In Memoriam December, 2017

There are a lot of notable people who have passed away this year, but I think I got sidetracked on the ones that have died just this month. Here are some of the people whose lives I have found most interesting, alphabetized by first name:

Ákos Császár.

Hungarian topologist and discoverer of the toroidal polyhedron that bears his name, was given much recognition of his achievements over the years, passed away at age 93.

Alexander Harvey II

An officer during World War II, Alexander became senator, then nominated as federal judge by then-president Lyndon Johnson. Died at age 94.

Bernard Sherman

Founder of Canadian generic drug company Apotex Pharmaceuticals. The billionaire drug manufacturer and his wife Honey were found dead at their home. The deaths are being treated as “suspicious”, although there appeared to be no obvious evidence of a break-in. Bernard was the 12th wealthiest Canadian, worth some 3.5 billion dollars. Honey Sherman was 70, while Bernard was 75.

Bruce Gray

Played Adam Cunningham in the Canadian drama series Traders. He was in Star Trek; he was in soap operas such as The Edge of Night and All My Children. But he is most famous for playing the father of the groom Rodney Miller in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

 

 

 

Carolyn Cohen

A Long Isand-born professor emeritus from Brandeis University who did research into motor proteins. Those are the kind of proteins that turn chemical energy into mechanical work. Examples are proteins that drive flagellum in single-celled organisms. Motor proteins also help conduct cell division in all of our cells. She was 88.

Clifford Irving

An investigative reporter who got caught writing a fake autobiography about the late Howard Hughes. While the controversy was very public and the charade quite compelling, the fake autobiography was never published. The hoax was uncovered over phonecalls from Hughes himself to the few people left who knew the voice of this reclusive billionaire. After his trial, conviction and release from prison, Irving continued to write various books to what appears to have been a forgiving audience. All of his papers, memoirs, and even journal entries while serving in prison have now been made publically available in the years since.  He was 87.

Dominic Frontiere

Composed theme music for The Outer Limits, and The Flying Nun. He also composed for movies such as Hang ‘Em High. However, he was in trouble legally because he had also scalped tickets for the 1980 Super Bowl on a fairly large scale and then failed to report the proceeds to the IRS. He was 86.

Ed Lee

First Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, elected in 2011 and served until his death at age 65.

Felix “Fil” Fraser

Fil Fraser

Montreal-born broadcaster, was a radio announcer in seemingly all parts of Canada, including Toronto and his native Montreal. He was 85.

Gerald B. Greenberg

Film editor involved in blockbuster films such as The French ConnectionApocalypse Now, and Scarface. He was 81.

Gerald Tulchinsky

Historian of Canadian Jewry, died at age 84.

Harold Levine

American mathematician who studied wave motion. He enjoyed sailing, and was remmebered as being well-dressed, deeply cultured, and open-minded about science and math ideas. He was 95.

Jack Felder

American Biochemist, known for his studies in germ warfare with the American military. Also wrote several books on Americana, un-related to biochemistry. He was 78.

James Thompson

James Robert Thompson, founding chair of the stats department at Rice University in Houston. Known for his sage advice to his doctoral students, and involvement in military defence, he is survived by his wife Ewa Thompson, also an emeritus professor of Slavic Studies. James was 79.

 

 

 

Jan-Erik Roos

Roos was a math professor from the University of Stockholm in Sweden, who was one of the few who seemed to make it to the status of math professor without a whole lot of formal math training beyond high school. He was 82.

Janet Elder

News editor at the New York Times, known for her humanity and adaptability in adverse situation involving the reporters under her watch who were given assignments overseas. She succumbed to cancer at age 61.

John Oberlander

Specialized in computer studies, and getting computers to talk and write like people, and by extension, adapting to end users. Passed away suddently at age 55.

June Rowlands

First female mayor of Toronto, starting in 1991. There is a public park in the Davisville neighbourhood named after her. She died at age 93.

Keely Smith

Iconic jazz singer who is best known for singing tunes such as: “That Old Black Magic”, “I Got You Under My Skin”, and “Bel Mir Bist Du Schoen”, and recording on dozens of albums over 5 decades, died at age 89.

Marvin Greenberg

Founding chair of the math department at the University of California at Santa Cruz whgo published his lectures on topology. He was 81.

Pam Warren

Otherwise known as Pam the Funkstress, was prominent on the San Francisco Bay Area Hip Hop scene. She died of organ failure at age 51, following an attempted transplant.

Pat DiNizio

Pat Dinizio

The lead singer and songwriter of the American band The Smithereens, had succumbed to numerous health issues and injuries over recent years, and has died at age 62.

Patrick Henry

A murderer in France, whose life imprisonment was instrumental in events leading to the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981. He died at age 64 of lung cancer.

 

A Do-It-Yourself Indie Band Album Cover

  1. Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”, or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Or alternatively, pick a band name using the band name generator and word of your liking at bandnamemaker.com (my preferred method). Warning: to my knowledge neither method will generate a band name such as “Jesus of Kapuskasing”. That name was pure invention. Jesus is, well, Jesus; and Kapuskasing (pronounced cap-us-KAY-sing) is a small town in northern Ontario. I used it because “Jesus of Montreal” was already taken (it is the title of an independent film). Wikipedia has that title.
  2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. In both cases above, I used the Wikipedia titles from rule #1 to title the album.
  3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days.  The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I threw less caution to the wind and looked a little harder.
  4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Make sure it’s a square. 500 x 500 pixels is ideal. I require a square image too, but I do not have “ideal” limits. Whatever the size, it ends up on my blog as 300 x 300.

