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The first of the “Top Ten” death lists for 2011

Many media organizations are now compiling their “Top Ten” lists for the year. Some will inevitably have a list of people within their worldview who died. The (almost) always entertaining website Mental Floss has gotten out early with a list titled, 10 Not-So-Famous People We Lost in 2011, which includes two already written up by The Eulogizer, one we should have covered, and one we didn’t include, despite wanting to do so.

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Robert Ettinger: “Presumably unlike everyone else on this list, Robert Ettinger might yet return. A physics teacher and science fiction writer, he believed that death is only for the unprepared. The father of the cryonics movement, his frozen, 92-year-old body is now stored in a vat of liquid nitrogen at a building outside Detroit, waiting for medical technology to restore him to good health.” Eulogizer link here.

Paul Baran: “In the 1960s, the Polish-born scientist devised a technology known as packet-switching, which packaged data into discrete bundles called “message blocks.”…He was so far ahead of his time that AT&T turned him down, insisting that the Arpanet was unworkable.” Eulogizer link here

Alan Haberman: "Though barcode technology was invented back in 1949, it did not become the standard until after Alan Haberman, chief executive of New England’s First National chain of grocery stores, headed a commission of retail executives in 1973….After two years of meetings, the committee settled on the vertical bar format: the Universal Product Code (UPC) that appears on almost any product you buy….more than 10 billion bar codes are scanned worldwide each day.” The Eulogizer regrets missing Haberman.

Joanne Siegel: "Boys could be inspired by Superman’s physique and his sense of morality, but they could never expect to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Girls, however, could be (and were) inspired by Lois Lane’s spirit, courage, and professional ambition in a world before Women’s Liberation. Kovacs, a Cleveland teenager who took up modeling to earn extra pocket money, was used as the model for Lois by two young artists, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. They quickly befriended Kovacs, who would also be the model for Lois’s feisty personality. Siegel married her in 1948. Siegel never converted, according to our research.

Who is on your 2011 "Top 10" deaths list? Tell the Eulogizer. The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at eulogizer@jta.org.

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