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In September 2000, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jon Carroll had lunch with a woman he called "the most hated woman in America": Stacey Stillman, the whiny yuppie lawyer from the hit game show "Survivor" who was among the first to be voted off the show by its other contestants.

"I rather liked her," Carroll declared. "'When I was flying back to New York,' she said, 'we had a little turbulence, and I instantly thought of the headline: Survivor Killed in Air Crash.' How could you hate someone who thinks in punchlines?"

[In March 1994, an Aeroflot jet flying from Moscow to Hong Kong crashed into a Siberian mountain, killing everyone aboard. The black box was soon recovered, and revealed that the last voice heard was not that of Captain Yaroclav Kudrinsky. The last words spoken on the doomed flight? "Daddy, can I turn this?" (The crew was letting their children fly the jet!)]

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