BartCop Entertainment Archives - Tuesday, 14 April, 2015


14 April, 2015

(Updated Daily)

[1295 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: A Victory Against the Shadows (NY Times)
There are two big lessons from GE's announcement that it is planning to get out of the finance business. First, the much maligned Dodd-Frank financial reform is doing some real good. Second, Republicans have been talking nonsense on the subject. OK, maybe point #2 isn't really news, but it's important to understand just what kind of nonsense they've been talking.

Paul Krugman: It Takes a Party (NY Times)
The 2016 election will be about ideologies, not individuals, despite much media attention to the latter.

Gabrielle Bluestone: Cop Laughed About His Adrenaline Rush After Shooting Walter Scott (Gawker)
During the recorded conversation, a senior police officer briefs Slager on department protocols for a police shooting, which Slager acknowledges with a laugh.

Amy Fleming: How to avoid Vitamin D deficiency (Guardian)
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and arthritis, as well as childhood illnesses. So is sunshine and oily fish enough - or should you take supplements?

Julia Raeside: Britain's Got Talent review - Simon Cowell is looking like Caligula after a dull day at the Coliseum (Guardian)
ITV's annual variety talent search begins again, and the biggest lie of the whole cruel, sorry shambles is that Cowell can't believe the contestants' temerity.

David Bruce: Wise Up! Illness & Injury (Athens News)
Max Geldray played jazz saxophone on Great Britain's "The Goon Show," two of whose stars were Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers. When Mr. Geldray needed a vein removed, he did not tell anyone because it was a minor operation. However, because he is a celebrity, news of the operation got into the newspapers. When Mr. Geldray returned home after the operation, he found his home filled with flowers and fruit - gifts from Mr. Secombe. And Mr. Sellers arrived, carried Mr. Geldray, who couldn't walk, to his car, and drove him to a shopping center. There, Mr. Sellers filled the car with a complete new sound system that was better than the one Mr. Geldray already had. ?

"Dumb Ways to Die (Game of Thrones Edition)" (YouTube)
"A couple of years ago, Metro Trains Melbourne released a safety PSA called Dumb Ways to Die, featuring a song by Tangerine Kitty that got stuck in our heads. Now that same song has a new animation by Egor Zhgun illustrating the many ways characters on the TV show Game of Thrones have died. Although the Game of Thrones deaths are overwhelmingly murder, the accidents in the song fit some of them ridiculously well. Oh, yeah, this contains spoilers if you're not current on the series."

David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on



Trivia Question of the Day

This children's game of very ancient origin is known by a wide variety of names including astragaloi, kugelach, batu seremban, or snobs. What do we call it in the US?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

Who was the first actor ever to refuse an Academy Award? (Hint: It's not Marlon Brando.)

      George C. Scott                                                      Source

George C. Scott was the first actor ever to refuse an Academy Award (1970, for Patton (1970)). He was followed by Marlon Brando, who also turned down the award for The Godfather (1972). The reason he claimed for missing the ceremony where he won the Oscar was that he was busy watching a hockey game.

Although he refused the Oscar he won for Patton (1970), he accepted the Emmy he won for his performance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame 1971 production of Arthur Miller's "The Price", saying that he felt that the Emmy Awards were a more honest appreciation of an actor's work.        Source

Charlie was first, and correct, with:
   I think it was George C. Scott for Patton (Nixon's favorite movie).
  Of course Scott also played a somewhat different sort of general

Alan J wrote:
   George C. Scott.

Deborah said:
   At the 43rd Academy awards, actor George C. Scott refused his award, claiming that the Academy Awards were "a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."

Adam answered:
   George C. Scott (2 yrs before Brando).

Marian responded:
   George C. Scott

John I from Hawai'i says,
   "George C. Scott."

Jim from CA, retired to ID, replied:
   George C. Scott

Diabolical Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali said:
   George C. Scott refused the Oscar for his portrayal of a World War II General in Patton (1970). The reason being that he thought the Academy Awards was a "two-hour meat parade." Women objectified as part of the parade. I'm still gonna eat some beef tonight!

DJ Useo answered:
   It be George C. Scott. He once accidentally pee'ed on my shoes at a Fairport Convention concert. Lmao.

