Archive for the ‘Obits’ Category

Random notes: April 8, 2014.

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

For the historical record, your Mickey Rooney obit roundup: NYT. LAT. A/V Club.

The author Peter Matthiessen has also passed away after an illness. The only work of Matthiessen’s that I’ve read so far is In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, which made a strong impression on me at the time. Further, I say not, as I’d sound too much like TJIC. Anyway: A/V Club. NYT. NYT Magazine article published shortly before Matthiessen’s death.

Thanks to “That Guy” for providing a Houston Press link with more details about the Damian Mandola story. There’s also an update in the Statesman: Austin Eater has a story which links to the Statesman, so this may let you get around the paywall.

…security researchers say that in most cases, attackers hardly need to go to such lengths when the management software of all sorts of devices connects directly to corporate networks. Heating and cooling providers can now monitor and adjust office temperatures remotely, and vending machine suppliers can see when their clients are out of Diet Cokes and Cheetos. Those vendors often don’t have the same security standards as their clients, but for business reasons they are allowed behind the firewall that protects a network.
Security experts say vendors are tempting targets for hackers because they tend to run older systems, like Microsoft’s Windows XP software. Also, security experts say these seemingly innocuous devices — videoconference equipment, thermostats, vending machines and printers — often are delivered with the security settings switched off by default. Once hackers have found a way in, the devices offer them a place to hide in plain sight.

Heh. Heh. Heh. (Also: remember some jerk saying “Titles like ‘Restaurant IT Guy’ or ‘SysAdmin for Daniel’ are going to become a thing, if they aren’t already.”? I didn’t even think about the “Hey, let’s put malware on the server for that Chinese place that everyone orders from! That’ll give us a back door into the Federal Reserve!” scenario.)

Al Sharpton: FBI informant.

Random notes: April 2, 2014.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Flames! Flames!

Whether Gray directed the scheme that has resulted in five of his top aides going to prison, or, as he contends, was ignorant of what was being done in his name, Democratic voters punished the mayor for the scandal, choosing instead a relatively unknown D.C. Council member, Muriel Bowser (Ward 4).

Obit watch: Charles Keating, of S&L scandal fame.

More flames!

…an uncommon sequence of events, including a cabinet appointment, an election and a corruption inquiry, has led Charlotte [NC] to the point where it will soon have its fourth mayor in less than a year.

The most recent mayor, Patrick D. Cannon, was arrested last week on public corruption charges and resigned.

In Ms. McCabe’s 15 years as an ambassador of the deuce, she has been flatly rejected at a bowling alley on Staten Island, was told to pay with something else at a bar in the East Village and is constantly solicited by people who want to buy her bills.

But has Ms. McCabe ever tried to use a $2 bill at a Taco Bell?

I wanted to link to, and comment on, the latest entries into the National Recording Registry, but the LOC didn’t have them up when I was working on this post earlier today. Now that they are up…well, I’m kind of curious about “Only Visiting This Planet” and “Copland Conducts Copland: Appalachian Spring” (I have recordings of “Appalachian Spring” but not that one). I think the original cast recording of “Sweeney Todd” is probably a good choice, and, yes, even though I think it has been overplayed, I can see putting Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” on the list.

Also: Shaft!

The only one that I really boggle at is “The First Family”. Not that I have anything against comedy, but is that album really memorable or significant? Especially when compared against some of the other comedy entries? Or is this just folks feeling bad (and perhaps rightly so) for poor Vaughn Meader?

Obit watch: March 11, 2014.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Joe “Fatal Vision” McGinniss.

Edited to add: LAT obit. Not sure why I didn’t link this one this morning; I want to say that the obit I saw when I was doing my morning rounds was a crappy AP one.

Obit watch: March 5, 2014.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Noted French film director Alain Resnais. LAT. NYT.

Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, perhaps most famous for his book How We Die. I haven’t read that, but I did read (and was extremely impressed by) Doctors: The Biography of Medicine.

Random notes: February 25, 2014.

