Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman Dies Without Regretting a Second

Harvey Korman, the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his outrageously funny contributions to "The Carol Burnett Show" and was seen to hilarious effect on the big screen in "Blazing Saddles," died today. He was 81. Korman died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago, his family said in a statement released by the hospital.

A natural second banana, Korman gained attention on "The Danny Kaye Show," appearing in skits with the star.
In this case, the banana fell far after the tree.

[San Jose Mercury News]

Marking the Right Spot of Lord Nelson's Touch

For the last 100 years, tourists visiting the spot on HMS Victory where Admiral Lord Nelson drew his last breath have been in the wrong place.

Since 1900, wording in gold leaf has marked the spot where Britain's greatest Naval hero passed away during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. But by studying Arthur Devis's famous painting The Death of Nelson as part of a history thesis, Victory curator Peter Goodwin found people should look 25 feet to their right.

After examining the painting and the ship and reading contemporary documents, Mr. Goodwin pinpointed an area 25 ft. further forward on the same deck. It has taken 10 years to persuade Naval officials his evidence is right and a new monument is being made to mark the correct place.

Mr. Goodwin, 57, said yesterday: "History is not always what it appears to be. I think it's important to put the picture right."
We commend Goodwin for his valiant efforts over the years to fix this misconception. It sounds like "The Da Vinci Code" to us.

[Daily Mirror]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's No Business When It's Tony Snow's Business

When it Snows, it pours.

Former White House press secretary Tony Snow, diagnosed with cancer three years ago, canceled a speaking appearance at Ohio's Ashland University because of an unspecified illness, the university announced Wednesday. The university said Snow's doctors have told him he cannot travel.
It's starting to sound to us like Snow just doesn't like speaking at universities. Snow, now a CNN correspondent, seems to be out of touch with the students.


Cleopatra and the Temple of Tomb

It seems like people have been pretty busy lately worrying about Cleopatra, her death and now the aftermath.

A flamboyant archeologist known worldwide for his trademark Indiana Jones hat believes he has identified the site where Cleopatra is buried. Now, with a team of 12 archeologists and 70 excavators, Zahi Hawass, 60, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, has started searching for the entrance to her tomb.

And after a breakthrough two weeks ago he hopes to find her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony, sharing her last resting place at the site of a temple, the Taposiris Magna, 28 miles west of Alexandria. Hawass has discovered a 400ft tunnel beneath the temple containing clues that the supposedly beautiful queen may lie beneath. “We’ve found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra and many coins bearing her face, things you wouldn’t expect in a typical temple,” he said.
It sounds to us like the makings for yet another blockbuster sequel.

[Times Online]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Russell Watson Glad to be Out of the Coffin Corner

We've been giving fairly frequent updates about singer Russell Watson and the brain tumors he's successfully beaten in recent years. Now we find out that Watson thought at one time that he'd reached the end of his days.

“I was sliding into the MRI scanner, which is like a coffin, when I started thinking about my kids. I thought 'what are they going to do without their dad?’”
So "The People's Tenor"'s tenure continues.

[Daily Telegraph]

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack Directed Out of the Picture

Scoring Update! The points change, death remains the same...

Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like “The Way We Were,” “Tootsie” and “Out of Africa” were among the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s, died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 73. The cause was cancer, said a representative of the family.

He increasingly sounded wistful notes about the disappearance of the Hollywood he knew in his prime. “The middle ground is now gone,” Mr. Pollack said in a discussion with Shimon Peres in the fall 1998 issue of New Perspectives Quarterly. He added, with a nod to a fellow filmmaker: “It is not impossible to make mainstream films which are really good. Costa-Gavras once said that accidents can happen.”
Congratulations and 24 points awarded to Live Like You Were Dying. The Rosters and Standings have been updated.

[New York Times]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

J.R. Simplot is Fried and Frozen

Scoring Update! The points change, death remains the same...

J.R. Simplot died today. The Idaho billionaire passed away in his downtown Boise home Sunday morning - with the call coming into police dispatch just before 11 a.m. He was 99. Simplot died of natural causes, according to Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg.

In the 1950s, Simplot's now fast-growing company developed the first frozen french fry -- and the history of this Idaho icon soon collided with that of an American sensation: McDonald’s.

