Wednesday, August 31, 2022

RIP Abdul-Aziz Yakubu (1958–2022)

A couple of weeks ago, I heard the very sad and unexpected news that Abdul-Aziz Yakubu had died. Aziz was great.

Like others, I also have some Aziz stories (but the one that I wanted to tell seemed a bit too light-hearted to tell immediately on social media): I know Aziz from my days helping out with MTBI as a PhD student. On one occasion, when somebody — one of the students? — was being a bit formal with my name as I entered a room and was also using my last name or something, I made the mistake of loudly proclaiming "I'm like Madonna. I only need one name." With a quietly wicked sense of humor (and with the knowledge that we'd all be amused by this, including me), Aziz proceeded to jokingly call me "Mason Madonna" for the next several years.

You can read more about Aziz in his 2020 Mathematically Gifted & Black profile.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

RIP Vin Scully (1927–2022)

I'm watching the game, and the Dodger broadcasters announced about 20 or so minutes ago that broadcasting legend Vin Scully died today. (Scully's death was announced by the Dodgers in the tweet to which I just linked, along with other simultaneous social-media posts.) Vin was the greatest broadcaster who ever lived. I listened to Vin broadcast literally thousands of games across four decades. Vin was one of the key voices of my childhood (and much of my adulthood). For so long, Vin was not only the voice of the Dodgers, but was also (along with Tommy Lasorda) the pulse of the Dodgers.

Here is Vin's Wikipedia page.

Update: ESPN has now posted an article about Vin Scully's death.