Category Archives: obituary

Grania’s memorial service

Michael Nugent kindly filmed Grania’s memorial service in Cork, including words from her sisters and her friends (including me), and he also put pictures from the service on the Atheist Ireland website. The 43-minute YouTube video is embedded below, and I’ve added a few pictures from Michael’s website below that. As I write this on […]

More tributes to Grania

Atheist Ireland (AI) posted a lovely tribute to Grania on its site yesterday. It was written by its President, Michael Nugent—who knew Grania well—and tells about her activities for AI (she was one of its founders as well as its first secretary), her penchant for gaming, and other things I did not put in my […]

Grania died

This is very hard to write, and is written through tears. Grania Spingies, a very good friend—though I never met her in person—and someone who, as you probably know, did an enormous amount for this website, passed away yesterday in Cork, Ireland. She was only 49, and would have turned 50 on the 23rd of […]

Murray Gell-Mann died

UPDATE: There is a celebration of Gell-Man’s life, “Remembering Murray“, at the Edge website, where many physicists, friends, and physicist-friends pay tribute to the man. __________   By now most of you probably know that famed physicist Murray Gell-Mann died Friday at the age of 89. He won the Nobel Prize in 1969 for “for […]

The BBC’s Hitchens remembrance

A few days ago I directed you to an hourlong BBC show about the life and work of Christopher Hitchens, who, had he lived, would have been 70 on April 13. If you haven’t yet heard it, I recommend it highly. You can listen to the program by clicking on the third screenshot below (or […]

A biologist says goodbye to a dying chimp

I came across this video in a New York Times review of an upcoming (March 12) book by Frans de Waal, Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves. The notes below, however, are from YouTube, not from the book or the review: Mama, 59 years old and the oldest chimpanzee and […]

It’s Abramek Koplowicz’s birthday

I didn’t know about this until I was told by Kelly Houle, who recently published a lovely art book containing English translations (from Polish) of Abramek Koplowicz’s poems, written in the Lodz Ghetto before he was gassed by the Nazis. Abramek Koplowicz was born on February 18, 1930, and had he lived he’d be 89 […]

NYT writes an obituary for Trevor the Duck

When the male mallard Trevor the Duck landed on the tiny island of Niue, administratively part of New Zealand, I was both thrilled and enchanted. How did he get there? Who knows? And would he survive? Niue has no standing water, and Trevor gravitated towards a small, muddy puddle. But the locals pitched in, feeding […]

Theo died

I’m terribly sad to report that Theo, the beloved cat of readers Laurie and Gethyn, passed away yesterday. Although I never met Theo, who lives with his staff in London, he’s been featured on this site several times, most notably because he drank espresso coffee without cream or sugar (see here).  I hoped to meet […]

G. H. W. Bush “passed”?

Humans have many ways to circumvent the reality and finality of death. Besides all my friends who are eating kale and quinoa to stave off the Reaper as long as possible, there are simple semantic fixes. When I visited Cornwall in 2005, I noticed that many gravestones in the local cemetery preceded the date of […]