Recent celebrity deaths in the news has been a bit overwhelming the past few days. Since last Thursday, almost 100% of the news that I came across was in relation to either the death of Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, or TV pitchman Billy Mays. While Farah was fatally ill, both the deaths of Michael Jackson and Billy Mays were unexpected, which made the news that much more to report. Many “theories” now abound in the news and of course, autopsy’s will bring the investigations into their deaths to a close and then the world will have more answers. While Michael’s fame has been in the forefront when it comes to recent celebrity deaths, and has overshadowed the stories of Farah and Billy, these past few days will certainly be remembered for a long time to come.
Majority of us did not know any of these people personally, so why are these recent celebrity deaths so disturbing? That is the power of the media. The more we see it in the news, the more we read it on websites, the more we hear it on the radio and the more we see it on the front covers of daily/weekly publications, the sadder we feel. It is catching the attention of many and it is definitely the subject of thousands of conversations.
It seemed that I remembered many celebrities/personalities dying recently and when looking into celebrities who died in 2009, there was a list of over 100 people. Although this list is not by any means all inclusive, here are some others that were sadly lost in 2009, just a few mentions from a long list of actors, singers, politicians, athletes, sports and newscasters and some family members of those who fall into these categories. You won’t find them all on this list, but here are some that were familiar to me.
-Ricardo Montalban (88): January 14th
Actor: “Fantasy Island”, “Star Trek” villain (Wrath of Khan)
-Ron Silver (62): March 15th
Actor: Tony Award winner
-Natasha Richardson (45): March 18th
Actress: “The Parent Trap”; Broadway
Wife of actor: Liam Neeson
-Dan Seals (61): March 25th
Singer: Seals & Crofts
-Bea Arthur (86): April 25th
Actress: “Maude”; “Golden Girls”
-Dom DeLuise (75): May 4th
Actor: “Blazing Saddles”; “Space Balls” “Smokey & The Bandit 2”
-Mark Landon (60): May 11th
Son of actor Michael Landon
-Wayman Tisdale (44): May 15th
Former NBA star; Jazz bass guitarist
-Carol Cole (65): May 18th
Daughter of Nat King Cole
Sister of Natalie Cole
-Exodus Tyson (4): May 25th
Daughter of Mike Tyson
-David Carradine (72): June 3rd
Actor: “Kung Fu” (1970s)
-Johnny Palermo (27): June 8th
Actor: “Just For Kicks” (Nickelodeon); “Everybody Hates Chris”
-Ed McMahon (86): June 23rd
TV personality: “The Tonight Show”
-Farah Fawcett (62): June 25th
Actress: Charlie’s Angels (1970s); several TV movies
-Michael Jackson (50): June 25th
“King of Pop”
-Billy Mays (50): June 28th
TV “pitchman” for OxiClean and other products
-Fred Travalena (66): June 28th
Las Vegas / impressionist
Are you having trouble with reception on your analog tv today? I can’t believe how many people I have come across over the past few months who are worried that their TV is not ready for the switch to digital. This change only affects those who do not subscribe to cable or satellite service. If your signal is via antenna only, today’s change to digital service will affect your service if you have not yet gotten the proper converter box to receive service.
The website www.DTV.gov gives details on how to install the converter box and offers a coupon to defray the cost. It also gives a list of retailers that the FCC has partnered with to offer the boxes and the coupon.
One question the website addresses is whether or not analog tv’s will work. Here is an answer from DTV.gov
“Can I Still Use My Old Analog TV Set? How?
Your analog TV set will not be obsolete once the transition to DTV is completed, but there are some steps you must take to be able to continue to use it. To ensure continued use of your analog set, you must do one of the following:
· Use a digital-to-analog converter box.
· Connect to a subscription service such as cable or satellite TV.
In addition, analog sets should continue to work with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products that you use now.
This converter box, much like your cable box, will allow you to receive a picture, but it won't be able to show high-definition pictures or give you access to other digital services.
Analog TV sets will need additional equipment to receive over-the-air television when the DTV Transition is completed. All broadcast TV stations in the country have temporary use of a second, separate channel so that they can transition from analog broadcasting to digital.
Congress has set June 12, 2009 as the final deadline for terminating analog broadcasts. Under the law, on February 17, some full-power broadcast television stations in the United States have already stopped broadcasting on analog airwaves and have begun broadcasting only in digital. The remaining stations will stop broadcasting analog sometime between April 16 and June 12. Analog sets equipped with a converter box will display the digital broadcasts, but not in full digital quality. “
Some may have brief interruptions in service due to severe weather or due to moving vehicles that affect the reception. It is recommended that if you have an indoor antenna, you switch to an outdoor antenna for better reception. They also note that “in severe cases it may not be possible to completely eliminate the effect of nearby traffic. If reception remains unsatisfactory due to these disruptions, viewers may wish to consider alternatives such as cable or satellite service.”
Have you ever purchased an item, either from the store directly or online and taken it out of the box only to realize that at some point you are going to have to return it in the original packaging? Well, I just figured out that they have you do that to deter you from returning the item in the first place. Shoot, you need some sort of manual to tell you exactly how they packed this stuff in the original packaging in the first place! I think this goes for just about everything, but today, I am griping about DISHES. Yes, I bought dishes online and it was a dumb idea because they were broken during shipping (go figure). I called the store to see how to have 2 of 16 pieces that were broken replaced, and they said to return the entire set, to the local store in the “original packaging.” That’s right, the entire set. They can’t just replace the 2 broken pieces. What! Your shipping department has this stuff down to a science. The consumer has no clue how you got all of that into the box along with the neat little cardboard pieces that come with it. I sit here looking at all of this and saying to myself “the local store will have to pack it, I’ll just bring it back in the box it was shipped in. That is just stage 1. Once I return it to the store and they credit it, I have to have them SHIP another box to get the set replaced. What’s the point! I think we’ll just go for a “credit and forget it”! I’ve learned my lesson.