Demi from the Block

Demi Lovato is having trouble selling the house where she almost overdosed and died, but the spooky history has nothing to do with sales problems. She converted the garage into a space for security and a “glam room,” so there’s no covered parking for a car. Additionally, a security gate apparently encroaches on public land. She’s already knocked a half-million off the asking price, down to $8.5 million — and no doubt getting the house up to spec will cost even more.

Portman, Revisited

Natalie Portman isn’t thrilled with the films she acted in early in her career. Too often she played the role of “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” — the free-spirited stereotype who only exists in the story to help some soulful dude figure himself out. She doesn’t like contributing to a non-existent stereotype, she tells Vanity Fair. But with 2010’s Black Swan, Portman says she turned a corner to pursue roles she can be more proud of. 

Kanye is DONE with politics

Kanye West is done with politics — he said he’s been used, and just wants to focus on his art. Many took the stream of tweets announcing his departure from political circles as a rebuke of Donald Trump, but Yeezy clarified to TMZ that he very specifically did not mention the Commander in Chief in his tweets. Instead, he was referring to being exploited by the “BLEXIT” movement — the group of African Americans who are exiting the Democrat party for Trump’s Republican party. He never wanted to be associated with the group but says they attached his name to it anyway. 

Whitey Bulger, RIP

Crime kingpin Whitey Bulger is dead — he was allegedly killed Tuesday morning my Maphia hitmen inside a West Virginia prison where he had only been transferred to on Monday. Reports indicate he was wheelchair-bound, wheeled to a space in prison out of the eye of security cameras, and beaten to death with a lock hidden inside a sock. Other reports say the killers tried to gouge Whitey’s eyes out. 

Birthdays: October 31

Willow Smith – Daughter of Will – 18

Vanilla Ice (Rob Van Winkle) – 51

Adam Horovitz – Beastie Boys guitarist – 52

Rob Schneider – 54

Peter Jackson – Director, Lord of the Rings – 57

Larry Mullen, Jr. – U2 drummer – 57

Jane Pauley – NBC News journalist – 68

David Ogden Stiers – Actor, MASH – 76

Dan Rather – journalist – 87

BORN ON THIS DATE –

John Candy – Actor – 1950

Chiang Kai-Shek – Head of Chinese Nationalist Government – 1887

Christopher Columbus – 1451

History: October 31, 2018

1517
Martin Luther nails a piece of paper with his 95 theses written on them to the front door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

The document outlined Luther’s contempt for the corruption in the Catholic Church. More than anything, he decried “indulgences” — by which Catholics could pay the church to forgive their sins faster.

While the Church tried to silence Luther, they failed. He then embarked on translating the Bible to German, which took 10 years.

1776
In his first public speech since receiving the Declaration of Independence, King George III admits that the war is not going well.

He said that even though the Brits had won a few key victories, the resolve of the colonists to maintain independence was strong. Worse, there would be need for more fighting.

It was largely assumed that the rebellion in the colonies in the New World would be short-lived, especially in the context of a free, non-monarchical society that was supposed to emerge from it.

1892
The first print of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is printed.

It was the first collection of Detective Sherlock Holmes stories; previously they had only appeared in magazines, since 1887.

The author, Arthur Conan Doyle, was knighted in 1902, not for his work as an author, but for his field work as a doctor.

1957
The first US Headquarters for Toyota opens, in Hollywood.

The building itself was formerly a Rambler dealership.

Toyota was leveraging their cheap Crown sedans against other domestically-produced cars.

By 1975, Toyota became the best-selling import in the US.

1961
Nikita Khrushchev orders that Joseph Stalin’s embalmed corpse be taken from the special mosoleum next to Vladimir Lenin.

The move came as Khrushchev liberalized the communist society, and sought to get rid of its more despotic history.

Lenin remains on display.

2000
A Soyuz spacecraft carries the first long-term crew to the International Space Station.

On board are 2 russians and an American, William Shepherd. Under designation Expedition 1, the crew stayed on board until March 2001, when they returned to Earth on an American Space Shuttle.

Bon Jovi no Kardashifan

Jon Bon Jovi is no fan of the Kardashians. He tells Australia’s “The Sunday Project” he’s never given “60 seconds” to watching the famous reality family or any “Real Housewives” series. He also expressed distaste for how Kim Kardashian-West got famous — that a leaked porn tape doesn’t say much about a legacy.

McConaughey Gives Back

Actor Matthew McConaughey is giving back to first responders who helped in the aftermath of last year’s Hurricane Harvey. It’s part of whiskey Wild Turkey’s “Wild Turkey Gives Back” campaign. McConaughey serves as the brand’s “Creative Director.” He helped serve some turkey feasts as a thank-you gesture as part of National First Responders Day. 

Ex-Rod Drama

Alex Rodriguez doesn’t think he should be paying $115,000 a month in spousal support to ex-wife Cynthia, as his income has been reduced 90% since retiring from the MLB. But Cynthia is firing back, saying he requested she quit her profession to be a homemaker. She now has 3 homes and multiple cars without having to hold down a job, but she says it’s too late to get back in the workforce. No word on whether a resolution is in sight.

Underwood, Forever

Carrie Underwood is getting ready to move into her “forever” home — the last house she’ll need or want. She and husband Mike Fischer have been staying in a barn house on the enormous property until the main house is completed — which appears to now be the case. Moving trucks have been on the property for a few days. Construction on the mansion began two years ago. In a 2016 social media post, she said it had to have a wood burning fireplace, a porch swing, and rocking chairs.

