Monday, March 31, 2008

Dead Pool March Update

It's been an interesting month, but all of our pool entrants are still yet to score.

The month began on the 2nd with the death at age 82 of Paul Raymond, respected publisher of gems of the British literary establishment, Razzle and Men Only.

On the 4th as previously reported, the world farewelled E. Gary Gygax, co-creator of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons and widely considered the godfather of modern gaming.

On the 5th we heard the sad news that actor Patrick Swayze had been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer, and has approximately five weeks to live. The outpouring of emotion following this announcement was huge, and our hearts go out to Patrick and his family.

Also on the 5th was the death of computer science professor Joseph Weizenbaum, creator of the classic computer game ELIZA in 1966. ELIZA was a text-based game in which the computer acted as psychologist, responding to keywords entered by the user. Infuriating, but fun and very addictive, ELIZA prompted a lot of early discussion about the potential applications and the potential dangers of Artificial Intelligence.

On the 16th, US actor Ivan Dixon passed away at the age of 70. Ivan was best known for playing Sergeant "Kinch" Kinchloe (the black guy) in classic 1960s TV show Hogan's Heroes.

On the 18th, award-winning director Anthony Minghella, famed for The English Patient and The Talented Mr Ripley, died at the age of 54 after complications from throat cancer surgery.

The 19th saw the death of British science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. I've already said quite a lot about this. And I'm still quite upset.

Finally, on the 25th we farewelled a man who has brought so much happiness to so much of the world. You may not know his name, but he has helped you through hangovers, he has been with you on those early morning drives, and his legacy will remain for many a year.

Herb Peterson, inventor of the Bacon and Egg McMuffin, has passed away at the age of 89.

Rest in peace, man. Rest In Peace.


  1. I used to love ELIZA... was that a game? I thought she cared.

  2. according to things I had read (and my quick check of wiki seems to confirm this) the "5 weeks to live" thing was a mis-report. Here's a rueter's report to the same effect. and a snippet:

    [Publicist Annette} Wolf issued a written statement from his physician, Dr. George Fisher that said: "Patrick has a very limited amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment."

    "All of the reports stating the timeframe of his prognosis and his physical side effects are absolutely untrue," Fisher said in the statement. "We are considerably more optimistic."

    yay internet.

    Thing that gets me is that on the 5th of March Sam Newman was also diagnosed with cancer. Seems that plastic Surgery that makes you look shiny and, well, plastic causes cancer. Sam and Patrick are only the beginning. Stay away from it, kids.

  3. I didn't put much stock in the publicist's report. The prognosis on pancreatic cancer is always bad, and even if it's more than five weeks, it won't be long.
    Sam Newman on the other hand ... cry me a river.

  4. It's not just a game Shannon... I do care, really.

    Good ELIZA description Matt,"Infuriating, but fun and very addictive"... thanks. Spread the word. Also, a better description than the Jackson Jackson song "Eliza" where she is decribed as looking like a "lesbian revolutionary"... good song though.

    Great work on the Tahoe video too.