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Monday Watercooler

Hi, y’all.

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in bathing suits

Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) with co-star Frankie Avalon

The garden is coming alive — there’s already a successor to last year’s monster tomato plant that took over almost an entire plot and produced handful of cherry tomatoes every day. It’s time to plant more, if I can stay ahead of the weeding … But Texas is still in a terrible drought, as reported by the New York Times: 

SOMETHING odd happened here last week.

It rained.

But the relief, an answer to desperate prayers, is likely to be short-lived. The drought that has gripped much of Texas since the fall of 2010 shows few signs of abating soon. The latest forecasts say that parched West and South Texas will remain dry, and that the state is likely to see above-average temperatures this spring, increasing evaporation from already strained reservoirs. The conditions could lead to severe water restrictions in some parts of the state.

Along with that other highly publicized death, Annette Funicello has died. Here is her performance of “Jamaica Ska” from the Beach Party-reunion film, Back to The Beach. The video was passed my way by my friends at The Horn. From the NPR obituary:

Annette Funicello, who was one of the first child stars to emerge out of The Mickey Mouse Club, has died, the official Disney Fan Club reports. Funicello was known as “America’s Sweetheart.” Her acting career started in 1955 when Walt Disney recruited her at 12 years old. She went on to become a successful film star, starring with Frankie Avalon in the Beach Party films. Funicello had been battling multiple sclerosis for years. … She was 70.

In case you were worried though, Cher is still alive:

On Monday morning, the world learned of the death of Margaret Thatcher, the first female British prime minister.  A champion of free-market economics, she was arguably the country’s most important political figure since Winston Churchill. She died following a stroke at the age of 87.

One of the first hashtags to spring up on Twitter on Monday was #nowthatchersdead, created by a website critical of Thatcher.

This spurred confusion among Cher fans, mostly Americans, who read it as “Now that Cher’s dead.” Soon other Twitter users, including comedian Ricky Gervais, started mocking these panicked fans.


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This is our latest MyFDL open thread. You can chat about anything in the comments below if you are logged in. Public domain photo of Annette Funicello from Wikimedia Commons.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and

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