Don't have an account yet? You can create one. As a registered user you have some advantages like theme manager, comments configuration and post comments with your name.
Toonami Infolink: Forums
Toonami Infolink :: View topic - Book of the Dead 2009 -
Toonami Turner Cartoon Network Thundercats Voltron Space Ghost Birdman Herculoids Dino Boy Galaxy Trio Mighty Mightor Moby Dick
Impossibles Max Fleisher's Superman (a.k.a. Roulette) The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest Robotech Sailor Moon DragonBall Z Filmation Superman Batman Superfriends ReBoot
Ronin Warriors G-Force Powerpuff Girls Batman: The Animated Series Gundam Wing Tenchi Muyo! Universe in Tokyo Superman Outlaw Star Big O CardCaptors Mobile Suit Gundam O8th
MS Team DragonBall Batman Beyond Gundam 0080 Zoids: Zero Hamtaro Zoids: Chaotic Century Guardian Force G Gundam He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Transformers: Armada
G.I. Joe .hack//Sign Yu Yu Hakusho Rurouni Kenshin QuickTime .mov MOV AVI .avi MPEG .mpg Movies movie Videos Clips Sounds articles rants essays images files CNX inner circle
cn2 revolution Japan japanese multimedia saban funimation toei graz harmony gold mainframe Tyler Zogg TylerLToonami Turner Cartoon Network Thundercats Voltron Space
Ghost Birdman Herculoids Dino Boy Galaxy Trio Mighty Mightor Moby Dick
Impossibles Max Fleisher's Superman (a.k.a. Roulette) The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest Robotech Sailor Moon DragonBall Z Filmation Superman Batman Superfriends
Ronin Warriors G-Force Powerpuff Girls Batman: The Animated Series Gundam Wing Tenchi Muyo! Universe in Tokyo Superman Outlaw Star Big O CardCaptors Mobile Suit Gundam
MS Team DragonBall Batman Beyond Gundam 0080 Zoids: Zero Hamtaro Zoids: Chaotic Century Guardian Force G Gundam He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Transformers:
G.I. Joe .hack//Sign Yu Yu Hakusho Rurouni Kenshin QuickTime .mov MOV AVI .avi MPEG .mpg Movies movie Videos Clips Sounds articles rants essays images files CNX inner
cn2 revolution Japan japanese multimedia saban funimation toei graz harmony gold mainframe Tyler Zogg TylerL
William Winckler has informed ANN that Peter Fernandez, the actor and voice director best known as the title character in the animated Speed Racer series, passed away this morning due to lung cancer. He was 83.
Fernandez not only voiced Speed himself, but also his brother Racer X and several other characters in the English-dubbed adaptation of Tatsunoko's Mach Go Go Go anime series. He also directed the voice cast and even wrote the lyrics to the signature theme song. He later played Lupin III, Daisuke Jigen, and President Jimmy Carter in the JAL dubbing of the Lupin III: The Secret of Mamo film. His voice can be heard in such dubbed anime titles as Astro Boy, Gigantor, Marine Boy, Star Blazers: The Bolar Wars, and Superbook. He made a cameo appearance as an announcer in the 2008 live-action Speed Racer film.
Corinne Orr, the actress who played Speed Racer's romantic interest Trixie and younger brother Sprittle Racer, spoke with Fernandez as recently as last week. The two had worked together on 200 productions, and she noted that he was a big star on radio and Broadway and had starred in the 1949 film City Across the River "where Tony Curtis only had a bit part." Orr is the last surviving member of Speed Racer's main cast. Orr told ANN, "His great joy was doing all these conventions and receiving the acknowledgement and accolades from all his fans at the end of his life."
Winckler said that he was glad that, in the renewed interest that accompanied the Speed Racer film, Fernandez "finally got the attention and respect he deserved from the general public and mainstream press." He added, "Anime and Japanese live-action fantasy will never be the same without him. Peter's contribution to anime and Japanese live-action will live forever."
Fernandez's family is planning a private service, but there are plans for a public celebration of his life in September in Pomona, New York. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:22 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Veteran anime writer/director Satoshi Kon has passed away in Tokyo at the age of 47. The news first spread via a Twitter post from industry fellow Yasuhiro Takeda of Studio Gainax, but has since been confirmed by Kon’s co-workers at Studio Madhouse. Details of his death have yet to be made public. Kon helmed half a dozen films, many of which found success at home and abroad. He first gained international recognition for his film Perfect Blue, a taut, psychological thriller released in 1998. Kon followed up this success in 2001 with Millennium Actress — an ode to the Japanese film industry — and Tokyo Godfathers in 2003. Kon next dabbled in television, writing and directing the 13-episode series Paranoia Agent. His most recent film to make waves was 2007’s Paprika, a fantastical, sci-fi journey through the world of dreams bearing striking similarities to Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception. Kon was working on a new sci-fi robot project titled The Dreaming Machine. Early art from the film reveals a much more cartoon-y look, similar to Fox’ 2005 Robots. No word yet on the future of this project. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
For millions who watched his weekly TV show, Jack Horkheimer was the Star Gazer, a slightly cracked character who delineated the night sky with humor and cheesy graphics.
Mr. Horkheimer, who died Friday at 72, was as celestial guide at Miami's Space Transit Planetarium since the 1960s, and in 1976 started his weekly five-minute PBS show, billed as the only national program devoted to naked-eye astronomy.
"Jack was the consummate pitchman for the stars," said Dave Weinrich, president-elect of the International Planetarium Society.
The show's seeming low-tech approach and chirpy intro music by Isao Tomita set the stage for a performer so enthusiastic about the heavens that Mr. Horkheimer originally billed himself as "The Star Hustler." An announcer intoned "Some people hustle pool, some people hustle cars, but have you ever heard about the man who hustles stars?" (The title was changed to "Star Gazer" in 1997 because web searches for "hustler" led to pornography.)
If there was something oily about Mr. Horkheimer's presentation, it was by design. He leered and winked at the camera like a sideshow barker for the universe.
"I hated that character and wanted to dump him for two years," Mr. Horkheimer told Astronomy magazine in 2006. "Now, I like him."
As the Star Gazer, he wore a Members Only jacket, walked on computer-generated moonbeams and sat on Saturn's rings. He dipped into mythology, popular culture, and science to sell the stars, then told viewers where to look for meteor showers and when the moon would be brightest. A 1985 episode with a title worthy of a tabloid was "The Centaur's Secret Revealed." The secret was that the center of the Milky Way is in the direction of Sagittarius.
Mr. Horkheimer was a frequent contributor to news outlets, but he had no scientific credentials, and admitted he had never taken an astronomy class. His take on the sky owed less to the hard science of that other 1970s astronomical showman, Carl Sagan, than to his own background as a college drama major.
