Tag Archives: death

Now that’s the way to do it

Pax Arcana

The death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart — and his friends Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson (this is a must-read if you haven’t seen it) — was both a tragedy and a senseless crime. It was also another reminder of our own mortality — that even professional athletes aren’t immune from death.

ed_delahantyUSA Today ran a feature yesterday on five other notable baseball players who died while still active.  The list includes former Yankee Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash, and All-Star pitcher Daryl Kile, who died in his sleep at 33 a few years ago. The feature ignores some obvious examples — like Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle, who piloted a small plane into a building in New York City in 2006. It also ignores Ray Chapman, still the only major league player to die after being hit by a pitch.

But for all its flaws, the USA Today feature succeeds in introducing us to what must be the single greatest epitaph an old-timey ballplayer could ever have asked for. Prepare to be dazzled by the demise of Ed Delahanty:

Ed Delahanty:  A 1903 New York Times obituary on baseball-almanac.com stated that the unruly Hall of Fame outfielder had been put off a train in Canada after threatening passengers with “an open razor” and died when he fell into the water trying to cross a draw bridge near Niagara Falls. The accident happened as the Washington Senators were returning home from Detroit. Delahanty, who was 35, had a .346 lifetime batting average in 16 seasons, mostly for the Philadelphia Phillies.

That wasn’t the only time Delahanty found himself at the center of some Keystone Cops-style shenanigans. According to Wikipedia, Delahanty was also at the center of a bizarre play in 1892 after Hall of Famer Cap Anson hit a ball that landed in a small enclosure used to store scoreboard numbers. The result was anointed one of the “most shameful home runs of all time” by people who never saw my two-bouncer into the parking lot at Timberlane Regional Middle School in 1990:

Delahanty tried to get the ball (it was still in play) by first reaching over the doghouse, then crawling down into it, but on the latter attempt, he got stuck, and by the time teammate Sam Thompson had freed Delahanty from the area, Anson crossed home plate on what the “Baseball Hall of Shame” book calls an “inside-the-doghouse home run.”

I had never heard of El Delahanty before today, but I like to think he looks down upon all of us every time we get stuck in a doghouse or accidentally go over Niagara Falls. It gives me a real sense of peace knowing he’s up there, smiling down on us. Because he’s drunk.

Munson among those who died young while still active [USA Today]
Ed Delahanty [Wikipedia]


Filed under Uncategorized

The dragons will tear us apart

Pax Arcana

komodo-dragonMost people think Komodo dragons are exotic holdovers from the dinosaur age that eke out a gentle existence while clinging to the precipice of extinction.

In fact, they are murderous swamp demons who will stop at nothing until we are all torn limb from limb.

Exhibit A: They have the word “dragon” right in their name.

Exhibit B: On Monday, a pair of komodo dragons mauled a 31-year-old Indonesian man to death.

Police Sgt. Kosmas Jalang said 31-year-old Muhamad Anwar was attacked on Komodo, one of four islands where the giant reptile is found in the wild, minutes after he fell out of a sugar-apple tree on Monday.

He was bleeding badly from bites to his hands, body, legs and neck after two lizards, waiting below, attacked him, according to a neighbor, Theresia Tawa. He died at a clinic on the neighboring island of Flores soon after.

And that’s not all. Authorities in Indonesia say komodo attacks are on the rise as the 4,000 or so remaining dragons grow increasingly agitated at portrayal of lizards in TV commercials for products like Sobe and Geico. Seriously, that gecko used to have a posh upperclass London accent and then all of a sudden he’s all working-class cockney? What is he a chimney sweep? PLUS WE CAN’T EVEN BUY GEICO IN MASSACHUSETTS LEAVE ME ALONE YOU GODDAMN TOAD!!

2 Komodo dragons maul fruit-picker to death [MSNBC]


Filed under science

Japanese people are dead clumsy

Pax Arcana

Japanese people are both hilarious and fashionable, making that nation an endless source of fascination for me. What I didn’t know until now is that they are also prone to killing themselves with seemingly non-threatening electronics.

