Peter Sissons, who died today at 77, is well known to British news junkies for his decades anchoring daily bulletins on ITV and the BBC. Though not well-known abroad, he just happens to be the man responsible for one of the BBC's most outrageous NSFW bloopers: a contemptuous hot-mic outburst about a fellow presenter's breasts. Read the rest
Adrian Lamo is most famous for turning U.S. Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning in to the authorities, but was already well-known among hackers and journalists because of his penetration of The New York Times' source database, subsequent conviction for the hack, and his sparkling personality. He died mysteriously last year in what many assumed was suicide or murder, but NPR's Dina Temple-Raston investigated his last months and found a tragic figure in failing health, evicted by his carers and in chronic pain. He likely died overdosing prescription drugs, kratom and nootropics after suffering a twisted leg.
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His doctor was in the process of weaning him off some of the medications, including reducing the three different benzodiazepines he was taking. That is of particular interest because about a month before Lamo died, the FDA came out with a medical alert — a warning against mixing benzos with kratom. The combination had been linked to dozens of deaths.
"A few assessable cases with fatal outcomes raise concern that kratom is being used in combination with other drugs that affect the brain, including ... benzodiazepines," the alert read. Rohrig said Lamo had a handful of what he called designer benzos in his system, some of which weren't available by prescription in the U.S.
"The most common way of getting these particular ones is basically off the Internet," Rohrig told us. "You can order them and have them shipped to whatever address you want." Debbie Scroggin assumed that lots of the pills and supplements coming into the house were in those packages addressed to Adrian Alfonso.
This post contains information about suicide. If you need help, it’s OK not to be OK, and to need help. Call 1-800-273-8255. Read the rest
New Orleans music and cultural legend Art Neville, who co-founded the Meters and Neville Brothers, has died. He was 81 years old. Read the rest
A legend of American music has departed.
His name was Malcolm John Rebennack, or Mac Rebennack, but we knew him as Dr. John. Read the rest
Guatemalan minor is fourth to have died in custody under Trump campaign
The Doris Day Foundation reports her death at 97.
Doris Day passed away early this morning at her Carmel Valley home, having celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3 of this year. Nearly 300 fans gathered in Carmel last month to celebrate Day’s birthday. Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia , resulting in her death. She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed.
The BBC rounded up tributes:
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Star Trek actor William Shatner remembered Day on Twitter as "the World's Sweetheart," saying she was "beloved by all".
Fellow Star Trek cast member George Takei said she was "synonymous with Hollywood icon", while Spanish actor Antonio Banderas wrote: "Thank you for your talent."
Novelist Paulo Coelho marked her passing by quoting lyrics from Secret Love, one of her numbers in Calamity Jane.
"We've lost another great Hollywood talent," tweeted Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, while actor Luke Evans said he had "always loved" her voice and "beautiful" songs.
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
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
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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'Super Dave Osborne' and 'Marty Funkhouser' have left us. Read the rest
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
“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
The legendary comic-book author, publisher, and film producer Stan Lee has died. Read the rest
The holding company behind struggling department store chain Sears is about to file for bankruptcy, reports The Daily Beast. Read the rest
Burt Reynolds, the onetime jock from Florida who became an American screen icon, has died. Read the rest
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