Raised in Wisconsin, Mr. Horkheimer was stricken as a child with a lung ailment that kept him gasping for breath his entire life. Given a grim prognosis after graduating from Purdue University, he moved to Miami for the moist air in the early 1960s. After knocking around as a nightclub organ player among other things, he had what he called a "transfiguring moment" that convinced him to become a science educator.
"In an instant, the stars were no longer pinpoints of light but were actually globes of different sizes, colors, and intensities scattered throughout an infinity of space, coupled with an infinity of time, coupled with my place in the scheme of everything," he told Astronomy magazine.He began volunteering at the Miami Science Museum's new planetarium. Soon, he was made director and began producing multimedia shows that became so popular that the facility ran at a profit, a rarity.
He had a showman's touch from the start, and once appeared at a news conference as Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter, dispensing champagne from a silver teapot. He led mass star-gazing events, and in 1986 organized a party aboard an Air France Concorde to observe Halley's Comet.
"I was taking what most people thought was a scientific institution, a planetarium, and turning it into a popular place where people brought dates," he told the Associated Press in 1987.
Despite health setbacks and the lung condition that eventually killed him, Mr. Horkheimer kept working nearly to the end, recording his last episode, "Celebrate Labor Day the Cosmic Way" early in August. The show's tagline was always the same: "Keep looking up!" _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:02 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
PHILADELPHIA – Dwayne McDuffie, who wrote comic books for Marvel and DC and co-founded his own publishing company before crossing over to television and animation, has died. He was 49.
The Detroit native died Monday, a day after his birthday, DC Comics said. According to Comic Book Resources, the writer passed away due to complications resulting a from a surgical procedure on Monday evening.
McDuffie wrote comics for the New York-based DC and Marvel, including runs on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, the Fantastic Four and the Justice League of America. He also penned several animated television shows and features, including the just-released "All-Star Superman" as well as "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" and the animated TV series "Static Shock" and "Ben 10: Alien Force."
News of McDuffie's death was first reported Tuesday by the website Comic Book Resources. As recently as last week, McDuffie attended the premieres of the new "All-Star Superman" film in Los Angeles and New York, and was scheduled to appear at an event Wednesday at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles.
Instead, there would be a remembrance at the launch party that McDuffie was supposed to attend, said film director Reginald Hudlin, a friend of about 15 years who was debuting a new project.
McDuffie's work for Marvel included "Damage Control," which took a serious but fictional look at a company whose job it was to clean up the damage — both physical and legal — resulting from battles between superheroes and supervillains. In 1992, however, he helped form the comic book company Milestone Media Inc., which gave him the freedom and leeway to create his own characters, many of whom were of differing ethnic backgrounds.
Milestone Media focused on creator-owned multicultural superheroes including "Hardware," "Icon," "Blood Syndicate," "Xombi" and "Static," which was turned into the popular children's cartoon "Static Shock," on which he served as a story editor.
McDuffie also wrote for other titles and characters, too, including Black Panther and Deathlok.
His work at Milestone set a new tone for the use of multicultural characters in the pantheon of heroes, something that lent itself to his television work, too, where characters of color became part of interlocking teams.
Besides comics, McDuffie was a producer and story editor on Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited," and wrote and produced episodes of other cartoons, including "What's New, Scooby Doo?," "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien" and "Teen Titans."
Christopher Chambers, a journalism professor at Georgetown University and author of the graphic novel "The Darker Mask," told The Associated Press that McDuffie's influence resonated in animation and comic books.
"For minorities in this mode of entertainment ... he was a hero, he was a pioneer," Chambers said Tuesday. "Not just for we who are fans but also for content creators. He spilled over into other media."
Bruce Timm, executive producer of the DC Universe animated original movie series, heaped praise on McDuffie's talents and character.
"As a writer he was simply brilliant — adventurous, effortlessly funny, ferociously smart. As a person, he was all that and much, much more — more, in fact, than my puny words can even hope to express," Timm said.
McDuffie was nominated for two Emmy Awards for "Static Shock," a Writers Guild award for "Justice League" and three Eisner awards for his work in comic books, his website said.
Organizers of Seattle's annual Emerald City Comicon said they planned to hold a memorial panel remembering McDuffie at the three-day event on March 5.
Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Entertainment, said McDuffie "left a lasting legacy on the world of comics that many writers can only aspire to. He will not only be remembered as an extremely gifted writer whose scripts have been realized as comics books, in television shows and on the silver screen, but as the creator or co-create of so many of the much-loved Milestone characters, including Static Shock."
Tom Brevoort, Marvel's senior vice president for publishing, said McDuffie was a force behind bringing more diversity into comics.
"He was very interested in creating a wider range of multiculturalism in comics, having been profoundly affected by the example of the Black Panther when he was growing up, and wanting to give that same opportunity to others of all races, creeds and religions, which is one of the reasons he left Marvel and co-founded Milestone," Brevoort told the AP. "And he eventually came back to write both Beyond! and Fantastic Four for me."
McDuffie is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and his mother, Edna McDuffie-Gardner. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:25 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
(ANN)- Anime director Osamu Dezaki passed away at 12:35 a.m. on April 17 due to lung cancer. He was 67. A wake will be held on April 20, and a service will be held on April 21 in Tokyo. He is survived by his older brother Satoshi Dezaki, another anime director.
Among the many works Dezaki directed were Ace wo Nerae!, the Air film, Ashita no Joe, Bionic Six, Black Jack The Movie, the Clannad film, Ganba no Boken, Genji Monogatari Sennenki, Golgo 13: The Professional, Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz, Mighty Orbots, Nobody's Boy - Remi, The Rose of Versailles, The Snow Queen, Space Adventure Cobra, Takarajima (Treasure Island), episodes of Mighty Atom/Astro Boy, and several Lupin III television episodes and specials. He developed a unique style of direction that included dramatic freeze-frames, split-screens, and lighting effects in pivotal scenes.
He was born in Tokyo in 1943, and he debuted as a manga artist when he was still in high school. In 1963, he joined Mushi Productions, the studio founded by manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka, and he made his directorial debut with Ashita no Joe in 1970. Dezaki and Masao Maruyama co-founded the anime studio MADHOUSE in 1972, and Dezaki and frequent character design collaborator Akio Sugino then co-founded Studio Annapuru. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:12 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Post subject: ...whoa...
ANAHEIM, California— They shared a stage at Disneyland five days a week for nearly three decades and died within a day of each other.
Betty Taylor, who played Slue Foot Sue in Disney's long-running Golden Horseshoe Revue, passed away Saturday — one day after the death of Wally Boag, who played her character's sweetheart, Pecos Bill.
The 91-year-old Taylor died at her home in Washington state, Disneyland announced on its web site. Boag, who was 90, died Friday. He was a resident of Santa Monica, California.
