Category Archives: obituary

Carrie Fisher cremated, ashes put in a Prozac-shaped urn

The sad death of Carrie Fisher (and her mother Debbie Reynolds on the next day) is leavened by one bit of humor. After Fisher was cremated, her ashes were put in an urn shaped like a big Prozac pill.  Fisher was well known to have suffered from bipolar disorder, and didn’t hide it at all. […]

Debbie Reynolds dies, for crying out loud

Just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds followed her to the grave. According to CNN, Reynolds was admitted to a hospital this morning with breathing problems, and now she’s gone. It’s late and I have no time to talk about Reynolds, so let me just leave one clip of […]

Cinnabon cashes in on Carrie Fisher’s death

I’m not sure why I’m posting about a social-media storm, except that it’s a pretty good example of corporate insensitivity, and besides, it’s a slow day. Somebody screwed up big time, for on the day Carrie Fisher’s death was announced, Cinnabon—the chain of cinnamon-bun stores—issued this tweet: I mean, seriously: “best buns in the galaxy”? That […]

Carrie Fisher died

CNN just announced that Carrie Fisher has died at 60. Given her serious heart attack on an airplane last week, this wasn’t unexpected. But it’s still sad; Princess Leia was too young. This year really sucked. Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell—and now this. And I’m not even […]

The avoidance of the word “died”

When I was watching news reports of George Michael’s death yesterday, I was struck by how many of them used the word “passed” or “passed away” compared to the word “died.” (Newspapers seem to use “died” more often than verbal reports.) Here, for instance are three Twitter reports: It seems to me that people try to […]

The fifth anniversary of Christopher Hitchens’s death

I don’t know how I missed it this morning, but it was five years ago today that Christopher Hitchens (born only a few months before me) died of throat cancer.  After he died, the readers and I offered several tributes, including a musical number. There were seven posts, and some lovely and moving sentiments; see them here, […]

Leonard Cohen dies at 82

Truth be told, I was never a big fan of Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen. Nor did I dislike him—I was pretty much indifferent. His music simply didn’t turn me on, I didn’t care for his voice, and the only song I really enjoyed (and that to a limited extent) was “Suzanne”—but only the Judy Collins version. That […]

Gene Wilder died

I was going to end the day (late) with something lighthearted, invariably an animal video, but just got the news that Gene Wilder died. I had no idea he was 83, and the BBC said he died of “complications from Alzheimer’s disease.” He was, of course, Willy Wonka, but I’ve never seen that; I have […]

Popularizer of stovetop espresso machine buried in one

This story is five months old, and has languished in the nether regions of my dashboard, but it’s still amusing. Apparently, the man who made famous the familiar Italian stovetop expresso machine died, was cremated, and his ashes preserved in. . yes. . a replicate of his great invention. As Indy100 reports: Renato Bialetti, who made […]

Rick Harrison died

I was shocked to learn this morning that Rick Harrison, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell, died at 70. He had been treated for a form of cancer a while back, but that was a long time ago, and I assumed he was okay. I’m not sure if that caused his very untimely death (he was a […]