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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

The first black supermodel, Naomi Sims, died in Newark Saturday. Entrepreneurial skills helped her break into the business and later helped her as she started her own business, which made her rich.

Not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, but that dog's brain can grow as he learns. Same is true for humans, Mark Rosenzweig proved with pioneering studies of rats and brain plasticity. The studies of Rosenzweig and his colleagues continue to be cited in all current accounts of brain development and plasticity, though they were conducted half a century ago, an expert says.

Great features in urban settings don't just happen; they need people like Michael J. Wisniewski to make them a reality. His main achievement was Milwaukee's downtown riverwalk, a delightful addition to Beertown's day and night life.

Here's a life guaranteed to make you question if you're living your own to the fullest; as 16-year-old Matthew Pafko was dying from painful brain and spine cancer, he spent his last days raising money for the homeless.

Jim Ingram, 77, a retired FBI agent, who helped state and federal officials reopen long-dormant investigations of killings from Mississippi's violent civil rights era, died Sunday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He also assisted in the investigation of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana of more than 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones.

Sidney Zion, in grief over the death of his daughter, fought for limits on the number of hours young physicians-in-training should be working, and for stricter supervision of those new doctors. His crusade made a difference; now Zion has died at age 75.

Finally, the Do-It-Yourself ethic is swell, but sometimes you need other people. For Example, Carson Corum should have yelled to his building superintendent to open the door when he locked himself out for the 20th time in three years. He decided to climb three stories to crawl in his own window, got stuck, and... he ended up in this column at age 55.

By Patricia Sullivan |  August 4, 2009; 8:11 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye
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