The causes of death were not announced and attempts to contact relatives for comment were not immediately successful.
"Betty's role as leading lady in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue helped turn it into the longest-running stage show in entertainment history," George Kalogridis, the president of Disneyland Resort, said in a statement. "It is a tragic coincidence that her passing comes just one day after the death of longtime co-star Wally Boag."
Boag, a former vaudeville performer, signed a two-week contract with Walt Disney in 1955. He originated the role of Pecos Bill in the revue, taking the stage three times a day and logging nearly 40,000 performances before retiring in 1982.
Most of those shows were alongside Taylor, who joined the revue a year after Hoag. Her run on the show — which closed in 1986 — lasted nearly 45,000 performances.
The Golden Horseshoe Revue is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage production in show business history.
"Wally was instrumental in the development of live entertainment during the early years of both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World Resort," Kalogridis said. "His characters will continue to live in the hearts of our guests, while his larger-than-life personality will forever make him the true Clown Prince of Disneyland."
Boag's comedic timing influenced generations of performers, including actor Steve Martin, who called Boag his "hero." Martin tweeted Saturday that Boag was "the first comedian I ever saw live, my influence, a man to whom I aspired."
Boag and Taylor both appeared on television in "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color."
And before joining Disney, Boag appeared in a number of films during the 1940s, including "Without Love," starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and "The Thrill of Romance," with Esther Williams.
He later appeared in Disney films such as "The Absent-Minded Professor," "Son of Flubber" and "The Love Bug."
Born in Seattle, Taylor began taking dance lessons at age 3. At 14, she sang and danced in nightclubs across the country, and by 18, led her own band called Betty and Her Beaus, which included 16 male musicians and appeared regularly at the Trianon Ballroom in Seattle.
In 1956, while living in Los Angeles and performing as a drum player with a musical group, Taylor heard about auditions for a song-and-dance job at Disneyland. She got the gig, which she held for 30 years, leading to appearances on a USO tour of Greenland and Newfoundland and a show for President Richard Nixon and his family at the White House.
She performed at the park until 1987, but continued to appear in special events, such as Walt Disney's Wild West, a 1995 retrospective at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:21 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO — Suddenly, the next version of the iPhone doesn't seem so important. It's time to mourn Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley maestro who always seemed to hit the right note as he transformed Apple Inc. into technology's greatest hits factory.
It didn't take long for the people who loved their iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs to begin gathering to pay their respects to the man who made it all happen.
Scott Robbins, a barber and Apple fan for nearly 20 years, came to Apple's San Francisco store as soon as he heard about Jobs' death Wednesday.
"To some people, this is like Elvis Presley or John Lennon —it's a change in our times," Robbins, 34, said. "It's the end of an era, of what we've known Apple to be. It's like the end of the innovators."
The world also lost a showman, whose flair for the dramatic — there was always "one more thing" —he was as keen as his knack for divining what people wanted before they even seemed to realize it themselves.
Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He died peacefully, according to a statement from family members who said they were present. He was 56.
"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple's board said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."
Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January — his third since his health problems began — and resigned in August. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.
Outside Apple's Cupertino headquarters, three flags — an American flag, a California state flag and an Apple flag — were flying at half-staff late Wednesday.
"Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor." Cook wrote in an email to Apple's employees. "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, a device that got a lukewarm reception. Perhaps, there would have been more excitement had Jobs been well enough to show it off with his trademark theatrics.
Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Almost all that wealth has been created since Jobs' return.
Cultivating Apple's countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.
He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist's obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries.
For transformation of American industry, he has few rivals He has long been linked to his personal computer-age contemporary, Bill Gates, and has drawn comparisons to other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.'s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.
Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered "1,000 songs in your pocket." Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.
In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple's App Store, where developers could sell iPhone "apps" which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.
By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.
Under Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn't exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.
When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda — "One more thing" — before introducing its latest ambitious idea.
In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer — an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.
He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn't reference his illness in his resignation letter.
Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.
Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, Calif., a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.
Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after six months.
"All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."
When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of computer hobbyists — with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.
Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.
Their first creation was the Apple I — essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.
The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $100 million by age 25.
During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered his engineering team to copy what he had seen.
It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones — it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.
"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."
The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa — the same name as his daughter — launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee's favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.
The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell's "1984" and captured Apple's iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.
There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.
With Apple's stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.
"What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating," Jobs said in his Stanford speech. "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $10 million.
Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came "Toy Story," the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar's next two films, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock in a deal that got him a seat on Disney's board and 138 million shares of stock that accounted for most of his fortune. Forbes magazine estimated Jobs was worth $7 billion in a survey last month.
With Next, Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine's guts. The machine cost a pricey $6,500 to $10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.
Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software — a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.
By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.
Larry Ellison, Jobs' close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp., publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.
He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company's focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to "Think different."
Apple's first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the "interim" from his title in 2000.
He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.
"In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak," he said. In his second stint, "he clearly was much more mellow and more mature."
In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.
Apple's popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.
The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.
Jobs' command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone's launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad's debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.
The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.
Jobs' personal ethos — a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy — was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology — a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.
For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating — even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.
Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as "deeply moody and maddeningly erratic." In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.
Few seemed immune to Jobs' charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything — even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.
"He always has an aura around his persona," said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. "When you talk to him, you know you're really talking to a brilliant mind."
But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.
Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.
In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford's graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.
Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.
But the extent of Apple secrecy didn't become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagonosed with — and "cured" of — a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.
In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs' health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs' health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.
Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.
In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple's iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.
Less than three months later, Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Jobs said he "always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."
In 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University's commencement speech.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said. "Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."
Jobs is survived by his biological mother; his sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:12 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joe Simon, who along with Jack Kirby co-created Captain America and was one of the comic book industry's most revered writers, artists and editors, has died at age 98.
Simon's family relayed word of his death Thursday, posting a short statement on Facebook and telling The Associated Press through a spokesman that Simon died Wednesday night in New York City after a brief illness.
"Joe was one of a kind," said Steve Saffel, of Titan Books, a Simon friend who worked with him on his recent autobiography, "Joe Simon, My Life In Comics."
Saffel said that Simon, born in Rochester, N.Y., in 1913, "lived life on his terms and created incredible things in the process. It was a privilege to know him and to call him my friend."
Among Simon's creations was a partnership with Kirby, a comic book artist and illustrator. The duo worked hand-in-glove for years and from their fertile imaginations sprang a trove of characters, heroes, villains and misfits for several comic book companies in their Golden Age of the 1940s, including Timely, the forerunner of today's Marvel Comics; National Periodicals, the forerunner of DC; and Fawcett, among others.
