Dead Pool 6th February 2022

Here we go again! No points this week, but loads to read. So make a nice cup of tea and sit back and let the flying monkeys massage your feet. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Simon Cowell has said that he’ll “definitely wear a helmet” in the future after crashing his e-bike for the second time in 18 months. The former X Factor judge broke his arm on the 24th January after suffering an accident near his home in west London. Witnesses said that Cowell hadn’t been wearing a helmet and had “blood pouring from his face”. Speaking to the flying monkeys, the music mogul said that he was doing “OK” and “feeling much better” after the accident. “It happened just round the corner,” he said. “I’m a bit of a nutter. I’ll definitely wear a helmet next time.” Cowell was said to have been driving the e-bike at a speed of about 20mph when the accident occurred, with the 62-year-old then being rushed to a nearby hospital with a broken arm, badly bruised cheek and possible concussion. He was discharged the same day and photographed with his arm in a yellow cast. In August 2020, Cowell broke his back while testing out his new £10,000 e-bike in the courtyard of his Malibu home. Speaking about the incident at the time and after he was forced to undergo surgery, Cowell said: “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”   

1000Lb Sisters star Tammy Slaton was left fighting for her life in a coma after a terrifying health scare. The 35-year-old fronts the TLC series with sister Amy, offering viewers a front-row seat into their weight loss journey as well as an intimate look at their personal lives. Her struggles have been documented in the past, with viewers left shocked at her decision to leave a food addiction rehab early in previous episodes. However, things took a scary turn in the latest instalment, when she was rushed to hospital shortly after arriving at another weight loss facility. Her family got a concerning phone call that she had ‘quit breathing’ before being rushed for emergency treatment. ‘They’re just telling us that her lungs have given up, and like her body is shutting down,’ sister Amanda told the cameras. ‘So at this point, we’re facing making funeral arrangements for my little sister. ‘I’m just sitting here thinking, “Oh my god.” She’s been in such a bad place for so long. She waited too long. And now that she has the courage to step out and get the help that she needs, now this.’ Tammy’s brother, Chris, explained that doctors weren’t sure whether she would ‘make it through the next hours’, with her loved ones gathering by her bedside. She was placed into a medically induced coma at the hospital, with doctors also putting her on a ventilator. Thankfully she woke up, with doctors later giving her a tracheotomy. Amy broke down over her recovery, adding: ‘She’s okay. She’s still alive. She has her life.’ The star spent three weeks in hospital before returning to the rehab centre to continue her weight loss efforts. According to Chris, she is already doing well with her transformation, and is already down 115lbs after spending a month at the facility. He proudly added: ‘I’m overjoyed that’s she’s ready to get on this train and start rolling down the tracks.’ 

Tom Parker, 33, called for his fans to “light a candle and say a prayer” for him on Wednesday. The Wanted singer explained to his 267,000 followers on Instagram how the date, 2nd February 2022, was “a powerful day to manifest” and heal. Tom – who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020 – went on to share an affirmation that included the line: “May my body return to health and completely free from dis-ease.” The dad-of-two uploaded a sweet snap of himself and wife Kelsey Hardwick to accompany the positive post on social media. “Calling all my amazing followers,” Tom began in the caption on Wednesday. “I would love for you all to get involved tonight and light a candle and say a prayer for me.” He continued: “It’s a new moon and supreme number 02.02.22 it’s a powerful day to manifest with the universe. “So let’s all heal together.” The Dead Pool favourite – who has a daughter Aurelia, two, and son Bodhi, 11 months – was initially told he had a grade four glioblastoma and was given a life expectancy of 12 to 18 months. Thankfully, after six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 radiotherapy sessions, the star’s condition has improved and he and his family have a positive outlook about things.  

A woman who made international headlines when she announced she was expecting octuplets has died aged 56 after developing cancer. Mandy Allwood first announced she was expecting eight children, aged 31, with her then partner Paul Hudson after taking fertility drugs in 1996. But the six boys and two girls, who were born over three days and three nights, tragically did not survive. First reported by The Scum, Ms Allwood will be laid to rest in a service funded by her local council, known as a pauper’s funeral, with no mourners present. Her friend Mark Beard, 58, said: “She had been struggling with cancer for a while and had an operation before Christmas but told us recently that it had come back. I don’t know what sort of cancer it was.” Mr Beard, the landlord of the Yard of Ale pub in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, told the flying monkeys that Ms Allwood would pop in two times a week, and said she was “loved” by the locals. He said about a dozen of her friends would “raise a glass” in her memory after her family declined to attend her cremation. Her close family did not comment but confirmed to the monkeys that they would not be attending. Ms Allwood went on to have three other children but never recovered from the loss of her octo-babies. She would go on to appear on Oprah and have lunch with Princess Diana, and eventually sued disgraced publicist Max Clifford for secretly profiteering from her story. She struggled with depression, and she lost custody of her three surviving children and became estranged from her family. 

