Monthly Archive: December 2007

The Death of a Newspaper

[1/1/08 Update: The Cincinnati Post and Clooney column links below are already dead — apparently turned off by Baby New Year as he passed through town at the stroke of midnight.]Sad news for newspaper fans: the Cincinnati Post published its last edition today, ending its 126-year run and ending Cincinnati’s days as a two-newspaper town.

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s 624-ty

Happy birthday to Who2’s unofficial mascot, Ulrich Zwingli. The oft-forgotten Swiss theologian turns 624 on New Year’s Day.We can’t describe Zwingli better than we did in last year’s tribute: “The Protestant Reformer who survived bubonic plague, had a secret marriage at age 38, and still ended up playing Avis to Martin Luther’s Hertz.”

Brady and Patriots, 16 and 0

Tom Brady set a new season record for touchdown passes (50) as the New England Patriots became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a 16-game season. has photos galore.

Was Bhutto Shot?

The shocking death of Benazir Bhutto has turned into a confounding argument over the cause.Early reports said she’d died in a bomb blast. Then reports of gunshots surfaced. Now amateur photos show two possible attackers: a clean-cut (alleged) gunman and a head-scarf-wearing (alleged) bomber.

Photos of Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination

The New York Times has posted a rather stunning slideshow with commentary by John Moore, a photographer who covered the last rally of Benazir Bhutto and saw her killed.

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

The BBC and the International Herald Tribune report that Benazir Bhutto has been killed at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She was reportedly shot by an assassin who then detonated a suicide bomb.

Farewells of 2007

Novelists Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer… evangelists Jerry Falwell and Tammy Faye Bakker… Derby champ Barbaro and talking chimp Washoe. They’re all celebrities who passed away in 2007.Here’s our full list.

Washington Doesn’t Cross Delaware

Rough water has blocked Revolutionary War buffs from reenacting George Washington’s historic crossing of the Delaware River.”This time, Delaware crosses up Washington” reports the Newark Star-Ledger.

Christmas on Apollo 8

On Christmas Eve of 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 read aloud from the book of Genesis as they circled the moon.

Queen Elizabeth Goes YouTube

Sign o’ the times: Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Address will appear on YouTube.

Holiday Greetings from Who2

This is the last day of the working or school year for many of our users.With that in mind: Happy holidays! And thanks to you all for another wonderful year. Who2 will turn 10 years old in 2008, and we wouldn’t have done it without you.Yes, Virginia, the Internet is a Santa Claus, with more gifties, tinsel, lumps of coal and candy canes than any of us could have imagined in 1998.And Groundhog’s Day is only six weeks away!

Letter of the Day

In its entirety, from Who2 user G. Peters:”Is there any truth to the story that Abe Vigoda and Erik Estrada are working on a new comedy series called Fish & CHiPs?”

Schwarzenegger to Bush: See You in Court

California Governor Arnold Scwharzenegger says he’ll sue the federal government to allow California to set its own aggressive emissions standards for cars.George W. Bush’s EPA head, Stephen Johnson, rejected the necessary waiver on Thursday, after two years of consideration.

The Dark Knight Returns — Yet Again!

Who2 Labs engineer Mike Duffy sends along this trailer for the latest Batman movie, due next summer.The swell Christian Bale returns as the Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger showing his chops as the latest scenery-chewing Joker.

Magna Carta Gets Warhol Money

A rare copy of the Magna Carta has been sold for $21.3 million.What else sold in that price range lately? Andy Warhol’s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, just last month. (The seller was actor Hugh Grant; the BBC says he bought it in 2001 for $15 million, while The New York Times claims he paid only $3.5 million.)

Dan Fogelberg, 1951-2007

Opening lines from today’s obituaries for singer Dan Fogelberg:”The troubador of might-have-been has sung his final song.” -The Toronto Star”Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, whose ’70s and ’80s soft-rock hits, such as ‘Leader of the Band’ and ‘Same Old Lang Syne,’ combined poignant lyrics with his tender delivery…” -People

Born Standing Up

Great holiday gift idea: Born Standing Up, the new memoir by Steve Martin.It’s somehow both brisk and sentimental, with penetrating notes on how he developed his act — starting with his childhood days bicycling to work at the Disneyland magic shop. As Martin describes his 18 stand-up years, “Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent in refining, and four were spent in wild success.”

“Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth”

The Times of London has a new look back at the disappearance of adventurer Steve Fossett. The reporter, Emma Smith, gingerly raises the question of suicide (briskly rejected by Fossett’s friends) and notes that “A report in Men’s Journal, a US magazine, has suggested his mind may have been on other matters in the wake of a rare argument with [his wife] Peggy earlier that morning.”

Obituaries: Ike Turner

Headlines from today’s obituaries for Ike Turner, rocker and onetime husband of Tina Turner:”Ike Turner, a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer known for his infamy, dies at 76.” -The Associated Press”Rock pioneer was known for abusing wife Tina Turner.” -The Los Angeles Times

Tippecanoe and Tyler, Terminated

It’s the Curse of Tecumseh nobody talks about — the aura of death that surrounded the administrations of U.S. presidents William Henry “Old Tippecanoe” Harrison and John Tyler.Harrison died in office, four of his children died around the same time, and Tyler’s wife died while First Lady. Or as their 1840 campaign slogan proclaimed: Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!Here’s the rundown:

Alex Trebek Heart Attack

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has had a minor heart attack. A terse announcement on the show’s official site says he’s fine and will be back on the job in January.

Kirchner & Kirchner, Tag-Team Presidents

Imagine if Bill Clinton had stepped down in 1996 so that his wife Hillary could be elected to replace him.Then suppose that Bill was elected again in 2000, and Hillary again in 2004 — with Hillary now in year 15 of a Clinton White House.

The Day Somebody Was Born

December 6th is unusual. It’s been known around Who2 HQ as the day nobody was born — the one day on which nobody in our database had a birthday. And we have consistently pledged not to hunt for a December 6th celeb just to artificially fill the gap.

States to Heroes: Drop Dead

What a biographical bust the 50 State Quarters program turned out to be!

Evel Knievel, “Bone-Shattering” Stuntman

Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel has died at age 69.Knievel was a crafty star of the pre-cable TV age, when a single rare appearance on ABC’s Wide World of Sports would be seen by tens of millions. Nowadays kids in the X Games perform motorcycle jumps, spins and look-ma-no-hands shenanigans that beat anything Evel ever did. But Evel had the P.T. Barnum gene and knew how to milk a jump over 10 Greyhound busses for maximumum publicity, drama, and cash.A spin through the obituary openers: