Two biographical pieces for your edification:
As Walter Olson pointed out in linking to this obituary of Jade Goody, a horrible-seeming British reality tv star I'd not heard of til last week, there is a good reason that readers of the better British papers turn to the obituaries first. As Nancy Friedman pointed out in her own comment on the obituary, it is a fascinating dissection of modern media culture, and none too flattering to us, the audience.
It may seem incredible, but in a bygone era people like Jade Goody were locked up for their own protection, while physicists such as Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, and Richard Feynman were minor celebrities. This New York Times piece on the last of the famous physicists, activist and man-of-ideas Freeman Dyson, is not an obituary. The man who brought the electromagnetic force into quantum mechanics, inspired a number of characters and concepts in science fiction, and as a mathematical exercise calculated the most efficient method of strategic bombing for the RAF never bothered to earn a Ph.D. Today (while the Times author seems to wish to join this trend, but turns away in fascination for his subject) there is movement to write Dyson off as a crank for his inconvenient views on climate change, but when Dyson's obituary is written that should be relegated to a tiny paragraph. This story should take time to read, but it will be time well spent.