Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Coretta Scott King dies at 78

Tuesday, January 31, 2006; Posted: 7:58 a.m. EST (12:58 GMT)

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young said Tuesday morning.

She was 78.

Young, who was a former civil rights activist and was close to the King family, broke the news during a phone call he made to NBC's "Today" show.

Asked how he found out about her death, Young said: "I understand she was asleep last night, and her daughter tried to wake her up."

King, who suffered a serious stroke and heart attack in 2005, did not appear at the birthday observance for her husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for the first time in the 20-year observance of the holiday.

Coretta King was a supportive lieutenant to her husband during the most tumultuous days of the American civil rights movement. She had married him in 1953.

After her husband's assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, she kept his dream alive while also raising their four children.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reservoir Dogs' Penn found dead

Actor Chris Penn, the younger brother of Sean Penn, has been found dead at his home in Santa Monica, California.

Penn, who was in his 40s, starred in Reservoir Dogs as Nice Guy Eddie, as well as Mulholland Falls and Rush Hour.

Police said there were no obvious signs of foul play. A post-mortem examination will determine the cause of death.

Penn's latest film, The Darwin Awards, was scheduled to have its premiere on Wednesday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah.

Police said the actor was 40 years old but other sources indicated that he was 43.

He features alongside Winona Ryder, Joseph Fiennes and David Arquette in the comedy adventure.

Penn family
Star family: Sean Penn, Eileen Ryan, Chris and Michael Penn
Penn's body was found inside the four-storey condominium complex where he lived after police were called by someone within the building.

His mother, Eileen Ryan is an actress whose credits include I Am Sam, Magnolia and Parenthood. His late father, Leo Penn, was a TV director. Another brother is musician Michael Penn.

Sean Penn's publicist Mara Buxbaum issued a statement saying that "the Penn family would appreciate the media's respect of their privacy during this difficult time".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sharon likely off respirator by week's end: aide

Fri Jan 20, 8:20 AM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon will likely be taken off respirators soon although there are no signs of emergence from his more than two-week-old coma, a senior aide said on Friday.

Sharon, 77, suffered a massive stroke on January 4 in a health crisis that cast a shadow on Middle East peacemaking prospects and an Israeli general election on March 28.

Doctors initially used sedatives to induce a coma after performing multiple brain surgeries on Sharon immediately after the stroke. The prime minister was taken off all sedatives last Saturday but remains incapacitated, raising concern he suffered more severe brain damage.

"They're going to remove all the respiratory systems," Sharon aide Raanan Gissin told Reuters. "He's going to be able to breathe alone at the end of the weekend."

Gissin, who said he was relaying information received from Sharon's doctors, added later than any decision to remove Sharon from the respirator would be made by the medical team treating him.

"That's what the doctors were considering," he said. "But when and how, that only the doctors can decide."

Sharon has been breathing independently but the respirator was used as a back-up, Gissin said.

Sharon underwent a tracheotomy earlier this week that created an incision in his windpipe to help wean him off respiratory machines.

Relatives said he briefly opened his eyes on Monday, but medical experts noted that such eyelid movements were common among comatose patients and could not be viewed as a reawakening without additional signs of communication.

Sharon is not expected to return to office and his deputy, Ehud Olmert, was named interim prime minister. Olmert is slated to lead Sharon's newly formed Kadima party at the ballot and opinion polls put him ahead of rivals from the right-wing Likud and center-left Labor parties.

Sharon is being treated at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital, where a spokeswoman could not confirm that the leader would be taken off a respirator. She said the prime minister remained in a critical but stable condition.

Gissin said he knew of no new signs that Sharon was emerging from the coma since he opened his eyes.

"Now it's the question of getting out of the coma," he said. "It's something that could happen overnight. It can happen after a few weeks. Nobody knows."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gerald Ford's health improving

Aide: Former president could be discharged from hospital soon

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (CNN) -- Former President Gerald Ford is responding well to his pneumonia treatment and could be discharged from a southern California hospital later this week, hospital officials said Tuesday.

Ford, 92, was admitted to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, on Saturday and on Monday began receiving intravenous antibiotics to treat his pneumonia.

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, an aide said he could be released Thursday "if all continues to improve."

Ford's longtime pastor, the Rev. Robert Certain, said the former president was in good health prior to his bout with pneumonia.

Certain, the pastor of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in nearby Palm Desert, said Ford appeared physically and mentally healthy in recent months. He has avidly been following the news and even went swimming last week, the reverend said.

Ford was hospitalized briefly in December for unspecified tests, but his spokeswoman said at the time that the former president was in good health for his age.

He was hospitalized in 2003 after suffering a dizzy spell while playing golf in 96-degree heat. He also suffered a mild stroke during the 2000 Republican National Convention.

Ford became the 38th president of the United States in August 1974, when the Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon to resign.

Ford became vice president in October 1973, when Nixon's original vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, resigned and pleaded no contest to bribery, conspiracy and extortion charges.

Ford sought the presidency in his own right in 1976, but lost the election to former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter.

Ford had assumed the Oval Office with the words: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over" and then made pardoning Nixon one of his first acts. Many people say that doomed his 1976 campaign and handed the presidency to Carter, who served one term as president.

Ford said that he pardoned Nixon solely because the cloud of drawn-out impeachment proceedings would have prevented the country from tending to more important business. However, the voters disagreed, and Carter defeated Ford in his only attempt to become an elected president.

Before taking the country's helm, Ford was a gifted athlete and played for national championship football teams at the University of Michigan in 1932 and 1933.

He was offered spots on two professional teams -- the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers -- but instead took a position as a boxing and football coach at Yale University, where he was admitted to the law school in 1938.

Ford joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1942 and had a brush with death during World War II when he was almost swept overboard during a typhoon in the Philippine Sea in 1944.

After Ford's discharge as a lieutenant commander in 1946, his stepfather, a Republican leader, encouraged him to take on GOP Rep. Bartel Jonkman of Michigan for the nomination to the U.S. House of Representatives. He won the nomination and later the general election and took congressional office in 1948.

Ford proved popular with his constituents, who re-elected him 12 times between 1949 and 1973, each time by a margin of more than 60 percent.

His inclusion among the "Young Turks" -- a group of young, progressive House Republicans who wanted to oust the older GOP leadership -- propelled him to top House positions and earned him a spot on the Warren Commission, tasked with investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Ford is the last living member of the Warren Commission.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Why Mason Reese, Rodney Alan Rippy, and Gary Coleman are always good picks


KITSAP, WA, United States (UPI) -- A massive search has failed to turn up any sign of teenage film and TV star Joe Pilcher, whose car was found with a suicide note inside in Kitsap, Wash.

The star of the 'Beethoven' movies as well as 'The Fan' and 'Varsity Blues' was reported missing by his mother on Tuesday, the Kitsap Sun reported Monday.

Authorities, friends and family members searched for the 2005 Bremerton High School graduate through the weekend without success, him mother told the newspaper.

'We`re kind of at the, `OK, what do we do now?` stage,' Kathy Pichler said, adding they have searched 'every nook and cranny' of Kitsap.

Relatives found a note in the teen`s abandoned car including a makeshift will and saying he wished he were a 'stronger brother.'

In addition to film roles, Pilcher guest starred on TV shows including 'Lois & Clark:

Master Pick List

Like most of you, I spent the weekend wondering if anyone picked Shelly Winters. Turns out nobody did but without access to my work e-mail, I couldn't be 100% sure.
Anyway, here's the master list of picks so that we can check it online when needed:

Butch Patrick
1. Lou Rawls
2. Mickey Rooney
3. Don Pardo
4. Shecky Greene
5. Monty Hall
6. Pete Best
7. Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard)
8. Hal Holbrook
9. Les Paul
10. Dick Gregory

Mr. B
1. Ariel Sharon
2. Gerald Ford
3. Kurt Gowdy
4. Art Linkletter
5. Phyllis Diller
6. Dale Robertson
7. Nelson Mandela
8. Olivia de Havilland
9. Gina Lollabrigida
10. Tab Hunter