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Harold Ramis obits: NYT. LAT. A/V Club.

Gary Melius, a well-known Long Island developer and prominent political patron, was shot in the head by a masked gunman on Monday in the parking lot of his opulent Gold Coast estate in Suffolk County, the police said.

So what? This is the “opulent Gold Cost estate”. You may recognize it:

He bought Oheka Castle in 1984. The house, completed in 1919, was built by the financier Otto Herman Kahn; its exteriors were featured prominently in the movie “Citizen Kane.”


More on Samuel Sheinbein.


Russell Erxleben is going to prison for 90 months.
(Previously. The 90 months figure comes from the Statesman whose coverage is behind a paywall.) (Edited to add: story from KLBJ-AM.)

Obit roundup: February 24, 2014.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

There will be more to say about this tomorrow, but Harold Ramis is dead. I liked this line from the Chicago Tribune:

Ramis also left behind a reputation as a mensch and all-around good guy.

I didn’t post this yesterday, because I couldn’t find any obits I wanted to link to. While this has been well covered, I wanted to mention the passing of Maria von Trapp, last of the singing von Trapps.

And I missed this earlier in the week, but Richard Cabela, founder of the eponymous chain, passed away.

Mr. Cabela was a vocal supporter of the National Rifle Association. In a video posted on the group’s website this week, Mr. Cabela was asked what he would say to someone who identifies as a hunter but who does not belong to the N.R.A.
“How are you going to hunt without a gun?” he responded. “These guys protect your right to own a gun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Obit watch: February 21, 2014.

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Former NBC news correspondent Garrick Utley.

Fluent in Russian, German and French, he reported from some 75 countries in a multifaceted career that included 30 years at NBC. He was a bureau chief in London and Paris for the network, chief foreign correspondent, weekend news anchor and substitute for John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News.” He also hosted magazine programs and moderated the Sunday morning program “Meet the Press.” He later worked for ABC News and CNN.

Obit watch: February 13, 2014.

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Your Sid Caeser round-up: NYT.

Mr. Caesar once dangled a terrified Mr. Brooks from an 18th-story window until colleagues restrained him. With one punch, he knocked out a horse that had thrown his wife off its back, a scene that Mr. Brooks replayed in his movie “Blazing Saddles.”

LAT. A/V Club.

Obit watch: February 11, 2014.

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Shirley Temple Black. NYT. LAT. A/V Club.

Obit watch: February 2, 2014.

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

I wanted to wait a day to post obits for Maximilian Schell, since I thought that would give the papers more time to go beyond wire service obits. Oddly enough, the A/V Club has nothing, though I can tell they are working this weekend. Anyway: NYT. LAT. (And the LAT does mention that he was in “The Black Hole“.)

Likewise, I think the Philip Seymour Hoffman story needs a day to settle as well, especially since there are details being presented that are a) disturbing and b) attributed to “unnamed sources”. I’ll post a round-up tomorrow morning.

Random notes: January 28, 2014.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Yeah, yeah, Pete Seeger’s dead. A couple of reactions I liked: Tam. Travis McGee Reader.

One additional thing you have to like Pete for: giving a name to one of the great combat aircraft of our time.

How unethical do you have to be in order to be denied a law license in California? This unethical.

Or do you? I’ve seen a fair number of people posing this as Glass being unfairly denied a shot at redemption. After all, his crimes were nearly twenty years ago, they argue, and for the past ten years he’s not only kept his nose clean but done “exemplary” work as a clerk for a law firm.

And I’m not unsympathetic to the “shot at redemption” argument. I don’t hold any brief for Glass, or his behavior, and it bothers me a little that I’m more willing to give him that shot than I was Michael Vick. I need to search my soul a little more over this.

