Showing 1 - 10 of 73 posts found matching keyword: death
Sunday 8 November 2020
2020 has done it again. Alex Trebek has died from pancreatic cancer at age 80.
In the year 2014 BC (Before COVID), Trebek appeared on the final episode of The Colbert Report to reassure its departing host:
"So I guess I’ll be gone forever?" Colbert asked.
"No, Stephen," answered Trebek. "We'll always be there for the American people, whenever they need us the most."
May he live forever in reruns.
Saturday 12 September 2020
Clarke County, Georgia, home to a particular Classic City, has seen their overall number of COVID-19 cases double for three straight weeks. In their infinite wisdom, the Powers That Be at the University of Georgia have responded to that news... by deciding to allow tailgating at UGA football games. Ye gods.
In similar news closer to home, Newnan High School had to cancel a football game this past weekend because the team they were scheduled to play — from the next county over — came down with COVID-19 cases on their team. Newnan promises to refund all ticket sales. Eventually.
So far, no one I am aware of has died as a consequence of getting COVID at a football game, but football season has just started. If we get to December and that number is still zero, I'll be happy to say that I am a panicky little Chicken Little who has badly overreacted to some unprecedented circumstances.
In the meantime, the total COVID-19 death toll for the United States through the first eight months of 2020 stands just under 200k with that number expected to double by the end of the year. Rah, rah! Exponential growth.
Are you ready for some football?
Wednesday 6 May 2020
As a self-proclaimed Dolphins' fan (is there any other kind?), I feel compelled to note the passing of Don Shula, the greatest coach in franchise (and NFL) history.
Shula was still coaching the team when I first became a fan, and I think at the time, I sort of expected him to always be the coach, at least until he no longer could. He was only the second coach in franchise history, and he did go on to coach for 26 years. There have been 11 coaches in the 25 years since he retired, which sort of tells you everything you need to know about the state of the franchise.
Not only was he a great coach, he was a damn fine actor, too.
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)
COVID-19, murder hornets, and now Don Shula? Man, 2020 continues to find new ways to suck.
Monday 4 May 2020
As I type this, the United States has 1.188 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68,276 deaths. More Americans have already died in the past 2 months from COVID-19 than died in the entire Vietnam War. And it's not over yet. By the time you read this, those numbers will be worse.
A quick computation of those figures reveals a current mortality rate of nearly 6%. If you've been paying attention (what else have you got to do?), you may remember that back at the beginning of March, the World Health Organization was estimating a 3.4% mortality rate — an estimate our wise president chose to call "a false number" in a live television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He objected to the WHO number not because it was too low, but because it was much, much to high. "I would say the number is way under one percent," said the president.
(Footnote for future historians: That comment was made on March 4. A month later, April 14, Trump withdrew funding to the WHO claiming that they failed to report the true danger of the virus back in January. Quote: "The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain that and share information in a timely and transparent fashion." By that logic, I guess we should stop funding the current American president, too.)
Testing continues to be a problem, so we can't really be sure that the 1,188,122 number I referenced above is the true extent of the contamination. If we assume that the actual mortality rate is closer to 3.4% previously observed in other countries, it would mean that over 2 million Americans currently have or have had the disease. That's over a million hidden, untreated, pandemic-spreading cases. Sure seems like someone should be thinking twice about opening those shopping malls, Governor Kemp.
Also unreported in all those grim details is another victim of COVID-19. Specifically, I'm talking about my flattop.
I haven't seen a barber in over a decade, but in an act of solidarity with coronavirus-positive Tom Hanks (and maybe a little laziness), I decided to go ahead and trim my hair down to the scalp. Does it make me look more bald or less?
These days, the fact that I'm alive and well enough to worry about such things feels like an accomplishment.
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Thursday 19 March 2020
For future reference, I'm going to put this here. (I'll probably talk about it again later. I just need a bookmark of sorts. For reference, Kelley is my mother's only sister.)
Obituary for Todd Martin Shaddix
Todd Martin Shaddix was killed in a vehicle crash on March 18, 2020.
He was born December 8, 1962 to Aubrey Earl Shaddix, Jr. and Mary Wylene Barnes. He was a lifelong resident of Coweta County and attended Newnan High School. He and his wife, Kelley, were happy together for over 35 years.
He was an animal lover who supported the Newnan Coweta Humane Society for more than two decades and in recent years, the H.E.L.P. Spay Neuter Clinic. He showed great compassion and love for the animals he helped on a daily basis. He was a five-year oral cancer survivor. Todd will be terribly missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kelley; his sister, DeeAnna Sherrer; nieces, Kaley Yancey and Kaitlyn Robertson; great-nephew, Wyatt Yancey; and his beloved pets.
