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Dead People

Since the last Jackson's Java poetry reading, several famous people have died. So far John Backus, Charles Harrelson and Calvert DeForest have purchased the proverbial real estate.

Backus was the inventor of the programming language Fortran and (with Peter Naur) the Backus-Naur form for specifying syntax. Charles Harrelson was Woody Harrelson's father. He was in prison for killing a judge, and some folks link him to the Kennedy assasination. DeForest is better known as Larry Bud Melman, the bumbling old guy that frequently appeared on David Letterman's show. (He also appeared once on Pee-Wee's Playhouse, playing a child).

I've already written haiku about Backus and Harrelson. (You'll have to wait until the next poetry reading to see/hear them). I'm going to have to write a really good one about DeForest. He was a funny guy and in the words of Letterman himself "a genuine, modest and nice man". There's not many people like that left.

Here is a video of Larry Bud Melman handing out hot towels at Grand Central Station.
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Charles Harrleson died, eh? IIRC he was one of the folks at ADX Florence, America's only built-for-supermax prison. Conditions there are crazy. Prisoners are kept in total isolation 23 hours a day, no phone privileges and no internet privileges, all mail is open, read and censored both ways. The windows in the cells are very small and designed so you can't see where you actually are in the facility. The entire facility is fortified against an armed attack.

This was the same prison where they sent Zacarias Moussaoui and the Unabomber, after all... Though I doubt Mr. Harrelson ever had any interaction with them. Even the piping is dampened and led to different locations to prevent it from being a communication vector cell to cell. Craziness.