Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top 10 animal attack movies

After a week of articles on animal attacks, this is where I steer the subject back to entertainment, a core focus for Tech-Media-Tainment.
These are my picks for the top animal attack movies. Some of these selections are fanciful, but I’ve tried to pick movies that were more realistic than giant apes or lizards attacking cities.

10. Arachnophobia (1990)


Arachnophobia” is a cautionary tale about the impact of invasive species.
In the movie, a large poisonous spider is accidentally transported in a crate from South America to a small California town. The deadly spider mates with a local spider and soon the town is overrun with the venomous arachnids.
“Arachnophobia” was directed by Frank Marshall and stars Jeff Daniels and John Goodman.

9. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)


The Ghost and the Darkness” is based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine-month period in the late 19th century.
The movie stars Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer and was directed by Stephen Hopkins.

8. Piranha (2010)


Shown theatrically in 3-D, “Piranha” is a campy B-movie with a hard R-rating for nudity and bloody, gory piranha attacks.
“Piranha” is a remake of a 1978 movie of the same name that was itself a takeoff on the shark attack blockbuster “Jaws.”
The new “Piranha” stars Elisabeth Shue and Jerry O’Connell and was directed by Alexandre Aja.

7. Anaconda (1997)


Another fanciful pick, “Anaconda” is good B-movie fun.
It’s about a “National Geographic” film crew on a quest to capture the world’s largest and deadliest snake.
The movie stars Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube and Owen Wilson. It was directed by Luis Llosa.

6. Of Unknown Origin (1983)

Of Unknown Origin” is an underrated thriller about a man who’s terrorized by a large rat in the brownstone home he’s renovating in New York.
It stars Peter Weller and was directed by George P. Cosmatos.

5. The Edge (1997)

The Edge” is a wilderness survival movie that features men terrorized by a grizzly bear.
It stars Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. “The Edge” was written by David Mamet and directed by Lee Tamahori.

4. Open Water (2003)


Open Water” tells the story of two divers accidentally left behind by their tour boat in shark-infested waters. It’s loosely based on a true story.
The movie was directed by Chris Kentis.

3. Grizzly Man (2005)

Grizzly Man” is a documentary about amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell who was killed along with his girlfriend in October 2003 by a rogue bear in Alaska.
The film was directed by Werner Herzog.

2. The Birds (1963)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, “The Birds” tells the story of a small Northern California town where birds suddenly start attacking people.

1. Jaws (1975)

Jaws” is the granddaddy of modern animal attack movies. Director Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller about a massive great white shark transformed the summer movie-going experience.

Recap: Top 10 animal attack movies (and critical response, according to Rotten Tomatoes)
  1. Jaws (1975), 100% positive reviews
  2. The Birds (1963), 95%
  3. Grizzly Man (2005), 93%
  4. Open Water (2003), 72%
  5. The Edge (1997), 59%
  6. Of Unknown Origin (1983), NA
  7. Anaconda (1997), 38%
  8. Piranha (2010), 75%
  9. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), 51%
  10. Arachnophobia (1990), 85%

Monday, January 24, 2011

The world’s deadliest animals

Here’s a recap of my recent seven-part series on deadly animal attacks for Tech-media-tainment.
  1. Shark attacks (Jan. 17, 2011)
  2. Lion and tiger attacks (Jan. 19, 2011)
  3. Crocodile attacks (Jan. 20, 2011)
  4. Bear attacks (Jan. 21, 2011)
  5. Elephant and hippo attacks (Jan. 22, 2011)
  6. U.S. deaths caused by animals per year (Jan. 23, 2011)
  7. Top 10 deadliest animals in the world (Jan. 23, 2011)
Photo: A crocodile bit off a veterinarian's arm at a Taiwanese zoo in April 2007. (See news account.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How many people do animals kill a year?

Good question.
For the last week, I’ve been attempting to answer it in a series of posts on Tech-Media-Tainment.
Data for some animal-caused fatalities are better than others. But what follows is a summary of my online research. (If you know of any good government reports and health or science journals to use for citations, please let me know.)

