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Report: Apparently, Shirley Temple Was Still Alive

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220px-Little_Princess_4Woodside, CA, February 11 – Shirley Temple Black, one of America’s most iconic film stars, was apparently still alive until yesterday, various news outlets are reporting.

Mrs. Black, it emerges, was 85 years old and still very much breathing and functioning until her passing by what her family called “natural causes.” Admirers and film aficionados were as saddened by her death as they were by the news that until that point she wasn’t dead yet.

“We though she’d gone a long time ago,” said veteran director Roman Polanski. “I mean, she was Reagan’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but then she kind of disappeared. We thought she’d quietly passed on sometime in the nineties, maybe.”

Even those who might be expected to know better were taken by surprise that the actress, who starred in 44 films in the 1930’s. “I, uh, I guess this is unfortunate,” said Elise Dorkin, President of the Shirley Temple Admirers Association. “But we had all assumed Shirley died some time in the last fifteen years.” She said she would take a poll of the organization’s membership to determine who, if anyone, was aware that Mrs. Black was still among the living until yesterday.

“You’d think it would be an easy thing to look up, considering the Wikipedia page was just updated a few hours ago,” said Liz Smith, who writes about celebrity gossip. “It probably never occurred to anyone to look at the stupid page,” she mused, noting that obviously at least one person outside Mrs Black’s family knew she was alive, at least when the Wikipedia entry was composed: “It didn’t include a death date when it was written, obviously.”

After becoming America’s sweetheart as a child in Depression-era movies, Shirley Temple more or less stepped away from Hollywood in 1940 and toward a life more involved in politics and diplomacy, a function of her husband’s ties to the Republican Party. While she occasionally starred in or produced film or television content, her life in front of the camera gradually faded, leaving legions of fans in the dark as to her continued existence.

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Written by Thag

February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Media Outlets Rush To Update Pending Sharon Obituaries

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SharonNew York (AP) – A rapid deterioration of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s condition has journalists scrambling to update their files in case the publication of an obituary becomes necessary in the coming hours or days.

Sharon, 85, suffered a stroke eight years ago that resulted in his current comatose state. The former general’s life closely follows many of the defining moments of Israel’s history and politics, including a dramatic shift on Jewish settlements that involved the withdrawal of all Israelis from the Gaza Strip in 2005. In keeping with industry practice regarding public figures, newspapers and other sources of current events news have long maintained files will all the pertinent details of his life in case the need arises to release an accounting of his life.

When doctors in Tel Aviv announced yesterday that Sharon’s kidneys were failing and that various other systems were in peril, newsroom personnel and interns across the globe hurried to review their current information on him. In most cases the obituaries were all but written years ago; when Sharon initially suffered the stroke in January 2006, a similar scramble occurred. Little needs to be added regarding the intervening years, save perhaps for details of his deterioration and references to the long-term results of his policies.

The effort to ensure the timely publication of a comprehensive, accurate obituary is much easier in this case for that reason, says Ed G. Yoomer, who writes about journalism industry practices. “There’s usually a constant monitoring of press releases, media reports, gossip sites, and official web sites to keep pending obituaries accurate,” he explains. “But with Ariel Sharon, that really hasn’t been necessary.” There hasn’t even been a death watch, as took place, for example, in the waning days of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

“A death watch itself becomes a media event and might be worthy of mention in an obituray,” says Yoomer. “But here, all the journalists have to do is wait for one little announcement, add a few details to the article, and just pull the plug.”

Written by Thag

January 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

US Academics Vote To Boycott Israel, Jupiter

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ASA ASAASAWashington, DC (AP) The American Studies Association released the results of its membership vote Monday, in which the 5,000 educators adopted a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and of the planet Jupiter.

By a two-thirds margin, the Association approved the largely symbolic measure as a rebuke to Israel over its policies in the Palestinian territories, and to the planet Jupiter for just being there all the time. The event marks a milestone, albeit a modest one, in the campaign to isolate Israel; the Association’s statement on the matter acknowledged the limited impact the measure wold have on its own, as no American institutions have approved any such boycott, and the ASA represents a tiny fraction of US educators. Additionally, unlike Israel, Jupiter has shown remarkably little concern over objections to its behavior, and even a more widespread academic protest movement is unlikely to sway it from its current path.

Boycott supporters expressed pleasure with the decision to boycott Israeli institutions, and puzzlement over the inclusion of Jupiter in the vote. “While we welcome this statement of support for Palestinian rights, especially academic rights, we fear that voting to exclude Jupiter from the academic arena adds a jarring note of mockery,” said BDS Movement founder Mustafa Barghouti. If any planet were worthy of such treatment, he said, it would be Earth, which has shown a disturbing tolerance for Israeli policies by not having a major earthquake in Israel since the mid-nineteenth century.

