***It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!
Well, here we go for 2016! I’m Baker, your Death Mistress, ready to wield the ceremonial scythe for one more year. Please read the following rules for how to play and how to submit your entries! Nothing has really changed, but just in case we get fresh blood in this thing, they need to have the game plan.
You pick 13 celebrities (that’s thirteen, not ten) whom you predict will die within the calendar year 2016. If any of your celebrities dies, you score 100 points minus their age at death. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins the undying snort admiration of the SDMB.
All picks must be time- and date-stamped by midnight Chicago time, Dec. 31st, 2015. (That’s U.S. Central time, which is six hours behind Greenwich.)
Valid picks are not:
a. already dead
b. a fictional character
d. under age 18 at death, 'cause we’re macabre but not THAT macabre.
e. a registered member of the SDMB, 'cause that would be weird
f. hostages held by terrorist organizations
g. famous solely as a result of their illness or associated actions/events.
We have few rules about what constitutes “celebrity,” because it makes our heads hurt to think about this. HOWEVER, if you DO have a question about whether or not someone’s choice qualifies, please, I’d prefer a PM about it to start off with, rather than thrashing it out in public and possibly causing resentment. Remember, people, it’s only a game!
You can pick people who are 100 or more years old but you won’t score points for them. See the “Quantity Not Quality” award, below.
If we are uncertain about the celebrity’s age at death, we will go by the higher age (lower score).
Prisoners held on death row will be valid for scoring points only if they die by means other than official execution. I call this the “McVeigh/Hussein rule“.
Any poster who kills or otherwise contributes to the death of any celebrity mentioned in this thread is disqualified. It’s just a game, people. The only exceptions to this rule would be deaths caused by those posters serving as members of the police or armed forces of any country, in the line of duty.
Editing your choices: be careful! You can make changes to your list before the end of the year, but it has to be clear which names are your final choices. It might be advisable to submit one or more “alternates” with your list, in the event that one of your picks dies during December 2015. If you have no alternates, and one of your picks has died the remaining twelve will be all you have. You may have no more than 13 picks. If you pick more than 13, or if any of your picks is otherwise invalid, I may ask for clarification. Otherwise, I will submit the first 13 names on your list. Do me a favor: check twice, post once.
We have no rule about submitted lists having to be unique, despite claims of “copying” anyone else’s list. We will just turn up our noses at you if you do this. Sharing news of celebrities in ill health and whatnot is up to individual posters.
If a poster playing the game gets banned during the year, this does not invalidate their entry, although they won’t be able to gloat in the thread if and/or when they do get points.
If a player changes their username at some point, post this news on the thread, or PM me, so I know who you are.
Some celebrities have common, identical or similar names. It is helpful to be specific.
Spelling counts! Please try to spell celebrities’ names correctly. Names that weren’t originally spelled in English can be tricky, I know, but if you aren’t sure of a name, try looking at what a major news outlet, like CNN or the BBC, uses.
While all deaths garnering points must occur during the calendar year, I know that a death might go unreported for a day or so. So, I will not total points for 24 hours after 12/31/2016. If you find that one of your picks died, say, late on 12/31/2016, and you didn’t hear about it until Jan. 1, 2017(this is a not so subtle hint to check your lists)then post a cite by midnight, Jan. 1, 2017, and you will get your points. After that you will be out of luck.
The “Opening Kickoff” Award: awarded to the poster or posters who pick the first listed celebrity to die in 2016.
The “Quantity Not Quality” Award: awarded to the poster or posters who pick the greatest number of celebrities who died, regardless of their actual point value.
The “Inside Track With the Grim Reaper” Award: awarded to the poster or posters who had the most unique picks that died.
The “Robbing the Cradle” Award: awarded to the poster or posters who pick the youngest celebrity to die in 2016, but see rule 3.d.
The “Final Hours” Award: awarded to the poster or posters who pick the last listed celebrity to die in 2016.
I have a spreadsheet that allows me to post updated standings quickly and produce various other statistics. The pain is “loading” the data into the sheet. I can do each list in a single cut and paste if you use the following format and guidelines: present a plain, unnumbered list that contains just the celebrities’ most commonly used names (e.g. use “Al Gore”, not “Albert Gore”), correctly spelled. Please observe, what I, Baker, refer to as the “Pope” rule, a variation on “the most commonly used name” request above. If a person is known primarily by a titled name, please use that. So it wouldn’t be Jorge Bergoglio, it would be Pope Francis. And don’t put down Elizabeth Windsor, put down Queen Elizabeth II. For all I know there are other celebrities with the plain names. If you do pick George or Lizzy, under their lesser known names, I might not notice it, to give you those points if and when they shuffle off this mortal coil and go to join the choir invisible.
An example of a plain list follows here:
However, I know that many of you like to include commentary within your lists, such as:
Zsa Zsa Gabor(on her last leg)
Fidel (I’m not dead yet!) Castro
Sam(only 26% approval rating as governor)Brownback
That’s fine, it’s entertaining. But if you do that, please include the list again in plain format for me to copy & paste.
Oh, yeah, one teensy additional announcement. This year of 2016 will be my last as Death Mistress. For 2017 the scythe will be passed to Idle Thoughts, who several months ago begged and groveled, saying it had been their dream to run the Death Pool. I wanted to rule for one more year, to hold the longevity record. So start thinking about how to suck up to Idle Thoughts, because who knows, IT may not be as merciful as I have been, heh, heh. With me it was cookies and chocolate, IT may want your firstborn. The rules might even be changed.
Have fun, sickos, and ** “May the odds be ever in your favor!”**