But the hand wringing is a little more offputting. Those arguing in favor of Glass seem to be missing some key findings:

The record also discloses instances of dishonesty and disingenuousness occurring after Glass’s exposure, up to and including the State Bar evidentiary hearing in 2010. In the New York bar proceedings that ended in 2004, as even the State Bar Court majority acknowledged, he made misrepresentations concerning his cooperation with The New Republic and other publications and efforts to aid them identify all of his fabrications. He also submitted an incomplete list of articles that injured others. We have previously said about omissions on bar applications: “Whether it is caused by intentional concealment, reckless disregard for the truth, or an unreasonable refusal to perceive the need for disclosure, such an omission is itself strong evidence that the applicant lacks the ‘integrity’ and/or ‘intellectual discernment’ required to be an attorney.” (Gossage, supra, at p. 1102, italics added.)

And:

Our review of the record indicates hypocrisy and evasiveness in Glass’s testimony at the California State Bar hearing, as well. We find it particularly disturbing that at the hearing Glass persisted in claiming that he had made a good faith effort to work with the magazines that published his works. He went through many verbal twists and turns at the hearing to avoid acknowledging the obvious fact that in his New York bar application he exaggerated his level of assistance to the magazines that had published his fabrications, and that he omitted from his New York bar list of fabrications some that actually could have injured real persons. He also testified that he told his lawyer to work with Harper’s Magazine to identify his fabrications, yet evaded questions concerning whether his lawyer had done so, while insisting that he took responsibility for an inferred failure to follow what obviously were significant instructions. He asserted that he had been too distraught to recognize that the list of fabrications The New Republic gave his lawyer was incomplete — or that in his response he had denied that articles including the egregious Taxis and the Meaning of Work were in fact fabricated — while acknowledging that within a few days of his firing he made arrangements to reschedule a final examination for the end of the exam period and did well on the exam he took within a week of his exposure. Indeed, despite his many statements concerning taking personal responsibility, and contrary to what he suggested in his New York bar application, it was not until the California Bar proceedings that he shouldered the responsibility of reviewing the editorials his employers published disclosing his fabrications, thus failing to ensure that all his very public lies had been corrected publically and in a timely manner. He has “not acted with the high degree of frankness and truthfulness” and the “high standard of integrity” required by this process.” (Gossage, supra, 23 Cal.4th at p. 1102, italics added.)

This strikes me as being less “a bunch of snobs who don’t want to let a reformed man in” and more “we found ongoing evidence of dishonesty and deceit by this person who is supposedly reformed and asking us for special consideration”.

I totally missed this one until today:

A Los Angeles jury on Tuesday convicted state Sen. Roderick D. Wright on all eight counts in his perjury and voter fraud trial…
In a trial that began Jan. 8, prosecutors accused Wright of faking a move to a rental property he owned in Inglewood so he could run in what was then the 25th Senate District.
They accused him of lying on voter registration and candidacy documents and of casting ballots in five elections he was not entitled to vote in from the Inglewood address.

(Sen. Wright’s party affiliation is actually mentioned in the second paragraph, which I trimmed for space reasons.)

Obit watch: January 21, 2014.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

John Dobson, inventor of the Dobsonian telescope design.

(The LAT obit is nice, but it doesn’t really give a sense of what the Dobsonian design is or how it works. Here’s the Wikipedia entry, if you’re curious.)

(And Dobson sounds like someone I would have very much liked to have had coffee with. A monk who allegedly got kicked out of the monastery because of his obsession with observational astronomy and telescope building? I bet he’d have been a lot of fun to talk to.)

Noted classical conductor Claudio Abbado. LAT.

Edited to add: Sorry, just ran across this one while reading the local news. Noted Texas songwriter Steven Fromholz passed away on Sunday. Various reports indicate that he died in a hunting accident:

…Fromholz, who lives in the area, and his girlfriend were going to hunt feral hogs. A rifle was in a case but unzipped at the bottom. The gun was being transferred from one vehicle to another.
Ariste says Fromholz grabbed the handle, the gun partly fell, hit the ground and discharged.

The Stateman reports it was a shotgun, not a rifle.

EtA2: Added link to non-paywalled Statesman blog entry.