Musical theatre star Andrew Lloyd Webber said agony and lack of sleep had almost led to him overdosing on painkillers as he opened up about his health woes in his memoir Unmasked. The 73-year-old composer explained that his prostate cancer battle had left him impotent. Llyod Webber, who is best known for a number of musicals that include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. Addressing the details of his health concerns, the composer spoke out in an unearthed admission. The dad-of-five said the treatment left him impotent before he was given the all-clear from the disease in 2010. According to the flying monkeys, in his memoir, Unmasked, Andrew said: “I did think of suicide. It was so painful and I couldn’t sleep. “You have all those ridiculous painkillers and none of them work and you just think, ‘I shall take the whole lot of them.’” However, his wife of 30 years, Madeleine Gurdon, provided a ray of light through dark times, however. “When I met Madeleine, it was almost like getting my life back; a door has been unlocked back into a world that I’d perhaps missed in the previous years – people outside the theatre. “There is a world outside the Tony Awards and I think that’s what Madeleine brings to me.”

On This Day

  • 1843 – The first minstrel show in the United States, The Virginia Minstrels, opens (Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City). 
  • 1918 – British women over the age of 30 who meet minimum property qualifications, get the right to vote when Representation of the People Act 1918 is passed by Parliament. 
  • 1951 – The Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derails near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. The accident kills 85 people and injures over 500 more. The wreck is one of the worst rail disasters in American history.  
  • 1952 – Elizabeth II becomes Queen of the United Kingdom and her other Realms and Territories and Head of the Commonwealth upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.  
  • 1958 – Eight Manchester United F.C. players and 15 other passengers are killed in the Munich air disaster.  
  • 1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit. 
  • 1988 – Michael Jordan makes his signature slam dunk from the free throw line inspiring Air Jordan and the Jumpman logo.


Choo Choo! 

On February 6th 1951, a Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed on a temporary wooden trestle in Woodbridge, New Jersey, killing 85 passengers. It remains New Jersey’s deadliest train wreck, the deadliest U.S. derailment since 1918, and the deadliest peacetime rail disaster in the United States. 

At around 5 p.m Pennsylvania Railroad Train No. 733 left Exchange Place in Jersey City. An express train to Bay Head via the North Jersey Coast Line, No. 733 was crowded that day due to a labor strike on the nearby Jersey Central Railroad. It carried over 1,000 passengers in 11 cars drawn by PRR K4 4-6-2 steam locomotive No. 2445.

That afternoon, rail traffic through Woodbridge was being diverted onto a temporary wooden trestle and a shoofly near Fulton Street, allowing labourers building the New Jersey Turnpike to work on the main line. A notice had gone out to train engineers in late January: after 1:01 p.m. on February 6th, they were to proceed through Woodbridge not at the normal 60 mph but at 25 mph.

Before Train No. 733 left Jersey City, conductor John Bishop reminded engineer Joseph Fitzsimmons about the speed restriction. It was not the railroad’s practice to install warning lights in such cases, and Fitzsimmons failed to slow the train as it approached Woodbridge. Bishop, alarmed at the train’s speed, tried to pull the emergency cord, but the crush of passengers made it impossible.

The train was traveling faster than 50 mph when it reached the curve approaching the trestle, according to a subsequent inquiry. At 5:43 p.m., the tracks shifted under the massive locomotive, and eight of the train’s eleven passenger cars derailed. The first two cars fell on their sides. The third and fourth cars crashed into each other as they hurtled down a 26-foot-high embankment. It was in these two cars that most of the 85 deaths occurred. The fifth and sixth cars were left hanging in mid-air over a street that glistened from rain. Some passengers may have jumped to their deaths, believing they would land in water. The accident occurred in a heavily populated area, so help soon arrived. Neighbours opened their houses and businesses to those in need. The critically injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

Although Fitzsimmons initially claimed that he had been traveling at only 25 mph, the inquiry estimated that the train’s speed was between 50 and 60 mph. The report concluded that the wreck was caused by “excessive speed on a curve of a temporary track”. Fitzsimmons continued working for the railroad, but never operated a train again.

Near the derailment site, the victims are memorialised by a pair of historical markers, installed by New Jersey Transit in 2002 and by Woodbridge Township in 2013.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Alice Eve (40), Kevin Whately (71), Mike Farrell (83), Jennifer Jason Leigh (60), Michael Sheen (53), Charlotte Rampling (76), Christopher Guest (74), Tony Jaa (46), Cristiano Ronaldo (37), Gabrielle Anwar (52), Natalie Imbruglia (47), Alice Cooper (74), Jim Jefferies (45), Isla Fisher (46), Bridget Regan (40), Warwick Davis (52), Morgan Fairchild (72), Gemma Arterton (36), Brent Spiner (73), David Jason (82), Shakira (45), Michael C. Hall (51), Harry Styles (28), Sherilyn Fenn (57), Lisa Marie Presley (54), Minnie Driver (52), Jonathan Banks (75), Portia de Rossi (49), Justin Timberlake (41), and Dexter Fletcher (56).

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