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11/20/2023: World’s Fastest Rollercoaster
PLUS: Cleaning Habits; No Plastic Surgery For Drew; and the Prince’s Pocketbook
Today is Monday, November 20, 2023.
It is the 324th day of the year.
41 days remain.
There will be no newsletter on Thursday, November 23 or Friday, November 24 for Thanksgiving weekend.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Starship leaves the launchpad and ELON MUSK throws down in court. Details in HIT LIST
TAYLOR SWIFT sweats it off in Brazil and JOHN CLEESE once “killed a man.” More in SHOWBIZ.
DAVID LETTERMAN returns to “Late Night” and BLAKE SHELTON doesn’t miss “The Voice.” Find out more in CASTING CALL.
Is BIANCA CENSORI ready to leave YE? Dive into this in KARDASH.
Just how much cash does a real prince have on hand? No one seems to know. More in ROYALS.
SPACEX’s starship successfully lifted off Saturday morning from the company’s launch facility in Texas but failed to return to Earth. This was Starship’s second launch and the first time the main rocket successfully separated from the Super Heavy Booster that took it into space. Shortly after separation, the booster itself exploded over the Gulf of Mexico.
After separation, the rocket’s second stage flew under its own power for over five minutes before its self-destruct system activated to prevent it from traveling off course.
Despite not meeting the highest of expectations, the company still considers the mission a success. During the last launch in April, the rocket failed to separate, though just getting off the ground was a major win.
In a post on X, the company added, “With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multiplanetary.”
No word yet on a timeline for the next launch.
MEANWHILE: On Friday, ELON MUSK threatened to slap watchdog group Media Matters with a “thermonuclear” lawsuit over its claims that X advertisers have ads displayed alongside racist content.
Media Matters made the report late last week and induced multiple major companies to pull their ads from the platform.
A swift investigation by X revealed that Media Matters “forced a scenario resulting in 13 times the number of ads served compared to the median ads served to an X user.” Even in this case, less than 50 of these ads identified by Media Matters appeared out of 5.5 BILLION total ad impressions served that day. In some of these cases, the only people who saw these ads next to racist content were the reporters from Media Matters themselves.
Convicted killer ALEX MURDAUGH is avoiding trial for his financial crimes by pleading guilty to 22 counts, including money laundering and fraud.
A trial had been scheduled to begin next Monday. The plea deal adds 27 years to the life sentence he’s serving following his conviction for murdering his son and wife. [via People]
Saudi Arabia has plans to build the world’s tallest roller coaster at Six Flags Qiddiya, set to open next year.
The ride promises a 640 foot drop over an existing cliff after climbing 500 feet, and reaching top speeds of 156 miles per hour in the process. The total track length will clock in over two-and-a-half miles – almost a mile longer than the current coaster with the world’s longest track in Japan. [via The Sun]
A study by home cleaning company Maid Brigade suggests the average American spends 300 hours every year cleaning their home.
More than half, at 52%, say they at least sometimes get behind on maintenance tasks and chores.
AND: For those having guests over for the holidays, the typical deep clean begins three days before anyone shows up. About 15% say they start cleaning a week before the get-together.
BUT WAIT: One in four say they expect guests to arrive early to help them clean!
ONLY IN FLORIDA: A 45-year-old man by the name of Rudy Wilcox was arrested by Clearwater Police last week for allegedly defecating on a dead possum located in the middle of a busy intersection during rush-hour traffic.
In addition to the many motorists being exposed to the act, a Clearwater officer also witnessed the bowel movement.
When questioned, Wilcox allegedly denied the whole thing and said the officer who saw him “doesn’t see straight.”
Wilcox -- who was stone-cold sober -- was charged with exposure of sexual organs and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. [via NY Post]
Former First Lady ROSALYNN CARTER has died.
The Carter Center broke the news Sunday, saying she passed away peacefully in her home with family by her side after a battle with dementia.
The news comes just a couple of days after Rosalynn entered hospice care, which her husband former President JIMMY CARTER entered as well earlier this year.
She was 96.
Actress SUZANNE SHEPARD has died.
She passed away Friday morning at her home in Manhattan, according to a statement from her friend, actor TOM TITONE. No word on a cause of death.
Shepard is best known for her roles in “Goodfellas,” “Mystic Pizza,” “Uncle Buck,” and “A Dirty Shame.”
She was 89.
Musician GEORGE BROWN has died.
He passed away at his home last Thursday after a battle with cancer.
Brown is best known as one of the founding members of KOOL & THE GANG.
He was 74.
Actor JOSS ACKLAND has died.
He passed away on Sunday, though details of his passing are unknown.
Ackland is best known for his roles in “Mighty Ducks” & “White Mischief.”
He was 95.
Baby #4 is on the way for actors ALEXA PENAVEGA and CARLOS PENAVEGA.
The couple announced the news in a joint statement on Instagram Friday.
The new baby will join siblings 7-year-old brother Ocean King, 4-year-old brother Kingston James and 2-year-old sister Rio Rey.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
10. Killers of the Flower Moon: $1.9 million (down from 5)
9. Priscilla: $2.3 million (down from 4)
8. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour: $2.4 million (down from 3)
7. Next Goal Wins: $2.5 million (new)
6. The Holdovers: $2.7 million (stayed at 6)
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s: $3.5 million (down from 2)
4. Thanksgiving: $10.2 million (new)
3. The Marvels: $10.2 million (down from 1)
2. Trolls Band Together: $30.6 million (new)
1. Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes: $44 million (new)
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW was flat on Friday, closing at 34,947. The S&P ticked up 5 points (0.13%) to close at 4,514 and the NASDAQ added 11 points (0.084%) to close at 14,125.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $75 on Friday; BRENT CRUDE at $80.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.31 on Sunday.
₿ BITCOIN was up Sunday, trading just under $37,000.
🛩 There were more than 3,435 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Sunday and more than 45 such cancellations.
💰Tuesday night’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $289 million jackpot or a $132 million cash payout. Tonight’s POWERBALL drawing will be for a $295 million jackpot or a $135.8 million cash payout.
The Billboard Music Awards took place last night. In a change of pace, the awards were revealed online, rather than in a broadcast ceremony. Country singer MORGAN WALLEN was the night’s big winner, taking home 11 awards, while TAYLOR SWIFT snagged nine, including Top Artist and Top Female Artist.
And the winners are…
Top Artist: Taylor Swift
New Artist: Zach Bryan
Male Artist: Morgan Wallen
Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Duo/Group: Fuerza Regida
Billboard 200 Artist: Taylor Swift
Hot 100 Artist: Morgan Wallen
Hot 100 Songwriter: Taylor Swift
Hot 100 Producer: Joey Moi
Streaming Songs Artist: Morgan Wallen
Radio Songs Artist: Taylor Swift
Song Sales Artist: Taylor Swift
Billboard Global 200 Artist: Taylor Swift
Billboard 200 Album: Morgan Wallen, “One Thing at a Time”
Soundtrack: Barbie: The Album
Hot 100 Song: Morgan Wallen, “Last Night”
Streaming Song: Morgan Wallen, “Last Night”
Radio Song: Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
Selling Song: Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero”
Collaboration: Metro Boomin, The Weeknd & 21 Savage, “Creepin’”
Billboard Global 200 Song: Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
Male Artist: The Weeknd
Female Artist: SZA
Touring Artist: Beyonce
Album: SZA, “SOS”
Song: SZA, “Kill Bill”
Male Artist: Drake
Female Artist: Nicki Minaj
Touring Artist: Drake
Album: Drake & 21 Savage, “Her Loss”
Song: Drake & 21 Savage, “Rich Flex”
Top Artist: Morgan Wallen
Male Artist: Morgan Wallen
Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Duo/Group: Zac Brown Band
Touring Artist: Morgan Wallen
Album: Morgan Wallen, “One Thing at a Time”
Song: Morgan Wallen, “Last Night”
Top Artist: Zach Bryan
Duo/Group: Arctic Monkeys
Touring Artist: Coldplay
Album: Zach Bryan, “American Heartbreak”
Song: Zach Bryan, “Something in the Orange”
Top Artist: Bad Bunny
Male Artist: Bad Bunny
Female Artist: KAROL G
Duo/Group: Fuerza Regida
Touring Artist: KAROL G
Album: Bad Bunny, “Un Verano Sin Ti”
Song: Eslabón Armado x Peso Pluma, “Ella Baila Sola”
Top Artist: NewJeans
Touring Artist: BLACKPINK
Album: Stray Kids, “5-STAR”
Song: Jungkook ft. Latto, “Seven”
Top Artist: Beyonce
Album: Beyonce, “Renaissance”
Song: David Guetta & Bebe Rexha, “I’m Good (Blue)”
Top Artist: Lauren Daigle
Album: Anne Wilson, “My Jesus”
Song: Brandon Lake, “Gratitude”
Top Artist: Kanye West aka Ye
Album: Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin, “Kingdom Book One”
Song: CeCe Winans, “Goodness of God”
CASSIE and SEAN “Diddy” COMBS came to an agreement one day after she dropped a bombshell about their time together.