"We built the first frozen French fry, and made them out of Caldwell,” Simplot said. “I had a chemist that showed me what he could do with a French Fry -- I couldn't believe it!"
Congratulations and 9 points awarded to I AM READY TO MEET MY MAKER, Live Like You Were Dying, Oldies But Goodies and Kraut's Picks. The Rosters and Standings have been updated.


Dick Martin Has His Last Laugh

Dick Martin, the zany half of the comedy team whose "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" took television by storm in the 1960s, making stars of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and creating such national catch-phrases as "Sock it to me!" has died. He was 86. Martin, who went on to become one of television's busiest directors after splitting with Rowan in the late 1970s, died Saturday night of respiratory complications at a hospital in Santa Monica, family spokesman Barry Greenberg said.

"He had had some pretty severe respiratory problems for many years, and he had pretty much stopped breathing a week ago," Greenberg said.
At the beginning of each episode, Rowan would say "C'mon Dick, let's go to the party." It appears that after 21 years, Martin has joined him.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There Will be Blood Pressure for Khieu Samphan

A spokesman for the Khmer Rouge tribunal says the regime's former head of state has been hospitalized for high blood pressure.

The spokesman says Khieu Samphan, 76, was taken Wednesday from his detention cell at the tribunal compound to a Phnom Penh hospital. Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath says Khieu Samphan's condition was not considered extremely urgent but necessitated attention.
Samphan is on trial for atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge when it ruled Cambodia in 1975-79, with some 1.7 million people dying from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Patriarch Pavle's Heart Isn't Where It Once Was

The Serbian Orthodox Church's top body — the Holy Synod — has taken over running the church from the ailing Patriarch Pavle, the church said in a statement Saturday.

Patriarch Pavle, 93, has been hospitalized for months, suffering from heart and lung problems related to his age. No details have been published about his current health condition.
Patriarch Pavle, you got Serbed!

[International Herald Tribune]

Robert Mondavi's Has Nothing Left to Wine About

Robert Mondavi, the pioneering vintner who helped put California wine country on the map, died at his Napa Valley home Friday. He was 94. Mondavi died peacefully at his home in Yountville, Robert Mondavi Winery spokeswoman Mia Malm said.

For 20 years, the winery was a family business. But Robert clashed frequently with his younger brother, Peter, who had a more conservative approach the business. According to Robert Mondavi's autobiography "Harvests of Joy," matters came to a head with a November 1965 fistfight.

"When it was all over, there were no apologies and no handshake," wrote Robert Mondavi.
Aged 94 years, the Mondavi grape has gone sour.

[Yahoo! News]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not Even the Hospital Can Defend Against Joe Paterno

Penn State coach Joe Paterno was taken to a hospital Thursday because of apparent dehydration and was expected to be released later in the day.

The 81-year-old coach was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center by ambulance after feeling nauseated, said team spokesman Guido D'Elia. Paterno had not been admitted to the hospital and was "tapping his fingers, waiting to get out," D'Elia said. D'Elia added that Paterno would be released from the hospital at 6 p.m., after he passed a series of tests, including a stress test.

"It's no big deal," Jay Paterno said in a telephone interview. "If it's dehydration, he's probably all talked out."
In recent years, Paterno's health has been been called into question. But each year goes by that JoePa comes in like a Nittany Lion, refusing to go out like a lamb.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shakespeare's Tombstone May Cause Sweet Sorrow

Hark ye! Could thy grave be curseth? Steppeth hitherforth.

Ledbury architect Ian Stainburn has been given the tricky task of restoring and preserving Shakespeare's tombstone, - a slab bearing a terrifying curse which warns people not to move it. Shakespeare, who died in 1616, aged 52, was a lay rector at the Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. As such he had the privilege of being buried inside the church, near the altar.
The restoration is likely to be completed by springtime next year. Just in time for the Bard's April 26 birthday, too. We wonder if British folk celebrate Shakespeare the way some celebrate Jim Morrison.

[Ledbury Reporter]

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sing County Star Eddy Arnold His Lulla-bye

Scoring Update! The points change, death remains the same...