The characters the two created included the Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos and scores more, such as Blue Bolt.
"Blue Bolt was the first strip Jack and I worked on together, beginning in 1940. He was a science fiction swashbuckler I created for Curtis Publishing, the company that put out the Saturday Evening Post," Simon told the AP earlier this year. "They had decided to jump on the comic book bandwagon. Jack joined me with the second issue. Like Captain America, Blue Bolt got his powers from an injection, long before the baseball players were doing it."
For Timely, the duo created Captain America, debuting on the cover of "Captain America Comics" No. 1 with the champion of liberty throwing a solid right-hook at Adolf Hitler in December 1940, a year before the United States entered World War II.
"Jack and I read the newspapers and knew what was going on over in Europe. And there he was — Adolf Hitler, with his ridiculous moustache, high-pitched ranting and goose-stepping followers. He was the perfect bad guy, much better than anything we could have made up, so what we needed was to create his ultimate counterpart," Simon told the AP.
"Cap is one of the great comic book icons, and as dangerous as the world is today — more than it was in the 1940s — we need him around more than ever to act as our moral compass," Simon said.
Ed Brubaker, whose recent runs writing Captain America for Marvel have been heaped with critical acclaim, called Simon a "pioneer in comics, a mover-and-shaker and probably far ahead of his time."
He said in an email that he even revamped a Simon-created character for his first assignment at DC.
"I personally owe my career in a few ways to Joe Simon — my first DC gig was a revamp of his `Prez,' the teenage president, and I've spent almost eight years writing Captain America for Marvel," Brubaker said. "It's a sad day."
Simon wrote "Prez: First Teen President" for DC in 1973-74 as a four-issue series.
Mark Evanier, a comic industry historian and Kirby biographer, noted that Simon, besides being able to write and draw, also knew how to edit comics.
"Joe himself was the first great real editor who brought to comics skills he'd learned elsewhere and had some perception of how to put a magazine together and how to make a professional looking publication," Evanier said Thursday. "He had some business acumen. He knew how to talk to publishers, he knew how to make deals."
He also knew the market, Evanier said, noting that Simon, along with Kirby, plunged head first into creating horror, crime, humor and romance comics in the aftermath of World War II.
Simon said earlier this year that creating the romance comics was a high point for him and Kirby because they "negotiated to own half of the property," something that had been an uncertain prospect in the industry.
"I'd like to think that we showed today's comic book writers and artists how they can do more than just make a living producing comic books and hold onto the fruits of their labors," he said.
Simon is survived by two sons, three daughters and eight grandchildren. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:31 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
NEW YORK -- Maurice Sendak didn't think of himself as a children's author, but as an author who told the truth about childhood.
"I like interesting people and kids are really interesting people," he explained to The Associated Press last fall. "And if you didn't paint them in little blue, pink and yellow, it's even more interesting."
Sendak, who died early Tuesday in Danbury, Conn., at age 83, four days after suffering a stroke, revolutionized children's books and how we think about childhood simply by leaving in what so many writers before had excluded. Dick and Jane were no match for his naughty Max. His kids misbehaved and didn't regret it and in their dreams and nightmares fled to the most unimaginable places. Monstrous creatures were devised from his studio, but no more frightening than the grownups in his stories or the cloud of the Holocaust that darkened his every page.
"From their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions -- fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can," he said upon receiving the Caldecott Medal in 1964 for "Where the Wild Things Are," his signature book. "And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming wild things."
Rarely was a man so uninterested in being loved so adored. Starting with the Caldecott, the great parade marched on and on. He received the Hans Christian Anderson award in 1970 and a Laura Ingalls Wilder medal in 1983. President Bill Clinton awarded Sendak a National Medal of the Arts in 1996 and in 2009 President Obama read "Where the Wild Things Are" for the Easter Egg Roll.
Communities attempted to ban him, but his books sold millions of copies and his most curmudgeonly persona became as much a part of his legend as "Where the Wild Things Are," a hit movie in 2009. He seemed to act out everyone's fantasy of a nasty old man with a hidden and generous heart. No one granted the privilege could forget his snarly smile, his raspy, unprintable and adorable dismissals of such modern piffle as e-books and publicity tours, his misleading insistence that his life didn't matter.
"I didn't sleep with famous people or movie stars or anything like that. It's a common story: Brooklyn boy grows up and succeeds in his profession, period," he told the AP.
Sendak's other books, standard volumes in so many children's bedrooms, included "Chicken Soup With Rice," "One was Johnny," "Pierre," "Outside Over There" and "Brundibar," a folk tale about two children who need to earn enough money to buy milk for their sick mother.
"This is the closest thing to a perfect child I've ever had," he told the AP.
Besides illustrating his own work, he also provided drawings -- sometimes sweet, sometimes nasty -- for Else Holmelund Minarik's series "Little Bear," George MacDonald's "The Light Princess" and adaptations of E.T.A Hoffman's "The Nutcracker" and the Brothers Grimm's "King Grisly-Beard." His most recent book that he wrote and illustrated was "Bumble-Army," a naughty pig party which came out in 2011. In recent months, he had said he was working on a project about noses and he endorsed -- against his best judgment -- Stephen Colbert's "I am a Pole (And So Can You!)", a children's story calculated to offend the master.
Colbert's book was published Tuesday.
"His art gave us a fantastical but unromanticized reminder of what childhood truly felt like," Colbert said in a statement. "We are all honored to have been briefly invited into his world."
Sendak also created costumes for ballets and staged operas, including the Czech opera "Brundibar," which in 2003 he put on paper with his close friend, Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner. He designed the Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker" production that later became a movie shown on television, and he served as producer of various animated TV series based on his illustrations, including "Seven Little Monsters," "George and Martha" and "Little Bear." He collaborated with Carole King on the musical "Really Rosie."
None of Sendak's books were memoirs, but all were personal, if only for their celebrations of disobedience and intimations of fear and death and dislocation, sketched in haunting, Blakean waves of pen and ink. "It's a Jewish way of getting through life," Kushner said last fall. "You acknowledge what is spectacular and beautiful and also you don't close your eyes to the pain and the difficulty."
"He drew children in a realistic way, as opposed to an idealized way," children's books historian Leonard S. Marcus said Tuesday. "His children weren't perfect looking. They didn't resemble the people seen on advertising or in sitcoms. They looked more like immigrant children. It was a big change for American children's books, which tended to take the melting pot approach and present children who were generic Americans."
Revenge helped inspire "Where the Wild Things Are," his canonical tale of the boy Max's mind in flight in a forest of monsters, who just happen to look like some of Sendak's relatives from childhood. "In The Night Kitchen," released in 1971, was a forbidden dance of Laurel and Hardy in aprons and the flash of a boy's genitals, leading to calls for the book to be removed from library shelves.