Top 10 deadliest animals in the world, by number of human fatalities per year
  1. Mosquito, about 800,000 from malaria transmission alone
  2. Dogs, 55,000 from rabies transmission alone
  3. Tsetse fly, 50,000 from transmitting diseases like human sleeping sickness
  4. Snakes, at least 20,000 from venomous bites
  5. Scorpions, 3,250 from venomous stings
  6. Elephants, 500
  7. Crocodiles, more than 300
  8. African buffalo, over 200
  9. Tigers, 150
  10. (tie) Hippos, over 100
  11. (tie) Lions, over 100
Other animals likely would be in the top 10 if more data were available.
For instance, jellyfish cause 22 to 44 deaths a year in Malaysia and the Philippines alone. Unconfirmed reports say they cause over 100 deaths a year.
And bees and wasps kill at least 40 people a year in the U.S. alone with their venomous stings. Worldwide data on deaths caused by the hymenoptera class of insects, of which bees and wasps are included, are not readily available.

Sources, by entry number:

1. World Health Organization, “Malaria report shows rapid progress towards international targets”, Dec. 14, 2010

2. World Health Organization, Rabies Fact Sheet, updated September 2010

3. Panapress, “AU experts decry high rate of tsetse fly-inflicted deaths”, July 22, 2009.

4. World Health Organization, “WHO plans to increase treatment access for victims of rabies and snake bites”, Jan. 9, 2007

5. eMedicine from WebMD, “Scorpion Envenomation”, Sept. 13, 2010

6. National Geographic, “Elephants Attack as Humans Turn Up the Pressure”, June 3, 2005

7. Crocodile Specialist Group, “Crocodilian Attacks”

8. The Daily Mail, U.K., “The buffalo whisperer: Luke, 13, tames one of Africa’s most feared killers”, Sept. 4, 2010

9. Pure Travel, “Top 10 deadliest destinations for animal attacks”, April 8, 2010
Wikipedia, “Tiger attacks in the Sundarbans”

10. Forbes Traveler, “One misstep and you’re dinner”, Sept. 23, 2009
Smithsonian magazine, “The Most Ferocious Man-Eating Lions”, Dec. 16, 2009

Sources for runners-up:

American Academy of Family Physicians, “Stinging Insect Allergy”, June 15, 2003

eMedicine from WebMD, “Hymenoptera Stings”, April 26, 2010

eMedicine from WebMD, “Wasp Stings”, June 17, 2009

CNN Health, “Skateboarder’s death underscores insect allergy risks”, Aug. 14, 2009

eMJA, the Medical Journal of Australia, “Worldwide deaths and severe envenomation from jellyfish stings”, 1996

Examiner.com, “The deadliest sea creature is the jellyfish”, July 22, 2010

Photo: Actress Elizabeth Banks wears a T-shirt for the group Malaria No More. You can buy the T-shirt at BustedTees for $20 and $10 goes toward the fight against malaria.

U.S. deaths caused by animals per year

What animal kills the most humans in the U.S. every year?
The cheeky answer is humans.
People committed 17,837 homicides in the U.S. in 2008, according to a preliminary report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s down 3% from 18,361 homicides in 2007, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
Coming in a distant second is deer, which kill an average of 150 people a year in collisions with automobiles in the U.S.
In third are bees, hornets and wasps. Their stings kill an average of 48 people a year.
In fourth place are dogs, which usually kill 19 people a year. In 2010, they killed 34 people. So much for being man’s best friend.

Deaths caused by animals in the U.S. per year

Annual average 1991-2001, except where noted
  1. Motor vehicle fatalities involving deer, other animals, 223*
  2. Bee, hornet, wasp, 48
  3. Dog, 34**
  4. Scorpion, centipede, other venomous arthropods, 7
  5. Spider, 6
  6. Snake, 5
  7. Fatalities involving cattle, 4***
*2007
** 2010 (Average 1991-2001: 19)
*** Average 2003-2008
Sources: See footnotes.

But all of those causes of death are a drop in the bucket compared with heart disease, cancer, lung disease and stroke.

