Dead Pool 2nd May 2021

Welcome to a Nickie edition of The Dead Pool Newsletter, as she found most of this weeks stories, well done that woman! Not many notable deaths this week, but reading the listings confirmed that India is in a slight bit of bother with the old Coronavirus, the youngest Indian star I noticed was a 34 year old Bodybuilder. If you knew your Indian celebrities you could have already won the pool this week! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has revealed he was recently diagnosed with cancer for a second time, but has been given the all-clear. Wood said: “I’ve had cancer two different ways now. I had lung cancer in 2017 and I had small-cell more recently that I fought in the last lockdown … I came through with the all-clear.” Small-cell carcinoma is a type of cancer most commonly found in the lungs. In 2017, he was found to have lung cancer during a routine health check, and underwent a five-hour surgery to have it removed. He turned down chemotherapy: “I wasn’t going to lose my hair. This hair wasn’t going anywhere,” he said later that year. “I said, ‘No way.’ And I just kept the faith it would be all right … I was bloody lucky but then I’ve always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn’t be here.” He continued touring with the Rolling Stones later that year. “I’m going through a lot of problems now, but throughout my recovery, you have to let it go. And when you hand the outcome over to your higher power, that is a magic thing … What will be will be, it’s nothing to do with me. All I can do is stay positive in my attitude, be strong and fight it, and the rest is up to my higher power.” 

I hope you are all feeling very lucky, if not privileged, to live in Britain, as authorities in Delhi have been forced to build makeshift funeral pyres in public parks as India’s  capital city runs out of space for coronavirus victims. Social media is flooded with pictures of people burning the bodies of their loved ones who died from Covid-19 alongside many other bodies. As most of the capital’s crematoriums are working beyond their capacity, local news reports show pictures of bodies lined up in a queue at cremation centres and people being forced to wait for more than 20 hours to get space for cremation. As a result, the authorities are forced to create more funeral pyres so people do not have to wait for hours and risk exposure to the virus. 

They are building dozens of new pyres at the existing crematoriums including their parking spaces or nearby parks. Reports said officials are also exploring if there is additional space for new pyres near the river bed of the Yamuna river. Staff are also overworked at many of the crematoriums with the cremation taking places from early morning till midnight. As a result family members have been seen helping them pre1pare the pyres – without being able to follow social distancing. Due to the sudden increase in number of deaths, there has been an increase in demand of wood required for the pyres as well. There have also been unconfirmed reports of trees being cut in the city for wood for the funeral pyres. Over the past several weeks, India has seen a massive daily rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, India recorded over 360,000 cases, a global record, and nearly 3,300 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded about 18 million cases including 200,000 deaths – second only to the US. Truly biblical!   

A YouTuber whose girlfriend was killed in a sickening live stream has been jailed for causing her death. Trash vlogger ReeFlay – who used the name Stanislav Reshetnikov, 30 was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm resulting in death sentenced to six years in a strict penal colony by a Russian court. Valentina ‘Valya’ Grigoryeva, 28, was subjected to live online ‘abuse’ and died of ‘head injuries’. Bullying Reshetnikov was paid by watchers to inflict verbal and physical violence on her in the streaming session in which she died. When he emerged flanked by armed officers to start his sentence, he appeared in tears. In the live stream which led to headlines around the world, he had labelled Grigoryeva a ‘prostitute’ and ‘smelly’. First reports say she died from being locked outside near naked in subzero temperatures – seen live by punters on YouTube and other platforms, but later forensic experts concluded a head injury was the cause of death. When Reshetnikov, 30, allowed her back in, it was clear to viewers that she appeared dead, and one called the emergency services. Her corpse had ‘craniocerebral trauma’ and ‘multiple bruising on the face and haemorrhaging of soft tissues’. ReeFlay ‘testified that on the day in question he hit the deceased several times on the head,’ said a law enforcement source. Psychological and psychiatric examinations of the streamer found him to be ‘sane’ and fit to face trial. He was convicted of ‘intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm, dangerous to human life, committed with the use of an object used as a weapon, resulting in the death of the victim by negligence’. His mother, a sales manager, had said earlier that her son ‘wouldn’t hurt a kitten’ and was ‘very kind’, despite the video evidence showing otherwise! 