"It was so fatuous, so incredible, that people would get so exercised by a phallus, a normal appendage to a man and to a boy. It was so cheap and vulgar. Despicable." Sendak said last fall. "It's all changed now. We live in a different country altogether. I will not say an improved version. No."
His stories were less about the kids he knew -- never had them, he was happy to say -- than the kid he used to be. The son of Polish immigrants, he was born in 1928 in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. The family didn't have a lot of money and he didn't have a lot of friends besides his brother and sister. He was an outsider at birth, as Christians nearby would remind him, throwing dirt and rocks as he left Hebrew school. The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's baby son terrified him for years.
He remembered no special talent -- his brother, Jack, was the chosen one. But he absorbed his father's stories and he loved to dream and to create, like the time he and his brother built a model of the 1939 World's Fair out of clay and wax. At the movies, he surrendered to the magic of "Fantasia," and later escaped into "Pinocchio," a guilty pleasure during darkened times. The Nazi cancer was spreading overseas and the U.S. entered the war. Sendak's brother joined the military, relatives overseas were captured and killed. Storytelling, after the Holocaust, became something more than play.
"It forced me to take children to a level that I thought was more honest than most people did," he says. "Because if life is so critical, if Anne Frank could die, if my friend could die, children were as vulnerable as adults, and that gave me a secret purpose to my work, to make them live. Because I wanted to live. I wanted to grow up."
Sendak didn't go to college and worked a variety of odd jobs until he was hired by the famous toy store FAO Schwarz as a window dresser in 1948. But illustration was his dream and his break came in 1951 when he was commissioned to do the art for "Wonderful Farm" by Marcel Ayme. By 1957 he was writing his own books.
"He began to be honest in the '50s," said "Wicked" author Gregory Maguire, one of Sendak's closest friends. "He was lacerating honest at a time when few others were."
Claiming Emily Dickinson, Mozart and Herman Melville as inspirations, he worked for decades out of the studio of his shingled 18th century house in Ridgefield, Conn., a country home reachable only by a bumpy road that seem designed to shield him from his adoring public. The interior was a wonderland of carvings and cushions, from Disney characters to the fanged beasts from his books to a statuette of Obama.
Sendak spoke often, endlessly, about death in recent years -- dreading it, longing for it. He didn't mind being old because the young were under so much pressure. But he missed his late siblings and his longtime companion, Eugene Glynn, who died in 2009. Work, not people, was his reason to carry on.
"I want to be alone and work until the day my heads hits the drawing table and I'm dead. Kaput," he said last fall. "Everything is over. Everything that I called living is over. I'm very, very much alone. I don't believe in heaven or hell or any of those things. I feel very much like I want to be with my brother and sister again. They're nowhere. I know they're nowhere and they don't exist, but if nowhere means that's where they are, that's where I want to be." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue May 08, 2012 8:09 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
NEW YORK, June 6 (Reuters) - Ray Bradbury, a giant of American literature who helped popularize science fiction with poetic, cerebral works such as "The Martian Chronicles," died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.
Bradbury brought not only futuristic vision but literary sensibilities to his more than 500 works published including "Fahrenheit 451," a classic dystopian novel about book censorship in a future society, and other favorites such as "The Illustrated Man" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes."
"Mr. Bradbury died peacefully, last night, in Los Angeles, after a long illness," said a spokesman for his publisher, HarperCollins, on Wednesday.
As a science fiction writer, Bradbury said he did not want to predict the future -- but sometimes wanted to prevent it. Such was the case with "Fahrenheit 451," a book published in 1953 about a totalitarian, anti-intellectual society where banned books are burned by "firemen." The title refers to the temperature at which paper ignites.
The novel, which Bradbury wrote on a rented typewriter at the UCLA library, featured a world that might sound familiar to 21st century readers -- wall-sized interactive televisions, earpiece communication systems, omnipresent advertising and political correctness.
"In science fiction, we dream," he told The New York Times. "In order to colonize in space, to rebuild our cities ... to tackle any number of problems, we must imagine the future, including the new technologies that are required ...
"Science fiction is also a great way to pretend you are writing about the future when in reality you are attacking the recent past and the present."
But for a futurist, Bradbury did not always embrace technology. He called the Internet a scam perpetrated by computer companies, was disdainful of automatic teller machines and denounced video games as "a waste of time for men with nothing else to do."
He said he never learned to drive a car after witnessing an accident that killed several people and did not travel by airplane until much later in life.
Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles as a teenager as his father sought work during the Depression. He roller-skated around Hollywood, chasing celebrities for autographs, and was strongly influenced by the science fiction works of "Tarzan" creator Edgar Rice Burroughs.
He did not go to college, instead educating himself by spending hours reading in libraries, and began writing for pulp magazines. In 1950 Bradbury published "The Martian Chronicles" -- a tale of Earthlings fleeing a troubled planet and their conflicts with residents on Mars. It was given a glowing review by influential critic Christopher Isherwood, which Bradbury credited with launching his career.
Isherwood was among the first to note the quality writing in Bradbury's work, which brought him literary credibility and new respect to the science fiction and fantasy genres.
Like "The Illustrated Man," another of his best-known works, "The Martian Chronicles" was a collection of related stories.
In a career spanning more than seventy years, other well-known titles include "Dandelion Wine," "I Sing the Body Electric" and "From the Dust Returned" and he wrote hundreds of short stories as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays and screenplays.
"Fahrenheit 451" was made into a movie by French director Francois Truffaut while Bradbury wrote the movie version of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "The Martian Chronicles" became a television mini-series. He also wrote the screenplay for John Huston's 1956 film adaptation of "Moby Dick."
Because of his visionary thinking, NASA brought Bradbury in to lecture astronauts, Disney consulted with him while designing its futuristic Epcot Center in Florida and shopping mall developers sought his input.
He was awarded the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. He won an Emmy Award for his teleplay adaptation of his 1972 novel, "The Halloween Tree."
President Barack Obama said in a statement that Bradbury's "gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world" and his influence would inspire generations to come, while film director Steven Spielberg called the writer "my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career."
Bradbury, who suffered a stroke in 1999 and ended up using a wheelchair, and his wife, Maggie, who died in 2003, had four children.
"His legacy lives on in his monumental body of books, film, television and theater, but more importantly, in the minds and hearts of anyone who read him, because to read him was to know him. He was the biggest kid I know," his grandson, Danny Karapetian, told sci-fi website io9.com.
Other tributes began pouring in from fellow authors and fans on Twitter such as sci-fi author Paul McAuley, who said Bradbury "scared and astonished my childhood self, and alchemised pulp SF into literature but never forgot its roots."
Bradbury had a piece published in The New Yorker this week in which he said he began to read sci-fi magazine when he was 7 or 8 years old.
