Remembering Robin Williams

Robin Williams (21 de Julio de 1951 - 11 de Agosto de 2014)  -Robin Williams (21 de Julio de 1951 - 11 de Agosto de 2014) -"Prefiero morir como hombre, a vivir una eternidad como una maquina". -"Como el gran Andrew Martin solía decir, UNO se alegra de haberlo conocido". El Hombre Bicentenario #robinwilliams by BlackAdegan (cc by)

Among many stories and reminiscences, some members recall their IRL experiences with Robin Williams, "mensch, great talent... genuine soul"1:

 

PareidoliaticBoy: "I drove Robin Williams from Whistler to Vancouver in my limo days , and can testify to the man's utterly non-stop manic creativity. This happened on a day when the entire infrastructure of the ski-tourism transport-business, continent-wide, had been struck a massive blow; with a snow-storm which had closed airports from Denver to New York for most of the day, with the resulting missed connections, and badly-snarled plans of anyone unlucky enough to be attempting to travel that day. ...Where other celebrities might have pulled a fit, Robin Williams made everyone he encountered on that chaotic day happy just to be alive in that place, at the time."

kanata: "He came up to us to play the "what breed are your dogs" game that everyone plays with rescue mutts. He came across as such a down to earth guy and later went out of his way to sign autographs for people at the nearby coffee shop."

Malla: "My husband was making a little video for a coworker goodbye party ... Williams not only agreed to be in the goodbye video, he was hilarious and sincere and very charming. A true gent."

Durhey: "my first job in the gaming industry was as phone tech support for EA ... After the executives told us about the plans for the coming year, they brought out a surprise special guest, none other than Robin Williams. He came out and just went off on a long improvised comedy routine about playing Medal of Honor, cocaine, and maybe hundreds of other topics. It was a real treat after talking to irate customers on the phone all day..."

Oneswellfoop: "Pointing straight at me, he said, in his most formal announcer's voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, Bill Tilden!" It wasn't the biggest laugh of the evening, not a familiar enough cultural reference, but I made sure to laugh, then I whispered to my date, who'd laughed like she got the joke, "Who's Bill Tilden?""

goofyfoot: "The club was right next to my bus stop and had plate glass windows. I could watch, but not hear. One night he faced me and made an aside to the audience, then gave me an exaggerated wave while the audience busted up. I curtsied, and have always wondered what he said."

essexjan: "Weirdly, today at around noon I was driving through Pennsylvania on my way back from Boston to Ohio when I thought of him. We were driving near the town where a friend of mine used to live before he moved to Virginia. A few years ago a movie had been made about my friend's life and Robin Williams played my friend in that movie."

too bad you're not me: "Someone at the hospital where my brother was being treated got us in touch with the Make A Wish foundation. My brother's wish? To meet Robin Williams. ... During lunch, I remember how nice Robin was to my brother, and to my parents. He didn't treat my brother like a sick kid--that's what sticks out to me the most. That, and how unimpressive the on-set catering was. But hey, I was ten, and I think I expected caviar and frog legs or something."

macrael: "The house we ended up moving to was in the Castro, it's previous tenant: one Robin Williams. ... In the yard, there was a little play house that I went over to and he immediately came up to the window and started pretending like he was a city health inspector and that I was selling bad burgers. Or something. I don't know any of the details but my parents remember him being just hilarious, doing a little bit at the drop of a hat, joking with a 2 year old about health code violations."

psoas: "... on the day I decided I first wanted to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge I either didn't bother asking anyone to join me or couldn't find any takers. I was about halfway across when a large sky-blue blur whizzed past me and I felt myself almost lose my balance..."

kinetic: "she said, 'Robin Williams is here and he's hanging out and I don't know, maybe he's gonna go on.' So I tore down to The Improv and sat with my sister and her friends as a few hacks got up there and did their bits. ... And then Robin Williams ran onto the stage and I HAVE NO WORDS..."

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08/12/14
by taz

The Fun gnaws away at itself and shows The Fear within

The ClownThe Clown by astio (cc by-nc-sa)

there's something elementally unnerving about the sort of unrestrained jouissance that clowns represent. I'm not quite willing to say it's universal, but we go way out of our way to set limits to enjoyment, pleasure, happiness, joy—and you don't have to agree with me, but this doesn't strike me as absurd. Every primal force is terrible. At some point silliness and happiness and fun and joy start to transgress itself and display its horror...

mr-o waxes philosophic on the primal paradox of the creepy clown problem.

08/04/14
by taz

We want a pure LHC-kill-beam thought experiment here

Your head will now EXPLODE shirtYour head will now EXPLODE shirt by Ced (cc by-nc-sa)

I really don't know what would happen if you put your head (or hand) into the LHC beam, and contra the article, the Anatoli Bugorski incident only gives us a vague sense of what would happen in the much more powerful LHC. So let's do a Fermi-style thought experiment. Also known as writing down a bunch of numbers and then guessing from that.

Once again, physicsmatt tackles the big questions on our behalf, this time regarding a mind-blowing hypothetical about the Large Hadron Collider.

08/01/14
by taz

They'd ask me cutting and incisive questions about stupid American politics

Chocolat de Bonnat. Côte d'IvoireChocolat de Bonnat. Côte d'Ivoire by EverJean (cc by)

I work in southwestern Cote d'Ivoire, just on the border of Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. The men I employ are largely cocoa farmers, when they're not in the forest taking complex observational data on primate behavior and ecology.