Leading causes of death in the U.S., 2008
  1. Diseases of heart, 617,527 deaths
  2. Malignant neoplasms, 566,137
  3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 141,075
  4. Cerebrovascular diseases, 133,750
  5. Accidents (unintentional injuries), 121,207
  6. Alzheimer’s disease, 82,476
  7. Diabetes mellitus, 70,601
  8. Influenza and pneumonia, 56,335
  9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, 48,283
  10. Septicemia, 35,961
  11. Intentional self-harm (suicide), 35,933
  12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, 29,963
  13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, 25,823
  14. Parkinson’s disease, 20,507
  15. Assault (homicide) 17,837
This is the most recent report on leading causes of death in the U.S. It was issued in December by the CDC.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 59, No. 2, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008”; Dec. 9, 2010

Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 16, 67-74 (2005); “Animal-Related Fatalities in the United States – An Update”

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Collisions with deer and other animals spike in November”; Oct. 30, 2008

Dog Bite Law, statistics page

Agri-View, “Fatalities Grim Reminder Cattle Can Be Dangerous”; Nov. 5, 2009

Photo: Deer impaled in windshield after collision with a Dodge Durango in Minnesota in October 2002. See more photos from the crash at Car-Accidents.com.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Elephants, hippos, snakes and other threats

In my recent series on animal attacks, I’ve written about death by shark, tiger, lion, crocodile and bear.
But there are many other wild animal threats to humans.
Elephants kill about 500 people a year, according to the National Geographic. (About 400 people per year are killed by elephants in India, UPI reports. And 50 to 100 people a year are killed by elephants in Sri Lanka, the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo says. The number of deaths by elephant in Africa is not readily available online.)
Hippos are ill-tempered brutes that are responsible for more than 200 deaths a year, according to various articles online (such as this one). However, these articles do not back up their figures with any official documents.
Various online reports seem to be copying the same statistics, but none of them back up their claims with government reports or other proof.
Websites claim that jellyfish stings kill over 100 people a year, bee stings kill over 400 people annually and scorpions kill over 5,000 people a year.
Venomous snakes kill 20,000 to 94,000 people a year, according a November 2008 report in PLoS Medicine at the Public Library of Science.
Better documented is the world’s deadliest animal – the mosquito. Disease-carrying mosquitoes cause about 1 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. They transmit malaria, yellow fever, Dengue fever, encephalitis and the West Nile virus.
Nearly 800,000 people died from malaria worldwide in 2009, the WHO reported. Yellow fever causes 30,000 deaths a year, the group says.
Another insect, the tsetse fly, kills 50,000 people a year in Africa, by transmitting diseases like human sleeping sickness, according to the African Union Commission.

Photo: A gamekeeper at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda runs for his life from an angry 3-ton hippo in August 2009. See story in the U.K.’s Daily Mail with incredible photos by Charles Hotman.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bears may look cute, but they will rip your head off if they have a chance

I find it odd that bears are portrayed as so friendly and cuddly in popular culture (cartoons, advertisements, etc.), especially since some species – like polar bears – are among the fiercest predators on the planet.
CollegeHumor recently made a funny video portraying pop culture bears (including Yogi and Winnie the Pooh) as savage killers.
Thankfully polar and grizzly bears don’t live in areas where many human are.
As with other wild animals, it is hard to find statistics on human deaths by bear attack.
Last year, bears killed three people in the U.S., according to an entry with citations on Wikipedia.
On Aug. 5, 2010, a sloth bear in the Amravati district of India killed four people, according to Thaindian News.
Bears also killed people last year near the Champawat district of India; the Anantnag district of India; and the Palpa district of Nepal.
That's 10 deaths documented, but I'll bet there were more last year.

Photo: Yogi Bear as a man-eater from CollegeHumor video.

Bears may look cute, but they will rip your head off if they have a chance

I find it odd that bears are portrayed as so friendly and cuddly in popular culture (cartoons, advertisements, etc.), especially since some species – like polar bears – are among the fiercest predators on the planet.
CollegeHumor recently made a funny video portraying pop culture bears (including Yogi and Winnie the Pooh) as savage killers.
Thankfully polar and grizzly bears don’t live in areas where many human are.
As with other wild animals, it is hard to find statistics on human deaths by bear attack.
Last year, bears killed three people in the U.S., according to an entry with citations on Wikipedia.
On Aug. 5, 2010, a sloth bear in the Amravati district of India killed four people, according to Thaindian News.
Bears also killed people last year near the Champawat district of India; the Anantnag district of India; and the Palpa district of Nepal.
That's 10 deaths documented, but I'll bet there were more last year.

