Discover more from Morning Martini
5/27/2022: Ellen DeGeneres Says Farewell
PLUS: Billy the Bison Captured, Depp-Heard Trial Almost Done, and Royal Currency
EDITOR'S NOTE: There will be no report on Monday 5/30 in honor of Memorial Day.
Today is Friday, May 27, 2022.
It is the 147th day of the year.
218 days remain.
The Twitterverse was shocked by the passing of actor Ray Liotta. More info in Deaths.
Winnie the Pooh was trending Thursday after news broke that the honey-loving bear would be starring in a new horror flick. More in Casting Call.
BTS is headed to the White House. Head to Showbiz to find out more.
#Andor was trending yesterday after a teaser trailer for the new “Star Wars” series dropped.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has vacated his seat on the company’s Board.
His exit had been planned for some time, even before Elon Musk began his takeover bid in earnest. Dorsey and Musk are reportedly friendly, and the former could possibly have a role in the organization if the purchase eventually goes through.
A bison that escaped a transport trailer last September in northern Illinois has finally been recaptured.
It’s been spotted on-and-off throughout the winter, named by locals “Billy the Bison” or “Tyson the Bison” – though this one in particular is female.
A company that specializes in animal wrangling called Loose Cattle Caught used drone surveillance and a hunting dog to track the bison down, lightly tranquilize it, and lead it into a barn with the promise of food.
It’s on its way back to its farm owners soon.
Elizabeth Johnson, Jr. of Salem, Massachusetts has been officially pardoned by the state’s legislators for charges of witchcraft – 329 years after her initial conviction.
Johnson didn’t receive a death sentence after her original 1693 conviction, but the case followed her for the rest of her life. While Massachusetts has issued similar such pardons throughout history, Johnson’s name arose thanks to the work of an eighth-grade civics class researching the topic last fall. Her case simply fell through the cracks over time.
Salem is notorious for its Puritan history and witch trials, which sent 20 women accused of the practice to their deaths, and left hundreds of others accused.
While expensive tech stocks are tanking in recent days, some stores are doing better than expected: Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores reported earnings that beat investor expectations, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Dollar Tree announced last year it would begin selling products for more than a dollar among rising inflation and cost-of-sale increases.
WORTH ASKING: Is it a sign of economic strength when discount retailers are the only ones thriving?
The Dow had a blockbuster day Thursday, adding 544 points.
West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude prices soared Thursday afternoon, to over $114 a barrel, as analysts anticipate increased demand over the summer months.
The national average gas price is $4.60, a new record, according to AAA.
New to Amazon Prime:
Emergency (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%)
Kick Like Tayla (Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not Rated)
New to Disney+:
Bad Boys (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%)
RAY LIOTTA has died.
The actor, known for many outstanding roles, including “Goodfellas” & “Field of Dreams,” passed away in his sleep in the Dominican Republic. He was there filming a new movie, titled “Dangerous Waters.”
He was 67.
ALAN WHITE has died.
The longtime drummer for the British rock band Yes, passed away at his home in Seattle Thursday after a brief illness.
He was 72.
ANDY FLETCHER has died.
The founding member of English electronic band Depeche Mode passed away Thursday. A cause of death was not shared.
He was 60.
The husband of one of the teachers killed in the Texas elementary school shooting passed away on Thursday.
JOE GARCIA, husband of IRMA GARCIA, reportedly collapsed while preparing for his wife’s funeral, his nephew told NBC News. Early reports say it was likely a heart attack, though that has not been confirmed.
Irma, and her co-teacher EVA MIRELES were both killed, along with 19 students during the shooting on Tuesday.
Joe was 48.
Actor JAMES LAFFERTY, 36, tied the knot with actress ALEXANDRA PARK, 33.
A friend of the “One Tree Hill” alum confirmed the news on Instagram, with a series of photos from the big day.
The pair got engaged in 2020.
Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL has instructed Texas Senator JOHN CORNYN to take the lead for negotiating gun control legislation with Democrats, CNN reported Thursday in an exclusive report.
No details yet on what either side has in mind specifically.
Cornyn said his priority is helping to create access to mental health treatment and addressing the root causes of gun violence and told CNN, “ I would say that this is not an excuse to infringe the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens doing that will do nothing to fix tragedies like this,” meaning the tragedy at Robb Elementary earlier this week.
No winner for Tuesday night’s Powerball drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be for a $157 million jackpot or a $92.5 million cash payout.
No winner for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. Saturday night’s drawing will be for a $150 million jackpot or an $88 million cash payout.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE sold the rights to his catalog of hits to London-based music investment company, Hipgnosis Song Management.
While financial details were not disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reports that the collection of hits is valued at just over $100 million.
