Dennis Hopper...


Shit... Gary Coleman. Dennis Hopper.

I wonder who the third one will be?
Sorta off-topic, but:

Alert I: everyone dies.

Alert II: Cancer is a natural cause of death. We're just now living long enough statistically here in the developed world to see it reaching a statistical prominence.

Alert III: "Cancer" is not any one thing, and often, the mechanisms between the different kinds have nothing in common with one other.

* * * * *

This isn't all to be callous and annoying, but every time someone dies, there's always that, "Oh god, everything happens in threes" superstition which is founded on nothing (and quite annoying after a spell) and well, when cancer is involved, "Cancer is a motherfucker" — even though cardiovascular disease takes down way many more people every year.

The first kind of cancer to statistically kill most often? Lung cancer, and it's fifth on the list behind heart disease, strokes/aneurysms, COPD and lower respiratory infection. Sixth is even more interesting: vehicle fatalities.

Perspective, made. Sorry, Dennis. As an actor, you played a great arsehole — among the greats of Malcolm McDowell and Max Von Sydow — and you will be missed by many.
Dennis Hopper was #3, Urgutha. Art Linkletter was first.
He was 74... for some reason I always thought he was younger.
@4: Actually, me too. That was sort of a surprise to hear.
@1,@3 - What about Dio?
He sure lived those 74 years, too - I really enjoyed "The Cool School" documentary he featured in, talking about how fun it was for him and his macho prick buddies at the Ferus Gallery to fuel the first version of a genuine art scene in LA in the late '50s. Netflix streams it.
He was one suave fucker.
Tesla @ 2

Cancer is a natural cause of death. We're just now living long enough statistically here in the developed world to see it reaching a statistical prominence.

Do you have a source please? I know this topic is heavily debated, but I'd say that there is solid consensus in the scientific community that healthy eating cuts down one's risks for many types of cancer.

You should check out this book called The China Study regarding diet and cancer if you're interested:…
@2, I'd agree with you mostly, except with the instance of cancer hitting young people. The numbers for this group may not fit in with aggregate stats, but there's something hideously tragic about a young person having to live and/or die with this disease. Anecdotal, yes, but I've known too many who've had to battle what I would certainly call a motherfucker.
Diet and health are obviously related, but The China Study isn't any kind of conclusive evidence that the problem is animal foods, even though it's presented that way. And I've encountered author T. Colin Campbell in some online forums where he's shown himself to be arrogant, patronizing, and insulting to anyone who questions his conclusions. So...yeah.
11 - I was trying to offer an academic source to counter Tesla's sweeping claim that cancer is natural.

Oh, and a scientist was arrogant to you in an internets online forum??? That must totally discredit all of that 20 years of data, yep. (eye roll)
No, obviously it doesn't, but if someone who presents themselves as an unbiased scientist behaves in an extremely biased manner and employs every logical fallacy in the book to discredit anyone questioning him (one was basically "I knew a guy who knew Dr. Atkins and he said Atkins wouldn't show him his medical degree, so I'm not even sure if Atkins was a doctor" - but mostly it was attacking peoples' credentials and motivations if they questioned his book, no matter how respectfully they did it), it does make me question his work to a degree.

In addition, to represent his book as "20 years of data" kind of implies that no one has to collect/interpret/analyze etc. the data, that it's just there written into stone and speaks for itself, and further that there's no possibility of bias in that study. That's obviously not how science, or any line of inquiry, works.
We're dumping millions of gallons of oil in our oceans. Cancer will certainly be one of the results from poisoning our food chain.
Sound cancer treatments and prevention strategies don't make cancer "unnatural", any more than Nix and avoiding bathhouses makes crabs "unnatural".

It's true that employing the language of battling space aliens is useful in many ways toward cancer. It can motivate people to lead lives somewhat less likely to require odious and costly cancer treatments. It can sometimes help convince cancer patients to not abandon wrenchingly difficult treatments before they're through. It can help raise funds to investigate environmental factors, to promote education, or pay for treatments.

But we should remember that it's propaganda toward a good purpose, and not believe it to be objectively true. Calling things that bother us "unnatural" is dangerous in the long run.
@ 13, our boy StillNon has a vested interest in attacking meat consumption, and is willing to hijack the thread to that end. He's not an honest debater, which his personal attacks show. Just an FYI.

