3/2/2023: Chandelier Ka-Ching
PLUS: Age Is Just a Number; KISS Says Farewell in NYC; and Harry & Meg Get Evicted
Today is Thursday, March 2, 2023.
It is the 61st day of the year.
304 days remain.
WHAT’S ON TAP
The man who shot RFK is up for parole (again) and an old chandelier fetches big money at auction. More in HIT LIST.
Voters say President JOE BIDEN is too old for the job while his son’s legal team gets a shakeup. More in THE SWAMP.
JUSTIN BIEBER has canceled the remaining dates on his Justice World Tour and OZZY OSBOURNE hopes to one day head back out on tour. More in SHOWBIZ.
THE WEEKND lands his first acting gig and COLDPLAY gets a feature film. More in CASTING CALL.
While the new ChatGPT artificial intelligence program has impressed technophiles, one famous internet genius isn’t so thrilled: ELON MUSK. Musk isn’t impressed with the program’s woke tendencies and wants to create an alternative. He’s recruited an AI specialist who used to work for Google to lead a new effort.
Some insiders suggest Musk will give his AI team access to all of Twitter’s data, since the platform is a giant repository for how people converse and talk on the internet. [via The Information]
BY THE WAY: Musk met the mother of his twins, Shivon Zilis, through her work with OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Musk was also a co-founder of the original company before parting ways over differences with the company’s leadership.
Last weekend news broke that the organization managing British author Roald Dahl’s estate was editing many of his books to be less offensive to particular sensibilities.
FOR EXAMPLE: Augustus Gloop in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is no longer described as fat and Mrs. Twit from “The Twits” is no longer described as “ugly.”
BUT WAIT: Puffin Books, which publishes Dahl’s works in electronic form, automatically updated the Kindle edition of his works, so people who bought the titles had no choice in the matter. [via The Times of London]
WORTH NOTING: It would be one thing to publish a clearly-marked, socially progressive version of these timeless tales. It’s another to try to change the language without anyone noticing.
The man who killed Robert F. Kennedy is once again up for parole – two years after the board approved him for release, but was denied by California Governor GAVIN NEWSOM.
Sirhan Sirhan appeared before the parole board Wednesday. His lawyer says he’s learned his lesson and, at 78 years old, he’s no longer a threat. He was previously denied parole 15 times. [via NBC News]
Pilots for Delta Air Lines are scheduled to get major raises in the next few years with an agreement approved by union members – they’ll see a 34% pay bump between now and 2026, amounting to an additional $7 BILLION in compensation expense for the airline.
The union says the salary bumps reflect the increased demands for pilots after vaccine mandates pushed many out of their jobs and a shortage of the skill continues to dog increased demand to fly.
Delta says they’ll start rolling out raises for its baggage handlers and flight attendants in April – those roles are largely not unionized, unlike many other airlines. [via New York Times]
Some time in the 1960s, English painter John Craxton bought a chandelier from an antique store for about ￡250. That same piece just sold at Christie’s for over $3.5 million.
Turns out the lamp was a work by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti finished in the ‘40s. No word how it ended up in an antique store just a few years later.
Giacometti created the most expensive sculpture to ever sell at auction -- “L’Homme au Doigt” (The Man with the Finger) -- which sold in 2015 for over $140 MILLION. [via ARTNews]
Twenty years ago, Joseph DeRuvo, Jr. had painful bunions on his feet that would require surgery to repair, so he decided to just quit shoes altogether. Since then he goes almost anywhere he can in just his bare feet, save for the occasional sandal when it’s required by dress code. Read his story > [via Dnyuz]
Actor RICOU BROWNING has died.
He passed away Monday of natural causes at his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida, his daughter told The Hollywood Reporter.
Browning was best known for his role as Gill-Man in “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”
He was 93.
STASSI SCHROEDER, 34, is expecting baby #2 with husband BEAU CLARK, 42.
The former “Vanderpump Rules” star revealed the news on Instagram Wednesday, captioning a photo of her baby bump “Secrets stress me out. Baby #2, I love you so much already.”
The baby will join big sister Hartford, 2.
“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star DREW SIDORA, 37, filed for divorce from her husband RALPH PITTMAN, 40, on Monday, just over an hour before he also filed.
According to TMZ, Sidora submitted her petition at the Gwinnett County courthouse at 1:10pm and Pittman filed his at 2:11pm. She listed the date of separation as February 23 and he listed it as February 19.
The two were married for nine years.
A healthy majority of Americans think President JOE BIDEN is too old for the job: 65% say that being 82 when he starts his next term makes him unfit for the job.
