Category Archives: RIP

edith shain, the kissing nurse, dies.

Edith Shain, now famous for being the subject of “one of the most memorable photographs from World War Two,” died on Sunday at 91. You know the photo, right?:

Now I’ve seen this photo about a million times — and was among the 50% of college girls who had this poster up in her dorm room (there was a poster sale on campus, OKAY?) — but I never knew the story behind it. As I went to post this, I wondered if she ended up marrying that guy, or something equally adorable. Turns out, she didn’t even know him. According to le Wikipedia, “In August 1945, Shain was working at Doctor’s Hospital in New York City as a nurse when she and a friend heard on the radio that World War II had ended. They went to Times Square where all the celebrating was and as soon as she arrived on the street from the subway, the sailor grabbed her in an embrace and kissed her.” As one Gawker commenter pointed out, that almost makes the story more amazing; there Edith was, minding her own business, when all of a sudden she becomes part of this iconic moment, captured forever on film.

Rest in peace, Edith, and thanks for being such a good sport. Next time a stranger tries to give me a smooch on the sidewalk, I’ll go with it, and hope someone’s around to snap the picture.

[Posted by Mallory]


Filed under adventures, history, news, pictures, RIP

actress brittany murphy dead at 32.

Sad day, guys: Brittany Murphy (who got her start in Clueless and went on to star in movies like Girl, Interrupted, Just Married, Uptown Girls, and dozens of other films) died last night. According to Gawker, Murphy died after going into cardiac arrest, which could be the result of some underlying condition or drug use.

Our thoughts go out to her family, especially her husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack.

[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under celebrities, movies, pop culture, RIP

don’t go running! you will die!

PEOPLE. Running is not safe. No one should do it, ever. We already know that running leads to sprained ankles and general misery. But now we know more: if you go running — like, say, in a half marathon in Detroit — you will die. Read for yourself, from the Detroit Free Press:

In the span of just 16 minutes, three men collapsed and died while running the 32nd Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon — the first deaths in the event since 1994.

The first to collapse was Daniel Langdon, 36, of Laingsburg, at 9:02 a.m., said Rich Harshbarger, vice president of consumer marketing for the Detroit Media Partnership, which handles business operations for the Free Press and Detroit News. Langdon was on Michigan Avenue between the 11- and 12-mile markers.

Rick Brown, 65, of Marietta, Ohio, collapsed at 9:17 a.m. near where Langdon went down, Harshbarger said. And Jon Fenlon, 26, of Waterford collapsed at about 9:18 a.m., just after finishing the half-marathon in 1:53:37, he said.

Consider yourselves warned.

[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under health, news, RIP, sports

today is a google holiday, hooray!


This morning, whilst perusing her Facebook news feed, my officemate counted no less than six references to the age-old irritating phrase, “a case of the Mondays,” made truly infamous by everyone’s favorite movie about how boring jobs are:

“A case of the Mondays” is right up there with “hump day,” but we’ve already made hump day better by instituting a less-than-regular Hump Day Cry Face, so it’s okay. The point is, no one needs to have a case of the Mondays today, because it’s not just a Monday: it’s a Google Holiday!

Today’s Google Holiday: What would have been H.G. Wells’ 143rd birthday. (I did that math myself. Without a calculator. Don’t say I never did anything for you.) H.G. Wells was a writer and an outspoken socialist, just like Barack Obama! Not gonna lie, I’ve read zero of Wells’ books, but Wikipedia did just teach me some interesting facts about him:

  • H.G. stands for Herbert George, so the birthday boy was called “Bertie” as a child. How unfortunate.
  • Bertie first married his cousin (ew!) but then left her for one of his students (double ew!). He had lots and lots of affairs in his life, just like Don Draper.
  • Bertie was once sued for plagiarism, but the court found him not guilty.
  • He had diabetes, and a cool moustache.
  • Wells wanted his epitaph to say “I told you so. You damned fools.” I love that.

What I was Googling: cdr associates

h.g. wells

Enjoy what’s left of your Monday, kids!

[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under history, news, politics, RIP, YouTube

patrick swayze has died at 57.

WAHHH Patrick Swayze died!


Patrick Swayze, of Dirty Dancing and Ghost fame, is dead at 57 after a battle with pancreatic cancer:

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Accounts show that Swayze was optimistic and maintained as normal of a life as possible while he was sick, though he recognized what he was up against:

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making “The Beast” because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was “considerably more optimistic” than that.

“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”

You’ll be missed, Mr. Swayze. Thanks for everything, but especially for this:

I don’t know about you guys, but I plan to honor Patrick Swayze’s life by having “Time of My Life” stuck in my head for the next month or so. 2:28 and on…ICONIC. What a scene.

[Posted by Mallory]


Filed under celebrities, dance, movies, music, news, pop culture, RIP, YouTube

today is a google holiday, hooray!

It’s a Google Holiday AND it’s Saturday AND I have nothing to do except lounge and eat delicious food later. Does life get any better?

Today’s Google Holiday: MJ’s birthday. Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st. I’m underwhelmed by this one. I’m over the MJ thing. I was that person who really just didn’t care that he died. I know that sounds awful but I see the situation in one of two ways: 1) he was a good and talented guy who had a really screwy and sad life, so honestly he’s probably better off, or 2) he maybe molested little children, so good riddance. That sounds really mean typed out. Meh.

What I was Googling: metro dc

mj google holiday

In MJ’s birthday honor, let’s listen to MY favorite Michael Jackson song: “I Want You Back.” Thriller Schmiller. The Jackson 5 = summertime and slurpees. Love it. And you’re welcome for the English AND Spanish Portuguese (oops) subtitles. YouTube videos are so funny:

Have a good weekend, kids!

