From this week’s obituaries: a star-gazer, bomb-maker, bar keeper, young father and child adventurer. A misty-eyed start to the week.
1. Brian Marsden, keeper of the records of the solar system, from The Economist: ‘Mr Marsden’s other somewhat controversial stand was on Pluto, calling on the International Astronomical Union to downgrade its planetary status. (He also felt that the only reason anyone was fussed about the matter was that Pluto was the only “planet” to have been discovered by an American.)’
2. Sam Cohen, creator of the neutron bomb, in The Independent: “Dropping two atomic bombs on defenseless Japanese cities is not my definition of fighting a nuclear war.“
3. Elaine Kaufman, legendary proprietor of Manhattan writer’s haunt, in the LA Times: “She was a tough broad,” said Bill Bratton, who ran the New York Police Department and made Elaine’s his watering hole before serving as Los Angeles police chief. “But she had two soft spots,” he added, “for the Yankees and the writers.”
4. Gavin Blyth, producer of Emmerdale, in the Yorkshire Post: 41-year-old father of three, had been a journalist who went on to make a career in television.
5. Palle Huld, inspiration for Tintin character, in the Boston Globe: In 1928, a Danish newspaper launched a competition to celebrate the centennial of Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. The contest was open only to teenage boys; the winner would circle the globe unaccompanied; and he had to complete the trip within 46 days, using any conveyance but the airplane. The 15-year-old Huld won – and completed the trip in 44 days.