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Vir has gone to the Great Maker.

Stephen Furst gained fame in 1978 as "Flounder" Dorfman in 'Animal House', but fans of the late-1990s
science fiction series 'Babylon 5' remember him as Vir, attache to the grandiose Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari (played by Peter Jurasik). Here he is confronting the sinister Mr. Morden in one of the show's most memorable exchanges:

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Shimon Peres has left us.

Shimon Peres, former president, former prime minister, former defense minister, former foreign minister, former minister of eight other ministries, the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, and winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize died Wednesday after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was 93.

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His first name was actually Malcolm.
'Malcolm Scott Carpenter (May 1, 1925 – October 10, 2013) was an American test pilot, astronaut and aquanaut. He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury in April 1959. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space, following Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and John Glenn.'

He flew one space flight - before I was born. He died today at 88.

With Carpenter's death, John Glenn is now the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.
asher553: (asher63)
'Pandit Ravi Shankar's life, which traversed nearly a century, ended Tuesday.

The legendary sitar player, who taught Beatle George Harrison how to play the stringed instrument and brought Indian music to the West, passed away at age 92 near his home in southern California, according to his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka Shankar, who were by his side.'
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Neil Armstrong has left us.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:
On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.

Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.

As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero.

I watched the landing on our family's big black-and-white TV. I could barely make visual sense of the grainy images, but I understood what was going on. The event set a high expectation for the future, one that the following years would only disappoint.

But he did it. Whatever follows - whether in a year or a generation or a century - will follow in his famous footsteps.
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He was a progger.

'Hemsley is a self-proclaimed fan of 1970s progressive rock bands[3] including Yes,[3] Gentle Giant and Nektar. On his appearance on Dinah!, Hemsley performed a dance to the Gentle Giant song "Proclamation" from The Power and the Glory. After his dance, Shore was laughing and asked what kind of music that was. Sherman then proceeded to give a 5-minute speech on Gentle Giant.[4] Hemsley can also been seen wearing a Nektar T-shirt during his interview with Norman Lear when Lear hosted Saturday Night Live from Season 2 Episode 26. In 1999, he collaborated with Yes founder Jon Anderson on an album titled Festival of Dreams which was not released.[5]'
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Also posted at Dreams Into Lightning 2.

Yitzhak Shamir dies. MEI: 'Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has died at age 96.' Read the post to find out what happened to a certain Yitzhak Yzernitzky. Netanyahu recalled a controversial statement of Shamir's and observed, "more people today realize that the man saw fundamental truths and did not sway with the changing trends." Peres said, "He had courage, and he lived as a patriot, weather you agreed with him or not." The BBC has more - but curiously makes no mention of the mysterious Mr. Yzernitzky.


Jun. 6th, 2012 01:48 am
asher553: (asher63)


May. 23rd, 2012 08:41 pm
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Pakistan Jails Doctor Who
[read the rest of the headline at the link]
Not to make light of a very serious and sad situation - but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who did that double-take. (HT ithildyn.)

Spam goes steampunk. (HT mosellegreen.)
See previous:


Feel it.
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'Benzion Netanyahu, father of Prime Minister Binyamin Netnayahu, was laid to rest at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, at a plot for bereaved parents at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery in Jerusalem.

The late Netanyahu died early Monday morning at the age of 102.

Speaking at the funeral, the prime minister said said that his father had shown him what commitment was, both to the state and to family.

The prime minister recalled the death of his brother Yonatan, who died in the Entebbe rescue raid. Since his death, Netanyahu said, his father changed his focus to international terrorism, with the belief that it is possible to fight terrorism by fighting states that sponsor it. ...'
'The father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Benzion Netanyahu, was laid to rest on Monday evening at Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem.

"You always showed us what it means to be committed to the nation and state, father," said the prime minister, "but more than that – what is your commitment to us." '
'At a meeting of Yisrael Beiteinu MKs Monday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman offered condolences to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the loss of his father. “I knew Professor Ben-Zion Netanyahu personally. He is one of the great men of this generation, a philosopher and very well-informed and intelligent. ...'

Remembered by a friend and political rival:
[Originally published 2010 July 6.]
'There can be few friendships stranger than Benzion Netanyahu’s and mine, for on the urgent question of Israel’s security we could not be more opposed. Benzion, a disciple and former secretary of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and to this day an uncompromising Zionist Revisionist, believes that the State of Israel should occupy both banks of the Jordan, presumably by force. At the time of the Oslo Accords, when my wife and I visited Benzion, surrounded by his books in his comfortable Jerusalem home, he denounced the accords as “the beginning of the end of the Jewish State” and admonished his son Bibi, then as now prime minister, for having relinquished Hebron to the Palestine Authority under the agreement. ...'
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Remembered kindly by Shmarya at FailedMessiah.

'I quite obviously don't share much, if any, of the worldview of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel.

But it's still sad to see him go.