In a statement on the matter, Cassie said, “I have decided to resolve this matter amicably on terms that I have some level of control. I want to thank my family, fans and lawyers for their unwavering support.”
Diddy, meanwhile, said, “I wish Cassie and her family all the best.”
Details of the settlement were not disclosed.
As previously reported, Cassie, who started dating Diddy when she was 19, accused him of trafficking, rape and physical abuse during their 10-year off-again, and on-again relationship. [via USA]
TAYLOR SWIFT postponed two of her concerts in Brazil over the weekend due to scorching temperatures.
She did perform Friday, despite the death of a young fan who passed away while waiting to get into the show due to the extreme heat. Swift addressed the tragedy on Instagram, saying she is “heartbroken” over the loss of life and would not “speak about [it] from [the] stage.” [via AP News]
ON SUNDAY: Ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles-Kansas City Chiefs game, local Philly radio stations banned all T-Swift music. [via People]
WORTH NOTING: Swift and her family were longtime Eagles fans, but now are obviously cheering for her boyfriend, TRAVIS KELCE and his Chiefs teammates.
Country singer JIMMIE ALLEN and his estranged wife ALEXIS GALE may be trying to reconcile, or at least his lawyer think so.
According to new court documents, Allen’s attorney filed a motion last week to withdraw himself from the case, claiming he has “lost communication” with the client.
A judge will rule on the motion this week.
As previously reported, the pair separated in April after months of being on and off. At the time their third child was on the way; Cohen Ace James was born in September. [via TMZ]
50 CENT won't face charges for throwing a microphone into the crowd during an Los Angeles show that left radio host Bryhana Monegain with cuts to her face.
According to the D.A. no criminal charges have been filed -- and won’t as long as the rapper “keeps his nose clean.”
Many may recall that 50 became upset during the show when his microphone appeared to not be working. In a moment of frustration he chucked it off the stage, where it bounced and hit Monegain in the face.
No word on whether she plans to file civil charges against him. [via Marca]
Actor JOHN CLEESE once “killed a man.”
He spoke about the incident on his new video series, “The Dinosaur Hour,” explaining that during a screening of his 1988 comedy film “A Fish Called Wanda” he inadvertently killed a guy.
“He was a dentist, he had a huge laugh. A famous laugh. Very popular,” Cleese started out. “And he went to see Wanda and he started laughing about two minutes in and never stopped. They carried him out dead, he’d had a heart attack.” [via NY Post]
DREW BARRYMORE says her “highly addictive” personality is why she will never undergo any sort of plastic surgery.
“I worry I’d continue to chase it, get this and that done,” she told People Magazine.
Barrymore battled addiction as a teen, then after years of rehab and trying to manage it, she ultimately decided to give up drinking altogether in 2021. [via People]
DAVID LETTERMAN is returning to late night TV – sort of.
The former TV show host will appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” tonight.
Letterman was the first host of “The Late Show,” which he fronted for 22 seasons. Colbert took over in 2015. [via THR]
BLAKE SHELTON doesn’t miss his red swivel chair.
During a recent appearance on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the country singer was asked if he missed his gig as coach on “The Voice,” to which he said, “Not yet.”
Shelton, the longest-running judge on the singing competition show, served as coach for 23 seasons. [via NY Post]
TIM ALLEN is holding out hope for a “Home Improvement” reboot or spin-off.
“We keep talking about [a spin-off],” Allen told The Messenger, referring to conversations with former co-stars RICHARD KARN, who played Al Borland, and ZACHERY TY BRYAN, JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS, and TARAN NOAH SMITH, who played his three sons.
No word on whether or not he has actress PATRICIA RICHARDSON, who played his wife Jill Taylor, in on the chats too.
“Home Improvement” ran from 1991 to 1999 on ABC. [via The Messenger]
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
Insiders told The Sun that after a recent intervention held by her friends, BIANCA CENSORI has decided to take a step back from her marriage to YE, and is spending time with her family in Australia.
