We’re now two months into 2009 and while we’re yet to see any movement in the scoreboard, it’s been another interesting month.
On the 3rd American graphic designer Ben Blank passed away at the age of 87. You know when a newsreader has a graphic over their shoulder representing the story? Yeah. Well this guy invented that. Seriously.
And while we’re talking obscure technological references on the 4th Mark Shepherd, chairman of Texas Instruments, passed away at the age of 86. (Note that he should not be confused with Mark Sheppard, the actor who played Badger on Firefly and Romo Lampkin on Battlestar Galactica. As far as I’m aware he’s fine).
The 7th, which has since been dubbed Black Saturday, saw the worst Australian bushfires in living memory. The fires claimed the lives of over 200 people, including actor Reg Evans at 80 and and legendary newsreader Brian Naylor at 78.
Also on the 7th we farewelled scientist Jack Cover, inventor of the Taser. There’s probably a joke in there, but it would probably be in poor taste. So I won’t.
The 16th saw the death of of Dorothy Bridges, wife of the late Lloyd and mother of actors Beau and Jeff.
On the 20th we had not one, but two famous animal deaths, with Australian racehorse Fine Cotton (of the infamous Fine Cotton Scandal) shuffled off to the glue factory at 31, and former First Cat Socks Clinton sent off to greet the great Ceiling Cat at the age of 19.
The 20th also saw the death of Irish author Christopher Nolan. Again, he should not to be confused with the UK-born director of The Dark Knight, who is also probably fine. As far as I know.
And finally on the 25th we farewelled science fiction author Philip José Farmer at the age of 91. Farmer was a writer with a prolific output and a man who knew better than to let the niceties of grammar and sentence structure get in the way of telling a rip-snorting story.
And that wraps it up for February. Keep watching those obituary columns and stay tuned for next month’s update.