MAM   , wrote:
   GEORGE C. SCOTT refused his 1970 award for the title role in "Patton: Lust For Glory" claiming that the Academy Awards were "a two-hour 'meat parade', a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."

Joe S     replied:
   George C. Scott for Patton.
  Not Patton

Lois Of Oregon took the day off.

Randall took the day off.

mj took the day off.

Sally is retired, but paying attention.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  April 14 Birthdays - Celebrities Born April 14 | Famous Birthdays



Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

How The Science Of Wasabi Could Pave The Way For New Pain Meds

Where Have All the Teachers Gone and How Do We Get Them Back? | Joseph Bishop

These Apps Are Helping People Document Police Abuse

Some Funny Onion Headlines

VIDEO: Shot unjustly and gasping for air, Tulsa police officer tells dying man, "Fuck Your Breath"

Downsizing is possible: how I embraced a life of solitude in a mountain town | US news | The Guardian

Alfred Hitchcock; The Man Who Knew Too Much reviews - how the master exploited our fears | Film | The Guardian

After Global Protests, Kenyan Court Sentences 3 Men Who Raped Teen : Goats and Soda : NPR

For Fans Of 'Super Troopers,' Meow They're Getting A Sequel : NPR

Review: 'An American in Paris,' a Romance of Song and Step -

NestlÚ has been pumping water from a national forest with an expired permit for over 25 years

Bad for planned Pacific NW Coal Mega-Ports: China's demand for imported coal fell 42%

This Pantry Staple May Add Years To Your Life

Thanks, Michelle!



Team Coco


CONAN Monologue 04/13/15

Conan jokes about Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, and more...

TBS Casts The Iran Nuke Deal Movie

Getting Dana Carvey to play Angela Merkel was a real coup for the casting director.



From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



from Marc Perkel


Hello Bartcop fans,

As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to

Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on

But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( )

Marc Perkel




Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD






Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and seasonal.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'NCIS', followed by a FRESH 'NCIS: The 3rd One', then a FRESH 'Person Of Interest'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Billy Crystal, Julie Chen, and Chris Stapleton.
Scheduled on a FRESH James Corden, OBE are Jon Cryer, Grace Helbig, Freida Pinto, and Andy Grammer.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'The Voice', followed by a FRESH 'Undateable', then a FRESH 'One Big Happy', followed by a RERUN 'Chicago Fire'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Fallon (from 2/17/15) are Taylor Swift, John Oliver, and Imagine Dragons.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 3/25/15) are Jeremy Piven, David Benioff & Dan Weiss, and Marina and the Diamonds.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 3/5/15) are Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gorgon City, and Jonny Two Bags.

ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'Fresh Off The Boat', followed by a FRESH 'Repeat After Me', then a FRESH 'Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD', followed by a FRESH 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Cobie Smulders, Aaron Franklin, and Chic.

The CW offers a FRESH 'The Flash', followed by a FRESH 'iZombie'.

Faux has a FRESH 'Hell's Kitchen', followed by a RERUN 'New Girl', then a FRESH 'Weird Loners'.

MY recycles an old 'L&O: CI', followed by another old 'L&O: CI'.

A&E has 'Married At First Sight', followed by a FRESH 'Married At First Sight', then another FRESH 'Married At First Sight', and another 'Married At First Sight'.

AMC offers the movie 'No More Soldiers', followed by the movie 'American Gangster'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    BBC World News
 [7:00AM]    BBC World News
 [8:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1 - Ep 1 - Encounter at Farpoint (Part 1)
 [9:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1 - Ep 2 - Encounter at Farpoint (Part 2)
 [10:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 1 - Ep 3 - The Naked Now
 [11:00AM]    Doctor Who: The Snowmen
 [12:00PM]    Doctor Who - Season 7 - Ep 6 - The Bells of Saint John
 [1:00PM]    Orphan Black - Season 2 - Ep 7 - Knowledge of Causes, And Secret Motion of Things
 [2:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 5 - Ep 14 - Chiarella's
 [3:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 4 - Ep 7 - Kingston Cafe
 [4:00PM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 3 - Open Ocean
 [5:00PM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 4 - Frozen Seas
 [6:00PM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 5 - Seasonal Seas
 [7:00PM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 6 - Coral Seas
 [8:00PM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 5 - Winter
 [9:00PM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 6 - The Last Frontier NEW
 [10:00PM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 2 - Spring
 [11:00PM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 5 - Winter
 [12:00AM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 6 - The Last Frontier
 [1:00AM]    Planet Earth: Frozen Planet-Ep 2 - Spring
 [2:00AM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 3 - Open Ocean
 [3:00AM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 4 - Frozen Seas
 [4:00AM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 5 - Seasonal Seas
 [5:00AM]    Planet Earth: The Blue Planet-Ep 6 - Coral Seas    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of BH', then a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of NYC', followed by a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live', then a FRESH 'Newlyweds: The First Year'.