BUT WAIT: Former President DONALD TRUMP, who will be 78 in 2024, fares a bit better: Only 45% say his age is disqualifying. [via Yahoo News/YouGov]
HUNTER BIDEN has brought on a former Trumpworld lawyer as he braces for Congressional investigation into his shady business affairs. The attorney, Abbe Lowell, previously worked for JARED KUSHNER and IVANKA TRUMP during investigations into the non-existent ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
With Lowell in, one of Hunter’s longtime friends Josh Levy has left the legal team. Levy was the pal who paid Hunter’s outstanding tax bills.
No word exactly why Lowell left the camp. [via New York Times]
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW added 5 points (0.016%) to close at 32,661. The S&P lost 18 points (0.47%) to close at 3,951 and the NASDAQ lost 76 points (0.66%) to close at 11,379.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $77; BRENT CRUDE at $84.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.35 on Wednesday.
₿ BITCOIN ticked up more than 1.25% on Wednesday, trading over $23,400.
🛩 There were more than 2,880 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Wednesday and more than 125 such cancellations.
💰Friday night’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $167 million jackpot or a $84.5 million cash payout.
JUSTIN BIEBER is pulling the plug on his Justice World Tour.
Concerts in the UK, France, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the Czech Republic have all been canceled and refunds are being sent to ticket holders.
Remember, JB suspended his tour last September because of physical and mental health issues he was experiencing. [via TMZ]
Political pundit MEGYN KELLY has no sympathy for “Today” show host SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, who recently tested positive for covid for the third time.
Kelly, who used to host her own morning show on NBC, pointed out that Guthrie has received her COVID-19 vaccinations and all of the boosters that are surely required by the network.
“All of it is such a perfect indication of how the left -- and especially the left in New York -- continues to live,” she stated.
Guthrie abruptly exited the “Today” show on Tuesday after testing positive for the virus. [via NY Post]
ALSO: Guthrie’s co-host HODA KOTB has been absent from the show for over a week. On Wednesday, viewers were told that she was “tending to a family health matter.”
ED SHEERAN’s new album “Subtract” features his “deepest, darkest thoughts.”
In Wednesday’s announcement of the new music, Sheeran said he has been working on “Subtract” for a decade as he tried to “sculpt the perfect acoustic album.”
The album is set for release on May 5. [via People]
VANESSA BRYANT has reached a final settlement with Los Angeles County over photos taken of her late husband KOBE BRYANT and daughter GIANNA BRYANT after they were killed in a helicopter crash.
She filed the lawsuit September 2020 after learning that first responders took photos and shared them with colleagues and friends; one person even showed them off at a bar.
In the final settlement, Vanessa received $29 million. She had already received a settlement -- for past and future pain and suffering and emotional distress -- of $16 million from the sheriff’s department and fire department. [via Hollywood Reporter]
OZZY OSBOURNE is “not [effing] dying” and has hopes to one day tour again.
The 74-year-old rocker confessed on the latest episode of his SiriusXm show “Ozzy Speaks” that after being forced to cancel all of this year’s concerts due to his health, he is hoping to be able to get back on the road at some point.
“The only thing I’ve got that keeps me going is making records. But I can’t do that forever. I gotta get out there…” he explained.
Ozzy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the early 2000s. He also has back issues from a bike accident he was in years ago. [via Daily Mail]
KISS announced Wednesday that they will end their journey at Madison Square Garden.
“KISS was born in New York City. On 23rd Street. Half a century ago. It will be a privilege and honor to finish touring at Madison Square Garden, 10 blocks and 50 years from where we first started,” the band said in a joint statement.
The final two shows will take place on December 1 and 2. [via Deadline]
Actress PRIYANKA CHOPRA created a new flavor of popcorn for Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, which is owned by her husband, NICK JONAS, his two famous brothers KEVIN and JOE JONAS, and their friend and co-founder Rob Garbowsky.
The new flavor -- called Mumbai Nights -- pays homage to Chopra’s Indian roots.
“I wanted it to have a little bit of a kick, but not to be like chili spicy. So it’s heavy on the cumin, onion, garlic, turmeric and red peppers. It’s very unique to our popcorn,” she told People Magazine.
Mumbai Nights launches today. It is available at eatrobs.com. [via People]
THE WEEKND is set to star in his first lead movie role in a film that he also wrote and will produce.
The yet-to-be-titled flick also stars JENNA ORTEGA (“Wednesday”) and BARRY KEOGHAN (“The Banshees of Inisherin”).
The musician did make a cameo appearance in “Uncut Gems,” but other than that, this is his first foray into acting. [via People]
A new five-part docuseries from Fox Nation will detail the downfall of actor JUSSIE SMOLLETT.
“Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax” will feature exclusive interviews with the Osundairo brothers, who have never spoken publicly about the role they played in the elaborate plot put together by Smollett in 2019.
It is set to debut on March 13. [via NY Post]
WORTH REMEMBERING: In January 2019, Smollett claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime in downtown Chicago. It was later revealed that the actor staged the attack and paid the Osundairo brothers over $3,000 to help.