A biographer for country music superstar Eddy Arnold says the singer has died at the age of 89. Belmont University Professor Don Cusic says Arnold died at a care facility near Nashville Thursday morning. Arnold was just days short of his 90th birthday.

Arnold's mellow baritone on songs like "Make the World Go Away" — a crossover hit on the pop charts in 1965 — made him one of the most successful country singers in history. He became a pioneer of "The Nashville Sound," also called "countrypolitan," a mixture of country and pop styles.
Congratulations and 24 points awarded to M"h By You Buddy. The Rosters and Standings have been updated.

[Houston Chronicle]

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Irvine Robbins is Cold as Ice Cream

Irvine Robbins, co-founder of Baskin-Robbins whose penchant for creating unusual ice-cream flavors helped push post-World War II America far beyond its chocolate-vanilla-strawberry tastes, has died. He was 90. Robbins, who opened his first ice-cream shop in 1945 in Glendale, died Monday of complications related to old age at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, said his daughter, Marsha Veit.

With his brother-in-law and partner, Burton Baskin, Robbins displayed a keen sense of fun and a flair for marketing that helped turn some of their frozen treats into cultural touchstones. When the Dodgers came to Los Angeles in 1958, they were greeted with Baseball Nut, complete with raspberries for the umpires. Lunar Cheesecake was launched the day after man landed on the moon in 1969. At the height of Beatlemania in 1964, a reporter asked Robbins what flavor would salute the Fab Four; Baskin-Robbins had yet to invent one, but Robbins replied, "Uh, Beatle Nut, of course" and had it in stores in five days.
We think the company should make a new flavor honoring Robbins. Call it Chocolate Corpse.

[Los Angeles Times]

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kirk Douglas' Health Seems to be Working Out

When Kirk Douglas was a Hollywood star, we have no doubt that he enjoyed getting rave reviews. about his performances from others in the business. Now he's getting public adoration from his son, Michael, for his health.

Michael Douglas had dinner with his childhood pal, concert czar Don Law, when he was in town making “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.” Don inquired about the health of Michael’s dad, Kirk Douglas, and Michael told him the old man was doing great. “He’s 91 years old and he works out every day,” Douglas told Law. “His trainer is 94.”
It sounds to us like Douglas is giving Jack LaLanne a run for his money. We figure that that race, if it was staged, would last no less than a couple of hours.

[Boston Herald]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Courtney Love Hurts Sometimes

When Courtney Love calls someone at 3 a.m., who answers? The dispatcher from 911, that's who. She made a 3 a.m. trip on Friday to the emergency unit of LA's Cedars Sinai hospital complaining of laryngitis.

Love checked into the hospital on Friday morning after allegedly complaining about throat and chest pains. Doctors asked her about drugs and made her see a psychiatrist.

On the way home, despite her sore throat, she stopped to buy cigarettes. An onlooker told TMZ: “She looked pretty worn out".
It was revealed later in a statement that Love was suffering from strep throat. We think that she's looked "pretty worn out" for a long time now.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

D.C. Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey Ends Services

Police were Thursday investigating the apparent suicide of the woman dubbed the "DC Madam," recently convicted of running a prostitution ring with a high-end client list including U.S. lawmakers. A police spokesman said authorities had found the body of a woman believed to be Deborah Jeane Palfrey, in a small shed outside her mother's mobile home in the Florida town of Tarpon Springs.

"Handwritten notes were found on scene that describes the victim's intention to take her life, and foul play does not appear to be involved," said police Captain Jeffrey Young.
Palfrey was convicted last month of federal racketeering charges for running the prostitution ring, and was awaiting sentencing in July. She had previously assured others that she wasn't planning to commit suicide.


Anthony Mamo's Death Renders Him UnPresidented

Scoring Update! The points change, death remains the same...

Sir Anthony Mamo, the first President of Malta, died aged 99 this morning at Casa Arkati. Sir Anthony was a former Chief Justice and was the only Governor-General of Malta before he served as President between 1974-76.

PN general secretary Joe Saliba also expressed his condolences, saying Sir Anthony had given his all as Malta went through the process of becoming independent and then a republic. His passing away was a major loss for the country.
Congratulations and 24 points awarded to Oldies But Goodies. The Rosters and Standings have been updated.

[Times of Malta]