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Tony Grist

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Two Cheers For Google [Jan. 21st, 2006|12:45 pm]
Tony Grist
Hey I'm 55.

I was going to write that I've now outlived Shakespeare, but I find I was wrong in thinking he died at 54. In fact he died at 52- so I've now outlived him by three years. I tried Googling "people who died at 54" in search of other celebs I could crow over, but I didn't get any usable results. Did I want to know about "Famous people who died in air crashes"?

Actually, no.

Google hasn't had a good day. Earlier I wanted it to tell me about Ausburg- the town in Bavaria (I'm thinking Purchas might drop by sometime) and it was very parsimonious. I was offered information on American citizens called Ausburg and some American towns called Ausburg and the diary of an American soldier who was once stationed in Ausburg. ("Beaucoup women hereabout" he tells us- what a lovely, perceptive man) but substantial inside dope on one of the loveliest cities in Southern Germany- No.

Gosh, I may be forced to consult those awkward, cumbersome, out-of-date things called "books".

But I do now know the Roman name. Augusta Vindelicum. It's better than nothing.

But we mustn't knock Google. They're standing up to Bush. They're not going to let him know I've been wanting to find out about Ausburg or people who kicked the bucket at 54.

My heroes! (Google, that is- not the middle-aged deaders.)
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2006-01-21 05:22 am (UTC)
It's spelled "Augsburg"... :-P
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 06:17 am (UTC)
Ahem.

That could explain a lot.

The splendid thing is there actually were a few mis-spelt sites out there.
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2006-01-21 05:31 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 06:17 am (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: pickwick
2006-01-21 05:42 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!

I turned 28 on mine, which was a relief - 27's the age all the rockers die :) Jimi, Janis, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison... Dead Or Alive tells me that Marc Bolan didn't die till he was 29, though. I just got so lost in that site!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 06:19 am (UTC)
Thanks.

What an useful site.

Bolan lived to be that old! I'm surprised.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2006-01-21 05:55 am (UTC)
Happy official birthday! :-) I hope it is a very good one.

I just read in the NY Times that Vladimir Lenin died on this date... and guess what? He was 54!
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2006-01-21 06:17 am (UTC)
Oh and this...

You have reached the most popular speed limit around here. SORRY KID but you can't go any faster! ;-)

I'll be 59 on March 21. You have not outlived ME! ;-)
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[User Picture]From: suzilem
2006-01-21 05:55 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Tony! Many happy returns.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 06:23 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-01-21 06:12 am (UTC)
Whee! Happy Birthday!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 06:24 am (UTC)
Thanks.

I've eaten TWO cherry bakewells to celebrate.
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[User Picture]From: kishenehn
2006-01-21 06:32 am (UTC)
A very happy birthday to you!

So I tried a quick web search for people who only made it to 54 ... the best I could come up with was Robert Palmer. (Oh, and John Ritter -- do non-Americans even know who he was?)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 08:20 am (UTC)
Thanks

John Ritter- I feel I ought to, but...no...it escapes me.
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[User Picture]From: dadi
2006-01-21 08:04 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday to you :) and may it be a year full of interesting journeys, be they real or literary!

As somebody already mentioned, it is Augsburg. And if you need some help on it, I have been there several times and know it quite well, I even have relatives who have been living there for many centuries, among which one who has been burned as a witch around 1480...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 08:25 am (UTC)
Thanks.

They were burning witches there in the 1480s?

This I need to know more about.

A whole new plot line suggests itself.

I chose the name at random. I Googled a list of Bavarian towns and Augsburg was at the top. I got lucky with Orvieto. Seems like I could have got lucky with Augsburg too!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 08:58 am (UTC)
Many thanks!
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From: bodhibird
2006-01-21 08:56 am (UTC)
Happy happy birthday!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 09:00 am (UTC)
Many thanks.
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[User Picture]From: seaslug_of_doom
2006-01-21 09:18 am (UTC)
A very happy birthday to you!

Let's accentuate the positive and see who was born on this day in history!

Horace Wells the dentist, who pioneered the use of medical anesthesia. Thank heavens for him!

John Browning, the weapons manufacturer. I'm sure he's contributed to a few people dying at age 54.

Barney Clark, the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart. Is he still alive? And isn't Barney a marvelous name! Hey Barney! How's the old ticker?

Oh, and Telly Savalas was born today. Who loves ya baby!

Ah, but who died on January 21?

Louis XV1 got a bit of a sore throat over in France on this day.

George Orwell died on this day at age 46 from tuberculosis. That one may cause some reflection.

Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager kicked the bucket today.

On this day in history Philip II, Henry II and Richard the Lion Hearted began the Third Crusade. Adrian Boeyens, head inquisitor, was elected Pope in 1522. The Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine, was launched on the Thames in 1954. In 1994, Lorena Bobbitt was found to be temporarily insane for misinterpreting the term "whacking off". And the first edition of Charles Dickens' Daily News was published today in 1846.

Now I'm off to read more of your own serialized novel. You can blow out the candles now.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 09:23 am (UTC)
Thank you.

What a marvellous list of people and events!

I knew about poor old Louis but the rest is new to me.

Telly Savalas was an Aquarius? Hey, that's really far-out, man. Not to say downright weird. I had him pegged as a Leo or an Aries or something- you know- a tad more aggressive.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-01-21 09:30 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-01-21 09:34 am (UTC)
P.S. Just in fairness to the Administration, it should be noted that they are *not* asking for personal information in the Google subpoena. There's a useful look at the issue, without a lot of bias one way or the other and drawing no conclusion at the moment, at

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_15-2006_01_21.shtml#1137705478

I find it an interesting issue. If we stipulate that barring minors from pornography is a good thing, and if for the moment we ignore the vexing fact that to do so we must define both "minor" and "pornography" to the satisfaction of all or at least many, then what might be the most effective way of keeping pornography out of the hands of minors without violating others' First Amendment rights to produce and consume the stuff?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 01:17 pm (UTC)
Hmm. It gets quite technical, doesn't it?

I guess my position is that we don't want government, any government- left or right- knowing too much about us.

Because no government can be trusted not to abuse its powers.
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[User Picture]From: methexis
2006-01-21 09:39 am (UTC)
The happiest of birthdays to you!

Cordially,
J.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 01:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2006-01-21 10:17 am (UTC)
happy birthday, tony!

i am enjoying purchas quite a bit, by the way. what do you do to come up with ideas, when you have none?

(asking as someone who's now expected to write a poem a week, and hasn't had a new idea since, oh, october-ish)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-01-21 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

I'm glad you're enjoying Purchas.

Ideas? That's a difficult one. There are times when nothing but nothing comes into my head.

The idea for Purchas came out of nowhere. I wasn't planning to write a novel and then the germ came to me (from watching an unsatisfactory movie about immortals) and suddenly I was up and running. Pressure sometimes helps. The task I've set myself of writing Purchas as a serial means I have no choice but to sit down every morning and write something.

In the past I've found that being set a task can help. I had a friend once who would email me with requests like- write a poem about Shostakovitch. I knew next to nothing about Shostakovitch and cared very little, but somehow being expected to do it produced the necessary spark. Some of these commissioned poems were rubbish, but there were quite a few i was pleased with- the Shostakovitch poem among them.

So if I said, "write a poem about Shostakovitch!" do you think you could do it?
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