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Dead Pool 10th April 2022

We’ve got a points bonanza this week!!! 

With the sad passing of June Brown, both Trish and Shan get 155 points as they both had her down as their Woman. Each of the following get 55 points for June Brown: Rachel, Liz, Mark, Nickie, and Paul C. 

Paul C also gets a further 48 points for the passing of Nehemiah Persoff and another 100 points for Tom Smith!! Three deaths in one week!! 

I can also award 100 points each to Julia and Martin for also correctly guessing Tom Smith. 

Well done everyone, especially Paul C for three in one week, I’m tempted to send out the flying monkeys to make sure he didn’t have a hand in their deaths!!! 

So no huge change at the top of the league table, but quite a few of you have propelled yourselves into the top half this week. Congratulations everyone!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

David McKee, the bestselling children’s author and creator of Elmer and Mr Benn, has died aged 87. The news was confirmed by his publisher Andersen Press, who says he died at his home in the South of France after a short illness. A spokesperson released a statement, which read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of David McKee, beloved author and illustrator for children, and creator of iconic children’s books Elmer, Not Now, Bernard and Mr Benn. All at Andersen Press hope his spirit lives on for many more generations through his joyful, heartfelt stories”. Andersen Press founder Klaus Flugge also said: “I am devastated by the sudden death of my best friend, David McKee. He was as close to Andersen Press as I am. He was there from the very beginning and essential to the origin of the company. He became great friends with everyone he encountered; staff, authors and illustrators alike.” McKee is best known for Elmer, which was first published in 1968, and later became one of the most popular children’s books in the world. McKee wrote 29 Elmer books, which have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 60 languages. The books have also been turned into an animated series, a stage play and a wide range of merchandise including soft toys. Another of McKee’s most popular creations, Mr Benn, was turned into a TV series. It is said that McKee based the suit and bowler hat-wearing character on Charlie Chaplin. McKee was born in Devon and later went on to study art in Plymouth. His writing career led to him travelling the world and spending considerable time in Italy, France and Spain.   

The woman who drew up lists of people for the German industrialist Oskar Schindler that helped save hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust has died aged 107. Mimi Reinhardt, who was employed as Schindler’s secretary, was in charge of drawing up the lists of Jewish workers from the ghetto of the Polish city of Kraków who were recruited to work at his factory, saving them from deportation to Nazi death camps. “My grandmother, so dear and so unique, passed away at the age of 107. Rest in peace,” Reinhardt’s granddaughter Nina wrote in a message to relatives. Austrian-born Reinhardt, who was also Jewish, was recruited by Schindler himself and worked for him until 1945. After the second world war, she moved to New York before deciding to move to Israel in 2007 to join her only son, Sasha Weitman, who was then a professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University. “I feel at home,” she told reporters when she landed in the country. Schindler, who died in 1974, was named by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum as a member of the “Righteous Among the Nations”, an honour for non-Jews who tried to save Jews from Nazi extermination. The lists that Reinhardt compiled for him helped to save about 1,300 people at considerable risk to his own life. His initiative was recounted in the bestselling 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark and the award-winning film adaptation by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List. Reinhardt, who spent her last years at a nursing home north of Tel Aviv, had said she once met Spielberg but found it hard to watch the movie. The Israeli photographer Gideon Markowicz, who met Reinhardt as part of a project dedicated to Holocaust survivors, described her as an active woman. “She took part in the activities of the nursing home and was a bridge champion. She surfed the net and monitored the stock exchange,” he said.  

The family of late rapper Goonew has defended their decision to place what was allegedly the artist’s “embalmed corpse” on stage for his memorial service. The Maryland rapper, real name Markelle Morrow, was shot and killed on 18th March. This week, images and video footage circulated on social media purporting to show Goonew’s family and friends partying at Washington DC club Bliss, while his dead body – dressed in jeans, a hoodie, trainers and a crown – is propped up on stage. Goonews mother, Patrice, and his sister Ariana, told the flying monkeys that they wanted to display his body after seeing other services do something similar. His sister apparently told us that Goonew hadn’t wanted to be buried in a suit, and didn’t attend church, so they felt it would be inappropriate to have him in a casket. The owners of Bliss are reportedly investigating whether the body was real. In a statement, a representative said the club was “never made aware of what would transpire” during a $40 event Sunday that was billed as “The Final Show” for Goonew. The club said it had been contacted by a local funeral home and asked to rent out its venue for the “homecoming celebration”. It has offered a “sincere apology to all those who may be upset or offended”.

On This Day

  • 1815 – The Mount Tambora volcano begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15th. The eruption ultimately kills 71,000 people and affects Earth’s climate for the next two years.
  • 1858 – After the original Big Ben, a 14.5 tonne bell for the Palace of Westminster, had cracked during testing, it is recast into the current 13.76 tonne bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
  • 1912 – RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.
  • 1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles for personal and professional reasons.
  • 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is signed in Northern Ireland.
  • 2019 – Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project announce the first ever image of a black hole, which was located in the centre of the M87 galaxy.

Deaths

Botched American Executions

It is estimated that 3% of U.S. executions in the period from 1890 to 2010 were botched. In the 2014 book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty, Austin Sarat, a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College, describes the history of flawed executions in the U.S. during that period. Sarat reports that over those 120 years, 8,776 people were executed and 276 of those executions (3.15%) went wrong in some way. Lethal injection had the highest rate of botched executions. 

In his book, he defines a botched execution as follows: Botched executions occur when there is a breakdown in, or departure from, the “protocol” for a particular method of execution. The protocol can be established by the norms, expectations, and advertised virtues of each method or by the government’s officially adopted execution guidelines. Botched executions are “those involving unanticipated problems or delays that caused, at least arguably, unnecessary agony for the prisoner or that reflect gross incompetence of the executioner.” Examples of such problems include, among other things, inmates catching fire while being electrocuted, being strangled during hangings (instead of having their necks broken), and being administered the wrong dosages of specific drugs for lethal injections. 

Method Total Executions Botched Executions Botched Rate
Hanging 2,721 85 3.12%
Electrocution 4,374 84 1.92%
Lethal Gas 593 32 5.4%
Lethal Injection 1,054 75 7.12%
Firing Squad 34 0 0%
All Methods 8,776 276 3.15%

A report in the Salt Lake City Tribune takes a different view of the suggestion that there have been no botched executions by firing squad since 1890. The paper reports that in September 1951, a Utah firing squad shot Eliseo J. Mares in the hip and abdomen and that it was “several minutes” before he was declared dead. 

Here are a few more examples: 

August 10th 1982. Virginia. Frank J. Coppola. Electrocution. Although no media representatives witnessed the execution and no details were ever released by the Virginia Department of Corrections, an attorney who was present later stated that it took two 55-second jolts of electricity to kill Coppola. The second jolt produced the odour and sizzling sound of burning flesh, and Coppola’s head and leg caught on fire. Smoke filled the death chamber from floor to ceiling with a smoky haze. 

