R.I.P. Dom DeLuise

It’s a sad day, folks:

Comedian-actor-director Dom DeLuise, who delighted audiences with his antic performances, has died. He was 75.

His son Michael DeLuise told Los Angeles TV station KTLA and radio station KNX that he died Monday night in Southern California.

DeLuise was born Aug. 1, 1933, in Brooklyn. He made his first off-Broadway appearance at age 8. After graduating from the High School of the Performing Arts, he attended Tufts College. During that time, he spent two seasons at the Cleveland Playhouse. He worked several summers on stage in Provincetown, N.J.

Somehow, the world is just a little bit less funny today. 🙁

Read more here.

US Air: Charging Fees for Fees

How’s this for grating: US Air, one of the major carriers that readily embraced fees for checked luggage, is now charging a $5 fee for paying the checked luggage fee in person. In other words, if you buy your tickets online, you can go ahead and pay the $15 fee for one bag, or $25 fee for two bags. But if you wait and pay it at the airport, you have to pay a $5 fee. So… it’s a fee for paying a fee!

And airlines wonder why people hate them so much!

(source: consumerist.com)

Consumers Union: TWC lies

Consumers Union is the latest group to call out Time Warner on their “metered broadband” plans.

The organization, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine and recently purchased the consumerist.com website, used Time Warner’s own shareholder reports to throw some more cold water on the “fire” that is “capped broadband”.

You can read their report here, but the gist of it is thus:

• TWC’s revenues from broadband during the first three months of this year rose 11% percent over the first quarter of 2008, climbing from $994 million to $1.1 billion.

• At the same time, TWC’s costs to provide broadband service to its customers dropped 18%, from $40 million to $33 million. That dramatic drop in costs came even though its number of subscribers grew from 7.9 million to 8.6 million.

• Overall, TWC’s profits were down for the quarter, falling from $242 million to $164 million. But the company says the drop in profits was due mostly to restructuring costs rung up when it was spun off in March from its parent company, Time Warner.

Once again, I just can’t believe that TWC would take the whole “woe is us” approach to metered broadband, especially in the day and age of the Knowledgeable Internet Consumer. These days, a large company like Time Warner just can’t outright lie to people… but they tried anyway.

Remember… I’m still watching you like a hawk, Time Warner!

The World’s Fastest Camera!

This is cool:

Laser Camera

That is an image taken from a new camera called STEAM, which stands for “Serial Time-Encoded Amplified imaging”. This bad boy has a virtual shutter time of half a billionth of a second! It can do this by using “a fast laser pulse, which then gets stretched in time and detected electronically”, resulting in six million images per second! Amazing!

Read more about it here.

R.I.P Jack Kemp

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jack Kemp, a star football quarterback who became a congressman, U.S. Cabinet secretary and Republican vice presidential nominee, died on Saturday at age 73.

Kemp died of cancer at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, The New York Times said, quoting his son, Jimmy Kemp.

He served 18 years as a congressman from Buffalo, New York, after starring with the Buffalo Bills of the old American Football League. In the House of Representatives, he championed tax cuts, free trade, economic growth and a return to the gold standard.

Jack Kemp was a true American hero. He’ll be greatly missed!

via Former politician and football star Jack Kemp dies.

R.I.P. Danny Gans

LAS VEGAS – Singer-actor-impressionist Danny Gans, who spent more than a decade as one of the most popular entertainers in Las Vegas, died Friday. He was 52. Gans was pronounced dead in his bed shortly after police and paramedics were summoned to a report of a man not breathing at Gans’ home about 3:45 a.m., said police spokesman Todd Rasmussen.

Foul play was not suspected, Rasmussen said. A Clark County coroner’s spokeswoman said an autopsy was pending, and Rasmussen said police were investigating “according to standard procedure.”

I’d never even heard of Danny Gans before visiting Las Vegas, where posters for his show were plastered everywhere. The man was billed as the “greatest performer that ever existed!!!!”

I dunno – I never saw him. But I suppose this is sad anyway.

via Las Vegas Strip performer Danny Gans dies at 52.