Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

more gloom... anyone...?

At least I will spare thee the twin brother - doom...
Hmm... It cannot be denied, though, that for at least 48 hours straight... this blogger has thought of things... unpleasant to say the very least!
Things such as... finality... untimely departure... demises... early exits...?
Oh... and the Great Beyond and Life Everlasting too - so, fret it not, faithful readers - I will be fine! ;)

Just two more items today... which have surfaced in the last 36 hours, thus...
An animator who fell prey to cancer... Finding Nemo led me to find this hero - who happens to be my age too.

And... how about the legend of... the pearl... of death?!?

Mayhaps THIS should be the pearl(s) one should lay down before swine... instead of those of wisdom... or those telling of Veracity...! ;)

Canadian creator of Pixar's Nemo dies
Last Updated Mon, 31 Jan 2005 16:38:08 EST
CBC Arts

TORONTO - Dan Lee, the Canadian animator who designed the character of Nemo for the blockbuster Pixar film Finding Nemo, has died of cancer. He was 35.

Lee died Jan. 15 at the Alta Bates Summit Hospital in Berkeley, Calif., where he had moved to pursue his animation career. Though he was a non-smoker, Lee had been diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2003.

"Dan was a longtime member of our Pixar family," Finding Nemo writer and director Andrew Stanton said in Lee's obituary, published Saturday in the Globe and Mail. "He single-handedly designed Nemo and has been a major influence at Pixar. Dan was a wonderful, irreplaceable, talented human being, and we miss him terribly."

Lee studied at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. He graduated at the top of his class in the school's prestigious classical animation program and won the Board of Governors Silver Medal Award for Academic Excellence. After graduation, he headed to California in 1994, joining acclaimed animation studio Pixar two years later as a sketch artist, character designer and animator.

Lee's work can be seen in other Pixar hits, including A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. At the time of his death, he had been working on an upcoming 2007 release.

Colleagues praised Lee's talent for creating realistic, lovable characters devoid of any cliched cuteness.

"Dan was always taking in everything around him, and it would show up later in his drawings in some form or another," said Monsters, Inc. director Pete Doctor. "He would do these incredible sketches of people from life – really well observed, great drawings. Dan was a rare talent – one of our top character designers here at Pixar."

Before joining Pixar, Lee also worked on cartoons and TV commercials at Toronto's Kennedy Cartoons and Colossal Pictures in San Francisco.

He is survived by his parents Kam-Sau and Hung-Yau Lee and his sisters Sunny, Mei and Brenda.
'It's been terrible' - giant pearl tied to death, family squabbles
29/01/2005 8:42:00 PM

DENVER (AP) - Legend has it the so-called Pearl of Allah was created as a symbol of peace 2,500 years ago in ancient China.

To Victor Barbish, the six-kilogram gem has been nothing but a big headache.

The football-sized greyish lump has been tied to enough greed, drama and intrigue to rival any Agatha Christie mystery, including two contract killings and a court fight that ended with one of the largest jury awards of its type in Colorado history.

"It draws the wrong type of people," said Barbish, the pearl's majority owner who lives in Colorado Springs.

"It's only a pearl. It has a nice history."

"It was made to do something good, apparently but what it's been drawing, it's been terrible."

Barbish said he kept the pearl in a Denver bank vault and a series of safe-deposit boxes over the years but he won't disclose its present location, even though he'd like to unload the gem to a museum or library.

How the pearl wound up in Colorado is quite a tale - an extraordinary one, if the rumours are to be believed. It is purported to have been an amulet belonging to Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, who is said to have carved his face and those of Confucius and Buddha into its surface. It was then planted in successively larger clams for generations; the convolutions on its surface resemble a human brain.

Legend holds the pearl was lost in a shipwreck centuries ago, then found in 1934 off Palawan Island in the Philippines by a diver who drowned when he reached into a huge clam to take it. The clam and the diver were pulled to shore and the island's chief, a Muslim who named the pearl, took possession.

About five years later, Wilburn Dowell Cobb saved the life of the chief's son and was given the pearl in gratitude. Cobb's heirs sold it in 1980 for $200,000 to Beverly Hills jeweller Peter Hoffman, who in turn sold part ownership to Barbish.

The two men formed the now-defunct World's Largest Pearl Co. Inc. in California and raised money by selling interests in the pearl to investors including Joe Bonicelli.

That is where the history turned bloody.

The pearl is now part of the largest wrongful-death judgment in Colorado history after a jury recently awarded $32.4 million to Bonicelli's adult children, who sued over the 1975 death of their mother in a contract killing.

After Bonicelli's death in 1998, police said they determined the decades-old killing was done at his behest. The Colorado Springs barber who was convicted of killing Bonicelli's wife also was convicted of killing the wife of another man whom Bonicelli had introduced to the barber.

Bonicelli's children want the pearl sold so they can be paid the settlement they won against their father's estate. They plan to use the money to establish a foundation in their mother's name to help abused women and children, said their lawyer, Richard Tegtmeier.

Bonicelli left his estate to his youngest daughter, whom he fathered with his second wife. Neither her lawyer, nor Phillips' lawyer returned calls.

Appraisers have valued the pearl at up to $60 million, Tegtmeier said.

He said further court action will be necessary to determine how his clients will receive their money - but it will have to include selling the pearl.

Barbish just wants to be rid of it but on his terms.

"We are donating that pearl," he said.

"We don't want the money for it. We want it to go to a charity for everybody to see and view, either a museum or a presidential library."
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