RIP Dennis. You were one of my favorite actors.
Dennis Hopper is an asshole for trying to divorce his wife just before he died so she couldn't inherit his money and use it for "liberal stuff". I'm not one bit sorry.
Ride on Mr Hopper
@17, got a source? That link just reports speculation. Besides, he earned the money...seems kind of harsh to say "I'm not one bit sorry" he died just because you disagree with his politics and some website speculated that he wanted his money to support his beliefs.
dio ?.. that was a couple of weeks there some sort of time limit say a week ? that means art lead the way.
Frank Booth (the character Hopper played in "Blue Velvet") still creeps me out.
Sure, StillNon, et al. I'll grab something off my desk, since it's easy to reach and still fresh in mind from research work just completed. I'll keep each comment to a single source for now, because this quickly gets all tl;dr on everyone.

* * * * *

The peer-review essay in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 8 (1988), pp. 61–75, by Albert L. Nichols and Richard J. Zeckhauser, titled "The perils of prudence: How conservative risk assessments distort regulation", discusses risk perception and how public policy is affected (or, more severely, distorted) by that approach. In short, the authors argue that the conservative approaches used (which are still largely the same in 2010, fwiw) for assessing risk of cancer is overestimated. An interesting passage on this idea, borne heavily by our perception of risk as meted by public policy, places into perspective the naturally occurring prevalence of cancer, particularly as a population group ages:
Whether cancer merits “extra points” in public health decisions is an open question. While cancer may be a terrible way to die, it is likely to come later in life than, say, death from an auto accident. If a 20 year old were offered a choice between a certain reduction in his lifetime risk of death from cancer or auto accidents, he might well opt for the reduction in auto risks. This would save many more years of life, which might more than compensate for the extra suffering associated with dying from cancer (Nichols and Zeckhauser 1988, 70).

We assume cancer is somehow synthetic — and not a natural process — because of our risk perception that cancer is obviously caused by artificial chemicals, conditions, agents, etc. This perception appears to be skewed on two levels. Take skin cancer: that its prevalence is historically notable forgets how human migration has placed people not adapted to high UV exposure. What is artificial is the ease by which mobility has made it possible for a pale person to be exposed to equatorial sunlight. The process of carcinogenesis of that skin cancer is a natural response from exposure to those endemic conditions.

[BTW, I'm not doing this to beat this out of context of this post about Dennis Hopper's passing, but I hope to at least bring some discussion that tries to limit how polemic this unrelated discussion can be.]

The same authors note that even the manner by which we assess human risk to cancer is badly distorted:
EPA and other regulatory agencies typically rely on the “one-hit” extrapolation model (or one of its variants), which most scientists believe produces upper-bound estimates of low-dose risks. This model assumes that even a single molecule of a substance can produce cancer and predicts that risk is proportional to dose (a linear relationship) at low to moderate exposure. Virtually all other extrapolation models are nonlinear, predicting that risk falls more than proportionately as dose decreases. When applied to the same high-dose data as the one-hit model, the nonlinear models predict far lower risks at the doses relevant to most regulatory decisions. Indeed, the risk estimates from the one-hit model are often hundreds or thousands of times higher than those derived from the alternative models (Nichols and Zeckhauser 1988, 65).

In other words, public risk perception is skewed by the idea that, say, risk to arsenic is terribly high and only caused by what our human activity has added to the environment. While risk has increased from our industrial activity, the model of risk assessment they explain here critiques the "one part per 'x'" criteria that puts the onus of that risk on what is presumed (incorrectly) to be an artificial source of carcinogenesis. We forget that arsenic is naturally occurring, much like radon is. But under our approach generally to risk assessment, even that naturally occurring exposure is bundled together with artificial sources. If stripped from the naturally-occurring sources for causing cancer, the artificial sources are statistically a very low ratio of total reported human cancer cases.

I have some other peer-review literature going into other aspects of this. If you'd like, I can share those with you as well.
Yeah. Wow This thing happening in threes is really getting to be pandemic. Apparently, the U.S. Census Bureau claims (I'm interested to find the original source, but this will sorta do here) that these deaths in threes occur every two seconds.

Oh noes. Oh dears. This is terrible. We just can't go on like this. Halp.
It's celebrity deaths, Tesla, that come in threes, and it's a scientific fact. Or a diversion that you really ought to let people enjoy since it does you no harm.
@25 - This needs to be confirmed by Lindy West, the best celebrity scientician on the staff at the Stranger.
@25: Whoa. Scientific fact. OMG. Do tell. Point me in the right direction!
@25 - Need confirmation by celebrity scientician, Lindy West.
Non-celebrities die in fours, but nobody notices.
@ Tesla,…

Conclusive evidence, I tell ya.
@27, @31
Matt's citation is pretty devastating, Telsa. Plus, he's taught you how your name _should_ be spelled.
OMG. Correlation is the new causation!!!!!111!11111one1oneoneeleven

I know. I really love Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, but I'm apparently also horribly dyslexic atop being really stupid.

Tremendous weo. I mean, uh, woe.
Alert IV: Nobody asked for a lecture you pointy-headed blabbermouth.