Comedy Central has 3 hours of old 'Tosh.0', followed by a FRESH 'Tosh.0', then a FRESH 'Brickleberry'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jon Stewart is Fareed Zakaria.
Scheduled on a FRESH @Midnight are Kurt Braunohler, Megan Neuringer, and Adam Cayton-Holland.

FX has 'Mike & Molly', followed by the movie 'Thor', followed by a FRESH 'Justified'.

History has 'Blood & Glory: The Civil War In Color', followed by a FRESH 'Blood & Glory: The Civil War In Color'.

IFC  -   
 [3:15PM]    PAYBACK
 [5:30PM]    ERASER
 [8:00PM]    PREDATOR
 [10:30PM]    PREDATOR 2
 [3:30AM]    PREDATOR 2    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
 [8:00AM]    Billy Elliot
 [10:15AM]    Cry-Baby
 [12:00PM]    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
 [2:30PM]    The Natural
 [5:30PM]    The Edge
 [8:00PM]    Behind the Story With the Paley Center-The Mindy Project
 [9:00PM]    Little Children
 [12:00AM]    Behind the Story With the Paley Center-The Mindy Project
 [1:00AM]    The Natural
 [4:00AM]    Repo Man    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has 'Face Off', another 'Face Off', followed by a FRESH 'Face Off', then a FRESH 'Haunting: Australia'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Timothy Olyphant, Angela Kinsey, and David O'Doherty.

TCM spends the daylight hours with Esther Williams
 [6:00 AM]      Bathing Beauty (1944)
 [8:00 AM]      Thrill Of A Romance (1945)
 [10:00 AM]      Fiesta (1947)
 [12:00 PM]      This Time For Keeps (1947)
 [2:00 PM]      On An Island With You (1948)
 [4:00 PM]      Neptune's Daughter (1949)
 [6:00 PM]      Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

 [8:00 PM]      Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute (2015)
 [9:00 PM]      North By Northwest (1959)
 [11:30 PM]      Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute (2015)
 [12:30 AM]      Mirage (1965)
 [2:30 AM]      Harper (1966)
 [4:45 AM]      The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone (1961)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Wednesday   -  04/15/15

TCM spends the night with Anthony Quinn
 [6:30 AM]      Rasputin And The Empress (1932)
 [8:45 AM]      Men Must Fight (1933)
 [10:00 AM]      Let's Try Again (1934)
 [11:15 AM]      Gaslight (1940)
 [12:45 PM]      The Prime Minister (1941)
 [2:30 PM]      An Ideal Husband (1947)
 [4:15 PM]      A Child Is Waiting (1963)
 [6:15 PM]      I Could Go On Singing (1963)
 [8:00 PM]      Barabbas (1962)
 [10:30 PM]      The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
 [1:15 AM]      Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
 [5:15 AM]      Thieves Fall Out (1941)

USA has a FRESH 'Sirens'.

Antenna TV

Bounce TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Al Jazeera

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

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Stan Lee arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" at the Dolby Theatre on Monday, April 13, 2015.
Photo by Matt Sayles


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Rock Hall Opening Doors

Ringo Starr

The first few years after the Beatles split, Ringo Starr had bragging rights on his mates.

He was all over the radio with "It Don't Come Easy," ''Back Off Boogaloo," ''Photograph" and other singles at a time that John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison went through some uneven stretches.

"I had all these hits and everybody was surprised," Starr recalled. "I don't know why they were, but they were."