[Posted by Mallory]


Filed under celebrities, music, pop culture, RIP, YouTube

senator edward kennedy dead at 77.


Sad day, folks: Ted Kennedy is dead. From the New York Times:

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

The Kennedy Brothers

The Kennedy Brothers

Our dear Barry, of course, had kind words to say about Senator Kennedy:

For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.

As faithful bloggers trying to keep up with the times, Kathleen and I check Google Trends pretty regularly, to see what the kids are talking about. This morning, nine out of ten of the top ten hottest trends (most Googled items for the day, essentially) related to Ted Kennedy. Yeah, it’s nerdy and technological, but that’s huge. A lot of them relate to the Chappaquiddick incident that’s tarnished Kennedy’s reputation, but he did a lot of good and is widely regarded as one of the most effective senators in U.S. history. R.I.P., Teddy.

UPDATE: I really enjoyed/appreciated Gawker’s honest article about Ted Kennedy’s life. Take a look.

[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under news, politics, RIP, the hill

henry allingham, world’s oldest man, dies.

Henry AllinghamA month ago, I wrote about Henry Allingham, who celebrated his 113th birthday, and becoming the world’s oldest man, with a glass of champagne.  Henry died this morning at the age of 113.

He was Britain’s last surviving veteran of World War I, a preacher of peace and the author of a memoir.

Read last month’s blog post here and today’s story here.

[Posted by Kathleen]

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Filed under blogging, celebrities, education, history, news, pop culture, random, RIP, thoughts

wowza, what a week we’ve missed.

Kathleen and I have been naughty, naughty bloggers. Everything huge that can happen in the world of blogging happened this past week — important people dying, political scandals…that about covers it — and we have not kept you up to speed.

What a week. So first Ed McMahon died, and we’ll let our bloggy friend Caroline cover that in her trademark wacky way. Then we lose Farrah Fawcett to the bright forever, and Shaq to the Cavs (and no, I will not pretend to actually care about that, but I have to throw it in there). Amid all of that, we have perhaps the most delightfully bizarre Republican-having-an-affair story in recent months. I mean really, Mark Sanford? I remember hearing about him being “missing” earlier in the week, and I was totally giving him the benefit of the doubt. Like, “Come ON people, the guy just needed to get in touch with nature and clear his head on the Appalachian Trail!” And even when that story changed to Sanford “clearing his head” in Argentina, I was all, “Okay, that’s a little weirder, but whatever man. Let the guy do what he needs to do.” But of course — of course — he was having an affair. We all should have known (and most people who aren’t as naive as I am did, I guess). Here’s a well-articulated article about Sanford’s hypocrisy and irresponsibility that I just stumbled upon.

Michael JacksonThen, as you all know, we lost MJ. Part of the reason I hesitated to post about Michael Jackson’s death is that I didn’t have any idea what to say about it, and I knew that there were plenty of other people out there saying important things, better than I could have (take Andrew Sullivan and Michael Thomas, for instance). When big celebrities like Heath Ledger and Natasha Richardson died, I was really sad, for reasons I didn’t quite understand. With Michael Jackson, it was different, and I think that’s in part because his entire life was just so sad and strange and depressing. When I heard that he died, I was surprised, but I also felt the same as I always had about him. Andrew Sullivan, in the article I linked to above, puts it perfectly:

…he had no compass to find [a normal life]; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence. Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life. But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end. He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.

Dead on, right? [Ed. note: In proofreading I noticed the interesting choice of the phrase “dead on.” Pun not intended, but I’m leaving it.] We lost a great talent, but I would imagine anyone who knew MJ felt they lost Michael Jackson the person long ago.

It gets nuttier, though. This crazy week just HAD to go out with a bang: Mark and Michael and Farrah and Shaq and Ed…not enough! Billy Mays had to go and die. Yep, that Billy Mays:

Billy Mays

Billy Mays of infomercial fame was found dead in his home this morning at the age of 50. (Some sources are saying he was 49, but according to his Wikipedia birthday, he was 50.) No foul play is suspected, and no one seems to know what caused the death. The only slight lead is that he had been in a minor plane accident the day before and was hit on the head with some luggage. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more about Mays’ death.

Let’s all hope for some much, MUCH better news in the upcoming week. We can really only go up from here, eh?

[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under celebrities, music, news, politics, pop culture, RIP, weird

miami cats are now safe again.

He looks normal, but he's sick.

He looks normal, but he's sick.

The cats of Miami can peacefully take cat naps again, now that 18-year-old cat killer suspect Tyler Haines Weinman has been caught.  Weinman was arrested and charged for the 19 serial cat killings that have been plaguing the area.  What’s even worse is that the cats were mutilated as well.  There have been 34 cat deaths in the area, but police were only allowed to connect 19 to serial killings.  They are looking into the matter to see if there are accomplices.

I don’t even understand how a human being can do something like this.  Remember Joseph Petcka? Well I think Tyler Haines Weinman has done more than enough to  join him in the ranks of huge jerkfaces.  According to the story on CNN,  if he gets convicted on all counts, Weinman could face up to 158 years in state prison.  Think that’s a little harsh?  I don’t.  And we all know he won’t end up serving the full term anyway.

“The cruelty of these crimes were horrific for the animal victims, but there were many human victims as well,” Mayor Paul Vrooman said.

“Let’s not forget the children and the families who found their pets mutilated. These awful scenes inflicted a human toll.”

I’m glad this monster has been caught.

[Posted by Kathleen]


Filed under animals, blogging, news, random, RIP, thoughts, weird