How to Make Your Own Indie Band Album Cover

  1. Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”, or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Or alternatively, pick a band name using the band name generator and word of your liking at bandnamemaker.com (my preferred method). Warning: to my knowledge neither method will generate a band name such as “Jesus of Kapuskasing”. That name was pure invention. Jesus is, well, Jesus; and Kapuskasing (pronounced cap-us-KAY-sing) is a small town in northern Ontario. I used it because “Jesus of Montreal” was already taken (it is the title of an independent film). Wikipedia has that title.
  2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. In both cases above, I used the Wikipedia titles from rule #1 to title the album.
  3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I threw less caution to the wind and looked a little harder.
  4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Make sure it’s a square. 500 x 500 pixels is ideal. I require a square image too, but I do not have “ideal” limits. Whatever the size, it ends up on my blog as 300 x 300.

Getting away from it

At a Tim Horton’s, we ordered coffee, I ordered a doughnut. Denise wouldn’t have doughnuts. She seemed a little upset. I later found it was because she had visited her mother and became victim of her latest insensitive remarks.

“Why do you bother visiting your mom if all she does is hurt your feelings,” I ask. This always seems to happen, almost like a weekly routine.

“Well, she is my mother, and I am the only daughter, so I am seen as the only one who can do certain things for her once in a while. But when she says something hurtful, what I normally do is go home, think about it, write my feelings down somewhere, and then try to go about my life again.”

She went on, mostly elaborating. I was silent as she was explaining this to me. I could say that buy viagra canada us script writing is only a temporary measure. It helps you to figure things out, but it doesn’t solve your problems. It might be a way of licking your wounds, but it alone doesn’t heal them. As I saw it, the only way she could heal was to not visit her mother, and to stay away from any other source of hurt.

I don’t think she wanted to hear that. There was a sense of security she seemed to feel about the rut she was in. She was, in her mind, coping splendidly. She would be hurt by people in the world around her, she’d retreat home, lick her wounds, then do the same thing again. With all that hurting and healing, there was no room left for anything positive. Certainly no room to make a positive contribution to society in general.

Quote (Nelson Mandela)

Our deepest fear is not that we’re inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that’s within us. It is not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I had to think about that one for a minute. Product Statement Common use The primary element of Viagra is Viagra Citrate. Viagra Citrate buyviagraed.com affects the greeting to sexual input. It book by enhancing silky hooligan tranquillity using nitrogen pollutant, a chemical that is usually free in activity to sexual stimulant. This prettify musculus loosening allows hyperbolic murder rate into positive areas of the phallus, which leads to an erection. I found it at an AA site. I hope that people see there is much in these words that go way beyond therapy for alcoholism. It is a quote for all humanity, for all time.

Completely believing people's wildest stories

I’m into totally believing every story people tell me about themselves. Sometimes, when people tell me their problems, it’s complete horse-crap, with only the flimsiest relation to reality. But I sit in wide-eyed fascination of these artistic bullshitters. I’m just along for the ride, and sitting and listening to these tall tales aren’t really going to hurt me. So I believe it. All of it. With all my heart. It has nothing to do with me, so who cares? I even offer to help out with their “predicament” (which they fabricated of course). And it never amounts to anything anyway.

Here’s how you play: you completely, without holding back, believe everything a bullshitter tells you. If they falter, help them out in order to get their story right. In order to win the game, you have to “land on your feet”, and neither player gets hurt. Those are the rules.

OK? Ready to rumble?

I saw Karen again, and this time it was in the Student Building on campus. She asked me if I remember bumping into her a month ago near the Harbour Front with her mother. I vaguely remembered, and said so.

She said if I could clearly remember this, that she wanted me to testify that in court, because she thought the police were giving her trouble. I was not able to find out what kind of trouble. She was evasive. I didn’t want to pry, but my naturally supportive self wanted to jump in and help her out. I told her so. But, funny thing, none of it amounted to anything. The conversation about court just evaporated. Living in fear of the police didn’t seem all that important, all of a sudden, and I never heard about it again.

It was just like the day later on when she spoke about the fact that her parents were Nazis. She was in her 30s when she spoke to me on this (and that would make her parents, what, oh 50 or 60 years old when they gave birth to her)? She went on about how they used to operate the torture chambers in some part of Poland. She lived in mortal fear of her parents, apparently, because they ruined the livelihood of her brother and set his house on fire. She was now living in fear of them coming for her.

Now did I react and say “Come off it, Karen”? Nooooo. I was the proud picture of gullability itself. I listened to her for hours, in fascination of her and this incredible story. The next day I ran to the university library and took out an atlas of Nazi prison camps. There were hundreds of small camps dotting Poland. I laid it out for her to jog her memory. She pointed at one called Treblinka, but she was no longer going into the same level of fine detail that she was regaling to me earlier with.

The subject was dropped, and never pursued again. For some odd reason, the topic of her parents about to kill her any day now did not seem to inspire as much fear and was no longer important, and she never brought it up again.

Forgiveness

As I understand it, forgiveness is something that is given after the other party has admitted wrongdoing. If they had not, then forgiveness is futile, except maybe in one’s mind. In other words, if I had wronged you, and I don’t say I am sorry — in fact, I refuse to even acknowledge that wrong was done — then it would sound absurd for you to say to me “I forgive you”. It falls on deaf ears. I know I said that before, but it is worth repeating. There are a lot of wrongdoers in my life, who seem to have a warped sense of morals, who think in their own minds they have done nothing wrong; that they are perfect somehow.

I guess for some people, the two simple words “I’m sorry” are the most difficult words to say in the English language. It is an admission that you are not perfect, and with it an acceptance, I guess, of a certain loss of self-esteem (which seemed too high to begin with). After that, there should be an attempt to make up for it — a reparative justice, like the Greeks used to do.

But it seems for some people, it has gone beyond that, especially where rape and other forms of irrepairable harm was committed.