Photo: Yogi Bear as a man-eater from CollegeHumor video.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fatal crocodile attacks are no crock

Crocodiles kill more people each year than any other predator.
They are brutally efficient killing machines. They grab hold of prey in their powerful jaws, pull their victims underwater and drown them.
The saltwater and Nile crocodiles are the most dangerous, killing hundreds of people each year in Southeast Asia and Africa, according to Wikipedia. But the article, like most on the subject, lacks citations.
The most newsworthy crocodile attack last year was the one that killed South African outdoorsman Hendrik Coetzee. He was killed by a croc while leading a kayaking expedition through Congo’s Lukuga River on Dec. 7, 2010. (Read an account of his death by ABC News.)
On April 28, 2010, a 25-year-old New Jersey woman snorkeling in the waters near Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island, one of India’s Andaman Islands, was killed by a saltwater crocodile. (See AOL News report on the attack.)
More typical crocodile attacks are like these reported in Kuching, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo; and in Tamil Nadu, India.

Photo: A 16-foot-long saltwater crocodile lunges at Israeli traveler Novon Mashiah during a fishing trip in 2008 in Australia’s Northern Territory. (See Mirror article.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ferocious felines: Big cats strike back


Tigers

The number of tigers living in the wild has dropped from 100,000 a century ago to about 3,200 today.
Nations like India, Malaysia and Russia are working to preserve their wild tiger populations and, if possible, increase them.
At the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November, 13 tiger-range countries set a goal of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022 and laid out plans to achieve that.
I’m sure people living in areas frequented by wild tigers feel differently about the situation.
In India, the country with the most wild tigers, attacks on humans are “regular occurrences,” according to UK’s Guardian newspaper. Shrinking habitats and less natural prey because of human encroachment are largely to blame.
However, it’s easier to find statistics on how many tigers are killed by poachers and others than how many people are killed by tigers in any given year.
In the Sundarbans, a large mangrove forest shared by West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh, wild tigers kill 50 to 250 people a year. (In 2009, tigers killed 50 people in the Sundarbans, according to Zee News of India.)
Man-eating tigers also are a problem in northern India. In the state of Uttam Pradesh, 16 people have been killed by tigers over the past 10 months, Thaindian News reported Jan. 13.

Lions

Tigers eat more people, but their cousins the lions occasionally dine on humans too.
On Oct. 30, 2010, a pride of lions fatally mauled a tourist while he showered under a tree at an unfenced campsite in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe. Peter Evershed, a 59-year-old businessman, was attacked by five lions as darkness fell at the Chitake Springs bush camp, a wildlife viewing area near the Mana Pools nature reserve, according to the Huffington Post.
One report noted that eight people were killed by lions in rural areas of Zimbabwe between May and June 2010.

Photo: Bengal tiger by John and Karen Hollingsworth.

Next: Crocodile attacks are no crock

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A review of 2010 wild animal attacks, starting with sharks

One of my eclectic interests is wild animal attacks.
The idea that people can be killed by a lion, tiger, bear, crocodile, shark or other beast in the modern age is fascinating to me. A century ago this was much more common. But man has largely wiped out these threats. So when nature occasionally strikes back today, it captures my attention.
I haven’t found a current website yet devoted to wild animals challenging humans for the top of the food chain. I’d love to see one. I’ve considered doing one myself, but my interests are too varied for that to satisfy me.
One website Top Secret Animal Attack Files documented notable animal attacks from July 1997 to June 2008. It operated for 11 years then ceased. Wikipedia has picked up the slack with multiple entries on animal attacks.
In the U.S., we’ve pretty much eliminated wild animal threats. People are much more likely to be killed by a pet dog or animal in captivity than out in the wild.
What follows are some of the more notable animal attacks and killings from last year.