A film centered on COLDPLAY’s performance at Buenos Aires’ River Plate stadium -- part of their Music of the Spheres world tour -- will hit the big screen next month.
According to Variety, “Coldplay -- Music of The Spheres: Live at River Plate” features remastered sound and visuals captured via 30 cameras, racing drones and 360 degree filming techniques from director Paul Dugdal.
The theatrical release will also feature behind-the-scenes footage, including interviews with the band. [via Variety]
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
In a recent TikTok video, KIM KARDASHIAN said that she has several dresses archived for her daughters NORTH WEST and CHICAGO WEST to wear to prom one day.
She explained that the girls will also have free reign to pick out clothes to wear “on a night out clubbing.”
While some in the comment section thought it was “sweet” of Kim to think of her kids, others questioned whether the girls would share her style, especially North, who seems to like a more gothic look. [via Independent]
WORTH NOTING: Kim’s fashion archive has over 30,000 pieces of clothing.
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
KING CHARLES is evicting PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN MARKLE from Frogmore Cottage so his disgraced younger brother, PRINCE ANDREW, can move in.
A royal insider told Page Six that Charles initiated the move in January -- one day after Harry’s memoir, “Spare,” debuted.
“The eviction surely spells the end of Harry and Meghan’s time in the UK,” the source added.
Reps for the couple confirmed the news on Wednesday. [via Page Six]
DAY OF THE YEAR
International Rescue Cat Day
National Egg McMuffin Day
World Book Day
National Old Stuff Day
Dr. Seuss Day
National Read Across America Day
National Banana Cream Pie Day
ON THIS DATE
1807 – Congress prohibits the importation of slaves into the country.
More than 3 million captive Africans had been brought to America by the end of the American Revolution. Many of the new northern states passed laws abolishing slavery soon after the Revolutionary War.
The slave trade thrived in the American South for more than 50 years.
1836 – The state of Texas declares independence from Mexico as its own sovereign nation.
Its actual declaration was written literally overnight by a delegation of five men.
Its first Congress had 14 senators and 29 representatives. The independent republic endured another 10 years. The US annexed Texas in 1845.
Part of the deal included expanding Texas' territory as a US state and flooding the economy with slaves.
1920 – Calvin Coolidge signs the Jones Act in order to further squash bootlegging.
While the production, importation, and sale of booze had been illegal for nine years, the masses still found a way to consume it. The Jones Act made fines higher and increased possible jail sentences.
Five years later prohibition was repealed.
1962 – Basketball superstar Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single game against the New York Knicks.
He was the first to hit triple digit scoring in a single NBA game, smashing the previous point record of 78 points -- which Chamberlain also set.
Wilt nailed 36 field goals and 28 foul shots in that game -- also NBA records.
1966 – The Ford Motor Company rolls its one-millionth Mustang off the assembly line.
It's a white, convertible model. It had debuted only two years earlier. Consumers clamored for the sporty, relatively affordable automobile.
Its initial price was $2,300.
1972 – Pioneer 10 launches from Cape Canaveral, en route to Jupiter.
It's the first probe to visit the outer planets.
The rocket neared Jupiter almost two years and 620 million miles later. It beamed back the first images of the gas giant.
The mission officially continued until 1997, after Pioneer 10 lasted more than 6 billion miles.
2004 – The Indianapolis Colts sign Peyton Manning to a 7-year, $98 million deal with a $34.5 million signing bonus.
It was the largest deal at the time.
2016 – US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko return to Earth after 340 days.
Their trip set an ISS (International Space Station) record.
The journey to space was part of a NASA twin study involving Scott’s brother Mark Kelly. Researchers looked at how a year in space can affect vision, bones and muscles, the heart, and body.
One obvious and temporary change for Scott was that he came back two inches taller than his brother because of a lack of gravity.
2021 - Dr. Seuss Enterprises announces that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published over outcries of racist and incentive imagery.
They are: “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” “And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
Tua Tagovailoa - football player - 25
Becky G - pop singer - 26
Luke Combs - country singer - 33
Reggie Bush - football player - 38
Trent Garrett - actor, “All My Children” & “New Girl” - 39
Ben Roethlisberger - football player - 41
Bryce Dallas Howard - actress, “The Village” & “Jurassic World” - 42
Rebel Wilson - actress, “Pitch Perfect” films - 43
Chris Martin - pop singer, Coldplay - 46
Method Man - rapper - 52
Daniel Craig - actor, James Bond films & “Cowboys & Aliens” - 55
Jon Bon Jovi - rock singer - 61
Mark Evans - bassist, AC/DC - 67
Born On This Date
Karen Carpenter - pop singer, The Carpenters - 1950 (d. 1983)
Mikhail Gorbachev - last leader of the Soviet Union - 1931 (d. 2022)
Dezi Arnaz - actor, “I Love Lucy” - 1917 (d. 1986)
Dr. Seuss - children’s author - 1904 (d. 1991)
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