RIP Fred Thompson

Ken AshfordIn Passing, RepublicansLeave a Comment

Actor, lawyer, senator, and even presidential candidate.  This guy did a lot of cool things.  He died yesterday at the age of 73 in Nashville. I first noticed him way back during the Watergate hearings in 1974.  Back then, when there was a congressional investigation, Congress was smart enough to hire lawyers to ask the questions and get information, rather … Read More

RIP Yogi Berra

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

“It ain’t over ’til its over” – Yogi Berra Well, it’s over.  Yogi Berra is dead at the age of 90. A dropout in the 8th grade, and looking a lot like a caveman, Yogi Berra was an odd duck within the glamorous 1950s New York Yankees organization.  Often outshown by superstars like Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, Berra was … Read More

RIP Julian Bond

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

Yet another person that #blacklivesmatter could learn from (but won’t).  This man was a legend.  He moved from militancy to a moire pragmatic (but equally passionate) means of reform.  He died at the age of 75 this weekend. Here is the NY Times obit, and here is President Obama’s statement: Statement by the President on the Passing of Julian Bond … Read More

The Hubbub About Cecil

Ken AshfordCrime, Gun Control, In PassingLeave a Comment

Seems like the Internet went absolutely bonkers yesterday about how a policeman killed a completely innocent black man dentist killed a completely innocent lion.  It’s important to understand exactly what he did.  He didn’t merely shoot and kill a lion who was iconic to the region and the center of a research study; he poached it: Walter Palmer, the Minnesota … Read More

RIP Theo Bikel

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

Broadway’s original Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music; also Teyve in Fiddler on the Roof.  Also a good folk singer.  He was 91

RIP: Roger Rees

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

He was 81.  Became well-known after starring in the epic stage production of  “The Life and Times of Nicolas Nickleby”.  He was also Lord John Marbury in “The West Wing”.  I saw him many years ago in.London in “The Real Thing”.  A phenomenal actor and a huge loss.

RIP Confederate Flag (In South Carolina)

Ken AshfordCulture & Education & Religion, In Passing, Local Interest, Race, Rightwing Extremism/ViolenceLeave a Comment

After a contentious and often emotional debate in the SC House, with a lot of political wrangling (and attachments of bill-killing amendments, all of which failed), Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill yesterday, and the flag came down today Well, that only took 5+ decades. Here in North Carolina, they took down the Confederate flag from inside the state capitol building … Read More

RIP Omar Sharif

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

He just died from a heat attack.  He was 83.  “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”.  Not to be confused with Maximillian Schell, who is still very much alive [UPDATE: no, he’s not] and did “Judgment at Nuremberg” and “Deep Impact”.

RIP James Horner

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

I liked him way better than John Williams. Oscar-winning film composer James Horner died in a plane crash yesterday near Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 61. Check out his scores:  The Wrath of Khan, Cocoon, Aliens, Willow, Field of Dreams, Glory, Sneakers, Looking For Bobby Fischer, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Titanic, Deep Impact, A Beautiful Mind, Avatar… and on and on and on. … Read More

RIP Jack King

Ken AshfordIn Passing, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

To those of a certain age and a certain geekdom, his voice was iconic.  Jack King was the Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer for NASA.   Considered the dean of aerospace journalism, he was the voice of the Apollo missions.  He died at 84 yesterday.  Enjoy some of his greatest hits…. P.S.  Yes, he grew up in … Read More

Catching Up

Ken AshfordGay Marriage, In Passing, Popular Culture, Sex Scandals, Sex/Morality/Family Values, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

The merry month of May is a busy one.  Fortunately, not a lot is happening news-wise upon which I feel the urge to pontificate at length.  However, I few tidbits are worth at least a passing mention: Yay, Ireland for the feckin’ landslide to legalize same-sex marriage.  Significant, I think, in light of the strong Catholic sentiment there.  Seems that Rome … Read More

RIP Yeoman Rand

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Janice Rand in the original “Star Trek” series and a handful of movies based on the series, died Friday. She was 85. Man, there’s so few of that crew left.