The deal covers all songs that JT wrote or co-wrote, even those dating back to his NSYNC days. It does not cover future releases.
“Indiana Jones 5” will hit theaters in June 2023.
HARRISON FORD, who reprised his role as the rugged archaeologist, made the announcement during the Lucasfilm panel at Star Wars Celebration.
Joining Harrison in the flick are ANTONIO BANDERAS, PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE, MADS MIKKELSEN, BOYD HOLBROOK and SHAUNETTE RENEE WILSON.
ELLEN DEGENERES said good-bye to viewers of her daytime talk show yesterday.
In the final episode -- of a 19 season run -- DeGeneres told everyone to be “your true authentic self” and “show compassion” for others “so the world can be a better place.”
Guests on the final show were JENNIFER ANISTON, BILLIE EILISH and PINK.
K-pop group BTS will sit down with President JOE BIDEN to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes next Tuesday.
No further details were shared.
WORTH NOTING: May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.
BRITNEY SPEARS’ lawyer is calling out her dad JAMIE SPEARS for “running and hiding” in an attempt to avoid a deposition about the singer’s fortune.
According to the filing, obtained by Deadline, Jamie was supposed to reveal how much of Britney’s wealth was paid out during her 13-year conservatorship.
“His stonewalling and obfuscation must not stop the truth from coming to light,” Brit’s lawyer stated.
No response from Jamie or his legal team about the filing.
QUINTA BRUNSON, creator and star of “Abbott Elementary,” is baffled by fans who want her to “write a school shooting” episode.
So appalled by the request, Brunson took to social media urging her followers to call on elected officials to fix the issue and not seek “entertainment” from the tragedy.
Brunson plays a second grade teacher at a fictional Philadelphia school in the show.
KEVIN SPACEY has a new batch of legal woes.
The actor has been accused of four counts of sexual assault in the UK.
Insiders told TMZ the charges come after a “thorough review of evidence gathered by a police investigation.”
WORTH NOTING: This is not the actor’s first time being accused. He was sued in 2020 by fellow actor ANTHONY RAPP of sexual assault. More than 20 others have also made accusations against Spacey, though he has never been tried on criminal charges.
The classic story of Winnie the Pooh is getting a sinister twist.
New indie horror film, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” reimagines the beloved children’s character as a serial killer.
Joining him are Piglet, the “Caged Man” and the “Mauled Woman,” according to IGN.
The film is being produced by Jagged Edge Productions, which also came up with “The Curse of Humpty Dumpty” and “The Legend of Jack and Jill.”
No word on a release date.
“Into the Woods” is making a comeback, off-Broadway.
Musician SARA BAREILLES will reprise her role as the Baker’s Wife, while GAVIN CREEL will return as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince.
NEIL PATRICK HARRIS will not be returning to the musical. Taking over his role as the Baker will be BRIAN D’ARCY JAMES.
PATINA MILLER will play the Witch.
The musical’s opening night is set for July 10.
Lifetime has decided to delay the release of “The Bad Seed Returns,” in wake of the tragic school shooting in Texas.
Executive producer and star, MCKENNA GRACE, shared the news on social media, saying all those involved with the movie feel “it is not the right time to release it.”
In a press release, Lifetime confirmed that the film will air at a later date this year.
“The Bad Seed Returns” is a sequel to “The Bad Seed,” which follows Emma (Grace), a seemingly typical teenager who is anything but that.
Both sides rested their case Thursday in the JOHNNY DEPP vs. AMBER HEARD defamation trial.
Closing arguments are expected today.
THE DAILY KARDASHOPUS
Fans (and critics) are mocking KIM after not actually trying the food in her new Beyond Meat ad.
The ad, which Kim shared on Instagram this week, shows her holding half of a vegan burger to her mouth while making a chewing motion. Several comments pointed out that the burger “wasn’t bitten” and “remained intact.”
Others questioned the reality star on why they should switch to a plant-based diet when she won’t even try the food for advertising purposes.
SPEAKING OF KIM: On the latest episode of the family’s reality show, Kim tells her sisters that she will no longer defend her ex if/when he continues to attack them, whether it be musically or on social media.
ON THE TOPIC OF YE: Kim’s ex has lost yet another divorce attorney. Samantha Spector, who was the rapper’s fourth lawyer, has requested to leave the case due to “an irreconcilable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.”
WE’LL NEVER BE ROYALS
In honor of his 40th birthday, PRINCE WILLIAM is being commemorated with a special coin in the UK.
The Royal Mint released the design this week, just weeks ahead of William’s milestone birthday on June 21.
The coin features a profile shot of the royal, with a “40” and his royal cipher, a “W,” on either side.
It is the first time a second-in-line to the throne has been featured solo on currency.