On This Day

  • 1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, is arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft. It didn’t end well for her… 
  • 1982 – Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano. 
  • 1986 – Chernobyl disaster: The City of Chernobyl is evacuated six days after the disaster!  
  • 2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.  
  • 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11th attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man, is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.


Auto-iconism or the Literal Meaning of ‘Get Stuffed!’

Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. 

On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, and then to be permanently preserved as an “auto-icon” (or self-image), which would be his memorial. This was done, and the auto-icon is now on public display in the entrance of the Student Centre at University College London. Because of his arguments in favour of the general availability of education, he has been described as the “spiritual founder” of UCL. However, he played only a limited direct part in its foundation.  

Bentham died on 6th June 1832 aged 84 at his residence in Queen Square Place in Westminster, London. He had continued to write up to a month before his death, and had made careful preparations for the dissection of his body after death and its preservation as an auto-icon. As early as 1769, when Bentham was 21 years old, he made a will leaving his body for dissection to a family friend, the physician and chemist George Fordyce, whose daughter, Maria Sophia, married Jeremy’s brother Samuel Bentham. A paper written in 1830, instructing Thomas Southwood Smith to create the auto-icon, was attached to his last will, dated 30th May 1832. 

Bentham’s wish to preserve his dead body was consistent with his philosophy of utilitarianism. Following the dissection, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the “Auto-icon”, with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham’s clothes. From 1833 it stood in Southwood Smith’s Finsbury Square consulting rooms until he abandoned private practice in the winter of 1849-50 when it was moved to 36 Percy Street, the studio of his unofficial partner, the painter Margaret Gillies, who made studies of it. In March 1850 Southwood Smith offered the auto-icon to Henry Brougham who readily accepted it for UCL. 

It is kept on public display at the main entrance of the UCL Student Centre. Upon the retirement of Sir Malcolm Grant as provost of the College in 2013, the body was present at Grant’s final council meeting. As of 2021, this was the only time that the body of Bentham has been taken to a UCL council meeting. There is a persistent myth that the body of Bentham is present at all council meetings.  

Bentham had intended the auto-icon to incorporate his actual head, mummified to resemble its appearance in life. Southwood Smith’s experimental efforts at mummification, based on practices of the indigenous people of New Zealand and involving placing the head under an air pump over sulphuric acid and drawing off the fluids, although technically successful, left the head looking distastefully macabre, with dried and darkened skin stretched tautly over the skull. 

The auto-icon was therefore given a wax head, fitted with some of Bentham’s own hair. The real head was displayed in the same case as the auto-icon for many years, but became the target of repeated student pranks. However, the rumour that the head was used as a football is untrue. The head is very fragile and should someone have kicked it, it would have disintegrated. It was later locked away. 

In 2020, the auto-icon was put into a new glass display case and moved to the entrance of UCL’s new Student Centre on Gordon Square. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Dwayne Johnson (49), Ellie Kemper (41), David Suchet (75), Matt Berry (47), David Beckham (46), Lily Allen (36), Jamie Dornan (39), Julie Benz (49), Joanna Lumley (75), Una Stubbs (84), Gal Gadot (36), Sam Heughan (41), Kirsten Dunst (39), Burt Young (81), Michelle Pfeiffer (63), Daniel Day-Lewis (64), Uma Thurman (51), Kate Mulgrew (66), Jerry Seinfeld (67), Willie Nelson (88), Mary McDonnell (69), Jessica Alba (40), Penélope Cruz (47), Ann-Margret (80), Jay Leno (71), Jenna Coleman (35), Russell T. Davies (58), Sheena Easton (62), Channing Tatum (41), Pablo Schreiber (43), Giancarlo Esposito (63), Kevin James (56), Jet Li (58), Joan Chen (60), and Melania Trump (51).

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