September 2nd 1983. Mississippi. Jimmy Lee Gray. Asphyxiation. Officials had to clear the room eight minutes after the gas was released when Gray’s desperate gasps for air repulsed witnesses. His attorney, Dennis Balske of Montgomery, Alabama, criticised state officials for clearing the room when the inmate was still alive. Said noted death penalty defence attorney David Bruck, “Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while the reporters counted his moans.” Later it was revealed that the executioner, Barry Bruce, was drunk. 

December 12th 1984. Georgia. Alpha Otis Stephens. Electrocution. “The first charge of electricity failed to kill him, and he struggled to breathe for eight minutes before a second charge carried out his death sentence.” After the first two minute power surge, there was a six minute pause so his body could cool down before physicians could examine him (and declare that another jolt was needed). During that six-minute interval, Stephens took 23 breaths. A Georgia prison official said, “Stephens was just not a conductor” of electricity. December 13th 1988. Texas. Raymond Landry. Lethal Injection. Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes after the drugs were administered, the syringe came out of Landry’s vein, spraying the deadly chemicals across the room toward witnesses. The curtain separating the witnesses from the inmate was then pulled, and not reopened for fourteen minutes while the execution team reinserted the catheter into the vein. Witnesses reported “at least one groan.” A spokesman for the Texas Department of Correction, Charles Brown, said, “There was something of a delay in the execution because of what officials called a ‘blowout.’ The syringe came out of the vein, and the warden  ordered the team to reinsert the catheter into the vein.” 

Sept. 15, 2009. Ohio. Romell Broom. Attempted Lethal Injection. Efforts to find a suitable vein and to execute Mr. Broom were terminated after more than two hours when the executioners were unable to find a useable vein in Mr. Broom’s arms or legs. During the failed efforts, Mr. Broom winced and grimaced with pain. After the first hour’s lack of success, on several occasions Broom tried to help the executioners find a good vein. “At one point, he covered his face with both hands and appeared to be sobbing, his stomach heaving. Finally, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland ordered the execution to stop, and announced plans to attempt the execution anew after a one-week delay so that physicians could be consulted for advice on how the man could be killed more efficiently. The executioners blamed the problems on Mr. Broom’s history of intravenous drug use. In December 2020, Broom died in prison before the sentence could be carried out.

April 6th 1992. Arizona. Donald Eugene Harding. Asphyxiation. Death was not pronounced until 10 1/2 minutes after the cyanide tablets were dropped. During the execution, Harding thrashed and struggled violently against the restraining straps. A television journalist who witnessed the execution, Cameron Harper, said that Harding’s spasms and jerks lasted 6 minutes and 37 seconds. “Obviously, this man was suffering. This was a violent death, an ugly event. We put animals to death more humanely.” Another witness, newspaper reporter Carla McClain, said, “Harding’s death was extremely violent. He was in great pain. I heard him gasp and moan. I saw his body turn from red to purple.”One reporter who witnessed the execution suffered from insomnia and assorted illnesses for several weeks; two others were “walking vegetables” for several days. 

March 25th 1997. Florida. Pedro Medina. Electrocution. A crown of foot-high flames shot from the headpiece during the execution, filling the execution chamber with a stench of thick smoke and gagging the two dozen official witnesses. An official then threw a switch to manually cut off the power and prematurely end the two-minute cycle of 2,000 volts. Medina’s chest continued to heave until the flames stopped and death came. After the execution, prison officials blamed the fire on a corroded copper screen in the headpiece of the electric chair, but two experts hired by the governor later concluded that the fire was caused by the improper application of a sponge (designed to conduct electricity) to Medina’s head.  

December 13, 2006. Florida. Angel Diaz. Lethal Injection. After the first injection was administered, Mr. Diaz continued to move, and was squinting and grimacing as he tried to mouth words. A second dose was then administered, and 34 minutes passed before Mr. Diaz was declared dead. At first a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections claimed that this was because Mr. Diaz had some sort of liver disease. After performing an autopsy, the Medical Examiner, Dr. William Hamilton, stated that Mr. Diaz’s liver was undamaged, but that the IV catheters (which had been inserted in both arms) had gone through Mr. Diaz’s veins and out the other side, so the deadly chemicals were injected into soft tissue, rather than the vein. Two days after the execution, Governor Jeb Bush temporarily suspended all executions in the state and appointed a commission “to consider the humanity and constitutionality of lethal injections.”  

Last Week’s Birthdays

Daisy Ridley (30), Charlie Hunnam (42), Haley Joel Osment (34), David Harbour (47), Steven Seagal (70), Barkhad Abdi (37), Peter MacNicol (68), Kristen Stewart (32), Elle Fanning (24), Dennis Quaid (68), Cynthia Nixon (56), Mark Pellegrino (57), Patricia Arquette (54), Katee Sackhoff (42), Robin Wright (56), Dean Norris (59), Francis Ford Coppola (83), Russell Crowe (58), Jackie Chan (68), Paul Rudd (53), Zach Braff (47), Michael Rooker (67), John Ratzenberger (75), Billy Dee Williams (85), Lily James (33), Mitch Pileggi (70), Pharrell Williams (49), Robert Downey Jr. (57), Hugo Weaving (62), Graham Norton (59), and Xenia Seeberg (54).

Dead Pool 3rd April 2022

Let’s start off by handing out the points! With the tragic and untimely passing of Tom Parker, Julia and Christine get 117, however Lee and Laura get an astounding 217 points as they had Tom listed as their Cert, which leaves both of them dominating the table. Well done all of you, I’m sure you would love to send your condolences to his wife and children. Plus, I think we should all wish C.W. McCall a 10-10 good buddy, as he parks for the last time at heavens pickle park.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

 In Other News

Phil Collins bade an emotional farewell to Genesis fans alongside bandmates Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks in London on Saturday – as the iconic band played their final ever concert. London’s 02 provided the backdrop for the band’s last show on their The Last Domino? Tour – with frail frontman Phil, 71, telling the crowd he will now have to get a real job. Phil, who performed the show sitting down due to suffering from a number of different health conditions in recent years, later joined Mike, 71, and Tony, 72 for a standing ovation. Multi-millionaire Phil told the crowd ‘It’s the last stop of our tour, and it’s the last show for Genesis. After tonight we all have to get real jobs.’ Collins, who has a history with back problems, has been sitting down for all the concerts on the tour and his son, Nic Collins, 20, has stepped in for him on drums. The 2007 Genesis reunion tour left Phil with a dislocated vertebra in his neck that caused nerve damage in his hands. He has been using a walking stick since he had major surgery on his back in October 2015. In 2017 Phil was forced to postpone two solo concerts at the Royal Albert Hall after a fall in his hotel  room.