As haredi gedolim go these days, he was pretty good guy who understood there were legitamate shades of gray in the world.

Maybe that's because he heard his mother talk about growing up in her tiny old neighborhood, which was filled with hasidim (many from Chabad rebbes but not from Lubavitch), former hasidim (same), Litvaks and former Litvaks, socialists, communists, Bundists and Zionists of all stripes, and where almost everyone somehow got along – even if they wouldn't daven at that other shul.'

A lesson in coexistence. The memory of the righteous is a blessing.

Steve Jobs

Oct. 5th, 2011 11:09 pm
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Hard to believe he's gone.

A life well lived.
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Before I join in the celebrations over the long-awaited dispatch of Osama bin Laden, it's only appropriate to mark the passing of a man whose life enriched the world. Iranian activist Siamak Pourzand - father of the activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi - took his own life last Friday.

'A leading Iranian dissident has killed himself in what appeared to be a final act of defiance against the Iranian regime that had nearly ruined him.

Farsi-language websites reported over the weekend the death Friday of Siamak Pourzand, an 80-year-old journalist and essayist who was one of his country’s leading political and cultural writers before the 1979 revolution that later brought a theocratic regime to power.

After the revolution, Mr. Pourzand became one of the main writers affiliated with Iran’s domestic secular opposition in the 1990s.

According to his children, Mr. Pourzand jumped from the sixth-floor balcony of his apartment in Tehran, where he has been under house arrest for the last five years.

“My father was a secularist, and he believed the culture of Iran needed to be safeguarded from the religious revolutionaries in 1979,” said his daughter, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi in a phone interview Sunday. ...'

Banafsheh-Jaan, I am weeping with you.

Mr. Lucas

Apr. 15th, 2011 08:34 am
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'Are You Being Served? star Trevor Bannister has died aged 76, his brother has confirmed.

The actor suffered a heart attack on Thursday at his allotment in Thames Ditton, Surrey, John Bannister said.

The actor was best known for his role as ladies' man Mr Lucas in the 1970s BBC sitcom set in a department store but he also worked in the theatre.'

The article quotes Bannister describing his character as "a good lad". I remember Mr. Lucas being a bit of a smart-ass, too, and always getting in trouble with Captain Peacock.

Good grief, was he really 76 ?!?!?
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Cross-posted at Dreams Into Lightning.

I remember him as the running-mate of my parents' favored candidate, the President of Massachusetts, in 1972, when I was 9 years old. But let's learn more.

Sargent Shriver - Wikipedia.

Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. (November 9, 1915 – January 18, 2011) was an American politician and activist. Known as R. Sargent Shriver or Sarge, he is best known as part of the Kennedy family, as the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, and as the Democratic Party's candidate for U.S. vice president — having replaced nominee Thomas Eagleton, who resigned from the ticket — during the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Shriver died at the age of 95 on January 18, 2011.

I notice that among the many worthy programs he's credited with founding, there's Head Start. A certain little girl of my acquaintance is a beneficiary of the Early Head Start program, and I dare say she's the better for it.


Shriver served as the first Peace Corps director in the administration of his brother-in-law, President John F. Kennedy. He also led President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" and was Democrat George McGovern's running mate in 1972.

"He was a man of giant love, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment," the Shriver family said in a statement, noting that he was surrounded by his five children, five children in-law and his 19 grandchildren.

"He lived to make the world a more joyful, faithful, and compassionate place," the family said. "He centered everything on his faith and his family. He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others." ...

One of those five children, Maria Shriver, is married to California's outgoing Republican governor Arnold Shwarzenegger. She's also the author of several children's books, including What's Happening to Grandpa?, a story about a young girl and her grandfather, who has Alzheimer's disease. (Sargent Shriver announced in 2003 that he had AD.)

BBC has more.


Shriver, whose full name was Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., was 95. He had suffered for years from Alzheimer's disease.

The family released a statement, saying Shriver died Tuesday "surrounded by his five children, five children in-law, and his 19 grandchildren."

"He lived to make the world a more joyful, faithful, and compassionate place," the family's statement said. "He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others. No one ever came into his presence without feeling his passion and his enthusiasm for them."

President Barack Obama said he was "deeply saddened" over the death of Shriver, whom he called "one of the brightest lights of the greatest generation."

Go read the rest.
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Marjory Asher was a friend and sometime girlfriend with whom I shared a birthday and a name. We stayed in touch after I left Portland, but I hadn't heard back from her for months. Now I know why.

I'll post a little more later. Right now I'm just stunned. It's been almost a year since she left us; don't know why it took me that long to do a google on her, but there you go.


She was found in the Willamette River.

"It has been determined that she did not fall."


Sep. 16th, 2009 09:45 pm
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Mary Travers.
Mary Travers of 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died, according to her publicist. She was 72.  Travers died from side effects of treatment from a bone-marrow transplant after battling leukemia, publicist Heather Lylis said.

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