Dead gardener linked to boobytraps

After Bernhard Graumann, 59, was found dead last week, police linked him to a trap that killed another person and a "explosive piece of firewood" that hurt two more. If you suspect Herr Graumann held a grudge against you, the police in Mehlingen would like a word. Ideally, before you open any doors, start any engines, drink any brandy, etc.

German media report that Graumann was known to be a member of a local medieval association which apparently included, among other activities, recreating antique firearms that use gunpowder.

"People who have had a problematic private or business relationship with Graumann are urged to contact the police immediately," the police said.

They have already "received dozens of calls," they said.

Photo: Shutterstock / Romolo Tavani Read the rest

Co-inventor of handheld electronic calculator dies

Jerry Merryman, who co-invented the handheld electronic calculator in 1965, is dead at 86.

Merryman told NPR's "All Things Considered" in 2013, "It was late 1965 and Jack Kilby, my boss, presented the idea of a calculator. He called some people in his office. He says, we'd like to have some sort of computing device, perhaps to replace the slide rule. It would be nice if it were as small as this little book that I have in my hand."

Merryman added, "Silly me, I thought we were just making a calculator, but we were creating an electronic revolution."

Kilby died in 2005: Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby Dies at 81

Photos: Smithsonia Museum; Montage: Matt Novak / Gizmodo Read the rest

Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint dead at 49

In a message posted to its official Twitter account, UK electronic music group The Prodigy announced the death of singer and songwriter Keith Flint today.

“It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint ... A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.”

In an Instagram post, [via NME] Howlett wrote: “The news is true. I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I’m shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken.”

Pitchfork posted an obituary.

Flint was a regular fixture of the UK’s late-1980s rave scene. At a beach party, he met Howlett and suggested they form a band. Howlett began recording as the Prodigy, eventually touring America and bringing along Flint to hype the crowd. By 1996, Howlett had enlisted him as a frontman. When they released “Firestarter” that March, Flint’s emphatic performance and inverted mohawk became ubiquitous, making the video a staple of international music channels. A global hit and UK Number 1 for three weeks, the single teed up The Fat of the Land, one of the most successful UK dance albums of all time, helped along by follow-up singles “Breathe” and “Smack My Bitch Up.”

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255),or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

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Deaths: Actor Bob Einstein, 'Super Dave Osborne' and Marty Funkhouser on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

'Super Dave Osborne' and 'Marty Funkhouser' have left us. Read the rest

‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ creator Stephen Hillenburg has died of ALS. He was 57.

Stephen Hillenburg, who created the Nickelodeon megahit cartoon TV series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” died on Monday. He was 57.

The cause of death was Amyotrophic Lateral Scleroris, or ALS, which Hillenburg said in March of 2017 he'd been diagnosed with. Read the rest

Douglas Rain, HAL 9000's voice in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90.

“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Douglas Rain, the actor who performed the voice of the computer Hal 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's film '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90 years old. Read the rest

Comics legend Stan Lee dead at 95

The legendary comic-book author, publisher, and film producer Stan Lee has died. Read the rest

RIP Sears

The holding company behind struggling department store chain Sears is about to file for bankruptcy, reports The Daily Beast. Read the rest

Actor Burt Reynolds has died at 82. Here are some of our favorite clips from his work.

Burt Reynolds, the onetime jock from Florida who became an American screen icon, has died. Read the rest

Casey Kasem getting angry at his radio producers

NBC cutting abruptly from a solemn John McCain tribute to masturbating dolphin-masked comedians will go down in the annals of mind-bendingly inappropriate segues. But my favorite is this from DJ and actor Casey Kasem, who loses his temper at "coming out of a fucking uptempo record every time I do a God-damned death dedication."

[h/t GhastlyGil] Read the rest

Death rates due to accidents charted by age and gender

Charted by /u/draypresct at Reddit, this shows the death rates due to unintentional injuries by age for men and women.

Data from the CDC National Vital Statistics System. Cause of death methodology and other data descriptions here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/mortality/lcwk1_hr.htm

edit: I used Microsoft Excel to make the graph. The data I used were the tables that included all races and ethnicities.

I'm surprised that teenage boys appear to suffer less accidents than adult men of any subsequent age. Read the rest

Joe Jackson, musical family patriarch and Michael Jackson's famously abusive dad, has died.

Joseph Jackson, father of late pop superstar Michael Jackson, is reported to have died early Wednesday. He was 89. Read the rest

Read the 1999 Anthony Bourdain essay that started it all

Anthony Bourdain died today. He was 61.

You may have seen his CNN program, or read a book, but you don't know all the world lost until you first read the New Yorker essay that set his career as a journalist, educator, and broadcast star into motion. Read the rest

R. Lee Ermey, 1944–2018

R. Lee Ermey, the retired U.S. Marine whose portrayal of shrieking, sadistic Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket became the gold standard for movie drill instructors, is dead at 74. The magic show is yet to be scheduled.

The Kanas native was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his memorable performance in “Full Metal Jacket,” immortalizing lines like “What is your major malfunction?” He also voiced the little green army man Sarge in the “Toy Story” films and played a helicopter pilot in “Apocalypse Now,” among many other roles.

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Bozo the Clown's big red shoes have shuffled off this mortal coil

A number of fellas have played Bozo the Clown over the years. Frank Avruch was the best. The world became a little bit less joyful earlier this week in the wake of his death at the age of 89.

Avruch played Bozo on TV during the height of the clown's popularity in the 1950s through to the 1970s. When not in front of the camera, Avruch wore the clown's smiling face and big, floppy shoes as a UNICEF Ambassador, bringing happiness to kids around the world. In 2007, his efforts for UNICEF were recognized by the United Nations.

According to The Boston Globe, Avruch is survived by his with, two sons and a whack of grandchildren. Read the rest

Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018

Ursula K. Le Guin died today at 88. The author of the Earthsea novels, The Left Hand of Darkness and many others, she was and remains among the brightest stars in the sky of fantasy literature.

Ursula K. Le Guin, the immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy with books like “The Left Hand of Darkness” and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 88. Her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, confirmed the death. He did not specify a cause but said she had been in poor health for several months.

Ms. Le Guin embraced the standard themes of her chosen genres: sorcery and dragons, spaceships and planetary conflict. But even when her protagonists are male, they avoid the macho posturing of so many science fiction and fantasy heroes. The conflicts they face are typically rooted in a clash of cultures and resolved more by conciliation and self-sacrifice than by swordplay or space battles.

Photo: Oregon State University / Marian Wood Kolich (CC) Read the rest

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dead at 46

Sad news from London, where Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan died suddently today. The band's official page announced her death at about 1 p.m. EST, with no further details and a statement requesting privacy for her family.

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