According to Engadget, Japanese television today is ablaze with the news that three people have accidentally killed themselves with the Shape-Up Roller 2 electric massager pictured below:


Details are sketchy, since no one actually speaks Japanese, but one woman apparently yojimboed herself after failing to follow the directions on the box:

We’ve only got specific details about one death, which happened when a woman removed the protective cloth cover from the machine — called the Shape-up Roller 2 — then strangled herself when it got caught on her collar as she tried to use it on her neck. The manufacturer, Matoba Electric, issued a warning against removing the cover or using the device other than as directed, but has not yet recalled the device, which seems to be powerful enough to massage the tension out of a T-Rex’s feet.

It’s a simple mistake, really. I can’t tell you how many family members I’ve lost when they accidentally choked themselves with household devices. The worst was Uncle Sven — though I suppose it’s not really considered choking yourself when you swallow a record player.

Japanese foot-massaging machine pleads innocent to killing three people [Engadget]


Filed under technology

Escalators are about to get deadly awesome

Pax Arcana

Not only are the nation’s escalators attacking old people at an alarming rate, they are also growing more powerful by the day.

According to the New York Times, some escalators in that city’s subway stations now have the ability to sense when humans are around and change speeds accordingly:

Using infrared motion sensors, the escalators will slow to a crawl of just 15 feet per minute when no one is on them, compared with the normal full speed of 100 feet per minute. The escalators will gradually accelerate to the full speed, over a period of a few seconds, once a rider steps on them.

Not only can the new machines buck the elderly with wild changes of speed, but they can also take a short nap afterward:

“Like humans, machines benefit from a little rest from time to time, and the escalators that provide service to subway customers are no exception,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, a spokesman for New York City Transit, the arm of the authority that runs the subways and buses.

He’s right. I once saw a robot dressed like a human resting on the side of the road next to a mangled motorcycle. My friend said he thought it was a man who had fallen off a motorcycle. I said you would fall for that one, wouldn’t you?

New Subway Escalators Speed Up When You Get On [NYT]

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Filed under science

Death to Bobby Fischer: “Checkmate”

Chess genius and loutish Jew-hating douchebag Bobby Fischer died yesterday in an Icelandic hospital at age 64, according to the New York Times.


Fischer was the first and only American to ever hold the title of World Chess Champion, an honor that is usually bestowed on men named Boris. Like a lot of people with one unique gift, Bobby Fischer thought the world owed him big time:

A man of narrow interests but great intellectual gifts — he reportedly had an I.Q. of 181 — Mr. Fischer was a hugely demanding personality (some said charismatic, some merely infuriating) who felt his prowess as a chess player entitled him to exorbitant privilege. For much of his life, he fought imperiously on behalf of that entitlement, demanding uncompromising loyalty from his supporters, concessions from his opponents, special treatment from tournament organizers and unalloyed respect from the world at large. It was an outlook that became ever more skewed as his life went on. In the end his self-involvement was his undoing, isolating him from all but the most obsequious chess-world worshipers.

Things only went downhill from there.

Fischer decided America was too full of Jews to keep living here, so he moved to a succession of foreign countries, where he pissed off everyone he could get his hands on. He spent nine months in a Japanese prison for traveling with a bum passport — and routinely guested on Philippine radio shows to lash out at the international Jewish conspiracies.

He hit bottom with this little gem:

On Sept. 11, 2001, he told a radio talk-show host in Baguio, the Philippines, that the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were ”wonderful news,” adding he was wishing for a scenario “where the country will be taken over by the military, they’ll close down all the synagogues, arrest all the Jews and secure hundreds of thousands of Jewish ringleaders.”

It’s possible that was some kind of mental illness talking, but the point is that when Pax Arcana read the Times headline about his demise, we kind of cheered a little. We are not sorry about that.

Bobby Fischer, Chess Master, Dies at 64 [New York Times]


Filed under history