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The two German artists who placed white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge, prompting a major investigation by the New York police, did what any intellectual doofuses would do next: They called the New York Times.

“We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space,” Mr. Leinkauf said. “That beauty was what we were trying to capture.”

They were astonished -- and to their credit, horrified -- that the police viewed it differently.

Robin Williams, July 21, 1951-August 11, 2014

When I was a boy my father introduced me to Chaplin, and Benny, and Hope. I discovered Jonathan Winters and Red Skelton and Louis Nye and Paul Lynde and Robin Williams and The National Lampoon and SCTV on my own; and when I say "on my own" I mean television and radio, much of it late night, some of it afternoon talk shows, some of it those chance encounters that, as a kid, you think are a secret message only you are receiving. Then you discover that "rare" album you've been playing to death has sold 200 million copies worldwide or something.

Just as my dad introduced me to some funny people, we'll tell others they should check out Robin Williams. There's no doubt they'll like him; his range was so wide there's something for everybody.

Many great pieces written in the past hours on this subject, but I encourage you to read this one by Paul F. Tompkins.