“Her family has never been a fan of Ye,” one source told the outlet.
As for Ye, he is reportedly focused on making new music with fellow musician TY DOLLAR $IGN and is “not worried” about his marriage. [via The Sun]
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
During a visit to a community youth center in Manchester on Friday, a particularly precocious boy asked PRINCE WILLIAM how much money he has in his bank account.
The Prince of Wales told the boy he didn’t know how much he had sitting around in cash. [via The Telegraph]
WORTH NOTING: As Prince of Wales and heir apparent, William inherited the Duchy of Cornwall, one of the massive portfolios of real estate assets held by the Royal Family, and from which it derives much of its wealth. It’s worth an estimated $1.5 BILLION – even more than what’s held by the King’s Duchy of Lancaster.
DAY OF THE YEAR
World Children’s Day
Africa Industrialization Day
National Absurdity Day
Name Your PC Day
National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
ON THIS DATE
1789 - New Jersey ratifies the Bill of Rights, the first state to do so.
The addendum to the Constitution granted a list of liberties the Founders did not incorporate into the original draft, but after consideration, were deemed essential to free society.
However, with New Jersey's approval, they also rejected a measure that forbade Congress from voting itself a pay raise within its own term. That would not become law until 1992.
1820 - The whaling ship Exxex is attacked by an 80-ton sperm whale off the coast of South America.
Whales provided materials for oil and their bones had many uses. The crew of the ship got into a tussle with the giant whale, who rammed the boat twice and managed to capsize it.
The whole crew made it into lifeboats, but only five of the 20 survived. They were eventually picked up 83 days later by other ships.
Stories of cannibalism were rampant. It would've been the only way to survive. Legend says that the men drew straws to see who would be shot in order to be eaten.
The story inspired in part Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick."
1923 - Garrett Morgan receives a patent for the design of the modern traffic signal.
While the first stop-and-go signs were implemented in London in the mid-1800s, Morgan's design incorporated the "slow down" signal, making traffic crossings and intersections a little safer.
Morgan's story is truly heroic: His parents had been slaves, and he moved to Ohio for work when he was just 14. He developed a knack for working with his hands and found work repairing sewing machines.
At the age of 30 he opened his own store and in 1909 added garment alterations to his services.
Having become rather wealthy, he started his own newspaper, the “Cleveland Call and Post,” in 1920. Given his wealth, he was able to own a car, which made him acutely aware of the needs for improved traffic control in a time when horses, pedestrians, cars, and bikes packed the streets.
His design sold to General Electric for $40,000.
1947 - Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten.
The ostentatious wedding at Westminster Abbey shook up the royal dynamic of Europe. Philip renounced his titles as Prince of Greece and Denmark to marry Elizabeth.
She was only 21, he was 26. With his marriage to the heir to the British throne, he was made Duke of Edinburgh.
They would have four kids: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
2003 - Recording producer Phil Spector is indicted for killing actress Lana Clarkson.
Spector worked with the likes of John Lennon, Ike and Tina Turner, and the Ramones.
The trial wouldn’t begin until 2007, and lasted three and a half months. The jury was deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial. After a retrial, Spector was convicted of second-degree murder.
He would spend the rest of his life in prison; dying in 2021 at 81-years-old.
2019 – Prince Andrew officially steps back from public duties following his disastrous interview on his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The decision came from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Madisyn Shipman - actress, “Game Shakers” - 21
Kyree Walker - basketball player - 23
Ann Marie - pop singer - 28
Michael Clifford - guitarist, Five Seconds of Summer - 28
Cody Linley - actor, “Hannah Montana” - 34
Jaina Lee Ortiz - actress, “Station 19” - 37
Jeremy Jordan - actor, “Newsies” & “Smash” - 39
Future - rapper - 40
Josh Turner - country singer - 46
Dierks Bentley - country singer - 48
Joel McHale - TV show host & actor, “Community” - 52
Ming-Na Wen - actress, “Mulan” & “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” - 60
Joe Walsh - rock singer, The Eagles - 76
Joe Biden - 46th POTUS - 81
Born On This Date
Richard Dawson - actor & TV show host “Family Feud” - 1932 (d. 2012)
Robert F. Kennedy - politician - 1925 (d. 1968)