Vladimir Putin has taken dozens of trips in the company of a cancer specialist, according to a report, which also claimed the Russian president attempts to boost his health by bathing in deer antler extract. According to the report by Russian investigative news outlet Proekt, Mr Putin has become increasingly preoccupied with his health in recent years and takes frequent trips to the resort city of Sochi in the company of doctors from Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital. Citing contracts between the hospital and hotels where its staff members stayed in Sochi, the investigation claims the average number of medics in Mr Putin’s entourage rose from five in 2016 and 2017 to nine in 2019. Among the Russian president’s most frequent medical attendants is oncologist-surgeon Evgeny Selivanov, who flew to Mr Putin 35 times and spent a total of 166 days in his presence between 2016 and 2020, according to the report. The only two doctors reported to have spent more time in Mr Putin’s company are two otolaryngologists – ear, nose and throat specialists – who Proekt notes are typically the first to diagnose thyroid diseases and cancers. Referring to the 16-day period of self-isolation Mr Putin underwent last September, when he cast his ballot remotely in the Duma election, the outlet cited a source as saying that, in medical circles, Mr Putin is believed to have undergone a complicated procedure related to some kind of thyroid disease. Proekt became the first Russian news site to be declared an “undesirable organisation” by Moscow last July, when a number of its journalists were also declared “foreign agents”. A journalist with independent Russian news site Meduza, which was declared a “foreign agent” last April and had its website blocked in Russia last month over its reporting of the war in Ukraine, also contributed to the report, which claims that Mr Putin has also sought treatments of a less scientific nature. The Russian president was reportedly introduced to the idea of bathing in an extract made from deer antlers by Sergei Shogu, his current defence minister, who has  been the subject of rumours in recent weeks following a period out of public view.  

Bruce Willis has reportedly been struggling with cognitive issues on the sets of his films for years – and even needed an earpiece to feed him lines – long before his family announced on Wednesday that the famed actor had been diagnosed with a brain condition. In a statement on social media, Willis’ family told his fans that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that affects his ability to understand language, and will therefore be stepping away from acting. But an unnamed source told the flying monkeys that his declining cognitive ability had been an open secret in Hollywood as the actor repeatedly had trouble acting in his films.  ‘Everybody knew, the cast and crew,’ the unnamed source said, adding that Willis was ‘using earpieces, hearing things, for them to feed him the lines,’ and it ‘was increasingly difficult to have him on screen.’ He said that films actually had to be made closer to where Willis resided with his family – who, the source said, has been taking care of the 67-year-old actor – to make productions easier. And in at least one production, the source said, producers began using a body double to increase Willis’ screen time, while in another his screen time was ‘whittled down,’ with the actor shooting on set for only three days. The source said: ‘It was becoming super obvious he was having trouble … he could not act anymore.’ The famed actor can even be seen in a scene in his new movie American Siege, which was filmed in 2020, wearing an earpiece. This was a full two years before the family’s announcement that Willis has aphasia.    

Raven Alexis has died at the age of 35 after battling Crohn’s disease and a life-threatening infection, her husband confirmed. Her husband shared the news of Alexis’ death on Instagram and Facebook, revealing she died in Las Vegas last Wednesday after having complications due to Crohn’s. ‘She went in Sunday night with some complications and some stomach Crohn’s/colitis issues she had dealt with, ended up getting some infection and passed away yesterday at 12:44.’ Her husband, who has not been named, added: ‘I want all those people out there to know that she loved you all, she cared about you and I’m just so blessed to have her in my life and be a part of my life. She was the absolute world to me, the love of my life.’ Crohn’s is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and irritation in the digestive track, most commonly affecting the small intestines and the beginning part of the large intestines, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Alexis had started out her adult film career as an internet model who ran her own membership sites before eventually receiving a contract with the production company Digital Playhouse from 2009 to 2010, after reaching out to many of the major companies in the adult film industry. She told Shabooty in 2011, ‘At the time, they were the company that I felt was more in line with my goals. It was a great ride, and they have a terrific business model for themselves, and I was fortunate to make some amazing and wonderfully selling movies in my time with them.’ She was a double  AVN Award winner in 2011, including winning a fan-voted award for the wildest sex scene.

Formula One boss Max Mosley was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his head after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, an inquest heard this week. The former president of the motorsport’s governing body FIA died at home in Chelsea, west London, last May, aged 81. The inquest heard that he was told he had just “weeks” to live, and that chronic bladder and bowel pain would only lessen with palliative care but could not be cured. Mr Mosley told his personal assistant of 20 years he was going to take his own life the day before he did so, the inquest also heard. His PA Henry Alexander said he had gone over at Mr Mosley’s request about 3pm the day before. He said: “He was sat in an armchair in a despairing way. He spoke to me and said I’d been amazing and thanking me. He said he’d had enough, had intentions of killing himself. I begged him to reconsider and said, ‘please, there must be another way’. He said he’d made up his mind. When I pleaded with him, asked him if he could give it 24 hours, he said ‘why?’” A neighbour and his housekeeper called 999 after they discovered a note on his bedroom door, stating “do not enter, call the police”, the remote inquest attended by witnesses and family heard. A suicide note found on his bedside table was barely legible, due to the large amounts of blood, but the few words officers could make out were “I had no choice”, Westminster Coroner’s Court heard. Senior coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said: “On May 24th, 2021, police were called to the address of Mr Mosely, attended, and found him lying on his bed with a gun in the vicinity. He suffered significant injuries consistent with gunshot wound.” Mr Alexander, who lived near Mr Mosley, said he had accessed the house through the housekeeper’s basement flat after 8am following concerning text messages the night before.

On This Day

  • 1721 – Robert Walpole becomes, in effect, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain, though he himself denied that title.  
  • 1882 – American Old West: Robert Ford kills Jesse James.   
  • 1888 – The first of eleven unsolved brutal murders of women committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London, occurs.   
  • 1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.  
  • 1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  
  • 1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann is executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the baby son of pilot Charles Lindbergh.  
  • 1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.  
  • 1974 – The 1974 Super Outbreak occurs, the second biggest tornado outbreak in recorded history. The death toll is 315, with nearly 5,500 injured.  
  • 2010 – Apple Inc. released the first generation iPad, a tablet computer.

Deaths

  • 1882 – Jesse James, American criminal and outlaw (b. 1847). 
  • 1991 – Graham Greene, English novelist, playwright, and critic (b. 1904).  
  • 1998 – Mary Cartwright, English mathematician and academic (b. 1900).  

Never Trust a Blogger!

A twisted food blogger has told police he filmed himself as he brutally killed a porn star whose dismembered body was found in bin bags by the side of a road in Italy this month. Davide Fontana, 43, kept the camera on his phone rolling as he battered victim Carol Maltesi, 26, with a hammer while she was naked and tied up to a stripper pole with a bag on her head before he slit her throat. He then told shocked officers he waited a day before trying to burn the mother-of-one’s face to disguise her identity and then buying a saw to dismember her body into 15 pieces. Fontana, who also works in a bank, then bought a deep freezer from Amazon and kept her body in four bin bags at his home before dumping it on a verge.

The remains of Carol, who turned to pornography during the pandemic to support her child, were found earlier this month by a passer-by at Borno near Brescia who was shocked to find her severed hand inside. 

Fontana told cops he had deleted the videos from his phone but forensic experts are examining its memory card to try and recover the gruesome images. 

