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Publication: Dead End
Caspar Weinberger, Stanislaw Lem

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@@@         DEAD END - Friday, March 31, 2006            @@@
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"Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the 
grave. Our birth is nothing but our death begun." Bishop Hall

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Welcome to another edition of Dead End.

Some big names we haven't heard from in a long time have 
finally made their last big headline. This week we make a 
heartfelt farewell to political powerhouse Caspar Weinberger 
and science fiction giant Stanislaw Lem. Lem's name might 
not be immediately familiar, but in 2002 one of his most 
famous books, Solaris, was made into a major motion picture 
starring George Clooney. 


Remember you can comment on any part of this issue or read   
comments by visiting: Dead End Blog


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CASPAR W. WEINBERGER DIES AT 88

Caspar W. Weinberger, who held high positions under three 
Republican presidents and oversaw the biggest and costliest 
military buildup in peacetime history as Ronald Reagan's 
secretary of defense, died yesterday in Bangor, Me, after a 
brief illness. He was 88. A self-assured man and a tenacious 
debater, Mr. Weinberger served in Washington off and on for 
almost two decades. He was a crucial backer of Mr. Reagan's 
missile-based Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known 
as Star Wars. He was also an implacable foe of the Soviet 
Union. Until his death, Mr. Weinberger was chairman of 
Forbes Inc. He had continued to travel around the world 
until recently, his son said, and wrote a regular column 
for Forbes magazine.

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SCIENCE FICTION GIANT STANISLAW LEM DEAD AT 84

Stanislaw Lem, a Polish science-fiction writer who, in novels 
like "Solaris" and "His Master's Voice," contemplated man's 
place in the universe in sardonic and sometimes bleak terms, 
died yesterday in Krakow, Poland. He was 84. The cause was 
heart failure. Mr. Lem was a giant of mid-20th-century science 
fiction, in a league with Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and 
Philip K. Dick. And he addressed many of the themes they did: 
the meaning of human life among superintelligent machines, 
the frustrations of communicating with aliens, the likelihood 
that mankind could understand a universe in which it was but 
a speck. His books have been translated into at least 35 
languages and have sold 27 million copies.

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FRENCH WWII ACE FIGHTER PILOT DIES AT 85

Pierre Clostermann, an ace fighter pilot who flew for de 
Gaulle's Free French forces in World War II, engaging in 
fierce combat in the Battle of Britain and over Normandy 
on D-Day, died March 22 at his home in Montesquieu des 
Alberes in southwestern France. He was 85. In three years 
he flew more than 420 combat sorties, shot down 33 enemy 
aircraft and possibly more, and rose to command a fighter 
wing. After the war, he worked as an aeronautical engineer 
and became a vice president of the Cessna Aircraft Company. 
He also entered politics and spent 23 years as a high-profile 
Gaullist in the French legislature until giving up his seat 
in 1969.

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