"When I look back now, I realize what a trial I must have been to my friends and relatives," he said. "It was one frenzy after one elation after one enthusiasm after one hysteria after another. I was always yelling and running somewhere, because I was afraid life was going to be over that very afternoon."
Even in his later years he liked to write daily -- whether it was a novel, a short story, a screenplay or a poem.
"The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me," he said on his 80th birthday. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:23 am
Joined: Nov 02, 2002
Tony Scott, director of blockbusters Top Gun and Days of Thunder, jumped to his death Sunday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge, authorities said.
According to the Associated Press, Scott, 68, climbed a fence on the bridge and jumped around 12:30 p.m. One report quoted a coroner's report that said Scott jumped "without hesitation."
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jennifer Osburn told the Daily Breeze that a suicide note was found inside Scott's black Toyota Prius, which was parked on one of the eastbound lanes of the bridge.
Authorities used sonar equipment to find Scott's body in the port's murky waters. Divers recovered his body about 4:30pm.
Scott was director of Tom Cruise's Top Gun, as well as Beverly Hills Cop II and the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.
Known for his trademark red baseball cap, the British-born Scott was the brother of director Ridley Scott, and the two shared producing credits on the CBS dramas The Good Wife and NUMB3RS. _________________ Toonami visual schedule - UPDATED AUGUST 2, 2015
Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:23 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Neil Armstrong, who made the “giant leap for mankind” as the first human to set foot on the moon, died on Saturday. He was 82.
His family said he died of complications “resulting from cardiovascular procedures.” He had undergone heart bypass surgery this month in Cincinnati, near where he lived. The family did not say where he died.
In a statement from the White House, President Obama said, “Neil was among the greatest of American heroes.”
“And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time,” the president added, “he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.”
A quiet, private man, at heart an engineer and crack test pilot, Mr. Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, as the commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the mission that culminated the Soviet-American space race in the 1960s. President John F. Kennedy had committed the nation to sending men to the moon in that decade, and the goal was met with more than five months to spare.
On that day, Mr. Armstrong and his co-pilot, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., known as Buzz, steered their lunar landing craft, Eagle, to a level, rock-strewn plain near the southwestern shore of the Sea of Tranquillity. It was touch and go the last minute or two, with computer alarms sounding and fuel running low. But they made it.
“Houston, Tranquility Base here,” Mr. Armstrong radioed to mission control. “The Eagle has landed.”
“Roger, Tranquility,” mission control replied. “We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”
The same could have been said for hundreds of millions of people around the world watching on television.
A few hours later, there was Mr. Armstrong bundled in a white spacesuit and helmet on the ladder of the landing craft. Planting his feet on the lunar surface, he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” (His words would become the subject of a minor historical debate, as to whether he said “man” or “a man.”)
Soon Colonel Aldrin joined Mr. Armstrong, bounding a little like kangaroos in the low lunar gravity, one sixth that of earth’s, while the command ship pilot, Michael Collins, remained in orbit about 60 miles overhead, waiting their return. In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between then and the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
The Apollo 11 mission capped a tumultuous and consequential decade. The ’60s in America had started with such promise, with the election of a youthful president, mixed with the ever-present anxieties of the cold war; then it touched greatness in the civil rights movement, only to implode in the years of assassinations and burning city streets and campus riots. But before it ended, human beings had reached that longtime symbol of the unreachable.
The moonwalk lasted two hours and 19 minutes, long enough to let the astronauts test their footing in the fine and powdery surface — Mr. Armstrong noted that his bootprint was less than an inch deep — and set up a television camera and scientific instruments and collect rock samples.
“As long as there are history books,” said Charles F. Bolden Jr., the current NASA administrator, “Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.”
Mr. Bolden also noted that in the years after the moonwalk, Mr. Armstrong “carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all.” The historian Douglas Brinkley, who interviewed Mr. Armstrong for a NASA oral history, described him as “our nation’s most bashful Galahad.”
Indeed, some space officials have cited these characteristics, as well as his engineering skills and experience piloting X-15 rocket planes, as reasons Mr. Armstrong stood out in the astronaut corps. After the post-flight parades and a world tour for the three Apollo 11 astronauts, Mr. Armstrong gradually withdrew from the public eye. He was not reclusive, but as much as possible he sought to lead a private life, first as an associate administrator in the space program, then as a university professor and director of a number of corporations.
Neil Alden Armstrong was born on Aug. 5, 1930, in the small town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, to Stephen Armstrong and the former Viola Louise Engel. His father was a state auditor, which meant the family moved every few years to a new Ohio town while Neil was growing up. At the age of six, his father and Neil took a ride in a Ford Trimotor airplane, known as the Tin Goose. It must have made an impression, for by the time he was 15, he had learned to fly, before he got his driver’s license.
By the time Neil had become an Eagle Scout, the family had moved back to Wapakoneta, where he finished high school. (The town now has a museum named for Mr. Armstrong.) From there he went to Purdue University as an engineering student on a Navy scholarship. His college years were interrupted by the Korean War, in which Mr. Armstrong was a Navy fighter pilot who flew 78 combat missions, one in which he was forced to eject after the plane lost one of its ailerons, the hinged flight-control panels on the wings.
In “First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong,” James R. Hansen wrote that in Mr. Armstrong’s first year at Purdue, Charles E. Yeager broke the sound barrier in the rocket-powered Bell X-1. It was exciting but bittersweet for the young student. He thought aviation history had already passed him by.
“All in all, for someone who was immersed in, fascinated by, and dedicated to flight,” Mr. Armstrong told his biographer, “I was disappointed by the wrinkle in history that had brought me along one generation late. I had missed all the great times and adventures in flight.”
During the Korean War, Mr. Armstrong was in the unit that the author James A. Michener wrote of in “The Bridges at Toko-Ri.” Back at Purdue after the Navy, Mr. Armstrong plunged more earnestly into aeronautical engineering studies, his grades rising and a career in sight.
By this time, he had also met Janet Elizabeth Shearon, a student in home economics from Illinois. Soon after his graduation, they were married in January 1956.
They had two sons, Eric and Mark, who survive. A daughter, Karen, died of an inoperable brain tumor in 1962. The couple were divorced in 1994; Janet Armstrong lives in Utah. Mr. Armstrong married Carol Knight, a widow 15 years his junior, in 1999, who also survives. They lived in Indian Hills, a suburb of Cincinnati.
After his first marriage, the newly weds moved to California, where Mr. Armstrong had been hired as an experimental test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. His first flight in a rocket plane was in the Bell X-1B, a successor to the plane Mr. Yeager had first flown faster than the speed of sound.