Carol, who had previously worked in a perfume store, had turned to pornography during lockdown to make ends meet and support her six-year-old child. Colleagues told local media: ‘We knew what she did but she wasn’t ashamed. She had made her own mind up and wasn’t coerced. It was her private life.’ One neighbour said: ‘Her and Davide were an item for a while but then split up. They seemed to get on well afterwards. She had split up from the father of her child, he lived elsewhere and he had their son, but the little one would come and stay every now and then. My child and him would play together in the courtyard. No-one can believe what’s happened. I know she had family in Holland because she had told me and she had gone there for Christmas. She had even spoken about moving there but nothing had come of it. She was a lovely, kind gentle woman and a devoted mother.’

Fontana is currently in custody and due to appear in front of an investigating magistrate accused of aggravated murder as well as mutilating and hiding a corpse. A police spokesperson said: ‘This is a shocking case and some of the officers themselves have been left very upset at the details they have heard.’

Last Week’s Birthdays

Matthew Goode (44), Amanda Bynes (36), Eddie Murphy (61), Alec Baldwin (64), Paris Jackson (24), Pedro Pascal (47), Michael Fassbender (45), Linda Hunt (77), Clark Gregg (60), Penelope Keith (82), Mackenzie Davis (35), Annette O’Toole (70), Asa Butterfield (25), Ali MacGraw (83), Logan Paul (27), Michael Praed (62), Ewan McGregor (51), Christopher Walken (79), Richard Chamberlain (88), Rhea Perlman (74), William Daniels (95), Daniel Mays (44), Simone Ashley (27), Warren Beatty (85), Robbie Coltrane (72), Céline Dion (54), Ed Skrein (39), Lucy Lawless (54), Brendan Gleeson (67), Marina Sirtis (67), Christopher Lambert (65), Elle Macpherson (58), Eric Idle (79), Julia Stiles (41), Lady Gaga (36), Vince Vaughn (52), Dianne Wiest (76), Nick Frost (50), and Chris Barrie (62).

Dead Pool 27th March 2022

A quiet week until Taylor Hawkins shocked the world. Rather odd real, I’d only just watched Studio 666 the night before and thought he was the best actor other than Grohl himself.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

‘Canoe man’ John Darwin is willing to travel to Ukraine to fight, according to his second wife – who insists he has ‘good life insurance’. Mercy Mae Avila Darwin, 48, said her 71-year-old husband, who faked his death for money, is ‘on his way’ to join troops fighting against Russian forces. When questioned about the danger, she told the flying monkeys: ‘Yes, dangerous for the Russian when he shoot them. He will have a bullet proof vest and good life insurance, good for me.’ Her comments come ahead of an ITV drama, ‘The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe’, airing next month, exploring the culpability of John’s first wife, Anne. The Darwins’ jaw-dropping deception tricked insurers, police and even their two sons into believing the ex-prison officer had died in a North Sea accident in 2002. The couple started a new life in Panama but the tale unravelled in 2007 when a photo emerged of John and his wife smiling alongside an estate agent in Panama where they had moved to run an eco-resort. Their elaborate plot wiped off their £700,000 debt and fooled insurers into paying out over £500,000 so that they could start a new life abroad. They were jailed for the fraud and the extent of the parents’ deception shocked the world. During her trial at Teesside Crown Court, Anne used the unusual defence of marital coercion, claiming her domineering husband had forced her to go through with the massive deception. Nowadays, Darwin and his new wife live outside Manila, with Darwin continuing to receive the UK state pension. His wife is said make a living running clothes stalls in the capital.      

Dramatic pictures captured the moment former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson embraced an armed man who moments earlier pulled out a gun after trying to fight him at a Hollywood comedy club. On Tuesday an unidentified man was filmed interrupting a comedy set at a Hollywood rooftop bar to challenge Tyson to a fight in a deranged attempt to ‘elevate his status’, the flying monkeys reported. The bar’s MC interrupts the random man’s tirade and and asks him to get out. That MC then proceeds to shove the troublemaker away from the stage. But the man, wearing a white t-shirt and black leather jacket tries to play off the situation, saying: ‘I don’t give a fuck! I’m joking’ as the host pushes him towards the exit. It’s then the man says ‘look, this is easy’ and pulls out a gun from his waistband and cocks it, shocking the MC and drawing gasps from crowd members. Almost immediately the man seems to change his mind and puts the gun back into his waistband and says: ‘I’m out of here’ and walks towards the exit. He then stops and looks at Tyson who is seated in the front row and says ‘Hey I love you fam, salute to all of your accomplishments, for real, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have no inspiration, I love you OG, for real. From the heart, for real.  Respect.’ When he is told to leave once again he says ‘I told you am just joking’ laughing it off. Tyson who the entire time has been sitting calmly, appearing unfazed, calls the man over.  The armed man says ‘No’, because he fears the owners will call the police, but Tyson insists. The man then goes in for a handshake and the two then hug it out. The man then screams ‘New York! Brownsville!’ referencing the neighbourhood Tyson grew up in, before firmly shaking his hand again, grasping it tightly with two hands and leaning in with his forehead. He then shouts ‘Shalawam!’ which translates to ‘May peace be with you’ in Hebrew and salutes Tyson before walking away. As the MC tells him to head out, he once again grows confrontational and calls him a ‘sucker’ ‘You a bitch ass nigger, you not an OG,’ he says before he finally leaves.After he is finally gone, the person recording thanks Tyson and the tense crowd applauds him.

There has been a whole horde of ‘celebrities’ who have been rushed to hospital this week, all seem to be suffering from a mystery illness. Rather than fill up the pages of the newsletter with inane stories, let’s just list them: 

Made in Chelsea ‘star’ Sam Thompson was rushed to hospital this week with acute stomach pain. The 29 year old probably just needed a good shit, but has apparently been diagnosed with a hernia. 

Onto Kate Lawler; the Big Brother ‘star’ has vowed to make changes after she was rushed to hospital Thursday. The 41 year old radio presenter did not divulge what was wrong with her, but probably needed a good shit. 

Josh Widdicombe also jumped on the mystery illness bandwagon. The comedian missed his scheduled Last Leg show because he’d been ‘throwing up all week’. Josh added that he’s been having stomach issues, probably needed a good shit. 

Not to be outdone, Big Brother’s Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace was rushed to hospital with pneumonia! The ‘star’, 43, took to Instagram to update her fans on the pain she’d been suffering after her diagnosis, which couldn’t have been that bad as she managed to post on Instagram. 

Then we have Emmerdale’s Samantha Giles who sparked concern as she’s was rushed to hospital with her version of the mystery illness! Samantha, 50, tweeted that she was in hospital after needing urgent medical treatment and would be “home soon”. Again, we have no idea what was wrong with her, probably needed a good shit. 

On This Day

  • 1871 – The first international rugby match, when Scotland defeats England in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.
  • 1886 – Geronimo, Apache warrior, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.
  • 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
  • 1977 – Tenerife airport disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collide on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight. This is the deadliest aviation accident in history.
  • 1998 – The Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.

Deaths

  • 1968 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1934).
  • 2000 – Ian Dury, English singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1942).
  • 2002 – Dudley Moore, English actor (b. 1935).
  • 2002 – Billy Wilder, Austrian-born American director, producer, & screenwriter (b. 1906).