Sharks

Shark attacks are among the best documented wild animal threats.
The International Shark Attack File keeps a database of shark attacks. It’s administered by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The group says 70 to 100 shark attacks are reported worldwide each year, resulting in five to 15 deaths. Not all shark attacks are reported, however. Information from Third World countries is especially poor.
In 2010, there were 72 shark attacks worldwide with six fatalities, according to the ISAF.
Of those deaths, Florida and California had one each. The number of shark attacks was at its highest level since 2000, when there were 80 attacks, including 11 fatalities.
Here are summaries of three particularly newsworthy fatal shark attacks last year:
On Feb. 2, 2010, a 38-year-old man was attacked by a bull shark off a beach in Martin County, Florida. The victim, Stephen Schafer, was kitesurfing when he was attacked. He died from massive blood loss from a leg wound. (Read accounts by TCPalm.com and the Associated Press.)
On Oct. 22, 2010, a 19-year-old man died of massive blood loss when a great white shark bit off his leg while he was bodyboarding off a beach in Santa Barbara County, California. The shark that attacked Lucas Ransom was believed to have been 17 to 18 feet long and weighing about 4,000 pounds. (Read accounts in the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and the Santa Barbara Independent.)
One of the most notable fatal shark attacks occurred at a resort in Egypt. An oceanic whitetip shark killed a 70-year-old German woman who was snorkeling close to the shore in Sharm el-Sheikh on Dec. 5, 2010. (Read accounts in the U.K. Mail, Telegraph and the Huffington Post.)

Next: Ferocious felines

Photo from September 2005 issue of Africa Geographic.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

State governments should cash in on vanity license plates, not censor them

State governments hurting for money should look to vanity license plates to raise funds.
They should substantially increase the fees for vanity license plates or do what Texas just did – auction them off. (The Texas license plate for FERRARI drew a $15,000 bid. Here’s a list of other winning bids.)
States also shouldn’t devote resources to censoring license plates. If a proctologist in New York City wants to have the license plate “ASSMAN,” like on the sitcom “Seinfeld,” he should be able to get it … for a price.
If someone wants to have a swear word on their license plate, it’s a statement on him or her and the government should just butt out.
Governments shouldn’t waste resources on something so ridiculous as deciding the appropriateness of license plates. I’ve seen bumper stickers that were pretty racy, but we aren’t censoring those. Thank you, First Amendment.
Stories about states censoring license plates regularly make the news. Here are stories from Virginia, Washington state, Nevada and Colorado. Jalopnik also has a list of “50 Vanity Plates That Slipped By The DMV.”
Enough already. Give people want they want, but make them pay for the privilege.

Photo: Still from "Seinfeld" episode featuring the Ass Man.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

World Series of Beer Pong crowns 2011 champs

Dan Range of Columbia, Ill., and Nick Syrigos, of St. Charles, Mo., reached the pinnacle of their sport last week, winning the World Series of Beer Pong VI in Las Vegas.
Playing under team name “Standing Ovation,” the two men shared the $50,000 grand prize.
Given my interest in fringe sports, I attended the finale held Jan. 4 at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament started with 507 two-player teams (up from 500 last year) from nine countries playing the college drinking game beer pong.
Players toss ping pong balls into plastic cups partially filled with beer from one end of an 8-foot-long table to the other. If you get a ball in a cup, that cup is removed from play. The object is to be the first team to clear all of your cups.
In the college version of the game, whenever a team successfully dunks a ping pong ball, the other team has to drink the beer in that cup. In the pro version of the game played at the World Series of Beer Pong, players don’t have to drink the alcohol.
The boisterous crowd made for a fun atmosphere as the final teams faced off for the big money. There was lots of trash talking between the contestants. But it was all in fun, as players embraced once their matches were over.
The World Series of Beer Pong is the largest, longest-running beer pong tournament in the world. It’s sponsored by BPONG.com, which sells beer pong gear and apparel.
Organizers now are trying to decide the next step for the tournament.
BPONG.com and the World Series of Beer Pong were founded by three friends from Carnegie Mellon University. Now they must decide whether to go big or cash out.
Billy Gaines, co-founder of BPONG.com and the World Series of Beer Pong, said the group recently hired a sponsorship consultant to look for opportunities for the event.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is the fact that it does involve alcohol,” Gaines said.
Exposure to the sport is growing because it’s been featured in movies, TV sitcoms, reality shows and on late-night talk shows.
“It’s becoming more visible in American culture,” Gaines said.
Gaines plans to turn BPONG.com into a platform to unite beer pong players and grow the sport. He wants to create a community where beer pong enthusiasts can track team statistics and find local events.
Like other fringe sports looking to break through to the mainstream, the World Series of Beer Pong needs a cable TV contract. That’s quite possible, given that such fringe sports as the Lingerie Football League and the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest are on TV.