Everyone's favorite genial drummer still has his pride. Already a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Beatle, Starr will be inducted this weekend as an individual, joining John, Paul and George with that distinction. He keeps busy at age 74, touring regularly and promoting a just-released new disc, "Postcards From Paradise."

Besides Starr, new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday will be Green Day, Bill Withers, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joan Jett, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the "5'' Royales.

Ringo Starr


Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, center, talks to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, left, as Broadway actor Matthew Broderick takes his seat to watch the New York Mets opening day baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at CitiField in New York, Monday, April 13, 2015.
Photo by Kathy Willens


Notebook Sold For Over $1 Million

Alan Turing

A handwritten notebook by British World War II code-breaking genius Alan Turing, whose story was portrayed into the 2014 Oscar-winning movie "The Imitation Game," has been sold for more than $1 million.

Bonhams auctioned the 56-page manuscript on Monday. It's believed to be the only extensive Turing manuscript known to exist.

The notebook was written at the time the mathematician and computer science pioneer was working to break the seemingly unbreakable Enigma codes used by the Germans throughout the war.

It contains Turing's complex mathematical and computer science notations.

Alan Turing


Newhead News


Blanket Tested

Abraham Lincoln

A bedspread that may have covered Abraham Lincoln as he lay dying will be tested for his blood in Wisconsin on Tuesday, 150 years to the day after the 16th U.S. president was fatally shot while watching a play in Washington.

University of Wisconsin textile expert Majid Sarmadi will test the cotton bedspread to determine if human blood is on the Wisconsin Historical Society artifact.

Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth as he watched a play in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865, five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War.

The president was taken across the street to the Petersen House and placed in a bed, where he died the next morning, perhaps covered by the artifact headed for the lab.

Wisconsin State Journal owner Richard Lloyd Jones gave the blanket to the Wisconsin Historical Society in 1919. Jones, who was interested in preserving Lincoln artifacts, acquired it from the Petersen family in 1907.

Abraham Lincoln


American singer Iggy Pop performs in a promotional event for Chilli Beans sunglasses at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, April 13, 2015.
Photo by Andre Penner


Film Proves Popular


If the Church of Scientology was hoping that HBO's withering documentary on the religion's practices would pass by with little notice, that turned out to be a miscalculation.

"Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" has been seen by more than 5.5 million people since its debut two weeks ago. It is likely to wind up being second only to a 2013 movie on Beyonce as the premium cable network's most-watched documentary of the past decade, HBO said Monday.

It has been an extraordinary two months for HBO's film unit. The six-part series on billionaire Robert Durst, "The Jinx," was a sensation with its climax reaching nearly 5 million viewers. Durst was arrested for murder on the eve of the series' last episode, in part due to evidence uncovered by the filmmakers.

The Church of Scientology ran a full-page advertisement in The New York Times denouncing the film before it ran, questioning whether "Going Clear" would turn out to be like Rolling Stone magazine's since-retracted story about an alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia.



Wake-up Call


Should Pay For Elections To Replace Him

Aaron Schock

An Illinois county says former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Interior Decorator) should pay for the special elections to replace him.

The (Peoria) Journal-Star reported that the Marshall County Board voted last week to send a bill for $76,000 to the Peoria Republican who resigned last month after questions about his spending. A Schock spokesman did not respond to an emailed request from The Associated Press seeking comment to the board's letter.

The letter seeks a certified check or a promise from Schock that he will cover the costs of this summer's special and general election costs. County officials estimate each will run about $38,000.

The newspaper reported that Schock's campaign fund balance is $3.3 million.

"Schock has more money than the county has in its reserves," Marshall County State's Attorney Paul Bauer said.

Aaron Schock


Actor Mark Ruffalo and his daughter arrive at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California April 12, 2015.
Photo by Phil McCarten


Have More To Complain About

Airline Passengers

Think flying is getting worse? A pair of university researchers who track the airline business say it's a fact.

More flights are late, more bags are getting lost, and customers are lodging more complaints about U.S. airlines, government data shows. Dean Headley, a marketing professor at Wichita State and one of the co-authors of the annual report being released Monday, said passengers already know that air travel is getting worse. "We just got the numbers to prove it."

The percentage of flights that arrived on time fell to 76.2 percent last year from 78.4 percent in 2013. Best: Hawaiian Airlines. Worst: Envoy Air, which operates most American Eagle flights.