Typhoid Mary’s Tragic Tale

George Soper was not your typical detective. He was a civil engineer by training, but had become something of an expert in sanitation. So when, in 1906, a landlord in Long Island was struggling to trace the source of a typhoid outbreak, Soper was called in. The landlord had rented his Long Island house to a banker’s family and servants that summer. By late August, six of the house’s 11 inhabitants had fallen ill with typhoid fever.

Soper had been previously hired by New York state to investigate disease outbreaks – “I was called an epidemic fighter,” he later wrote – and believed that typhoid could be spread by one person serving as a carrier. In Long Island, he focused his attention on the cook, Mary Mallon, who had arrived three weeks before the first person became ill. 

What Soper discovered would demonstrate how an unwitting carrier could be the root of disease outbreaks, and, later, spark a debate about personal autonomy when it’s pitted against public health.

Combing through the roster of wealthy New Yorkers who had employed Mallon in their summer homes between 1900 and 1907 he found a trail of 22 infected people. Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection typically spread through food and water contaminated by salmonella. Patients fall ill with high fever, diarrhoea – and, before antibiotics were developed to treat it, sometimes delirium and death.

At that time, without regulated sanitation practices in place, the disease was fairly common and New York had battled multiple outbreaks. In 1906, the year Soper began his investigation, a reported 639 people had died of typhoid in New York. But never before had an outbreak been traced to a single carrier – and certainly not one without any symptoms themselves.

Soper learned that Mallon would often serve ice cream with fresh peaches on Sunday. Compared to her hot, cooked meals, he deduced that “no better way could be found for a cook to cleanse her hands of microbes and infect a family.”  

Four months after he started the investigation, Soper found Mallon working in a Park Avenue brownstone. The 37-year-old Irish cook, he later described, was “five feet six inches tall, a blond with clear blue eyes, a healthy colour and a somewhat determined mouth and jaw.” When confronted with his evidence and a request for urine and faeces samples, she surged at Soper with a carving fork.  

Dr. S. Josephine Baker, an up-and-coming advocate of hygiene and public health, was dispatched to convince Mallon to provide samples, but was also chased away. Baker, whose father had died of typhoid, later made it her mission to promote preventative medicine (and became the first woman to earn a doctorate in public health). “It was Mary’s tragedy that she could not trust us,” Baker later wrote. 

Finally, Mallon was escorted by Baker and five policemen to a hospital where – after a nearly successful escape attempt – she tested positive as a carrier for Salmonella typhi, a bacteria that causes typhoid. This would later be confirmed by more tests. She was quarantined in a small house on the grounds of Riverside Hospital. The facility was isolated on North Brother Island, a tiny speck of land off the Bronx.

Mallon herself had no symptoms of typhoid and didn’t believe she could be spreading it. It’s likely Mallon never understood the meaning of being a carrier, particularly since she exhibited no symptoms herself. The only cure, doctors told Mallon, was to remove her gallbladder, which she refused. She was dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the New York American in 1909 and the name stuck.

In a hand-written letter to her lawyer that June, Mallon complained. “I have been in fact a peep show for everybody. Even the interns had to come to see me and ask about the facts already known to the whole wide world. The tuberculosis men would say ‘There she is, the kidnapped woman,’” she wrote. “Dr. Park has had me illustrated in Chicago. I wonder how the said Dr. William H. Park would like to be insulted and put in the Journal and call him or his wife Typhoid William Park.”

In 1909, she sued the New York City Department of Health and the case was brought to the Supreme Court. In the court of public opinion, Mallon had stirred a debate over individual autonomy and the state’s responsibility in a public health crisis. In the court of law, her lawyer argued she had been imprisoned without due process.

The court declined to release her, saying “it must  protect the community against a recurrence of spreading the disease,” but Mallon was freed early the following year by the city’s new health commissioner. He agreed on the condition that she stop cooking.

Without other skills and unconvinced that her condition was a danger, Mallon drifted back to her old job around New York and New Jersey. She prepared meals for a hotel, a Broadway restaurant, a spa, and a boarding house. When, in 1915, a typhoid outbreak sickened 25 people at Sloane Maternity Hospital, George Soper was again called to investigate. The cook, “Mrs. Brown,” was discovered to be Mallon. 

Mallon was sent back to North Brother island – permanently. She spent her days reading and working in the laboratory preparing medical tests. She died there of a stroke in 1938, after a quarter-century of quarantine. She never admitted to being a carrier of typhoid, and perhaps without the education to understand it, actually never believed it. Nine people attended her funeral at St. Luke’s in the Bronx.

During the course of two outbreaks, at least 51 people caught typhoid through Mallon, and three died. The number of cases was probably much higher. “The story of Typhoid Mary indicates how difficult it is to teach infected people to guard against infecting others,“ Soper warned. But the authorities had already changed the way they responded to such threats. At the time of Mallon’s death, more than 400 healthy carriers of typhoid who had been identified by New York officials, and none had been forced into confinement.

The legacy of “Typhoid Mary” as an asymptomatic vessel for disease led to the theory of “superspreaders” that has surfaced in disease outbreaks ever since. “Since ‘Typhoid Mary’ was discovered, the whole problem of carriers in relation to infectious diseases has assumed an immense importance,” Soper said in a speech in 1913, “an importance which is recognised in every country where effective public health work is done and in every army where communicable disease has been brought under control.”

Last Week’s Birthdays

Quentin Tarantino (59), Nathan Fillion (51), Michael York (80), Julian Glover (87), Fergie (47), Mariah Carey (53), Jessie J (34), Keira Knightley (37), Jennifer Grey (62), James Caan (82), Martin Short (72), Diana Ross (78), Steven Tyler (74), Lee Pace (43), Sarah Jessica Parker (57), Richard O’Brien (80), Paul Michael Glaser (79), Elton John (75), Jessica Chastain (45), Jim Parsons (49), Alyson Hannigan (48), Lara Flynn Boyle (52), Kelly LeBrock (62), Tig Notaro (51), Mark Calaway (57), Amanda Plummer (65), Joanna Page (45), Reese Witherspoon (46), William Shatner (91), Carter Wong (75), Gary Oldman (64), Sonequa Martin-Green (37), Matthew Broderick (60), Timothy Dalton (76), and Rosie O’Donnell (60).

Dead Pool 20th March 2022

We can start this weeks newsletter by awarding some points!!! Well done Paula, 65 points for  correctly guessing the passing of Peter Bowles. There’s lot to read, so I best not waffle on… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Ron Jeremy’s serial rape case was suspended this week, after the jailed porn star was asked to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The 69-year-old, whose legal name is Ronald Jeremy Hyatt, was indicted in August last year on 34 counts of sexual assault, with the charges dating as far back as 1996. The ages of his 21 alleged victims range from as young as 15, to 51. Jeremy has pleaded not guilty. On Thursday 17th March, a critical hearing in the case was suspended after he was reportedly unable to recognise his own lawyer. “I was just up in the cell where he was being kept, and I tried to get his attention unsuccessfully,” his defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb told the court. “He was unable to determine who I was and wouldn’t accommodate both myself and the bailiff to fit into the wheelchair to come down here. I don’t think he should be forced to come down here under these circumstances.” Judge George Lomeli stated that the bailiff had also described Jeremy as “incoherent” and “not obeying commands”, before announcing his decision to suspend proceedings. The case has now been referred to a mental health courthouse for a hearing on 1st April, with Jeremy scheduled to return to the criminal courtroom on 19th April. Jeremy allegedly exploited the novelty of his celebrity to meet and often isolate the women he raped and sexually assaulted, using the same tactics for years, according to grand jury testimony from 21 women that was unsealed last September. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we got a picture and an autograph from him?” one woman, identified only as Jane Doe 8, said she remembered telling her friend when they saw Jeremy in 2013 at a West Hollywood bar and grill. He would sexually assault her minutes later, the woman testified. Several women claimed the attacks took place in the restaurant’s bathroom. The hearing on 17th March was supposed to address Jeremy’s request to have the case separated into 21 individual trials. However, prosecutors have opposed the motion, arguing that the offences he is charged with involve the same class of crime. The judge declined to hear further arguments pending Jeremy’s mental health evaluation.   

