Jerry Lewis, legendary entertainer and humanitarian, is dead at 91

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Jerry Lewis, legendary entertainer and humanitarian, is dead at 91

Image: ERIK PENDZICH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

He called Dean Martin a pal, he was absolutely adored by the French, and he did true good in the world as the national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Jerry Lewis will be missed.

The legendary comedian, singer, actor, filmmaker, producer, and all-around creator died in his Las Vegas home on Sunday morning, his family confirms. He was 91.

Lewis got his start in the late-1940s as one half of a nightclub act that also featured Dean Martin. Their sharp comic timing and natural patter opened the door to a radio program and, later, early television.

Film was a natural next step, and — as Martin and Lewis — the comedy duo appeared in close to 20 films throughout the early/mid-’50s. Such was their popularity as a two-man team that they even landed in a comic book series: DC’s The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, with 40 issues released between 1952 and 1957. 

After the duo split up in 1956 — for reasons that have never been fully detailed — Lewis carried on doing the work he knew best: entertaining. He sang, he acted, he made people laugh — frequently from the comfort of a long-running Las Vegas residency.

It wasn’t until 1960 that Lewis reached the second stage of his career: he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in The Bellboy, a Paramount Pictures comedy about a bumbling bellboy. Lewis always had a knack for slapstick comedy, and his directorial debut was the perfect platform to showcase it.

Over the next half-decade, Lewis appeared in some of the movies that he is still best known for today, including The Nutty Professor and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. He never stopped working after that, though he did slow down as the years piled on.

Alongside his work as an entertainer, Lewis also made a name for himself as a humanitarian. He was a fundraising force for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, hosting annual telethons from 1952 to 1959, and later, from 1966 to 2010. Estimates point to $2.6 billion in funds raised overall during that time.

Lewis very recently became a pop culture hero once again after an infamous video interview with The Hollywood Reporter went south. His notoriously media-unfriendly attitude was on full display, and that saltiness immediately endeared Lewis to an internet that celebrates unconventional figures.

It should come as no surprise that news of Lewis’ death was greeted by an outpouring of condolences from all corners of pop culture. Many of the most popular names today grew up idolizing the 91-year-old entertainer. 

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The ‘Father of Android’ reveals what his startup incubator does to help companies get their products to market faster

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Andy Rubin has a different take on how a startup incubator should operate.

After leaving Google in 2014, Rubin, the reputed father of the Android operating system, launched his own incubator, dubbed Playground Global.

This past week, while showing off the new Essential Phone, which a Playground company designed, Rubin talked about the philosophy behind the organization.

"Playground has a unique structure," he said. "We’re a venture capital firm mashed up with a design studio."

He added: "That means we’re an IDEO mashed up with a Kleiner Perkins," referring to the famous Silicon Valley design and venture capital firms, respectively.

Incubators offer a large office space for many startups to share. They frequently provide entrepreneurs with funding and mentoring from experienced executives and founders. Often, they will also handle administrative functions like human resources tasks.

But Playground offers something different, Rubin said. In addition to offering startups cash and a place to work, it also provides them with a pool of engineers and access to a whole bunch of high-end prototyping and test equipment to help them develop their products.

Playground has some 60 engineers of its own, Rubin said, and they have expertise in a variety of areas, including hardware, software, and electrical engineering. When the incubator invests in a startup, the engineers work side-by-side with the startup’s employees.

"It’s an accelerant," Rubin said. "It helps companies build their products faster."

When startups launch out of Playground, the incubator’s engineers and designers who have been working with them may leave with them, he said. Eventually, those engineers may make their way back to the incubator.

"There’s a potential — we haven’t done this yet — but there’s a potential they can recycle back," Rubin said. "And it just keeps happening and happening and happening."

Essential, Playground’s consumer electronics startup, which just launched its smartphone, serves as a model for how the process can work. About 18 people developed the company’s core technology, Rubin said. Of those, a majority came from Playground.

In addition to engineers and designers, Playground also offers startups the chance to work with a collection of high-end equipment. Its lab is a kind of inventor’s paradise with 3D printers, computer-controlled laser cutters and milling machines, and a band saw.

It also has environmental chambers that can be used to subject devices to a variety of climatic conditions, high-speed and thermal imaging cameras, oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers, and enterprise-grade camera testing equipment.

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Because Playground has all that equipment in-house, its startups don’t have to buy or lease it on their own.

"That means a much more efficient use of capital when we invest in these companies," Rubin said.

As for the types of companies Playground is looking to back, Rubin said it evaluates startups largely based on the expertise of its own engineers and executives. Like other tech investors, Playground scrutinizes startups’ founding teams, their technology and the market segments they’re pursuing, a process he called "pattern matching." But the incubator also is looking for companies that are looking to fill the holes in the market that Playground’s own leaders perceive based on their own experience.

That’s a "different type of pattern matching that we’re uniquely qualified to look at," he said.

SEE ALSO: The Essential Phone made by the ‘Father of Android’ confirms what I’ve said all along – the best Android is stock Android

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Woman Creates Brilliant Collage Mocking All Of The Things That Millennials Allegedly Killed

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At some point in time, it became fashionable to blame millennials for killing certain aspects of our culture. There was suddenly a flood of groupthink articles that millennials were actively killing things in our society. The articles were mostly lazy, unfounded, or written by older generations who didn’t like that things that they coveted from their youth were going bye-byes.

Of the things that millennials were killing were Applebee’s, napkins, bars of soap (Have you used a bar of soap recently? It’s stupid, inefficient, and feels like something from the Dark Ages), yogurt, cereal, fabric softener, golf, focus groups, Canadian travel, wine corks, and breastraunts (Woah, woah, woah, maybe millennials are really going too far?!?!?).

On July 27, a woman by the name of Regan put the internet on warning that she was going to create a collage of headlines about millennials killing things and hang it on her wall.

On August 14th, Regan made good on her promise and delivered this outstanding collage of all of the things that millennials are allegedly killing proving that all of these articles are absolute nonsense.

Sorry marmalade, your days of being relevant have come and gone. And why can’t you just have jelly or jam? Do you have something against pectin? You pectin-hating assholes.

Last month, I wrote how big beer is losing market shares because millennials prefer craft beer and I didn’t use the hacky, inaccurate, and lazy headline of “Millennials Are Killing Beer” like some outlets did. Maybe these things should be killed off. Who cares what one age group enjoys and detests, just do you. If the product is great there will always be a market, and it won’t matter what any age group thinks of it.

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