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Statistically speaking, the 27 club has a lot to do with coincidence

It’s also the subject of a book, The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock and Roll. In it, authors Eric Segalstad and Josh Hunter offer the stories of 34 musicians who died at age 27. As the title suggests, the book doesn’t make any great claims for the coincidence of these early deaths, and their list goes a bit beyond normal notions of rock stardom.
Robert Johnson, for instance, may have been a major influence on Eric Clapton and other rock guitar gods, but his death at 27 from strychnine poisoning came in 1938, well before the rock era. Likewise, the book includes the 19th century Brazilian composer Alexandre Levy and ragtime musician Louis Chauvin, who died in 1908. There are also some artists, such as Maria Serranno Serranno of the Eurodisco girl group Passionfruit, or Bryan Ottoson of the metal band American Head Charge, whose inclusion seems to stretch the notion of rock stardom.
Still, even if the 27s list is trimmed down from the book version, is it long enough to be statistically meaningful?
“If you want look at it from a statistical point of view, you can say, what’s the chance that that would happen by luck alone?” says Jeff Rosenthal, a professor in the department of statistics at the University of Toronto and author of Struck By Lightening: The Curious World of Probabilities. As he explains, the best way to do that is to compile a list of pop musicians who died young, and see if an unusual percentage of them died at age 27.
So the Globe did just that, compiling a list of 115 musicians from the rock era who died under the age of 50, and it turned out that 27 was by far the most common age, applying to 23 of the 115. The next most common age was 30, which covered nine deaths, followed by 25 (eight), 24 (seven), and 33 (six).
“Then, of course, there’s the whole issue of how do you interpret that?” says Dr. Rosenthal. In other words, is the frequency of death at age 27 due to lifestyle issues, or just dumb luck?
As might be expected, there are a good number of drug-connected deaths. Some were clearly overdoses – Janis Joplin, Alan Wilson of Canned Heat, and Kristen Pfaff from Hole – but others, such as Jimi Hendrix’s choking on vomit in his sleep, seem more misadventure than abuse. There are also a disheartening number of suicides, Kurt Cobain, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers, and possibly Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones.
Many of the other deaths have no connection to mental health, or anything beyond simple bad luck. Car crashes claimed the lives of R&B singer Jessie Belvin, Big Star’s Chris Bell, Jacob Miller of Inner Circle, and D. Boon of the Minutemen. Punk singer Mia Zapata of the Gits was murdered by an unknown assailant; Dave Alexander of the Stooges died of pneumonia; Arlester “Dyke” Christian, of the sixties R&B act Dyke & the Blazers was shot to death.
Then there was Les Harvey of the British band Stone the Crows, who was electrocuted onstage when he touched an ungrounded microphone while holding his guitar. What did that have to do with his being 27?
As Dr. Rosenthal points out, probably nothing. Given the social aspects of the rock and roll lifestyle, “you could imagine that there is a bias toward roughly that age, at least, the mid- to late-20s,” he says. However, “If we ran the universe over again, we would probably find a concentration of people dying in their mid- to late-20s, but we wouldn’t find such a concentration at the same exact age.
OSLO – Online postings from Anders Behring Breivik (picture)offer a portrait of a man obsessed with what he views as the threat of multiculturalism and Islam.

In a manifesto posted online hours before the killings, Breivik, 32, describes nine years of planning the attacks and his vision for revolution in Europe led by the Knights Templar, an order related to the Freemasonry.

Breivik had a picture of himself in a Freemasons’ outfit on the Facebook page that has since been taken down.In the document entitled “2083 – A European Declaration of Independence”, which Breivik began writing while he was a member of Norway’s opposition Progress Party, he describes how the attacks would form part of a crusade against “cultural Marxism” and the rising “Islamisation” of Europe. He wrote that the massacre would serve as a tool to market the manifesto.

While Breivik has nike air yeezy shoes white grey confessed to the killings in what was the Nordic nation’s deadliest incident since World War II, he has not pleaded guilty, Sveinung Sponheim, Oslo’s acting police chief, said at a press conference today. “He said he believed his actions were atrocious, but in his head they were necessary,” Breivik’s defence lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norway’s TV2.Breivik became a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party, Norway’s second biggest, in 1999 and paid his membership fees until 2004, party spokesman Mazyar Keshvari said in an email yesterday. Breivik was also a member of the party’s youth movement from 1997 to 2007, acting as deputy chairman for one of the local Oslo chapters.

Breivik on his Facebook page lists John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, George Orwell’s 1984 and Franz Kafka’s The Trial among his favourite books. World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare were his preferred video games. Most of his postings, the last of which was on July 18, relate to music air yeezy shoes break down , nike air yeezy shoes blue sliver white News Corp., the global enterprise controlled by Rupert Murdoch, has a history of living by its own rules and operating beyond consequence. That ended last week.Murdoch, long a spectral presence who made his plays on a chess board of his own making, was brought low before a committee of Parliament composed of people he could not have been bothered with three weeks ago.

In a testimony last Tuesday, he appeared as a supplicant, a faltering one at that, who interrupted his son James in the opening moments of the hearing, not to correct him, but to tell the members of the committee how sorry he was.


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