Mr. Armstrong impressed his peers. Milt Thompson, one of the test pilots, said he was “the most technically capable of the early X-15 pilots.” Another colleague, Bill Dana, said he “had a mind that absorbed things like a sponge and a memory that remembered them like a photograph.” He made seven X-15 flights to the edge of space.
In 1958, Mr. Armstrong was chosen as a consultant for a military space plane project, the X-20 Dyna-Soar, and later was named as one of the pilots. But the young test pilot was attracted by another opportunity. NASA was receiving applications for the second group of astronauts, after the Mercury seven. His reputation after seven years at the NASA flight center at Edwards had preceded him, and so he was tapped for the astronaut corps.
Armstrong, 82, is survived by his wife Carol, two sons by his former wife Janet, a stepson and stepdaughter, 10 grandchildren, a brother and a sister. Here's the full statement issued by the family after his death:
"We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
"Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
"Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
"He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
"As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
"While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
o7 _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:36 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
A born swashbuckler, Paddy Roy Bates fought in the Spanish Civil War as a teenager, faced a Greek firing squad in World War II and had a German stick bomb explode in his face.
But the sturdy Brit recovered from his injuries, married a beauty queen and prospered in business — all before embarking on the greatest adventure of his life.
He started a country.
In 1967, he founded the Principality of Sealand on an abandoned North Sea military platform six miles off the British coast. He issued passports, stamps and coins, commissioned a national anthem and installed himself as its sovereign ruler.
In short order the self-styled Prince Roy clashed with British authorities, who hauled him into court only to see the emboldened royal return to his 5,000-square-foot nautical kingdom. Later he was overthrown in a coup, but took back his republic in a helicopter raid led by a stunt pilot for James Bond movies.
Bates, who ruled his mini-nation for 45 years, died Tuesday in Essex, England. He was 91 and had Alzheimer's disease, according to an announcement on the Sealand website.
"My husband should have been born 300 years ago," his wife, Joan Bates, once told The Times. "He's an adventurer, an entrepreneur. The challenge is what it's all about."
Born in a London suburb on Aug. 29, 1921, Bates was the son of a meat market salesman and his wife. Lying about his age, he joined the International Brigade at 15 to fight in the Spanish Civil War. During World War II, he was a major in the British infantry who saw action across Europe and Africa.
After the war, he went into the meat business in Ireland, imported latex from Malaysia, ran a chain of butcher shops and established a fleet of fishing boats on the Essex coast.
In the mid-1960s, he developed a fascination with pirate radio, joining a slew of unlicensed broadcasters eager to break the British Broadcasting Corp.'s monopoly through offshore operations. Eager to feed a growing market for pop music, some of the pirates broadcast from ships in international waters. Others took over old World War II sea forts.
Bates knew about the forts from his fishing excursions. In 1965 the handsome man with sea-green eyes and frothy white brows led a crew to an old Royal Navy gun platform, ousted its occupants and claimed it as the base for his 24-hour Radio Essex. When the British government clamped down on him, he moved a few miles to Fort Roughs, a rusting steel-and-concrete artillery platform unused since the 1950s.
Bates' broadcasts favored crooners like Frank Sinatra but, as the father of teenagers caught up in rock music, he considered more raucous options. One of them was an unknown band calling itself the Rolling Stones, who came by one day to play a tape of their music for Bates. His reaction, Bates' son Michael recalled in the London Independent in 2004, was less than charitable. "What a load of bloody crap," Bates muttered before ordering the future rock stars out.
In 1967, a law took effect making it illegal for pirate radio operators to employ British citizens. For Bates, there was only one way to answer such a hostile act.
On Sept. 2, he founded Sealand, declaring it a tax-free nation exempt from British income taxes. He became Prince Roy and, because it was his wife's birthday, made her Princess Joan. With their children they took up residence on the decrepit relic. Its motto was "E Mare Libertas – From the Sea, Freedom."
"Roy was a fighter, "said Sean Sorensen, a screenwriter in Venice, Calif., who secured the movie rights to Bates' story several years ago. "Sealand started as a business venture but became about so much more."
Not long after Sealand's birth, shots were fired in a confrontation with British authorities, landing Bates in court. But the judge handed the latter-day buccaneer an unexpected victory when he concluded that Sealand was in international waters and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of British laws. Bates took the ruling as de facto recognition of his principality's independence, although it has never been recognized by Britain or any other country.
In 1978, a group of would-be German investors lured Bates and his wife to Vienna, then seized Sealand in their absence. The monarch and his supporters swooped back in on an old war buddy's helicopter and captured the hijackers. They kept one as a prisoner, forcing him to make Sealanders' coffee and clean the loos for nearly two months until Bates finally kicked him out.
All remained relatively well in the rogue state until the late 1990s, when counterfeit Sealand passports began turning up in strange hands, including the German owner of the Miami houseboat where the murderer of designer Gianni Versace took his own life in 1997.
Spanish authorities later determined that the fraud was perpetrated by the German marauders who avenged their 1978 defeat by appropriating Sealand's name and symbols and charging hefty prices for the counterfeit documents.
In 2005 Bates and his wife retired to Spain, returning to England when his health deteriorated. Besides his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter and four grandchildren.
Sealand, which generates revenue hosting servers for Internet businesses, is now run by his son.
"I might die young or I might die old," Bates told an interviewer in the 1980s, "but I will never die of boredom." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:37 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
LONDON — When Ray Harryhausen was 13, he was so overwhelmed by “King Kong” that he vowed he would create otherworldly creatures on film. He fulfilled his desire as an adult, thrilling audiences with skeletons in a sword fight, a gigantic octopus destroying the Golden Gate Bridge, and a six-armed dancing goddess.
On Tuesday, Mr. Harryhausen died at London’s Hammersmith Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for about a week. He was 92.
Biographer and longtime friend Tony Dalton confirmed the special-effects titan’s death, saying it was too soon to tell the exact cause. He described Mr. Harryhausen’s passing as “very gentle and very quiet.”
“Ray did so much and influenced so many people,” Dalton said. He recalled his friend’s “wonderfully funny, brilliant sense of humor” and love of Laurel and Hardy, adding that, “His creatures were extraordinary, and his imagination was boundless.”
Though little known by the general public, Mr. Harryhausen made 17 movies that are cherished by devotees of film fantasy.
George Lucas, who borrowed some of Mr. Harryhausen’s techniques for his “Star Wars” films, commented: “I had seen some other fantasy films before, but none of them had the kind of awe that Ray Harryhausen’s movies had.”
The late science fiction author Ray Bradbury, a longtime friend and admirer, once remarked: “Harryhausen stands alone as a technician, as an artist and as a dreamer. ... He breathed life into mythological creatures he constructed with his own hands.”
Mr. Harryhausen’s method was as old as the motion picture itself: stop motion. He sculpted characters from 3 inches to 15 inches tall and photographed them one frame at a time in continuous poses, thus creating the illusion of motion. In today’s movies, such effects are achieved digitally.
Mr. Harryhausen admired the three-dimensional quality of modern digital effects, but he still preferred the old-fashioned way of creating fantasy.
“I don’t think you want to make it quite real. Stop motion, to me, gives that added value of a dream world,” he said.
Ray Frederick Harryhausen was born in Los Angeles on June 19, 1920. As a boy, he saw the 1925 silent fantasy “The Lost World,” Willis O’Brien’s stop-motion movie about dinosaurs in a South American jungle.
“I always remember the dinosaur falling off the cliff,” he remarked at a Vancouver, Canada, animation and effects convention in 2001. “That stuck in my mind for years.”
His future was assured in 1933 when he saw “King Kong” at Grauman’s Chinese theater in Hollywood.
“I used to make little clay models,” he recalled. “When I saw ‘King Kong,’ I saw a way to make those models move.”
He borrowed a 16 mm camera, cut up his mother’s old fur coat to make a bear model, and made a film about himself and his dog being menaced by a bear. His parents were so impressed that he was spared a spanking for ruining the fur coat.
During World War II, Mr. Harryhausen joined Frank Capra’s film unit, which made the “Why We Fight” propaganda series. After the war, he made stop-motion versions of fairy tales that prompted his idol, O’Brien, to hire him to help create the ape in “Mighty Joe Young,” an achievement that won an Academy Award. Mr. Harryhausen then embarked on a solo career.
In contrast to the millions spent on digital effects today, Mr. Harryhausen made his magic on a shoestring. His first effort, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (1953), cost $250,000 for the entire film. He commented wryly in 1998: “I find it rather amusing to sit through the on-screen credits today, seeing the names of 200 people doing what I once did by myself.”
He found ways to economize. For “It Came from Beneath the Sea” (1955) he employed an octopus with six tentacles instead of eight. That saved time.
“Jason and the Argonauts” (1963) demonstrated the intricacy of Mr. Harryhausen’s tricks. He had three live actors dueling seven skeletons. It took four months to produce a few minutes on the screen.
Other notable achievements included the film “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers,” where aliens slice through the Washington Monument and crash into the U.S. Capitol. He also was behind “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad,” where a one-eyed centaur battles a part-lion, part-eagle creature known as a griffin.
Mr. Harryhausen’s film “The Clash of the Titans” (1981), did have a big budget and major cast: Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, Harry Hamlin and Claire Bloom. Hamlin as Perseus struggled to tame a white-winged Pegasus and to battle the snake-haired Medusa.
After the film, Mr. Harryhausen retired, explaining, “I was tired of spending year after year in a dark room.”
He and his wife, Diana, lived in London, where he fashioned bronze replicas of his movie creations. He often appeared at fantasy conventions and in 1992 received a special award from the Motion Picture Academy.
Darren G. Davis, the publisher of Bluewater Productions, called Mr. Harryhausen’s death the passing of an icon.
“From the first time I saw ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘Clash of the Titans,’ I was spellbound,” he said of the man whose imprint is found on Bluewater’s “Ray Harryhausen Presents” comic anthology. “I feel so blessed for the opportunity to have worked with him through the years on numerous comic adaptations, graphic novel sequels and other projects based on his visionary work.”
Bradbury, who had met Mr. Harryhausen in 1938 and wrote the story for “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” one said of the film master: “He and I made a pact to grow old but never grow up — to keep the pterodactyl and the tyrannosaurus forever in our hearts.”
Mr. Harryhausen is survived by his wife and daughter, Vanessa. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue May 07, 2013 10:03 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Ray Dolby, the inventor and engineer whose surname became synonymous with high-quality cinema sound, died Sept. 12 at home in San Francisco at 80.
"Today we lost a friend, mentor, and true visionary," Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO of Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement.
Dolby's noise-reduction and other work earned him over 50 patents, Oscars, Emmys, honors from both the Cannes and Berlin film festivals, the Edison Medal (presented by President Clinton), the US National Medal of Technology, and membership in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the Royal Academy, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Forbes estimates his fortune to be at $2.3 billion. His victories over tape hiss are priceless to movie fans.
Born in Portland, Ore., Dolby went to school in the Bay Area and Cambridge, England, and began his innovations in 1949 at Ampex, where he helped create videotape recording. He founded Dolby Laboratories in 1965. Though he suffered recently from Alzheimer's disease and leukemia, Dolby was cogent and visibly pleased when Hollywood Post Alliance honored him with the Charles S. Swartz Award last November at Skirball Center.
"If you take the big picture and step back and look at what we have done over generations,” said legendary film editor and sound designer Walter Murch at the ceremony, "you could divide film sound in half: there is BD, Before Dolby, and there is AD, After Dolby. I mixed my first film in 1969 (when) there was a stagnation in how film was being delivered to theaters. There was nothing fundamental that had changed in terms of optical soundtracks in over 30 years. The soundtracks I was delivering to theaters in 1969 were almost exactly the ones delivered in 1939. Unbeknownst to me, at the time, the very year, Ray was filing his first patent for "Dolby Noise Reduction."
"I didn't expect any of this," Dolby told THR after the ceremony, as he mingled with starstruck tech types. "I was just trying to find out ways of doing things. We were more or less successful in finding solutions."
"For a long time I didn't even know Dolby was a person," said Satellite Award-winning "Iron Man" editor Dan Lebental last November.
"It’s an iconic name," said Erik Aadahl, Oscar-nominated supervising sound editor of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Argo." “When I was six, I transferred movies from VHS onto audiocassettes to listen to on road trips, and they always sounded better in Dolby B."
So iconic was Dolby that his name became a catchphrase in pop culture. In the comedy "Spinal Tap," a band member's meddlesome girlfriend (June Chadwick) mispronounces Dolby as "Dobly," earning her mockery as the most shockingly ignorant person in Tap's music universe. The 1980s singer Thomas Robertson changed his name to Thomas Dolby in honor of the real Dolby's techno-wizardry, and recorded the hit "She Blinded Me with Science." (Ray Dolby is survived by his actual sons Tom and David Dolby, his wife Dagmar, and four grandchildren.)
Dolby was always focused on the future, not on his accomplished past. Last fall, when THR asked him, "How will the 'theater of the future' sound?" Dolby replied, "I would expect the experience to be even more immersive. As object-based sound formats evolve, there will be a greater need to improve playback equipment. We need to remain creative in placing speakers in the right places, to keep the visual focus on the screen while leveraging speakers' directional capabilities. There are challenges with larger venues that may require unique technologies. With the advent of digital-cinema server and network technologies, there may be less equipment in the projection booth, though much of the complexity will shift to integrated components as well as serving files from the cloud." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum