5/23/2023: Well Past Due
PLUS: Cooling it with A.I.; Mac Attack 2.0; and Harry’s House
Today is Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
It is the 143rd day of the year.
222 days remain.
There will be no newsletter on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.
WHAT’S ON TAP
A girl in Massachusetts jumped into action to save her twin brother and a software developer swaps blood with his son to feel more youthful. More in HIT LIST.
BEYONCE and JAY-Z paid for their new mansion in cash and CARMELO ANTHONY announced his retirement from the NBA. More in SHOWBIZ.
VIN DIESEL says there will be more “Fast & Furious” projects and NATALIE PORTMAN would love to reprise her role as Queen Amidala in “Star Wars.” More in CASTING CALL.
KIM KARDASHIAN writes her four kids lengthy birthday letters every year. More in KARDASH.
It looks like PRINCE HARRY keeps a swanky bachelor pad to get away from MEGHAN MARKLE – and who can blame him? More in ROYALS.
Robotics and artificial intelligence expert RODNEY BROOKS says that people are vastly overestimating the capabilities and potential of programs like ChatGPT.
Brooks is the former director of the A.I. research program at MIT and has worked on three different startup companies in the robotics and computing sector.
Brooks says that the “large language models” used to create chatbots make it look and sound like the response has been reasoned, just like a human would work through a question – when in reality, the output is just designed to look like it is a result of complex problem solving.
Brooks says that while these bots answer questions confidently, half the time they’re totally wrong. “What the large language models are good at is saying what an answer should sound like, which is different from what an answer should be,” he says, adding, “It just makes up stuff that sounds good.” [via IEEE Spectrum]
The European Union has slapped META with a massive $1.3 BILLION fine for sending user data to the United States for aggregation and processing.
The company can’t just keep up the practice and pay the penalty, either; they’ve been ordered to stop the practice within five months.
The fine beats the previous record for a privacy violation fine that was slapped on Amazon in December 2021 amounting to $844 million. [via Bloomberg]
A 12-year-old’s quick thinking may have saved her twin brother’s life.
Amelia Loverme, of Massachusetts, was eating lunch with her classmates and twin brother Charlie when he started choking on a piece of cheese. While others backed away unsure of what to do, Amelia jumped into action, and started performing the Hemlich.
“I just knew I needed to help him, or try and help him,” Amelia told “GMA” about the ordeal.
After just a few thrusts, Charlie was able to pull the cheese out of his mouth.
"This is the stuff you hope and pray never, ever happens to one of your children," the twins’ mom said. "Kids need to pay attention and look out for one another, and I'm just grateful that Amelia did." [via GMA]
Bryan Johnson, a 45-year-old software developer, has enlisted his teenage son Talmage to be part of his plan to be forever youthful.
According to Bloomberg, Bryan and Talmage, and Bryan’s 70-year-old father Richard, spent hours hooked up to machines at a clinic near Dallas last month for a “tri-generational blood-swapping treatment.”
During the procedure, a liter of Talmage’s blood was converted into a batch of plasma, a batch of red blood cells and a batch of platelets. Johnson, who also had a liter of blood taken, was then given Talmage’s plasma, while his plasma went to Richard.
In addition to this bizarre procedure, Bryan also sticks to a rigorous routine that includes two dozen supplements, an hour of exercise a day, a low-calorie vegan diet, a calculated manner in which he brushes his teeth and wears blue light-blocking glasses for two hours at bedtime. He also has a machine that he is hooked up to while sleeping that counts the number of erections he has throughout the night.
By doing all of the above, Bryan said he has “a heart of a 37-year-old and skin of a 28-year-old.” [via Bloomberg]
To read more about Bryan’s goals, check out a blog post he wrote in 2021 titled “Project Blueprint.”
A book -- 96 years overdue -- was returned to the St. Helena Public Library in Northern California last week.
“We didn’t realize quite how old it was -- it was falling apart,” director Chris Kreiden told CBS outlet KMBC News.
While carefully inspecting the book, which was published in 1892, Kreiden found a note reading, “This book may be kept for two weeks,” and a check out date of 1927.
As many are aware, most libraries have done away with overdue fines, which in this case is a blessing as an estimated $1,700 in late fees had accumulated.
BY THE WAY: The book was “A History of the United States,” by Benson Lossing. [via KMBC]
Actor RAY STEVENSON has died.
He passed away Sunday, according to a statement from his rep. No other details were shared.
Stevenson is best known for his roles in “Thor” and the “Star Wars” franchise.
He was 58.
JEFF BEZOS and LAUREN SANCHEZ are engaged!
According to multiple outlets, the billionaire popped the question while the two were sailing around Europe on his $500 million superyacht.
The pair have been dating since 2019, after Bezos divorced his wife of 24 years MACKENZIE BEZOS.
He is 59 and she is 53.
BY THE NUMBERS
📈 The DOW lost 140 points (0.42%) to close at 33,286 on Monday. The S&P was up just 0.65 points (0.016%) to close at 4,192 and the NASDAQ added 62 points (0.5%) to close at 12,720.
🛢 WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE closed at $71; BRENT CRUDE at $75.
⛽ The national average price of a GALLON OF GAS was $3.54 on Monday.
₿ BITCOIN ticked up 0.67%, trading just under $27,000.
🛩 There were more than 3,560 FLIGHTS delayed within, into, or out of the United States on Monday and more than 80 such cancellations.
💰Tonight’s MEGA MILLIONS drawing will be for a $150 million jackpot or a $77.2 million cash payout.
A Swiftie is selling rainwater allegedly collected at TAYLOR SWIFT’s recent Foxborough, Massachusetts concert for $250 on Facebook Marketplace.
The ad features three small containers that are filled with a clear liquid, which the seller claims to have gotten from the downpour at her show.
While many called the post a “scam,” others said it was a “fair price.” One fan even referred to the jars as “holy water.”
The post has since been removed. No word on whether or not they have been sold. [via Page Six]
BEYONCE and JAY-Z paid cash for their new $200 million mansion in Malibu.
This shouldn’t really shock anyone as Jay is worth about $2.5 BILLION and Bey is worth just about $500 million, though that will likely increase with her current “Renaissance Tour.” [via TMZ]
KURT COBAIN’s Fender Stratocaster electric guitar sold for nearly $600,000 at auction on Saturday -- 10 times the estimated sale price of $60,000, according to Julien’s Auctions.
In addition to having been played and smashed by Cobain, the guitar was also signed by all three members of NIRVANA after being reassembled. Despite being fixed, the guitar is unplayable.
Another piece of Nirvana history, a setlist from April 1991, sold for more than $50,000 -- 12 times its original estimate of $4,000, according to Julien’s. [via People]
TOM BRADY and Las Vegas Raiders owner MARK DAVIS have agreed on a deal that will make the former QB a minority owner of the team.
CBS Sports reported Monday that Davis forwarded the agreement to the league for approval. It is unclear when a vote on the deal will take place.
WORTH NOTING: Brady also has an ownership stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, which is also owned by Davis. [via CBS]
PARIS HILTON is mourning the loss of her Chihuahua, Harajuku Bitch.
The heiress shared the sad news Monday, telling followers that after 23 years “filled with love,” she had to say good-bye. [via TMZ]
Rapper TRAVIS SCOTT and hot-headed tennis pro JOHN MCENROE are teaming up to design a new sneaker for Nike.
No word on when the collaboration will be available, but in the meantime, Scott’s upcoming album “Utopia” is set to drop next month.
WORTH NOTING: McEnroe worked with Nike in 1984 on the Mac Attack shoe. Could this be a Mac Attack 2.0? [via Page Six]
CARMELO ANTHONY is retiring from the NBA after 19 seasons.
The 38-year-old, who was picked No. 3 overall in the 2003 draft, is a 10-time NBA All-Star. He also made six All-NBA teams, won a scoring title and was named to the league’s 75th anniversary team in 2022.
Anthony spent most of his career playing with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, though he did play a bit with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers.
As for what he will do in retirement, Anthony said he plans to focus on his 15-year-old son Kiyan’s basketball future. [via ET]
EMINEM’s daughter HAILIE JADE MATHERS is launching her own clothing line.
She announced the news on her “Just a Little Shady” podcast, telling listeners that the line is something she has “been working on for [...] almost a year.”
The collection includes sweatshirts, caps, T-shirts and sweatpants, ranging from $33 to $63. [via Page Six]
VIN DIESEL says there are several “Fast & Furious” spinoffs in the works, including a female-led one that he has been working on since 2017.
“The sooner I deliver the finale, the sooner I can launch all the spinoffs,” he told Variety.
The news comes on the heels of the release of “Fast X,” which hit theaters last week. The movie is the first part of a two (or maybe even three) part ending, Diesel said.
He did not share which of the stars of the franchise would be starring in the spinoffs, if any. [via Variety]
NATALIE PORTMAN says she would be open to reprising her role as Queen Amidala in “Star Wars,” but no one has asked.
During a Q&A session with fans, Portman was asked if there were plans for her to return to the franchise, to which she replied, “I have no information on this. No one’s ever asked me to return, but I’m open to it.”
It could be hard for Portman to reprise her role as her character died in 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith.”
FUNNY STORY: Director TAIKAI WAITITI, who worked with Portman on “Thor: Love and Thunder,” once asked her if she would ever like to be in a “Star Wars” film. When she informed him that she in fact played a major role in three films, he “cringed,” Portman revealed. [via People]
BRYAN KOHBERGER has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder.