The rate of lost, stolen or delayed bags rose 13 percent in 2014. Best: Virgin America. Worst: Envoy. Airlines lose one bag for every 275 or so passengers, but at Envoy, the rate is one lost bag for every 110 passengers, according to government figures.

Airline Passengers


Cindy Blackman Santana and Carlos Santana pose with personal items donated to Hard Rock's world-famous memorabilia collection at a meet and greet held at Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Hard Rock celebrated the partnership with a donation to Santana's Milagro Foundation, which supports art, education and health programs for families.
Photo by Erik Kabik


Annual Report Downgrades US

Nazi Hunting

The world's predominant Nazi-hunting group took the United States to task over its failure to prosecute a member of a notorious Nazi unit who lived quietly in Minnesota for decades in its annual report released on Monday.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center report lowered its ranking of the U.S.'s Nazi-hunting efforts from A to B. It was the first time the U.S. has been ranked so low.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the center's Israel office, said the ranking was in part because the U.S. took no action against Michael Karkoc.

An Associated Press investigation in 2013 found that Karkoc, a commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of atrocities, has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II. Zuroff cites the AP story in his report.

Nazi Hunting


Women perform a dance with traditional angel dress during the opening ceremony of the Yangon Government water festival in Yangon, Myanmar, 13 April 2015. The annual water festival is celebrated with large groups of people congregating to celebrate by splashing water and throwing powder at each others faces as a symbolic sign of cleansing and washing away the sins from the old year to mark the traditional New Year in countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. This year Myanmar Thingyan water festival falls on 13 April and ends on 16 April.
Photo by Nyein Chan Naing


Become Invisible After 49


In a world of data-driven policies, there is one group in society that barely registers and is at risk of missing out on crucial resources and services, according to researchers - older women.

Much international data, including metrics on health, employment, assets and domestic violence, appears to back up the anecdotal view that women become invisible in middle age. The data sets start at the age of 15 and stop abruptly at 49.

Experts said the limited age framework stems from a focus on women of reproductive age, assumptions about the limited economic role of older women and age discrimination that overlooks sexuality and violence in older women's lives.

Already there are more than 850 million people globally over the age of 60, a number projected to swell to 1 billion in the next 10 years and 2 billion by 2050 - rising to 22 percent of the world population, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).



A robot Ecce by the Robot studio is pictured at the world's largest industrial technology fair, the Hannover Messe, in Hanover April 13, 2015.
Photo by Wolfgang Rattay


Last Days For Ship

RMS St Helena

Recalling a bygone era of stately passenger liners and quaint colonial traditions, the RMS St Helena is making its last journeys before weekly flights to the far-flung South Atlantic island are introduced.

A day on board the five-day cruise to rugged Saint Helena, one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, is marked by aristocratic pastimes alien to modern travellers accustomed to no-frills long-haul journeys.

It's a taste of luxury that won't be around for much longer, on board a nearly 7,000-tonne ship built in 1989 to carry passengers and goods across the ocean.

A final chance to experience a slower way of life has spiked interest in the RMS St Helena, says John Hamilton, the cheerful purser who organises activities on board, from card games to on-deck cricket matches.

The RMS Saint Helena -- the only passenger ship serving the British island -- makes the journey from the South African city of Cape Town every three weeks.

RMS St Helena



In Memory

Günter Grass

Günter Grass was to Germany what William Faulkner was to the old American South: The bard, scourge and pathfinder of a society ruined by moral disgrace and humiliated by military defeat.

For much of his adult life, the Nobel-winning writer held the rare status in the literary world of both national historian and inventor. Grass, who died Monday at age 87, often angered his fellow citizens by reminding them of their shared Nazi past. But through language of renewed freedom and lyricism and stories that were surreal yet recognizable, he also assumed the even greater challenge of imagining what they might become.

Grass' first and most famous novel, "The Tin Drum," came out in 1959 and ranks with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" as a modern, international classic and as a mini-encyclopedia of a country's state of mind.

Combining naturalistic detail with fantastical images, Grass captured the German reaction to the rise of Nazism, the horrors of the war and the guilt that lingered after Adolf Hitler's fall. The book follows the life of Oskar Matzerath, the boy in Danzig who is caught up in the political whirlwind of the Nazi rise to power and, in response, decides not to grow up. His toy drum becomes a symbol of this refusal.