A memorial services may be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the H.E.L.P. Spay Neuter Clinic, 12 The Cresent, Newnan GA, 30263.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at McKoon.com.
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Thursday 12 March 2020
Says the President of the United States in a live address to the American people at 9PM EDT:
We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.
Says the President of the United States in a tweet to the American people at 10:15PM EDT:
Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.
The takeaway: The President of the United States revealed on television that we trade people.
While I'm glad that he's finally taking a global pandemic seriously, I wish it wasn't the Cholera pandemic of 1849.
Monday 24 February 2020
There are probably more important stories in the news, but none as entertaining as this: in his quest to prove the Earth is flat, self-proclaimed daredevil "Mad" Mike Hughes blew himself up this weekend in the California desert.
"Blew himself up" isn't really the correct phrase. His homemade steam-powered rocket, launched from the back of a tractor-trailer as part of a reality television project for the Science Channel, took off in one piece. If this had been a launch for NASA TV, the post-mortem anomaly report might have sounded something like "though the mission succeeded in achieving its primary goal of powered flight, a subsequent abrupt failure of all descent parachutes resulted in the loss of the craft." (It may or may not be a coincidence that NASA doesn't use hot water to launch rockets.)
There is no small irony in a flat-earth theorist being done in by gravity, which Einstein's general relativity theory defines not as a force but as the distortion matter creates in the curvature of spacetime. In other words, Hughes was literally flattened by a round Earth.
In the aftermath of the — what shall we call this? An accident? An incident? A punchline? — a public relations representative told the press that Hughes' oft-repeated disbelief in a round Earth was in reality nothing more than a PR stunt. That would also explain why Hughes told Space.com that his motivation for this launch was "his love for Trump and his desire to make America great again." Nobody could say such things with a straight face and mean them. At least nobody sane.
While we may never understand what would drive someone to climb into a steam-powered roman candle for the benefit of a television camera, the one thing we can say for sure is that "Mad" Mike died doing what he loved: denying science.
Monday 27 January 2020
As much as I love cemeteries, I hate funerals. Too many living people.
Miss Polly was my grandfather's classmate and grandmother's best friend. She deserved that I put on a tie (poorly) for the first time in nearly a decade (it is NOT like riding a bike) and stand in the frigid rain. All funerals should be in the rain, if you ask me. Suits the mood.
To mark the occasion, I had this picture taken with my phone.
It is not the vision I imagined, but I did learn a valuable life lesson: don't try giving artistic direction to mourners at a funeral.
Or maybe just don't go to funerals, period. Could be either. I have a hard time figuring the moral of a story.
Monday 5 August 2019
In the past 48 hours, at least 35 people were shot in Dayton, Ohio and another 46 were shot in El Paso, Texas. Those are the headlines, but they're only the tip of the Titanic-sized iceberg that is gun violence in America.
Excluding suicides, over 26,000 people have been shot in the USA this year to date, which puts us on pace for 44,000 by the end of December. By those numbers, an American has a roughly 1 in 74,000 chance of being shot each year. That's only slightly worse than the odds that you'll die in a motorcycle accident. Except, of course, that to die on a motorcycle, you have to first be *on* a motorcycle. The person who shoots you will generously donate the necessary bullet.
Right now, it seems there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid getting shot. Night clubs, bars, and retail stores seem to attract shooters, but so do schools and churches. Outdoor festivals are popular, and your workplace is a death sentence waiting to happen. Sadly, you're most likely to get shot in your own house by a member of your family, so staying home is no help.
About all you can do for sure is stay away from other people entirely, and even that is no guarantee. My friend Randy, who lives a good fifteen minutes from anything I would call civilization, has had people shoot into his house from the street 100-yards away, apparently just to see if they could. Guns are cool!
Personally, I love attending live sporting events. So far, those have been generally bullet-hole free, but that's clearly only a temporary condition. I hope I don't get shot at a football game. I probably won't; many people ride a motorcycle their whole life without dying on one. But if the worst does happen, know that I was shot doing what I loved: running in panic from someone shooting people. U-S-A!
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Friday 8 March 2019
After surviving brain and heart surgery in recent years, Alex Trebek has announced that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His life expectancy can now be measured in months.
If Alex Trebek was really the comic book super hero I've made him into over the years, he would die. But then he would get better and continue filming Jeopardy episodes until the end of time.
Sadly, life is not a comic book.
Good luck, Alex.