The plea was entered by default as Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, chose to “stand silent” when asked by the judge to enter a plea.
He was indicted last week for the murders and one count of burglary. If convicted, Kohberger faces the death penalty, although it is not yet known if prosecutors are seeking that.
He will now be held without bail until his trial.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
KIM KARDASHIAN says she writes her four children “a four-to-five page letter” every year on their birthday recapping their past year.
She shared the tidbit during her recent chat with JAY SHETTY on his “On Purpose With Jay Shetty” podcast.
In the letters Kim said that she includes who their friends are, “silly words” they are saying, some of their favorite things and the “silly things” they do.
No word on if she plans to give her kids all the letters at a certain age. [via Insider]
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
PRINCE HARRY loves MEGHAN MARKLE so much he has disowned his father and brother, the KING OF ENGLAND and heir apparent, and fled the country he was born to serve.
NOW: Harry has a private room on standby at the exclusive San Vicente Bungalows club, where he often visits and spends the night without his wife.
The Sun reports that the annual fee is about $4,000 and members must be approved by a special board that includes actress JULIA ROBERTS. [via TheSun]
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Library Workers Day
National Lucky Penny Day
World Turtle Day
National Title Track Day
ON THIS DATE
1618 - Two Catholic Lords Regent and their secretary are thrown out of a window following an assembly in Prague to protect Protestant rights.
Shockingly, all three survive the 70 foot fall. Supporters claim they were caught and protected from injury by holy angels.
This event, known as the Defenestration of Prague, signaled the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War.
1701 - Captain William Kidd is hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and the murder of William Moore.
Two years prior, Kidd and his crew attacked a massive American ship named the Quedagh Merchant, which was full of gold, silk and spice. He was swiftly marked as a wanted criminal by the British East India Company.
He would eventually return to Boston, were he was arrested and shipped back to London.
On May 8 he was tried and found guilty. On this date he was hanged, and his body was suspended in a cage over the River Thames as a warning for others.
1785 - Ben Franklin debuts the bifocal. He may not have been the first to invent them, but evidence suggests his invention was found independently. He was also one of the first to wear them publicly.
The convex lenses allow the visually-impaired to see objects both near and far.
1788 - South Carolina becomes the 8th state to ratify the US Constitution.
1867 - The Jesse James gang robs the Daviess County Savings Association in Richmond, Missouri, stealing more than $4,000.
Jesse shot and killed the cashier, the mayor, and the deputy sheriff.
1903 - The first automobile to drive across the US sets out.
While on vacation in San Francisco, Vermont doctor Horatio Nelson Jackson accepted a $50 bet that he could drive across the country in less than 90 days.
He bought a Winton 1903 Touring Car, which he named Vermont, and along with mechanic Sewall Crocker, set off for the East Coast.
After several technical difficulties, and the pickup of another traveling companion -- a pit bull named Bud -- Jackson and Crocker would arrive in New York in the early morning hours of July 26; crossing the country in 63 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes.
The “Vermont” motor car is now on display at the Smithsonian.
1934 - Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are killed by police in an ambush near Sailes, Louisiana.
As the wanted fugitives pulled over to ask for help, police officers lying in wait opened fire.
Clyde was killed instantly by a shot to the head.
When all was said and done, officers emptied their entire support of ammunition on the pair — about 130 rounds in all.
Bonnie was 23 and Clyde was 24.
1980 - “The Shining” is released.
Based on Stephen King’s book of the same name, the horror flick follows a family who heads to an isolated hotel for the winter. A sinister presence influences the father, played by Jack Nicholson, pressuring him into violence. Meanwhile his psychic son sees glimpses of the past and future.
It grossed $622,337 on its opening weekend.
2018 - NFL owners approve a new policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field for pre-game presentations.
Per the new rule, teams will be fined for any personnel that “do not show proper respect for the flag and Anthem” on the sidelines.
Steve Lacy - music producer - 25
Aaron Donald - football player - 32
Bray Wyatt - wrestler - 36
Ryan Coogler - filmmaker, “Black Panther” - 37
Richard Ayoade - comedian - 46
Ken Jennings - “Jeopardy!” champ - 49
Jewel - pop singer - 49
Jason Nash - comedian - 50
Matt Flynn - drummer, Maroon 5 - 53
Philip Selway - drummer, Radiohead - 56
Melissa McBride - actress, “The Walking Dead” - 58
Drew Carey - actor & game show host, “The Price is Right” - 65
William Barr - Attorney General - 73
Joan Collins - actress, “Dynasty” - 90
Born On This Date
Douglas Fairbanks - actor, “The Mark of Zorro” & “3 Musketeers” - 1883 (d. 1939)
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