Grass' novel, later adapted by Volker Schloendorff into an Academy Award-winning movie, became the first installment of his so-called Danzig Trilogy. The series also included "Cat and Mouse" and "Dog Years" and was named for the town of his birth, now the Polish city of Gdansk. The books return again and again to Danzig, where Grass was born on Oct. 16, 1927, the son of a grocer.

Starting in the mid-1950s, Grass was a member of Group 47, a gathering of German writers and critics that also included Heinrich B÷ll and Uwe Johnson and had the mission of ridding the German language of the stilted, overwrought style of the Nazi era. Grass worked on "The Tin Drum" with the help of a stipend from the publishing house Luchterhand.

Grass - winner of the Nobel in 1999 and the picture of the urbane intellectual with his pipe, gravelly voice, bushy mustache and slightly disheveled look - became a force in Germany's cultural and political discussion.

He argued passionately, and unsuccessfully, against the reunification of East and West Germany after the 1989 tearing down of the Berlin Wall, fearing even the potential of German dominance. He wrote speeches for one of Germany's most prominent liberal politicians, Willy Brandt. To much criticism, he wrote a prose poem, "What Must Be Said," in which he assailed Germany for allegedly aiding Israel's nuclear program and worried that a military strike "could annihilate the Iranian people."

Grass had faulted Germans so often, and for so long, about not confronting the Nazi era, that his opponents took special delight when the author admitted to his own slip of memory. He had always acknowledged being a Nazi supporter in his youth, but in 2006 he revealed in his memoir "Skinning the Onion" that, as a teenager, he had served in the Waffen-SS, the combat arm of Hitler's notorious paramilitary organization.

Grass offered an unheroic picture of his service with the division, which fought Soviet troops in the last days of the war in eastern Germany. It ended with his capture by the Americans in May 1945 after a shrapnel wound left his arm so stiff he couldn't move it. His division was delayed getting into the fighting because it was waiting for tanks that never came.

Grass also wrote short stories and essays and published volumes of his drawings and etchings. His more recent works, which included the novels "Call of the Toad" and "Crabwalk," received mixed reviews at home and abroad, with many questioning whether he had lost his incisive ability to critically comment on the darker side of German history.

Funeral plans weren't immediately known. Grass is survived by four children from his first marriage to Anna Schwarz, two stepchildren from his second marriage to Ute Grunert, and two children born to other partners.

Günter Grass


In Memory

Puren (Jin Youzhi)

The brother of China's last emperor -- who was pushed off the throne in 1912, ending the Qing dynasty -- has died in Beijing at the age of 96, state media reported.

Puren was the youngest sibling of the final Qing monarch Puyi, a child-ruler portrayed in the Bernardo Bertolucci film "The Last Emperor".

Puren -- who took the Chinese name Jin Youzhi -- was born six years after the rule of his brother Puyi was ended by the "Xinhai Revolution".

Puyi, from the ethnically Manchu Qing dynasty, became emperor in 1908 when he was just two years and ten months old. His abdication was an epoch-shattering event, ending the rule of the Qing which began in 1644.

The government which took power in 1912 required Puyi and his close family to live within the walls of the Forbidden City, where they retained imperial traditions and were tended to by eunuchs.

They were expelled from the palace complex in 1917.

Puren established a primary school with the help of his father in the 1940s and continued to teach until he retired in the late 1960s, the Guangzhou Daily newspaper reported.

The Communist party which took power in 1949 also reportedly gave him a place on the local Beijing branch of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a mostly symbolic body.

Puren (Jin Youzhi)



The Boeoegg, a snowman made of wadding and filled with firecrackers, burns atop a bonfire in the Sechselaeuten square in Zurich April 13, 2015. As the bells of St. Peter's church chime six o'clock, the bonfire below the "Boeoegg" is set alight and mounted guildsmen gallop around the pyre to the tune of the Sechselaeuten March. The faster the head of the "Boeoegg", the symbol of winter, catches fire and explodes, the warmer and more beautiful the summer will be.
Photo by Arnd Wiegmann



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