Photos by Patrick Seitz:
Dan Range of team Standing Ovation prepares to take a shot Jan. 4, 2011, in the championship round of the World Series of Beer Pong VI (top)
Garbage can filled with empty cups and beer bottles at the World Series of Beer Pong VI.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clever porn title of the year: The Devil Wears Nada

The AVN Awards, known as the Oscars of the porn industry, were handed out Saturday in Las Vegas. The only award I had any interest in was Clever Title of the Year.
I’ve posted several articles about funny porn titles, especially parodies of hit movies and TV shows. This year’s AVN winner for clever title was “The Devil Wears Nada” (a takeoff on “The Devil Wears Prada” book and movie).
The category, now in its third year, had 15 nominees. Frankly, most of them weren’t very “clever.”
I thought four of them were good: “The Devil Wears Nada”, “Tiger’s Got Wood” (one of several movies parodying pro golfer Tiger Woods’ sex scandal), “Top Heavy Chef” (a parody of TV cooking show “Top Chef”), and “Talibang” (a spin on the radical Islamist political group Taliban).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lady Gaga, Olivia Wilde and Darth Vader add star power to CES 2011

Lots of celebrities made appearances at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, held Jan. 6-9.
The stars of Sony’s “The Green Hornet” – Seth Rogen and Jay Chou – appeared on stage with their weaponized car from the film on Jan. 5 for the Sony (natch) pre-show press conference. Their film comes out Jan. 14 in 3-D as well as 2-D. (See a video of their appearance here.)
Pop singer Lady Gaga caused a stir on Jan. 6 at the Polaroid booth, where she introduced several electronics devices she helped design. (See a video of her appearance here.)
That same day, “Star Wars” characters Darth Vader and two dozen Imperial Stormtroopers marched into the Panasonic booth to announce the September release of all six “Star Wars” movies on Blu-ray Disc.
Actress Olivia Wilde, actor Adrian Grenier, and actor/hip-hop artist Common were among the celebrities interviewed on stage at Research In Motion’s BlackBerry booth during the show. (See video of Wilde’s appearance here.)
Rapper 50 Cent was at the show to debut his new headphones from Sleek Audio.
Actress Shannon Elizabeth played Xbox Live poker at a Microsoft event. (See video here.)
Earth, Wind & Fire performed at Monster’s party for retailers. Barenaked Ladies played at a reception for AT&T Wireless. And comic actor Joel McHale from the NBC comedy “Community” entertained at AMD’s party.

Photos from CES 2011 by Patrick Seitz:
Darth Vader and Stormtroopers at the Panasonic booth (top), Lady Gaga at the Polaroid booth, and Seth Rogen and Jay Chou at the Sony booth.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 20 celebrities predicted to die in 2011

Contestants in the Stiffs.com dead pool have picked actress Zsa Zsa Gabor as the celebrity most likely to die in 2011.
The 93-year-old actress was No. 4 on the 2010 list of public figures thought most likely to die in the year. But she survived.
Of the top 10 celebrities marked for death in 2010 in the Stiffs.com dead pool, five died during the year: basketball coach John Wooden, Iraqi war criminal Chemical Ali, sportscaster Ernie Harwell, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd and radio and TV personality Art Linkletter.

Top 20 picks in the 2011 Stiffs.com dead pool
  1. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 93, actress
  2. Aretha Franklin, 68, singer
  3. Michael Douglas, 66, actor
  4. Billy Graham, 92, Christian evangelist
  5. Dolores Hope, 101, singer and widow of actor Bob Hope
  6. Kirk Douglas, 94, actor
  7. Ronnie Biggs, 81, British criminal famous for role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963
  8. Fidel Castro, 84, Cuban leader
  9. Betty Ford, 92, widow of former U.S. President Gerald Ford
  10. Run Run Shaw, 103, Hong Kong media mogul
  11. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 58, Libyan terrorist convicted in bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988
  12. Nancy Reagan, 89, widow of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan
  13. Penny Marshall, 67, actress and director
  14. Luise Rainer, 100, actress
  15. Harry Morgan, 95, actor
  16. Seve Ballesteros, 53, professional golfer
  17. Christopher Hitchens, 61, author, journalist and pundit
  18. Harmon Killebrew, 74, baseball player
  19. Kim Jong-il, 69, North Korean leader
  20. Maggie Thatcher, 85, former prime minister of the United Kingdom
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