Roger Ebert, one of the United States’ most influential film critics who used newspapers, television and social media to take readers into theatres and even into his own life, was laid to rest Monday (local time) with praise from political leaders, family and people he’d never met but who chose movies based on the direction of his thumb. “He didn’t just dominate his profession, he defined it,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a brief eulogy to hundreds of mourners who gathered at Holy Name Cathedral just blocks from where Ebert spent more than 40 years as the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times
“The first thing I noticed was that she was ripped up like a pig in the market,” her entrails “flung in a heap about her neck.” Thus the account in London’s Star newspaper of the policeman who found the body of Catherine Eddowes, a prostitute murdered in the autumn of 1888 by the serial killer the media dubbed “Jack the Ripper.” But if the Ripper’s notoriety was fueled by a fiercely competitive media market with newspapers trying to outdo one another in relaying gory details of the crimes, unearthing clues, floating theories and taunting the police, his killing spree remains an object of fascination more than a century later not least because it was the exploits of “The Ripper” that first acquainted comfortable middle-class London with life on the city’s dark underside.
Why do men and women become doctors? Out of love for their fellow humans