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a stay of execution for Michael Dean “Spider” Gonzales, who had been scheduled to die by lethal injection nest Tuesday for the deaths of Manuel and Merced Aguirre in 1994. Joshua Freiman, assistant federal public defender, said he received notice of the stay by phone on Thursday afternoon. Authorities believe Gonzales stabbed the Aguirres to death after they woke up to find Gonzales, their neighbour, burglarising their home on April 22nd 1994. He was convicted and sentenced to death in December 1995. He was sentenced to death again in 2009. Last week, federal public defenders asked Ector County District Court Judge John Schrode to halt the execution saying they have new evidence they believe could prove Gonzales didn’t kill the elderly couple. They also alleged he shouldn’t be executed because he is “intellectually disabled,” the state “knowingly elicited” false testimony and the prosecution suppressed evidence that could have cast doubt on Gonzales’ guilt. The Court of Appeals ruled that Schrode needs to look into the matter of Gonzales’ intellectual disability and the allegation that the prosecution suppressed evidence. Defense attorney Richard Burr said they say believe an Odessa man who was interviewed following the couple’s slaying is the actual killer. On late Wednesday afternoon he filed a motion requesting DNA tests to prove that man’s guilt.    

The production of NCIS has reportedly been hit with a mystery health issue. At least 18 cast and crew members from the hit CBS procedural, which is being filmed in Valencia, California, came down with a sudden illness Thursday morning that included vomiting, according to the flying monkeys. A source told them that “mild symptoms” seem to point to potential food poisoning, but there has been no confirmation of a cause. An executive for NCIS had no comment. NCIS is currently on its 19th season and recently said goodbye to its lead character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon. Harmon, 70, played Gibbs for 18 seasons. During episode four of season 19, the beloved character – who was nearly killed during the season 18 finale – left his job for good, opting to stay in Alaska indefinitely after solving a case.  

Stephen Mulhern has been discharged from hospital after being treated for a mystery illness which forced him to pull out of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway co-hosting duties. The 44-year-old television host is said to be recovering at home after undergoing successful treatment for a mystery illness – but he could be forced to miss out on TV work for weeks as he recovers. And it has already been almost a month since Stephen was last seen on Saturday Night Takeaway as he featured on the opening show of the latest series. At the time, he was dressed up as former US President Donald Trump as part of a skit, and had previously left fans anxious as he went silent on social media too. But now it is reported that the star is recuperating at home after undergoing treatment for an unspecified medical condition. A source told the flying monkeys: “Stephen went to hospital for a medical procedure, but has been discharged now and is focusing all his energy on his recovery. He’s hoping to return to the show as soon as he’s feeling better and well enough. He’s currently resting up and supporting the lads from home.” Stephen had previously opened up to fans to tell them he was on doctor’s orders not to work – with a rare tweet explaining why he had been absent from TV screens. He wrote: “Hello all. Sorry I’ve been quiet on here recently and thank you for all your lovely messages. I’ve had some time off and been resting up on doctors orders. I’m on the mend, I’m happy to say, and looking forward to getting back to work soon. In the meantime, I’ll put my feet up and watch Saturday Night Takeaway tonight with the rest of you lot. Please don’t miss me too much! Lots of love.”

On This Day

  • 1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.
  • 1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.
  • 1972 – The Troubles: The first Provisional IRA car bombing in Belfast kills seven people and injures 148 others in Northern Ireland.
  • 1995 – The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo carries out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 13 and wounding over 6,200 people.

Deaths

Ghost Writer 

The case of an allegedly haunted 1980’s computer that started communicating with a teacher in archaic English has baffled paranormal investigators for over 35 years. Known as the Dodleston messages, they were a series of communications a teacher received on a BBC microcomputer in 1985. This was before the internet was commonplace and the computer was not connected to a network.

The bizarre events sparked theories ranging from an elaborate hoax to an angry ghost. Some even suggest it was an attempt from both the past and the future to communicate with the present, but it all started with a set of mysterious footprints. The story resurfaced recently in a blog written by Allison Troutner for the website howstuffworks.com.

In 1985, Ken Webster and his girlfriend, Debbie, had recently moved into and were renovating the dilapidated 18th Century Meadow Cottage in the village of Dodleston in Cheshire. During renovations the couple noticed strange, six-toed footprints in the dust, which seemed to walk up the walls between the bathroom and kitchen.

Feeling sure it was a prank, perhaps from some mischievous previous owner, Ken painted over the footprints and thought they were gone for good. The next day, the footprints returned.

Over the next few weeks the couple experienced a series of incidents that made them feel as though they were not quite alone. Tins of cat food had been neatly stacked in a pyramid and an eerie presence was felt in the cottage.

Ken was working as a teacher at a local school and had brought home a BBC micro computer he had borrowed. This was the point things really got weird.

Soon after the computer was set up, typed messages started to appear on its monitor. The first message appeared in the form of an ominous poem.

More messages soon followed. The writer appeared to be able to see both Ken and Debbie and asked about who they are before accusing them of stealing his house.

Days later, a second equally strange message came through, appearing to be written in some archaic version of English.

It said: “I write on behalf of many – What strange words you speak – You are a worthy (good) man who has a fanciful woman, and you live in my house (who dwell in my home) – with lights which (the) devil makes – It was a great crime to have stolen (bribed) my house. – L.W.”

Over the next year and a half more messages continued to appear. Committed to discovering who was behind them, Ken asked a series of questions to try and find out the identity of the writer.

The presence appeared to be able to see the couple in the house. The writer after initially giving his name as Lukas, confessed his name was Thomas Harden or Hawarden – a vicar with this name did appear to live around this time at a church in Gloucestershire.

It was then, Thomas said he had been in communication with ‘a friend from 2109’. Ken, intrigued, wrote a message to ‘2109’ on the computer and received a message.

The message read: “Try to understand that you three have a purpose that shall in your life time change the face of history, we, 2109, must not affect your thoughts directly but give you some sort of guidance that will allow room for your own destiny. All we can say is that we are all part of the same god, what ever, he is (?), is.” 

More messages were left from 2109, who is reported to have expressed annoyance at finding out Lukas’ real name. Could the messages from Thomas (Lukas), 2109, and Ken and Debbie be from three different time lines using the BBC micro as a communication device?

