rucs_hack writes: "Terry Pratchett, the author of the Discworld series, has been Diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
He describes it as 'an embuggerance', and plans to continue writing his next two books, "Nation" and "Unseen Academicals" which are not based in the discworld universe.
I imagine the rest of the slashdot community will join me in extending our sympathy and hope for some means to mitigate the effects of the illness."
double-oh three writes: As announced here on longtime illustrator Paul Kirby's website, Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's. Calling it "an embuggerance", Mr. Pratchett went on to say "We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet:o)"
Widowwolf writes: "WASHINGTON (CNN) — Jack Valenti, the longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America, has died at age 85, the association announced Thursday.
Valenti suffered a stroke "recently," said a representative at the Motion Picture Association of America, which he led for 38 years. No cause of death was immediately announced.
Valenti was central to creating the MPAA rating system — now G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 — as a way to rate films' appropriateness for certain age groups.
Valenti was a life member of the Directors Guild of America and a member of the board of trustees of the American Film Institute"
Anonymous Coward writes: "Free of his wheelchair and tethered only to heart rate and blood pressure monitors, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking on Thursday fulfilled a dream of floating weightless on a zero-gravity jet, a step he hopes leads to further space adventures.
The 65-year-old was the first person with a disability to experience the flight by Zero Gravity Corp., which has flown about 2,700 people out of Florida since late 2004 and began offering the flights in Las Vegas this week.
"As you can imagine, I'm very excited," Hawking told reporters before the flight. "I have been wheelchair bound for almost four decades. The chance to float free in zero-g will be wonderful."
norminator writes: Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA for 38 years, passed away this afternoon in his home. Valenti is known among the Slashdot community as a man who did not believe in fair use, including backing up your digital media. From a Slashdot article four years ago: "In the digital world, we don't need back-ups, because a digital copy never wears out. It is timeless."
ConcernedStudent writes: "A violent gunman has apparently unleashed a deadly massacre on the famed science and tech campus, Virginia Polytechnic University (better known as Virginia Tech). The first reports of gunshots were received by police around 7:15 A.M. but shooting continued across the campus for hours longer. Over 25 people are now confirmed dead with many more injured. The shooter appears to have either killed himself or to have been killed by responding police officers. The New York Times has posted front page coverage, and the local Roanoke Times has been providing blog-style coverage, updated regularly.
NYT Link — http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/us/16cnd-shootin g.html?hp
Roanoke Times Link — http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/breaking/wb/113294"
Zgonjko writes: BBC reports, among other news channels, about a shotting this morning at Virginia Tech University, in Blacksburg. It appears that a lone gunman oppened fire first at a dormitory, then at an Engineering building a couple of hours later. He is presumed to be one of the dead, which authorities say number at least 20, with at least another 20 injured. A horrible tragedy like this one is sure to stir up the debate on gun rights, one year before the US election.
StarvingSE writes: Virginia Tech police state that at least 20 are dead in a campus shooting school officials are describing as a "monumental tragedy." From the article:
"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said university President Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."
The attacks mark the worst school shooting incident since 1999 when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado
This story is a little off-topic on a technology-related site, but I'm sure quite a few readers attend or are alumni of Virginia Tech.