ChuraChura responds to, and takes some issue with, a video of Ivorian cacao farmers tasting chocolate for the first time, plus gives a larger picture of the day-to-day reality of the tough economics of farming in the region.

07/30/14
by taz

I'm thinking about creating an interactive fiction game...

The Old Room of Macabre DetritusThe Old Room of Macabre Detritus by Stuck in Customs (cc by-nc-sa)

I want to know more about the material culture of a large English country house or great house in the Victorian era. ...if a house like this somehow got frozen in time, and you came along a century later and could wander around inside, what would you find?

Among the answers, Jane the Brown offers a very nice overview of the state of the estate.

07/28/14
by taz

How does Hawaii work?

HawaiiHawaii by tico_manudo (cc by-nc-nd)

My family and I are planning a trip to Hawaii, but we don't know where to even start.

Kathryn gives great, detailed advice for visitors to the Aloha State.

07/27/14
by taz

"My Father Valued My Brain"

Dad and daughterDad and daughter by Peter Werkman (www.peterwerkman.nl) (cc by)

On a question about dads wanting to learn the basics of feminism to better prepare their daughters for the world, EmpressCallipygos talks about how her dad raised her in a supportive way without deep knowledge of the field.

You don't have to have a degree in women's studies or a nuanced understanding of gender politics to raise independent-minded daughters. My father certainly didn't - he went to trade school instead of college and that kind of theoretical book-study was really not what he was into.

07/25/14
by mathowie

What happens when you accidentally legalize prostitution?

Sex Workers Rights ProtestSex Workers Rights Protest by Eliya (cc by-nc)

FYI, I'm one of the authors. I can answer specific questions.

Mefi's own scunning shows up to comment on a post about what their research revealed when prostitution was inadvertently decriminalized in Rhode Island, and invites comments, criticism, and hypotheses.

07/20/14
by taz

"They advised covering your face to avoid ropeburn on your nose"

Bounce Below: Giant Network of Trampolines Suspended in an Abandoned Welsh Slate Mine

On the bottom level there was a trampoline-walkway up to a trampoline spiral which goes up to the middle layer if you don't want to climb the laddery-ramp thing instead. However the laddery-ramp thing was pretty steep and had a rope with loops to hold on to, which let me pretend to be Adam West's Batman, so it was kind of a toss-up as to which was funner between the ramp and the spiral.

Mefite aubilenon reports back first hand on the newly opened "Bounce Below," a giant network of trampolines and slides mounted to the walls of an abandoned Welsh slate mine at heights of 20 to 180 feet off the ground.

07/09/14
by taz

RAR RAR RAR

talking againtalking again by mediamolecule (cc by-nc-nd)

From The Vaults:

How do you fake American?, 2008

... what if you're not an English speaker, and you want to fake-speak English, or more precisely, American? How does it sound?

And more: Imitation English, 2003

What are the stereotypes of the native English speaker's accent as perceived by non-English-speakers?, 2004

How does one speak "pretend English"?, 2005

Linguaesthetics, 2006

07/07/14
by taz

That one lesson drastically changed the way I look at the world

198.365 a box full of letters addressed to me, #363 in explore198.365 a box full of letters addressed to me, #363 in explore by ashley rose, (cc by-nc-nd)

On a sunny January morning at the Burggymnasium Altena, Herr Hohage instructed us to close the blinds on our floor to ceiling windows. The day before, we had asked him how people could be taken in by [Hitler]. He intended to demonstrate.

In the Hitler practice photos thread, MissySedai recalls her time as a young exchange student in Germany, a shattering classroom lesson on the persuasive power of Adolf Hitler, and the letters home that processed the pain.

07/02/14
by taz

JulyByWomen Project

kimberly-ellen-hall nottene JULY calendarkimberly-ellen-hall nottene JULY calendar by brella (cc by-nc-sa)

Viggorlijah posts a Metatalk inviting women to participate in a July experiment to increase front page posts by women: "Women post to the front page proportionally less often, and I want to see if we can shift that. By my calculations ... only about 8% (lowballed because women don't identify themselves always on profiles) of FPPs are made by women. This is much lower than the number of self-reported women on Metafilter, and lower than the percentage of women commenting."

07/02/14
by taz

Competitive Fit Bitting

w00tw00t by @boetter (cc by)

In an effort to improve everyone's fitness, MeFi member barchan relates the story of competing for the most daily steps against her parents:

Not long after we started, my parents both started catching up to me, even without the handicaps. This is great! I thought. And because you can't help but compete with your own fitbit, I started upping my daily totals. And so did they. And so did I. And so did they.

06/26/14
by mathowie

"This video is not about defending Phil Fish, or about setting him on fire"

screencap

This video is about everyone in the world who isn’t Phil Fish.

It turns out the great video, "This is Phil Fish" posted by jklaiho was created by "Mefi's own" Peevish. (The transcript has been posted here.)

06/19/14
by taz

Where can I, mysterious woman, sit alone at a bar in my best dress and drink?

Last DropLast Drop by Renée S. Suen (cc by-nc-nd)

I love lush, dark, pretentious speakeasies where the cocktails take 15 minutes to make and cost my first born. As a kid, I dreamed on the day I could be the mysterious woman sitting alone at a fancy bar and here I am as an adult, with the means to fulfill my dreams.

Zosia Blue asks for the best modern speakeasy-type bars in each U.S. state... and compiles a spreadsheet. Santé!

06/16/14
by taz

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