Paranormal investigators were invited into the cottage by the couple. Despite attending on three occasions, they were unable to gain any answers after no activity occurred.

Eventually, Thomas said that he was being forced from his land and was never heard from again. But before he stopped his communications, he said that he would leave a book for his friends in the future.

Messages from 2109 later said the book would be found at some point. As of yet, no such book has been discovered.

The events at Meadow Cottage in 1985 and 1986 continue to be debated by those with an interest in researching the paranormal. Nick Pontyz, a researcher with a Master’s degree in early modern history, has been fascinated by the story and has written a blog on his investigations into the events.

Ken Webster also wrote a book about his alleged first hand experiences communicating with Thomas and 2109 called ‘The Vertical Plane’. What is known, is that the Dodleston messages continue to intrigue sceptics and believers alike 35-years later on. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

John de Lancie (74), Holly Hunter (64), Ruby Rose (36), David Thewlis (59), Freema Agyeman (43), Spike Lee (65), Theresa Russell (65), Bruce Willis (67), Glenn Close (75), Ursula Andress (86), Harvey Weinstein (70), Lily Collins (33), Brad Dourif (72), Luc Besson (63), Queen Latifah (52), Irene Cara (63), Kurt Russell (71), Rob Lowe (58), Gary Sinise (67), John Boyega (30), Patrick Duffy (73), Grimes (34), Alexandra Daddario (36), Alan Tudyk (51), Aisling Bea (38), Jerome Flynn (59), Erik Estrada (73), Jimmy Nail (68), David Cronenberg (79), Will.i.am (48), Michael Caine (89), Jamie Bell (36), Billy Crystal (74), Betsy Brandt (49), and Quincy Jones (89).

Dead Pool 13th March 2022

Another week at war, and a nice take below on what could happen to us. Try not to lose sleep after you read it 😛 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

ITV’s live shows were taken off air on Thursday morning and police were called after a suspicious package was delivered to the London studios where the daytime programmes are filmed. This Morning went off air suddenly and Loose Women did not air a live show, while Tube stations White City and Wood Lane, which are both near to Television Centre, were closed. Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Friday, host Ben Shephard asked Lorraine Kelly if she was responsible for the evacuation. She replied: “Apparently, I am told it was somebody from a film company had sent me a wee present and it had a battery in it and when they x-rayed it, it looked a little bit suspicious. But it was all fine and dandy and it’s OK.” This Morning went to an advert break during the final 15 minutes of the live show but, when it returned, a compilation episode started airing. Panel show Loose Women, which is on ITV immediately after This Morning, also did not air a live show. Instead, viewers were shown presenter Nadia Sawalha telling viewers they were seeing a “very special episode” of Loose Women, which would be showing the best bits of the Life Before Loose series. Reflecting on the interruption to the live broadcast, Kelly said: “It shows the system all works so it’s all fantastic.” ITV’s live programming returned in time for the lunchtime news at 1.30pm. A statement from the channel on Thursday said: “Due to a suspected security alert, the building which ITV daytime broadcast from was safely evacuated. The issue has been resolved and staff have returned to the building following the all-clear from the police. We apologise for the interruption to the schedule and we have now returned to normal programming.” The only question left is what was the battery operated device that Lorraine had delivered???    

Hailey Bieber is currently in hospital after suffering “stroke-like symptoms” from a “small blood clot” in her brain. The 25-year-old model was admitted to a hospital near Palm Springs several days ago for a brain-related condition. In an Instagram Story on Saturday, she told fans: “On Thursday morning, I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke like symptoms and was taken to the hospital. They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.” Bieber, who is married to singer Justin Bieber, said she is now in better health. “Although this was definitely one of the scariest moments I’ve ever been through, I’m home now and doing well, and I’m so grateful and thankful to all the amazing doctors and nurses who took care of me!” she wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has reached out with well wishes and concern, and for all the support and love..” It is not know what caused Bieber’s illness. Last month, Bieber said that she would not be publicly speaking about her private life anymore, saying she has no interest in doing any more interviews that are about her husband or her personal life. “It doesn’t feel worth it to me anymore when I try to have an open conversation with someone like you and then it gets taken out of context,” she explained. “The media loves to take a tiny little blurb of something for clickbait. The media has always been a disgusting thing.”  

Jenna Jameson, the famous ex-porn star & model has revealed that doctors still haven’t discovered the root cause of her mystery illness. In a recent health update, Jenna shared a video on her Instagram, conversing with her fans and well wishers about her current health status. In the video, she is seen bedridden. She shares that she is still sick but relieved that she is at home. She said that there is no idea of what exactly is going on. She is unable to stand but is feeling a lot better because of the support of her fans and well wishers. She added that there are a lot of tests that are needed to be done but the doctors have confirmed that something is really off with her femoral nerve that is affecting her strength in the legs.  James was hospitalised for over two months and shared with her fans that she had been confined to a wheelchair.  The former adult film actress, shared back in January that she was initially hospitalised and diagnosed with Guillain Barre syndrome which the doctors describe as a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves. However, after the news came out, Jameson’s boyfriend Lior Bitten, later confirmed that Guillain Barre has been ruled out and she has been misdiagnosed with the rare immune condition.

Taron Ergerton has assured fans that he is “completely fine” after collapsing on stage during the opening night of his new West End play. Theatre goers were left concerned after the Welsh actor, 32, was taken ill during the production of Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on Saturday night. Thankfully, a doctor was in the house and attended to him as the show took a 40-minute break. While director Marianne Elliot appeared on stage to reassure that the actor was “fine”, his understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, filled in for the remainder of the performance as a precaution. Taking to Instagram the following day, Egerton gave his 2.5m a health update. “As some of you may have heard, I passed out during the first performance of Cock last night,” he wrote. “I am completely fine. Slightly sore neck and a bruised ego but I’m fine. I’ve decided to put a positive spin on it and I would appreciate it if anyone who was in the theatre last night just said that I gave such a committed, electrifying performance that my body couldn’t handle it and checked out,” he jokingly continued. “That being said, apparently you’re meant to do the full show and not just three quarters of it. So I’ll be back with a vengeance tomorrow night.” He went on to thank his “amazing” cast-mates and members of the production team, as well as Harper-Jackson.

On This Day

  • 781 – William Herschel discovers Uranus. Ahem… 
  • 1996 – The Dunblane massacre leads to the death of sixteen primary school children and one teacher in Dunblane, Scotland.
  • 2013 – The 2013 papal conclave elects Pope Francis as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
  • 2020 – President Donald Trump declares the COVID-19 pandemic to be a national emergency in the United States.

Deaths

What Happens to you in a  Nuclear Explosion?

With the current world situation, it might be useful for our readers to know the answer. Is it possible to live through the immediate effects of a nuclear explosion? Will you die instantly, or will your demise be slow and painful? It might be a morbid thought, but knowing how a nuclear explosion affects the body and how to protect yourself could save your life if you are unfortunate enough to experience an atomic bomb.  