MEGHAN MARKLE was spotted visiting a memorial for those killed in the school shooting in Texas on Thursday.
Photos from the Los Angeles Times showed the royal laying a bouquet of white roses at a cross for one of the young victims.
WORTH NOTING: She was accompanied by a bodyguard, who the publication identified as ALBERTO ALVERAZ. This is notable as he was with MICHEAL JACKSON the night he died.
BACK TO MEGHAN: Her estranged sister SAMANTHA MARKLE has accused her of “elder abuse” and “negligence” for not visiting their father, THOMAS MARKLE, in the hospital. As reported earlier this week, the elder Markle landed in the hospital after suffering a stroke.
The University of Nebraska has been forced to cancel its decades-long tradition of releasing balloons at Huskers football games over a lack of helium.
U of N athletic director TREV ALBERTS announced the tradition will not take place during the upcoming football season due to the shortage of helium gas.
Since the 1960s Nebraska fans have released red balloons into the sky following the team’s first touchdown in each game.
LIST OF THE WEEK
Time Magazine released their list of Most Influential People of 2022 this week.
Some of those on the list (in no particular order) are:
Full List Here >>> https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2022/
DAY OF THE YEAR
National Cellophane Tape Day
National Grape Popsicle Day
ON THIS DATE
1896 – Tornadoes in Missouri cause record-breaking damage and casualties.
The storms stretched from Missouri to Illinois, killing 255 people and running up $10 million in damage — that’s nearly $4 billion today.
St. Louis was hit particularly hard, with some houses and buildings being completely swept away by the storms. Despite the damage, the city hosted the 1896 Republican National Convention about three weeks later.
1937 – The Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco.
It was an instant architectural marvel, spanning 4,200 feet across the Golden Gate Strait to connect San Fran and Marin County.
The first day, nearly 200,000 people walked across.
1941 – The German warship Bismarck sunk during its first and only offensive mission.
Under control of Captain Ernst Lindemann, the Bismarck was planning to incapacitate shipping between the U.S. and Great Britain, with the help of Nazi heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Shortly into its mission, it successfully destroyed the HMS Hood near Denmark.
The British navy was furious and launched a ferocious offensive against the Bismarck. Three days after the sinking of the Hood, the Royal Navy unleashed attacks from biplane torpedo bombers and four other warships.
The Bismarck was fatally damaged and scuttled by its crew, where it sank off the coast of France.
1958 – The F-4 Phantom II fighter jet makes its first flight, though it would be some time before being produced on a large scale.
Its speed topped out at Mach 2.2 and could fly with more than 18,000 pounds of crew and cargo weight. The F-4’s arsenal included a variety of missiles and bombs. The M61 Vulcan cannon was later added, a six-barreled Gatling-style rotary cannon.
Its last use in combat was by the U.S. during the Gulf War, before being retired in 1996. More than 5,000 would be produced from 1958-1981, and later sold to air forces around the world.
1995 – Christopher Reeve is severely injured during an equestrian competition.
The “Superman” actor fell from his horse when it failed to jump over an obstacle on the course. Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down.
In the aftermath, he became a vocal advocate for victims of spinal cord injuries and human embryonic stem cell research.
1998 - Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
He was also fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
HIs wife, who was also named as an accomplice was given immunity for testifying against bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
2018 - South Korean boy band BTS is the first K-pop group to top the US Billboard 200 with their album “Love Yourself: Tear.”
2020 - The COVID-19 death toll in the US passes 100,000.
That number is equal to the number of US servicemen and women killed during the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan put together.
Royalty Brown - daughter of Chris Brown - 8
Shiloh Jolie-Pitt - daughter of Brad & Angelina - 16
Lily-Rose Depp - actress, “Yoga Hosers” & “The King” - 23
Chris Colfer - actor, “Glee” - 32
Blippi - YouTube star - 34
Natalie Niedhart - wrestler - 40
Ben Feldman - actor, “Superstore” - 42
Andre3000 - rapper - 47
Jamie Oliver - chef - 47
Marjorie Taylor Greene - politician - 48
Jack McBrayer - actor, “30 Rock” - 49
Antonio Freeman - football player - 50
Paul Bettany - actor, “A Beautiful Mind” & “Iron Man” - 51
Joseph Fiennes - actor, “Shakespeare In Love” - 52
Sean Kinney - drummer, Alice in Chains - 56
Lisa Niemi - actress, “Dirty Dancing” - 66
Henry Kissinger - former Secretary of State - 99
Born On This Date
Lisa Lopes - rapper, TLC - 1971 (d. 2002)
Christopher Lee - actor, Count Dooku in “Star Wars” - 1922 (d. 2015)
Cornelius Vanderbilt - shipping & railroad magnate - 1794 (d. 1877)