Actor Larry Hagman, who created one of television’s iconic villains with the treacherous J.R. Ewing of “Dallas,” died Friday, according to a family statement. He was 81. Hagman died at a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer, said the statement posted on Hagman’s official web site early Saturday.
“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” it said. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday.
When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”
“Dallas” was an iconic TV show back in 1980s and the main role in the series was the ruthless J R Ewing played by Larry Hagman. But back then Dallas was heavy stuff for us kids although my parents watch them often. For us, we prefer the funnier side of Larry in the sitcom “I Dream Of Jeannie” which was more entertaining and funny.
(The first man who will step on the moon -Neil Armstrong. Image source: The Hindu/NASA)
“This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”
Although he was not the first in space (that credit goes to a Russian, Yuri Gagarin who unfortunately died of a young age) and as the LM commander (and the pilot), he just happen to be the first to step out, we shall not forget the famed statement that Neil made after stepping on the Moon in July 1969 The moment was historic to all mankind who for ages have been fascinated by the Moon both spiritually and scientifically.
There is certain aura and mystery of the Moon – for one; it is not clear how the Moon was formed. The best theory is the giant impact hypothesis which states that the Moon was formed out of the debris left over from a collision between the Earth and a body the size of Mars, approximately 4.5 billion years ago. And without the Moon, the planet Earth would not have tidal motion which is generated by the gradient in intensity of the Moon’s gravitational pull from one side of the Earth to the other. And the Moon also stabilizes Earth’s wobble, which led to a more stable climate (otherwise we will have extreme weather every few months) and probably helped life evolve. So, was it by chance or by design we have a Moon for close companionship?
And whatever the reason, landing on it seemed to be dream that eluded us for many years until Apollo 11. Man’s exploration of the Moon ended with Apollo 17 in December 1972 and the planned exploration in recent times under the Constellation program have been cancelled in favour of a manned asteroid landing by 2025 and a manned Mars orbit by 2035. The Moon is moving away from Earth at the rate of 3.78cm per year but it will take billions of years before we can feel any drastic impact from this and who knows, perhaps by then we would have already landed humans on the planet Mars and travelled to other galaxies and managed to stabilize Moon’s shift from the planet Earth.
The possibilities are endless – all we need to do is to take that one giant leap.
Badminton legend Datuk Punch Gunalan passed away peacefully at 6am Wednesday. He was 68. Gunalan had been battling with liver cancer for some time. He had put Malaysia on the world’s map in the 1970s with his immaculate performances in the singles and doubles events – representing the country in the Thomas Cup, All-England and Asian Games.
He had also served with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and Badminton World Federation (BWF), earning the respect of the world for his excellent administrative and communication skills and also for his warmth, kindness and passion for the sport.
The last I meet Punch Gunalan was in the mid 1990s when I attended the KL Badminton Association annual meeting with my company Sport Coordinator who was there to discuss on hiring some of the KLBA’s younger players as interns and to represent the company for inter-bank meets.
Unfortunately, the meeting itself was an embarrassing one. Before the meeting started, we are the buffet table and in the rush for food, someone knocked onto me and I accidentally spilled the chilly sauce on my rather “white” shirt. Just then, my friend called me and introduced Punch Gunalan. As I shook his hand, I noticed that he was looking at the rather messy spill on the shirt. Embarrassed, all I wanted to do was to go and hide somewhere far. But he did not comment on it and he was rather polite to us despite the VIP guests that were waiting to see him.
Actor Andy Griffith, who played folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, died Tuesday at the age of 86, his family said.
Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie. He passed away after an unspecified illness and “has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoake Island,” the family said in a statement.
Other than the Little House on the Prairie, The Andy Griffith Show (that featured Ron Howard as Andy’s son Opie) was one of “the” shows that we often watched during tea-break when we were still little kids. Even as kids, Andy’s situational jokes and family oriented storyline was easy to follow. Andy Griffith also starred in Matlock but it did not come close to the more famed The Andy Griffith Show.
American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died in Los Angeles at the age of 48. Police said she died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she had been staying as a guest.
Houston was one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, with hits including I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love For You. But her later career was overshadowed by substance abuse and her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
Police were despatched, but paramedics who were already at the hotel because of the party attempted to resuscitate her, without success. She was pronounced dead at 15:55.
Not really a big fan of Whitney but she was one of the well-known female singers in late 1980s.