Birthdays: October 30, 2018

Ivanka Trump –  37

Matthew Morrison – Mr. Shuester on “Glee” – 40

Gavin Rossdale – “Bush” frontman – 53

Henry Winkler – “The Fonz” – 73

Grace Slick – Jefferson Airplane frontlady – 79

Dick Vermeil – NFL head coach – 82

BORN ON THIS DATE

Ezra Pound – poet, “The Cantos” – 1885

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Russian author, “The Brothers Karamazov” & “Crime and Punishment” – 1821

John Adams – POTUS 2 – 1735

History: October 30, 2018

1775
The Continental Congress begins laying the groundwork to form the American Navy.
Seven men were appointed to acquire and staff a fleet of ships that would be used to fight the British in the sea.
The committee included John Adams and Silas Deane, among other revolutionaries.
By the time fighting began in earnest, there would be 40 armed ships.
This fighting force was disbanded following the end of the American Revolution. It was formally reestablished in April 1798.

1890
Oakland, California becomes one of the first large cities to outlaw major drugs.
Opium, morphine, and cocaine would only be available with a prescription.
Ironically, Oakland was one of the cities in recent history that has been the home to the debate over legalizing marijuana.

1938
The “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast spooks Americans across the country.
The performance dramatized the broadcast of a martian invasion of Earth. Orson Welles helmed the adaptation of the science fiction novel by H.G. Wells. Orson had found fame as a radio character actor, and was well-known.
Despite his notoriety and repeated announcements that the ensuing broadcast was indeed fiction, an uproar followed.
By some estimates, a million people actually believed Earth was being taken over by aliens.
Highways were clogged and panic erupted.
Soon news of the hysteria reached the studio, and Welles broke character to remind everyone they were performing theater.
Welles thought he was through — but three years later he directed, wrote, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, one of the greatest movies of American cinema ever.

1974
Muhammad Ali wins his second heavyweight championship.
The “Rumble in the Jungle” pitted Ali against George Foreman.
The fight took place in Zaire. It did well for Zaire’s local economy — the country’s president, Mobutuu Sese Seko personally paid each fighter $5 million just to make the trip.
Ali knocked down Foreman in the fifth round.
With the win, he became the second dethroned champion to win the title again.

1995
The citizens of Quebec narrowly reject a legislative effort to secede from Canada.
Some of the largely French-speaking populace was opposed to the encroaching British and American influences across the rest of Canada. They feared they’d lose their relative autonomy and unique culture.

Meg & Liz

The Queen and Meghan Markle appear to be getting along just fine, despite some procedural snagus. Meg had been told the Queen would be wearing a green hat, the implication being she should wear something similar. But not yet fully on-board with royal protocols, Meg showed up to an event with the Queen sans-hat, and Harry wasn’t there to bail her out. But it appears the mishap had no impact on Meghan’s relationship with her grandmother-in-law. The two shared laughs and whispers during the event. 

Morgan Music

Tracy Morgan likes his boombox — so much so he brought it with him to a Florida airport, where he played tunes loud enough for the entire terminal to hear. The music wasn’t family friendly, either — the cell phone video captured shows Morgan playing A$ASP Ferg’s song “Work,” which includes more than a few adult lyrics. Despite being an annoyance, fellow travelers appeared to be amused. Bystanders came up to get selfies with the 30 Rock star and he happily obliged.

Birthdays: October 29, 2018

Tove Lo – singer – 31

Andy Dalton – QB – 31

Amanda Beard – Olympic medal-winning swimmer – 37

Gabrielle Union – actress, “Bring it On,” “Bad Boys II” – 46

Winona Ryder – actress, “Girl, Interrupted”; shoplifter – 47

Rufus Sewell – actor, “A Knight’s Tale” (he played the bad guy); “The Illusionist” – 51

Dan Castallaneta – voice of Homer Simpson – 61

Kate Jackson – actress, original “Charlie’s Angels” – 70

Richard Dreyfuss – Hooper in “Jaws” – 71

BORN ON THIS DATE

Bob Ross – painter – 1942

History: October 29, 2018

1618
Sir Walter Raleigh is executed in London.

Raleigh was a prominent explorer who headed three trips to the New World. He helped set up the the lost Roanoke colony in 1587, which was also the first British settlement in America.

While he was in the good graces of the Royal Court, he was later ostracized for having a secret marriage to one of the queen’s handmaidens. It’s likely she was just ticked he didn’t want to sleep with her.

After Elizabeth’s death, King James I had him imprisoned and sentenced to death because he didn’t like him. Raleigh was freed to prospect for gold in South America, but he returned empty-handed.

So he was beheaded.

1777
John Hancock resigns as President of the Continental Congress.

Hancock may be best known in Pop Culture as being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in an oversized scrawl. He was also the wealthiest man in New England for some time.

He later would serve as the first governor of Massachusetts and shaped its first constitution in 1780.

1901
Leon Czolgosz (CHALL-gots) is executed for assassinating President McKinley.

McKinley was shot on September 6 that year at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo.

The president would die 8 days later, dying from gangrene in the internal wound.

Czolgosz was detained and swiftly prosecuted. It is reported that Thomas Edison filmed the execution.

1991
The Galileo space probe becomes the closest manmade object to inspect an asteroid.

It came within a thousand miles of Gaspra, passing at about 5 miles a second. Gaspra orbits around the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

1998
John Glenn becomes the oldest astronaut to travel to space.

He was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Following his career at NASA, he was encouraged by Bobby Kennedy to run against the incumbent Senator in Ohio.

Following an accident in 1964, Glenn withdrew from the Senate campaign, and was unable to continue at NASA. He was actually with Bobby Kennedy in 1968 when Bobby was assassinated.

Two years later, Glenn won the Ohio Senate seat, where he continued to serve until 1999.

His trip into space in 1998 also made him the only sitting Senator to travel to space.