Legendary Chicago Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at Age 70

Legendary Chicago Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at Age 70

I know [my death] is coming, and I do not fear it,
Because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.
I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path.
I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.
What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter.
You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip.

I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.”
–Roger Ebert, 2010

Roger Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago at the age of 70.

On Tuesday, Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December and would be taking “a leave of presence.” In the blog essay, marking his 46th anniversary of becoming the Sun-Times film critic, Ebert wrote “I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers hand-picked and greatly admired by me.” “We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”

Ebert had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland. He first had surgery to remove a malignant tumor on his thyroid in 2002, and three subsequent surgeries on his salivary gland, all the while refusing to cut back on his TV show or his lifelong pride and joy, his job at the Sun-Times. He lost part of his lower jaw in 2006, and with it the ability to speak or eat, a calamity that would have driven other men from the public eye. But Ebert refused to hide, instead forging what became a new chapter in his career, an extraordinary chronicle of his devastating illness that won him a new generation of admirers. “No point in denying it,” he wrote, analyzing his medical struggles with characteristic courage, candor and wit, a view that was never tinged with bitterness or self-pity.

My newspaper job,” he said in 2005, “is my identity.” But as always with Roger Ebert, that was being too modest. He was a renaissance man whose genius was based on film but by no means limited to it, a great soul who had extraordinary impact on his profession and the world around him.

Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoir, Life Itself. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

Read more about the life of Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times here.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper: Roger Ebert’s Influence and Legacy

When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, came together to tell his remarkable story.

Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice

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A Celebration of Steve’s Life

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

Apple has posted this video of the tribute to Steven P. Jobs, which took place last week at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California. The event, A Celebration of Steve’s Life, was held to commemorate Mr. Jobs, who died this month after battling pancreatic cancer.

The video begins with Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, introducing Mr. Jobs’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. Mr. Cook shared thoughts of Mr. Jobs’s work at Apple over the years and noted that no one in attendance would be working at Apple if it wasn’t for Mr. Jobs. “There is one more thing he leaves us; he leaves us with each other,” Mr. Cook said. “Other than his family, Apple would be his finest creation.” Mr. Cook also said the last piece of advice Mr. Jobs gave him was “to never ask what he would do; just do what’s right.

Following Mr. Cook’s speech, Al Gore, the former Vice President and an Apple board member, spoke. Some of Mr. Jobs’s favorite musicians played at the event. Norah Jones sang the Bob Dylan song Forever Young. The British band Coldplay performed Fix You and Yellow, while thousands of Apple employees listened and helped celebrate the co-founder’s life.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life

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Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder and visionary, who helped usher in the era of personal computers and led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday at the age of 56. Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with cancer, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. After leaving, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company in August. “Unfortunately, that day has come.” By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and a wide range of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet.

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

1984 Apple Macintosh Super Bowl Commercial

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Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder, Former-CEO and Visionary, Dies at 56

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder, Former-CEO and Visionary, Dies at 56

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder, Former-CEO and visionary, who helped usher in the era of personal computers and led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday at the age of 56. The death was announced by Apple Computers, the company Mr. Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage. Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with cancer, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment.

He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. After leaving, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company in August. “Unfortunately, that day has come.” By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and a wide range of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet.

Read more about the amazing life of Steve Jobs in The New York Times here.

Apple Confirms Steve Jobs Has Died at 56

A Steve Jobs Timeline

Steve Jobs: How to Live Before You Die

Photo-Gallery: Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder and Visionary, Dies at 56

(Please Click Image to View Photo-Gallery)

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Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

Well, I ended up missing most of the Super Bowl, as well as almost all of the ads that went along with the Big Game.  But I did catch the Google ad and it’s a knockout, a real triumph of story over the technical wizardry that’s usually showcased in Super Bowl ads.

Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

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Creation Begins: Adam and Eve in a Sterile Computer Server Room

Creation Begins: Adam and Eve in a Sterile Computer Server Room

So he drove out the man and he placed
at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim,
and a flaming sword which turned every way,
to keep the way of the tree of life
.”

Creation Begins is a very intriguing 1-min. short film directed by Adam Witten.  The film opens with a scene set in a seemingly sterile room full of silently working computer servers, then cuts to a newly created naked Adam who is laying on the floor. The parable continues as the servers whir to life, Eve is born and then the snake slithers into being.  With the scene of the Garden of Eden now set within the technological world of wires and silicon, the players rush headlong toward what appears to be the well-known end: the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise.  But with Adam given the chance to make the same mistake twice, he decides that it’s the human connection that makes creation great, not the technology that makes it possible.

Creation Begins: Adam and Eve in a Sterile Computer Server Room

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Hi! It’s a Real Human Interface (Like, an Actual Human Geek)

Hi! It’s a Real Human Interface (Like, an Actual Human Geek)

Now here’s a really ingenious parody on technology and the way we all use it. For those of you who think there’s a guy living inside your computer who makes all that really sparkly magic happen…well, now you’ll see that there really is one! Not only that, but sometimes the guy inside there gets a bit naughty, absurd and slapstick. This one will really make you smile!

Hi! It’s a Real Human Interface (Like, an Actual Human Geek)

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