Michael Jackson Link Roundup

The online catalog of what was auctioned from Neverland.

Captain Eo on YouTube.

The King is Dead: Lefsetz on the passing of Michael Jackson:

He missed his childhood and now he’s gonna miss his old age.

How fucked up is that?

Michael Jackson never had a chance. He had to succeed for his family, his parents’ dreams were dependent upon him.

And a boy with that much pressure delivers. He works truly hard, so he will be loved. That’s all Michael Jackson was looking for, love.

He wanted to be accepted. Wanted to be so good that he couldn’t be denied. But you can’t change family history, and the public no longer treats you as human, as an equal, once you break through. People want to rip you off or tear you down, or shower you in faux love that’s more about their unfulfilled desires than yours. It gets so confusing that you retreat.

Slog: The Last Time I saw Michael Jackson:

His art will not redeem him. He’s a one-of-a-kind musical genius who went crazy, played with morphing his race and gender, slept with children, was repeatedly acquitted of child-molestation charges, and then died, alone and broke.

It’s enough to make you cry.

Twitter and Michael Jackson:

“My Twitter search script sees roughly 15 percent of all posts on Twitter mentioning Michael Jackson. Never saw Iran or swine flu reach over 5 percent,” observed Ethan Zuckerman, a fellow at Harvard’s Beckman Center for Internet & Society.

Marco.org takes a look at Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker for Sega Genesis.

It’s weird. It’s creepy. It’s comically absurd. It really doesn’t seem like kids belong there. Yet, I can’t see anything malicious about it — I’m not even sure that anything here is inappropriate. But it seems like something about it should be, which maps eerily to the tragic battle that Michael Jackson had fought against society for nearly two decades.

RIP Grasshopper

David Carradine died:

BANGKOK (WABC) — Reports say Kung Fu and Kill Bill star David Carradine has been found dead in a hotel room in Bangkok.

Carradine, 73, was there to shoot a new movie, his agent said.

His agent confirmed his death this morning, saying the actor had been was in great spirits.

He said he believed Carradine died of natural causes.


Update:

From MSNBC:

It said a preliminary police investigation found that he had hanged himself with a cord used with the room’s curtains. It cited police as saying he had been dead at least 12 hours and there was no sign that he had been assaulted.

A police officer at Bangkok’s Lumpini precinct station would not confirm the identity of the dead man to The Associated Press, but said the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel had reported that a male guest killed himself there.

RIP David Eddings

The Belgariad was one of the first fantasy series I read and I still read it every so often. It doesn’t break much new ground in the genre but the characters jump off the page (Silk FTW) and by the end of the five books they feel like family. The Mallorean wasn’t quite as good, but familiar, like spending time with old friends after not seeing them in a a while. Here’s his wiki entry for those who haven’t read him.

(via SFSignal)

R.I.P. Dr. George Tiller

From The NY Times:

WICHITA, Kan. — Authorities said they had a suspect in custody Sunday afternoon in the shooting death of George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions.

Dr. Tiller, who had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion and had survived a shooting more than a decade ago, was shot inside his church here on Sunday morning, the authorities said. Dr. Tiller, 67, was shot with a handgun inside the lobby of his longtime church, Reformation Lutheran Church on the city’s East Side, just after 10 a.m. (Central Time). The service had started minutes earlier.

Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortions since the 1970s, had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion, particularly in Kansas, where abortion opponents regularly protested outside his clinic and sometimes his home and church. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent but recovered.

Dr. Tiller had also been the subject of many efforts at prosecution, including a citizen-initiated grand jury investigation. In the latest such effort, in March, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of charges that he had performed late-term abortions that violated state law.

Kip Thorne on Stephen Hawking

From Cosmic Variance:

He arrives with an entourage of five care givers to tend to his physical needs, one or two family members, several graduate students, and a “graduate assistant” who handles logistics and serves as general fixit-person for his computer system and mechanized wheel chair. His current chair is new and sophisticated. At the flick of a switch, its hydraulics can lift him up to a standing person’s eye level or slide him down near ground level for high-speed chases — he has been known to take pleasure from running over the toes of university presidents.

Hawking’s Pasadena sojourns are rather like Einstein’s in the 1930s. Caltech is an intellectual magnet – a crossroad for ideas about the cosmos and the fundamental laws of nature, which are Hawking’s passion. He contributes mightily to the ferment, and partakes. Our California night life (LA, not Caltech!) is also pretty good; and Hawking, like Einstein, is a party animal, only more so. During his annual month here, my own social life intensifies five-fold just from being his closest California friend. He loves opera, theater, jazz clubs, barbecues that he hosts in the patio of his Pasadena home, and dinners with fine wine – especially an Indian Feast prepared for him by Caltech undergraduates. Yes, we geeks can cook up a storm – well, not me, but the younger generation.

Conversation with Stephen is slow, about 3 words a minute, produced by Stephen moving a muscle in his face (imaged by a lens and photodetector) to control a cursor on his computer screen. It’s slow, but rewarding. You never know, until his sentence is complete, whether it will be a pearl of wisdom or an off-the-wall joke. Faster speeds are on the horizon: computer control via brane waves, without drilling a hole in his head (he’s opposed to that). But he resists changing technology, even without drilling, until forced to. “I can’t believe it’s as good as what I have.” (It actually is; my wife has a friend with ALS who proves it so.)

And if you don’t know who Kip Thorne is, you need to read Black Holes and Time Warps which is an incredible read.

RIP John Updike

Oh my.

NEW YORK (AP) — John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.

Updike, a resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., died of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

A literary writer who frequently appeared on best-seller lists, the tall, hawk-nosed Updike wrote novels, short stories, poems, criticism, the memoir ”Self-Consciousness” and even a famous essay about baseball great Ted Williams. He was prolific, even compulsive, releasing more than 50 books in a career that started in the 1950s. Updike won virtually every literary prize, including two Pulitzers, for ”Rabbit Is Rich” and ”Rabbit at Rest,” and two National Book Awards.