rick Moranis (69), James Woods (75), and Eli Roth (50).