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Posts Tagged ‘death’

David Bowie 1947–2016

Bowie was a great artist and an inspiration to so many, including those of us in the science and science fiction communities. A lot will be written about him in the next while so I’ll just leave you with one small sign of his influence, on and off the planet.

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I came across my In Case of Emergency folder the other day. You know, the one where you list your contacts and funeral preferences and the user names for all those Gmail accounts. Yeah, that folder. I also found a note, written ages ago, and decided it was stupid to wait until my own demise (or the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first) to say it, because You Just Never Know.

Here at the end of another year seems like a good time to share.

To My Family,

I probably haven’t said this often enough, certainly not as often as you all deserve.

I love you. Always have, always will. You are all so interesting and complicated and heart-achingly wonderful.

So… there:)

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Author Anne Lamott is turning 61 and took the opportunity to write down “every single thing I know, as of today.”

It’s a lovely list, full of the poignant and practical advice for which she’s known. It can be moving and a little sad, as when she touches on the challenges of family and death, but she also brings out useful truths on such topics as the necessity of exercise and writing shitty first drafts, the beauty of life and persistence and the fact that any of us are even here at all.

I especially like #2:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

You can find the rest of her list and more on her thoughts in her Facebook post.

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Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, dies aged 66

The Guardian reports that Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series and many other books, has died at home “with his cat sleeping on his bed” and surrounded by family. His intellect, creative abilities and incisive sense of humor will be sorely missed.

I think I’ll read Good Omens next, to remind myself of Pratchett’s genius, the power of writing (and humor in the face of the apocalypse), and the pearls we can leave behind if we’re willing to keep pushing ahead.

Addendum: A lot of nice tributes are going up online but I thought I’d direct you to one in particular, Jo Walton’s “Reminiscence” at the Tor.com blog. She says it well: “The writing will live on. Death sucks.”

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‘Star Trek’ Star Leonard Nimoy Dies

So sad. His artistic vision, creativity and (of course) Spock, will be missed.

* Edited to add a link to his obituary, detailing more on the extensive range of Nimoy’s experiences and abilities, in The New York Times.

** Here’s another nice piece by Emily Asher-Perrin on the Tor.com blog: Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl.

*** Here’s a great piece from NPR recalling Leonard Nimoy’s Advice To A Biracial Girl In 1968. As a biracial geek girl I wish I’d seen this advice growing up.

**** Also, from Astronaut Terry Virts, currently on the International Space Station…

 

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Tom Magliozzi, Popular Co-Host Of NPR’s ‘Car Talk,’ Dies At 77

This is sad. I didn’t know him personally, of course, but living in Cambridge (not far from their garage) as long as I did, listening to NPR as much as I did, and graduating from the same school as Tom and Ray, I felt a connection. Tom was the perfect foil to Ray’s banter and vice versa, and not only knew cars but also how to entertain. And that laugh! So contagious. It made me smile through the challenges of grad school, and makes me smile still.

The NPR story linked above has a sample of the show, and of course more Car Talk audio, car-related discussions and The Quotable Tom Magliozzi are archived by the good folks over at CarTalk.com. If you have a few more minutes, MIT also has video of Tom and Ray’s 1999 commencement speech.

Never let the facts stand in the way of a good answer.

If that’s not the essence of good storytelling, well. He will be missed!

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Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

This is such a loss. And yet…

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
― Maya Angelou

I still remember finding a battered, much-read copy of Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings on my parents’ bookshelf, and meeting her singular voice. That woman knew how to live.

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