Israeli academics lamented the vote, saying it would do little to further academic freedom, and smacked of hypocrisy in a world full of more objectionable behaviors by sovereign governments, behaviors that have not prompted any such calls for boycotts of other countries. They also pointed out that Jupiter was being similarly singled out as a target of convenience, as it is merely the closest of four huge planets with similar properties.

Similar votes have taken place in Europe, where earlier this year, Irish academics voted to exclude Israeli professors from their annual volleyball tournament, and where, in 2012, British educators voted on, but ultimately did not adopt, a resolution calling on British academics to stop using computers, most of which are made with Israeli-produced parts. Similarly, the Dutch water company has announced that it will refuse, on principle, to cooperate with analogous institutions on Mars, if exploration of that planet reveals the liquid there.

Written by Thag

December 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Mandela Funeral Interpreter Defends Self: ‘Glumly Bedraggled Pancake’

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Jantjie

“Marlboro asthma solar plexus itch.”

Pretoria, South Africa (AP) – Thamsanqa Jantjie stood near the various world leaders addressing the crowd at Nelson Mandela’s funeral to translate their words into sign language, but it turned out his movements were random gesticulations. Mr. Jantjie attempted to explain his behavior today, noting that pergola detritus malefactor obliging.

“Isthmus defoliate stultifyingly acerbic Corfu,” he told reporters after the alleged fraud was exposed. “Alfredo mystical estuary.” Jantjie had occupied a prominent position for the cameras as each leader spoke, but sign language experts quickly noticed that his gestures did to correspond to any known system – neither for his native Xhosa language, nor for the English speeches he was contracted to render in sign language. “Else butylene sigh gizzard, operate, struts, woolly clogged,” the 34-year-old added. “Monocle scat knee?”

The episode has proved yet another embarrassing distraction in what should have been one of South Africa’s solemn, if not triumphant, moments on the international stage. The agency that supplied Jantjie’s services seemingly disappeared overnight, and a government official acknowledged that they had paid only a fraction of the going rate for such services. The beleaguered interpreter has tried to deflect the negative attention that resulted from his performance, asserting that pine dangers of springbok earring saliva north guitar.

“He they underwear fixes catch-up kneel harmony burped poet hair sheets drown above transatlantic Gregorian,” said the interpreter, presumably referring to gelding actuarial Mendoza bits. “Soon vestal cobs allows slept reunion gong password licked meany beverage sailing premium ambulance stricken guacamole fortitude, group stadium chassis fig planning smallish obliquely redolence.”

South African officials have promised a thorough review of the process that led to the interpretation fiasco, and have vowed to bring to justice both the perpetrators of the fraud and the individuals who neglected their responsibility to vet the suppliers of the interpretation service. “We must revamp our oversight procedures, that is certain,” said President Jacob Zuma. “After all, ascot masonry pulchritudinous jasper Ecclesiastes junkyard.”

Written by Thag

December 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Not Attending Mandela’s Funeral: Queen Elizabeth, Dalai Lama, Hitler

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Another public figure conspicuously absent from Mandela's funeral, despite their closeness.

Another public figure conspicuously absent from Mandela’s funeral, despite their closeness.

Pretoria, South Africa (AP) – Preparations for Nelson Mandela’s funeral next week have reached a fever pitch, with myriad world leaders and public figures scheduled to attend. But several prominent heads of state will be noticeably absent, and their expected lack of attendance has raised eyebrows.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom accepted her physician’s recommendation not to travel. The 87-year-old monarch has taken an increasingly private role in British public affairs as she ages. It was unclear Sunday whether her son Charles, the Prince of Wales and first in line for the throne, would attend in her stead.

The exiled leader of Tibet , the Dalai Lama, also announced that he would not travel to South Africa for the occasion, refraining from participating in the funeral as a show of protest at having been denied a visa to visit the country on two occasions. The Dalai Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

December 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Red Cross: Typhoon Tragic, But Not White-People-Dead Tragic

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HaiyanGeneva, Switzerland (AP) Typhoon Haiyan has killed at least 10,000 people in the Philippines and rendered many times that number homeless, but the International Red Cross has stopped short of calling the destruction a “disaster,” preferring to reserve such strong language for when white people are the victims. The vast majority of those killed, injured, or suffering property loss are Asian, some of them Muslim.

Some European and American news outlets have devoted attention to the storm and its aftermath, but mainly to focus on the possibility of Westerners – i.e. white people – who fell victim to one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Russia: Arafat Not Poisoned; Other Ways To Blame Israel Sought

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ArafatMoscow (AP) – The head of a Russian forensics agency ruled out the possibility that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance, Russian media reported last Tuesday. As a result the Palestinians will be forced to resort to other accusations in order to paint the desired evil picture of Israel, he said.

Arafat was confined to his Ramallah headquarters during a 2004 uprising against Israel and developed still-unexplained symptoms. He died after being flown to France for treatment. Close aides, advisers, and relatives repeatedly accused Israel of assassinating him, though no hard evidence to support that charge was ever produced. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm