one of my favourite directors just died

Anime director Satoshi Kon dies, aged 46.

Kon passed away passed yesterday after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The filmmaker’s work includes Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress and Paprika.

Kon was working on fantasy-adventure animation, “Yumemiru Kikai (Dream Machine)”, due for release in 2011, at the time of his death. Featuring a futuristic adventure starring a robot, it would have been his first work aimed at children after he produced a series of what he called “animations which adults can enjoy”.

at a loss

David‘s rabbit Emmerson abruptly died today.

Upon arriving home, I also discovered that both my cats are suddenly sick. Tanaquil is not keeping food down and Tanith has diarrhea. I’m concerned there is a particular illness affecting all of them, but don’t know anything about cross-species disease.

Does anyone here have any information?

I cannot afford to take them to the vet.

Be seeing you, Number Six.

R.I.P. Patrick McGoohan

“..most famous as the character known only as Number Six in “The Prisoner,” a sci-fi tinged 1960s British series in which a former spy is held captive in a small enclave known only as The Village, where a mysterious authority named Number One constantly prevents his escape.

McGoohan came up with the concept and wrote and directed several episodes of the show, which has kept a devoted following in the United States and Europe for four decades.

Born in New York on March 19, 1928, McGoohan was raised in England and Ireland, where his family moved shortly after his birth. He had a busy stage career before moving to television, and won a London Drama Critics Award for playing the title role in the Henrik Ibsen play “Brand.””

He’ll always be Number One.

EDIT: Equally bad news, Ricardo Montalbán passed away today as well.

Wrenching news.

PingMag, the Tokyo based magazine about “Design and Making Things”, is shutting down

I’ve been an almost daily reader of PingMag for at least two years, thrilled to have found a site so consistently fascinating. I’m more than sad they had to throw in the towel, I’m actually somewhat shocked. From their site:

Dear PingMag readers,

It’s the last day of 2008, and we have a sad announcement to make.

From today, PingMag will be taking an extended hiatus, and will not be updated for the foreseeable future.

PingMag has been running for 3 and a half years now, and over that time literally millions of you, from every single corner of the planet, have visited, read our articles, left comments, linked to us on your blogs, sent us letters of support – some of you have even flown to Tokyo to join us!

We are eternally grateful for your fantastic support over the years.

It is only because of you all that we have managed to keep PingMag going this long, and with every article – and there have been around 1000 of them! – we have made new friends, and found new, exciting people and places here in Japan and all over the world.

Thank you! Thank you for all your love and good will. We can only offer our sincerest apologies that we are unable to continue returning your fantastic generosity.

As well as you our readers, so many of you have actually contributed to PingMag, in so many different ways. It isn’t possible for me to thank everyone personally here, but many of you are credited in the about page, and anyone who we’ve missed, our apologies! Every contribution, however big or small, has made PingMag what it is, and you will always be a precious member of the team.

The world is facing tough times right now, and many of you may have uncertain months ahead. Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, we wish you all the very best of luck, and look forward to being able to meet again, we hope, at some point in the future.

All the very best wishes from Tokyo,

Tom, and the entire PingMag team.

r.i.p. Eartha Kitt, who Orson Welles described as “the most exciting woman in the world”.

Mer says, “Just a quick goodbye air kiss to glamourpuss Eartha Kitt, who passed away today [Dec 25th] at the age of 81. It’s nice to picture her sitting on some sparkling, inter-dimensional yacht this evening, having scintillating conversation over moon martinis with [the also, sadly, recently deceased] Harold Pinter.”

Also recently lost to us is Gene Rodenberry’s widow, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, “the First Lady of Star Trek”, who died in her home of leukemia December 18.