David Rakoff, longtime contributor to This American Life, essayist adored for his cynical point of view, and beloved voice for the gay and Jewish communities, died of cancer yesterday at 47, reports the Huffington Post. Some tributes:
Margalit Fox, New York Times: Rakoff was a “was a social anthropologist of postmodern life” who was often praised for his “singular style, which combined an amiable dyspepsia with an almost palpable undercurrent of melancholy.” Read more …
Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, had died. According to her website, the 61-year-old passed away peacefully today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. A physicist, former NASA astronaut, science writer, and most recently, businesswoman, Ride is most famous for her voyage on the Challenger shuttle, which launched on June 18, 1982. A statement from Sally Ride Science, the company she founded, is after the jump.
Keep reading »
As Amy Winehouse‘s album Back to Black climbs back onto the charts and whispers begin about a treasure trove of unreleased songs, Winehouse’s family has a hunch about what we might find in her toxicology report—that she died from alcohol withdrawal. They believe that laying off the alcohol cold turkey may be what caused Winehouse’s sudden death last weekend at age 27. A source close to the family explains, “[Amy's father Mitch] said doctors had told Amy to gradually reduce her intake of alcohol and to avoid bingeing at all costs. Amy told him she couldn’t do that. It was all or nothing and she gave up completely. Mitch said the shock of giving up, after everything she had been through over a bad few years, was just too much for her to take. Abstinence gave her body such a fright, they thought it was eventually the cause of her death.”
So what exactly is alcohol withdrawal? And can it kill someone? Keep reading »
Sad news: Sylvie Cachay, the designer behind swimwear line SYLVA, was found dead yesterday in a hotel room at the Soho House, a swank members-only hangout in Manhattan’s meatpacking district. The sad scenario sounds either highly suspicious or the making of a bad accident—the 33-year-old woman was discovered submerged in the room’s bathtub. Her body showed some bruises, which police are trying to identify the causes of (strangling, for example). She had checked into the room with her younger boyfriend, who had been described as a deadbeat with a hard partying side. The couple had apparently been fighting or had just broken up before her death. He was not in the room when Cachay was found and denies any connection with the death.
A tragic loss for the fashion world. Cachay was a rising star who was getting attention at Fashion Week for her luxe swimwear designs. [New York Daily News] Keep reading »
Yesterday, we told you that Dr. Frank Ryan—the plastic surgeon who infamously gave Heidi Montag 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day and called her a hero for going through with it—died in a car crash. New reports say that he was Tweeting about his dog, Jill, when he veered off the Pacific Coast Highway and went off a cliff. It’s a very strange case and incredibly sad for anyone to die young.
Last night, a candlelight vigil was held for Dr. Ryan. Not to speak ill of the dead or anything, but I couldn’t help but notice that many of the celebrities who spoke were ones with notoriously over-the-top plastic surgery—Janice Dickinson, Lisa Rinna, and Melissa Rivers. We wonder if mom Joan went to Dr. Ryan, too? Keep reading »
Dear Richard LaMotta,
I am deeply saddened by the news of your passing last Tuesday. I never knew you, but I’ve known your creation, the Chipwich, intimately for years now. I first met my good friend the Chipwich on the beach the summer when I was 6 years old. It was a particularly humid day as I wandered over to the beach shack to check out the popsicle selection. Popsicles are fun and all, but I was looking for a more sophisticated treat … something more imaginative than neon-colored sugary ice on a stick. Popsicles are so predictable. Something caught my eye. A picture of a round frosty treat unlike any I’d ever seen before. Two chocolate chip cookies with ice cream in the middle? An orbit of mini chocolate chips around the perimeter? My two favorite treats, ice cream and cookies, together in one glorious dessert? Was it a mirage? No, it was a Chipwich. And it was love at first bite. Keep reading »
Another sad death over the weekend. On Friday night, Marie Osmond’s son, Michael Blosil, sent an unsettling text message to a friend in his apartment building who he was supposed to hang out with that night. She rushed upstairs to his apartment, where his roommates had no idea anything was wrong. They went into Michael’s room, and found a suicide note. A few minutes later, they heard the sound of sirens outside. Michael had jumped off the 15th floor of the building and died. Keep reading »
The search for actor Andrew Koenig, who you more likely remember as Boner Stabone on “Growing Pains,” is over. Yesterday, a team of his friends and family did a thorough sweep of Stanley Park in Vancouver, where Andrew loved to hang out. And they found something mounted officers who’d searched the park didn’t—Andrew’s body in a patch of trees. Andrew’s father, who played Mr. Chekhov on “Star Trek,” confirmed that he committed suicide. “My son took his own life,” he said in a news conference. “If you can’t handle it anymore, you know, if you could learn anything from this, is that there are people out there who really care.” Our thoughts are with the Koenigs today. [People] Keep reading »
The more I read about SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed yesterday, the sadder I get. In an article about Brancheau written years ago, she told the Orlando Sentinel about going to SeaWorld for the first time when she was 9. “I remember walking down the aisle [of Shamu Stadium] and telling my mom, `This is what I want to do,’ ” Dawn said. “You can’t put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you.”
Horribly ironic, since yesterday, during a lunchtime “Dine with Shamu” event, Telly, a 30-year-old 12,000-pound whale, pulled Brancheau under water. “[She] was laying on the platform, massaging the whale, petting it. All of a sudden, it latched on and took her under,” said a witness. “He came up one time out of the water with her in his mouth. That was the last we saw of her because they were running us out of there.” Alarms went off as an emergency crew tried to rescue Dawn. Keep reading »
The service for close friends and family for designer Alexander McQueen took place this morning in the U.K. and, based on images from outside the ceremony, it’s the best-dressed funeral ever. While that may seem like an odd thing to comment on in light of the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, given that McQueen dedicated his life to beauty, we can’t help but feel that it’s the sort of detail that would make a man like him happy. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: McQueen truly was a design force to be reckoned with and he will be missed.
Though today is his funeral, the fashion industry will say their final goodbye on March 9, when his show is staged in Paris. [Elle UK] Keep reading »