Many factors determine how a nuclear blast would affect you. The size of the bomb, whether it explodes in the air or on the ground, the geographical layout of where the bomb hits, how far away you are from ground zero, and what types of buildings and materials are nearby all play into how a nuclear attack could affect you. 

Anyone at ground zero – the point immediately above or below detonation – is unlikely to survive. According to Brooke Buddemeier, a health physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the only people who would make it through a nuclear blast at such a close range are those who happen to be in a fortified building or underground bunker. If you are not fortunate enough to be in one of these safe spaces and are still within a few mile radius of the bomb, your body will be instantaneously reduced to its basic minerals from the heat of the blast. It can reach up to 300,000 degrees Celsius – 300 times hotter than the temperature used to cremate human bodies. Mercifully, this will happen so quickly you won’t see it coming. All that will be left where you stood will be a crater from the explosion or a nuclear shadow like those in Hiroshima. 

If you are within a half-mile of the explosion and somehow survive the blast, thermonuclear radiation, shockwave, and ultraviolet light, you are still not safe. Winds from the explosion can move at more than 400 miles per hour – double the speed of a Category 5 hurricane. The human body can withstand this force, but it cannot survive if large flying debris strikes at this speed. This wind speed is enough to knock down most structures, so even if you are indoors and shielded from the initial radiation, it may not matter – the building could crush you as it collapses. The shockwaves of air from the blast cause a change in air pressure, too, and if the wind doesn’t destroy the building you’re in, this change can crumble it. It’s all so sudden that even strong structures often cannot withstand the blast. 

Those closest to the blast site have it the worst, but what happens if they are not instantly incinerated? Thermal radiation goes out in a pulse, and it is so intense it can scorch a person’s skin and ignite widespread fires. 

On the inside, things get horrifyingly heated, too. Your lungs may rupture, like your eardrums, and you may have internal bleeding from the force of the blast. You could die from asphyxiation or organ damage. All of this happens within about a 3-mile radius of the blast, in around 10 seconds. 

A 1-megaton nuclear bomb can cause first-degree burns – or the equivalent of a bad sunburn – roughly 7 miles away from the blast point. If you’re within 6 miles of the explosion, those burns become second-degree. Third-degree burns, or a full-thickness burn, can happen within 5 miles of the blast. This type of burn destroys all three layers of your skin and can even damage muscles and bones. If 24% of your body is covered in this type of injury, it can be lethal.

Light can also cause burns in some cases. If you’re close enough to the blast, the intensity of the light can cause first, second, and even third-degree burns. Second-degree burns, though not as bad as third-degree burns, can still turn deadly. If you get them over 30% of your body or more, you can go into shock, which can kill you quickly if you don’t receive medical care.  

Even though journalist John Hersey described the blast of an atomic bomb as a “noiseless flash,” the air blast can be deafeningly loud. Since light travels faster than sound, you may become flash-blind in a 5-mile radius before your hearing is affected. At this distance, the blast area pressure is 5 pounds per square inch. At this pressure, your eardrums can easily rupture, which can lead to infection or deafness. If you are farther than 5 miles from the blast, your hearing could still be affected. You could get tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Studies show people who suffer hearing damage from even small explosions can experience hearing problems for years, if not life.  

At a little less than 7 miles away, nuclear blasts send out a flood of ultraviolet light. This intense light can burn people so severely, it disables their limbs – something that may lead to medical amputation down the line. These ultraviolet burns from thermal radiation happen so quickly that victims often don’t feel any pain – the light destroys pain nerves before they can feel the damage. You likely wouldn’t feel your body being severely burned, even if you did go into shock from the experience. 

The most lethal effects of a nuclear bomb happen within a 10-mile radius of the blast site, but that doesn’t mean everyone outside this zone comes out unscathed. Temporary flash blindness can occur in people up to 53 miles away from ground zero. While the condition can clear up in a few minutes, the problem with flash blindness is it doesn’t only happen to people in houses or sitting down comfortably. Anyone who looks directly at the blast while driving a car will be unable to see, meaning many people on the road could be instantly driving blind. In this moment, those drivers can cause serious damage to themselves and others. Even if the blast isn’t affecting your body directly, its effects could lead to injury or death. If you are closer to the blast and look directly into the explosion, the flash can focus through your eyes’ lenses, causing your retinas to burn. Retinal burns, or photic retinopathy, can permanently damage eyesight. 

One Russian Topol 800kt Bomb on London

In the case of a nuclear explosion, there is an effect created called an electromagnetic pulse, or an EMP. The nuclear blast generates this short burst of electromagnetic energy, which can cause voltage surges or disruptions in many pieces of technology. These pulses happen quickly, and they can cause electronic devices to turn off or become permanently damaged and disabled. This could prove lethal for people with pacemakers or any other sort of technology keeping them alive. You wouldn’t be able to call for help because your cellphone would be knocked out, too. Some experts say a nuclear bomb makes it dangerous to get into a car. It’s also worth noting that, depending on how high above the ground a nuclear weapon detonates, the EMP pulse could span hundreds of miles. 

One of the biggest long-term effects of a nuclear blast is the radiation, and not just that which settles during fallout. If you are close to the initial blast and survive, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods – you’ve still likely been contaminated with radiation.

Radiation can cause chemical changes in your DNA at high-enough doses, and if you’re close to a nuclear blast, those levels can be deadly, damaging or killing your cells. The radiation can cause immediate burns (including fatal ones), and it can also lead to cancer.

While burns might kill you in the short run, it’s cancer and other health problems that can lead to a slow death. Sometimes, it may take years or decades to occur, even though the initial changes happened directly after the nuclear blast. Even small doses of radiation seem to be harmful, according to scientists. 

You can survive a nuclear explosion from almost anywhere in the blast radius. Being at least 7 miles away or more keeps you safer from some of the more major burns, but it’s still possible to stay alive if you’re closer. There have been cases where a few lucky people survived atomic bomb blasts even though they were at ground zero. It takes being in a very sturdy building or a basement at the moment of the explosion to survive, though, so in those cases, it’s all about chance. 

On the other hand, if you are a mile or more away from the explosion, you may have an opportunity to save yourself. If you have an underground basement, it’s a good idea to head there immediately rather than trying to flee in a car or on foot. Also, try to cut off the flow of outside air, as it can bring radiation with it. 

Other than that, it’s all about being prepared. Have nonperishable food and water stored in a safe, underground area, and be prepared to stay there for 24 hours. The radiation from the bomb will decrease drastically after a day has passed – by up to 80% – which gives you a higher chance of surviving the lethal aftereffects. Good luck! 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Harry Melling (33), William H. Macy (72), Annabeth Gish (51), Jaimie Alexander (38), Titus Welliver (60), Aaron Eckhart (54), Liza Minnelli (76), Jodie Comer (29), Thora Birch (40), Johnny Knoxville (51), Alex Kingston (59), John Barrowman (55), Olivia Wilde (38), Sharon Stone (64), Jon Hamm (51), Chuck Norris (82), Robin Thicke (45), Oscar Isaac (43), Juliette Binoche (58), Aidan Quinn (63), Cynthia Rothrock (65), Micky Dolenz (77), Rachel Weisz (52), and Bryan Cranston (66).