Patt Morrison asks: Pomona College economics professor and celebrity death mythbuster Gary Smith

Los Angeles Times

Prince was a man who not only made music but made music history, just like David Bowie, who died a few months earlier. In the absence of real information about deaths like these โ€“ and sometimes when we have real information โ€“ we humans long to see patterns even when there are none. And so sometimes we, well, just make things up. With its masses of data, the Internet should make people less credulous. But paradoxically it's made it easier to cook the numbers to endorse just about any notion.


Anthony Bourdain's death: Celebrity chefs 'in complete shock'

FOX News

Anthony Bourdain, CNN host and celebrity chef, was remembered by his friends and colleagues as a'friend to us all' following his reported suicide. CNN confirmed news that Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive by close friend and French chef Eric Ripert in a hotel in France. The network said he was working on an upcoming episode of his show "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown." Celebrity chefs and industry insiders reacted with shock to news of Bourdain's passing, with Nigella Lawson, Bourdain's co-judge on ABC's "The Taste," tweeting that she was "heartbroken" to learn of his death, and, as a result, would be taking a break from Twitter.


Celebrity Death Hoaxes 2017: Trevor Noah Latest Victim, Responds To 'Fake News'

International Business Times

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah became the latest victim of celebrity death hoaxes in 2017 after reports surfaced that he was shot dead while greeting his fans after a concert. The news was first circulated by a website called Houston News on Monday. Noah responded to the hoax on his Twitter account by sharing a screenshot of the website's page that carried the news of his "fake" death. Read: Fans Hope Chester Bennington's Death Is A Hoax According to Gossip Cop, which debunked the rumors of Noah's death, Houston News detailed the alleged incident when the host was attacked. "It was a two-gunned stranger -- possibly a deranged fan -- who murdered the South African king of comedy Trevor Noah as he signed autographs after a night concert in Orlando," Houston News wrote.


Number of famous deaths in 2016 is only expected once every 200 years

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Last year really was a terrible year to be famous, according to statistics. It certainly seemed like 2016, the year that started with the death of David Bowie and ended with George Michael, saw a greater number famous deaths than usual. Some argued there could be other explanations for the'curse' of 2016, like a greater number of ageing celebrities meaning we should expect more deaths. But now a mathematician has analysed the year and concluded the number of famous deaths was much greater than could be expected โ€“ a fluctuation that statistically is only expected once every two hundred years. The world lost icons from all genres, with the deaths of stars such as David Bowie, Sir Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and singer Prince last year year.


In Wake of Celebrity Deaths, People Are Sharing Stories About How They #LiveThroughThis

Mother Jones

On Friday, the world was shaken for the second time in one week by a celebrity suicide. Anthony Bourdain, the 61-year-old chef, was found dead in a French hotel room this morning. His untimely death came only days after that of Kate Spade, the New York fashion designer, who died by suicide in her apartment. Their deaths have sparked an outpouring of public grief, dotted with reminders of the well-documented suicide contagion effect: One death can offset others, particularly a celebrity's. Conversations have also turned to the importance of support networks--comfort found in friends, family, therapists, and even good Samaritans.