Dave Oboler
1. Mitch Miller
2. Allan Arbus
3. Studs Terkel
4. Tommy Chong
5. Earle Hagen
6. Rose Marie
7. Bea Arthur
8. Al Kaline
9. Thomas Eagleton
10. Eddie Robinson

Henry Firecracker
1. Walter Cronkite
2. Mary Travers
3. Jerry Lewis
4. Martin Landau
5. Studs Terkel
6. Jerry Lee Lewis
7. Daniel Schorr
8. Muhammad Ali
9. Pete Doherty
10. Bo Diddley

Daisy Lou
1. Britney Spears
2. Mariah Carey
3. Ashlee Simpson
4. Neil Young
5. Keith Richards
6. Steve Perry
7. Geddy Lee
8. Madonna
9. Jennifer Lopez
10. 50 Cent

1. John Kenneth Galbraith
2. Naguib Mahfouz
3. Lady Bird Johnson
4. J.D. Salinger
5. Mitch Miller
6. Oral Roberts
7. Deanna Durbin
8. Curt Gowdy
9. Art Linkletter
10. Jane Wyman


1. Augusto Pinochet
2. Lady Bird Johnson
3. Gerald Ford
4. Margaret Thatcher
5. Paul Harvey
6. Billy Graham
7. Kirk Douglas
8. Walter Cronkite
9. Kurt Vonnegut
10. Michael Jackson

Stumpy Joe
1. John Wooden
2. Red Auerbach
3. Claude Levi-Strauss
4. Lady Bird Johnson
5. Sargent Shriver
6. Les Paul
7. Ricardo Montalban
8. John Kenneth Galbraith
9. Fidel Castro
10. Dick Cheney

DR. Cornelius
1. Gerald Ford
2. Lou Rawls
3. Andy Williams
4. Alan Greenspan
5. Keith Jackson
6. Michael J. Fox
7. Phylis Diller
8. Warren Buffet
9. John Madden
10. Michael Irvin

Hank Studly
1. Gerald Ford
2. Pat Boone
3. Andy Williams
4. Little Richard
5. Wade Boggs
6. Billy Preston
7. Betty Ford
8. Roy Clark
9. Brent Musberger
10. Bart Starr

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Average age of picks

I've added everyone's picks together, divided by 10, and came up with the average age of your picks. Is it any surprise that the gambler among us would have the highest averages?

Butch Patrick:               79.8
Mr. B:                              84.6
Dave Oboler                  82.4
Henry Firecracker:      66.5
DaisyLou:                      42.1
AlphaBettor:                 90.7
Carp:                               83.7
Stumpy Joe:                  87.8
Dr. Cornelius:                71.1
Hank Studly:                 71.6

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Out of the gates with an early contender!

(He was only picked by one person, folks, and it was his #1 pick!)

JERUSALEM --Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to a hospital late Wednesday after feeling ill, his office said.

Israeli media reported that he apparently suffered a second stroke or possibly a heart ailment. The announcement said Sharon, 77, was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, where he was scheduled to undergo a procedure Thursday to close a hole in his heart that contributed to his Dec. 18 stroke.

Sharon's office said his personal physician was with him, and the Israeli leader was fully conscious. Sharon was taken to the same hospital Dec. 18.

Channel 10 News quoted Sharon's spokesman Wednesday as saying the prime minister's symptoms were not severe, and he was being taken by ambulance from his ranch in the southern Negev to the Jerusalem hospital.

Another hospital, Soroka in Beersheba, is much closer to the ranch, and Israeli media were concluding that his condition was not serious. Channel 10 said the heart procedure might be advanced.

Doctors said last month that Sharon would not suffer long-term effects from the stroke, but they discovered a birth defect in his heart that apparently contributed to the stroke. The hole measures about one-eighth of an inch.

Using a catheter inserted through a blood vessel in Sharon's groin, a team of cardiologists will put an umbrella-like device over the hole to seal it.
A small camera inserted through Sharon's throat will guide the doctors.

Sharon will be under general anesthesia, and Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will take over during the procedure, Sharon's office said.

The race is on!

OK folks, all the bets are in and I'm busy working on compiling all of the various names, along with some fun stats to go along with the picks.
Keep checking back for more info.