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In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Ricky Jay, 70
« on: November 25, 2018, 07:26:14 PM »

Ricky Jay, the master-showman magician, actor, scholar, special effects consultant and author who
was called "the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive" by writers for the most prestigious publications
of his time, died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles.  He was believed to be 70, although some
sources said he was 72.

Winston Simone, his manager, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Douglas Rain, 90
« on: November 12, 2018, 10:11:48 PM »

Douglas Rain, Chilly Voice of a Computer Named HAL, Dies at 90

Douglas Rain, who performed for 32 seasons with the Stratford Festival in Ontario but
was perhaps most famous for one faceless movie role -- the voice of the HAL 9000
computer in Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey -- died on
Sunday in St. Marys, Ontario. He was 90.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Paul Allen, 65
« on: October 15, 2018, 04:28:30 PM »

Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who helped usher in the personal computing revolution
and then channeled his enormous fortune into transforming Seattle into a cultural destination,
died on Monday in Seattle.  He was 65.

The cause was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family said in a statement.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Aretha Franklin, 76
« on: August 16, 2018, 02:29:25 PM »

Aretha Franklin, universally acclaimed as the “Queen of Soul” and one of America’s greatest singers
in any style, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit.  She was 76.  The cause was advanced pancreatic
cancer, her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn, said.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Tom Wolfe, 88
« on: May 15, 2018, 02:29:07 PM »

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist and novelist whose technicolor, wildly punctuated prose brought to life
the worlds of California surfers, car customizers, astronauts and Manhattan’s moneyed status-seekers in
works like "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby," "The Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities,"
died on Monday in a Manhattan hospital.  He was 88.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Lynn Nesbit, who said Mr. Wolfe had been hospitalized with an infection.
He had lived in New York since joining The New York Herald Tribune as a reporter in 1962.

In his use of novelistic techniques in his nonfiction, Mr. Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the
enormously influential hybrid known as the New Journalism.


From 1965 to 1981 Mr. Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books.  "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," an account of his
reportorial travels in California with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters as they spread the gospel of LSD, remains
a classic chronicle of the counterculture, "still the best account -- fictional or non, in print or on film -- of of the genesis
of the '60s hipster subculture," the media critic Jack Shafer wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review on the book's
40th anniversary.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Russ Solomon, 92
« on: March 07, 2018, 09:30:39 AM »
Russ Solomon, who pioneered the superstore hangout for music lovers by founding Tower Records
and expanded it worldwide before internet pirates and crushing debts rendered the chain obsolete
and bankrupt, died on Sunday night at his home in Sacramento.  He was 92.

See also:

The Power of Tower Records

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP John Perry Barlow, 70
« on: February 07, 2018, 05:27:05 PM »

"John Perry Barlow, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and an Internet pioneer, died on Wednesday. He was 70.

"The news was announced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which Barlow co-founded and
promotes freedom of expression in digital media.  In a blog post on its website, the foundation’s executive
director, Cindy Cohn, wrote that Barlow "passed away quietly in his sleep."

"Barlow co-wrote songs with members of the Grateful Dead from 1971 until the group disbanded in 1995.
Some of tunes he helped pen include "Cassidy," "Heaven Help the Fool," "Black-Throated Wind," "Looks Like
Rain," and "Mexicali Blues."  He also wrote four songs on the band’s 1989 album titled "Built to Last" and an
additional song, "We Can Run," on the 2004 reissue.

"In addition to songwriting, Barlow was heavily involved activism for digital freedom.  He co-founded the EFF
in 1990, and has been credited with first coining the term "cyberspace" in its current definition that same
year.  He wrote essays about the impact of the Internet for multiple publications including Wired and the
New York Times, and his 1996 essay "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" has been long
circulated across the web."

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Ursula K. Le Guin, 88
« on: January 23, 2018, 03:54:40 PM »

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, Oregon.  She was 88.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Hugh Hefner, 91
« on: September 28, 2017, 10:42:54 AM »

Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant — all the while,
as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s — died on
Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. He was 91.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP June Foray, 99
« on: July 27, 2017, 02:16:10 PM »

"June Foray, an actress of a thousand voices, who portrayed Rocky the flying squirrel and the fiendish spy
Natasha Fatale on the wickedly satirical animated adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle in the 1960s and
myriad other animated creatures and characters on television and film, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
She was 99.

"Ms. Foray began her remarkable 85-year career playing an elderly woman in a radio drama in 1929 at age 12.
She portrayed scores of radio characters in the 1930s and ’40s. Over the next 60 years, she provided voices for
animated shorts, feature films and television shows, as well as record albums, video games, even talking toys.
Her last performance was as Rocky in a 2014 Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon produced by DreamWorks Animation.

"Often compared to Mel Blanc, the cartoon virtuoso who supplied the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and
Porky Pig, Ms. Foray cackled, chirped, meowed and sometimes sang her way through nearly 300 animated
productions, often playing several parts at once with quick shifts of accent, dialect and personality.  Her work,
unlike that of Mr. Blanc, was often uncredited, particularly in her early years."

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Robert Taylor, 85
« on: April 16, 2017, 09:55:48 AM »

"His seminal moment came in 1966.  He had just taken a new position at the Pentagon -- director
of the Information Processing Techniques Office, part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency,
known as ARPA -- and on his first day on the job it became immediately obvious to him what the
office lacked and what it needed.

"At the time, ARPA was funding three separate computer research projects and using three
separate computer terminals to communicate with them.  Mr. Taylor decided that the department
needed a single computer network to connect each project with the others.

"'I went to see Charlie Herzfeld, who was the head of ARPA, and laid the idea on him,'  Mr. Taylor
recalled in an interview with The Times.  'He liked the idea immediately, and he took a million
dollars out of the ballistic missile defense budget and put it into my budget right then and there.'
He added,  'The first funding came that month.'

"His idea led to the Arpanet, the forerunner of the internet."

While at NASA and later at Xerox PARC, Robert Taylor also played a pivotal role in innovating and
developing key elements of the modern personal computer and the graphic user interface,
including leading the group that created the pioneering Alto computer.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Bill Paxton, 61
« on: February 26, 2017, 08:34:38 PM »

Bill Paxton, the affable actor who was a co-star in a string of 1990s blockbusters including "Twister,"
"Titanic" and "Apollo 13" and later played the lead in the critically acclaimed television drama "Big Love,"
has died. He was 61.

His death, from complications of surgery, was announced on Sunday by a family representative.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Eugene Cernan, astronaut, 82
« on: January 16, 2017, 04:33:34 PM »

Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, Jan. 16, surrounded by his family.

Cernan, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, left his mark on the history of exploration by flying three times
in space, twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk
in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.

"We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind."
-- Cernan's closing words on leaving the moon at the end of Apollo 17

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP John Glenn, 95
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:32:14 PM »

John Glenn, who captured the nation’s attention in 1962 as the first American
to orbit the Earth during a tense time when the United States sought supremacy
over the Soviet Union in the space race, and who rocketed back into space 36
years later, becoming the oldest astronaut in history, died Dec. 8 at a
hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Glenn, who in his post-NASA career served four
terms as a U.S. senator from Ohio,  was 95.

In Memoriam, Happy Birthday / RIP Alvin Toffler, author, 87
« on: July 29, 2016, 12:00:08 PM »

Alvin Toffler, the celebrated author of "Future Shock," the first in a trilogy of best-selling books that presciently
forecast how people and institutions of the late 20th century would contend with the immense strains and
soaring opportunities of accelerating change, died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles.  He was 87.

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