courtesy of M. Husain
By Stephan Lee
More than a century after L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Emerald City continues to shine brightly in pop culture. Debut novelist Danielle Paige signed a three-book and three-digital novella deal with HarperCollins. The series will start with Dorothy Must Die, described as “The Wizard of Oz meets Kill Bill“, in April 2014. In this re-imagining, a twister rips through Kansas and transports Amy Gumm — most likely inspired by Judy Garland’s birth name Frances Gumm — into Oz, which has been transformed under Dorothy’s tyrannical misrule. In a complete twist from the original, Amy must steal the Scarecrow’s brain, remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, and take the Lion’s courage. And ultimately — destroy Dorothy.
“Growing up, I read all of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books too many times to count,” said author Danielle Paige in a press release. “Getting to revisit Oz and explore the darkness alongside the Technicolor is a thrill.”
courtesy of M. Husain
By Todd Leopold, CNN
For many years, it was a rite of fall.
You moved into your dorm room or new apartment. You started unpacking the car. And the first thing you set up in your new place was the stereo system: receiver, turntable or CD player, tape deck and speakers.
The wires could get tangled, and sometimes you had to make shelving out of a stack of milk crates. But only when the music was playing on those handpicked CDs, mix tapes or (geezer alert!) vinyl records did you move in the rest of your stuff.
Daniel Rubio wouldn’t know.
To the 23-year-old, new dorm rooms and new apartments have meant computers, iTunes, Pandora and miniature speakers.
“All I had to bring was my laptop. That’s pretty much what everyone had,” says Rubio, who attended Emory University in Atlanta and now works for a local marketing and communications firm. “It was actually pretty good sound. It would get the job done.”
“Get the job done”? That sounds like the white flag for an era that used to be measured in woofers and tweeters, watts per channel and the size of your record collection.
Indeed, the days of the old-fashioned component stereo system are pretty much over, says Alan Penchansky, an audiophile and former columnist for the music trade publication Billboard.
“What’s happened in the marketplace, the midmarket for audio has completely been obliterated,” he says. “You have this high-end market that’s getting smaller all the time, and then you’ve got the convenience market, which has taken over — the MP3s, the Bluetooth devices, playing on laptops.”
He wishes more people knew what they were missing. At its best, he says, audio reproduction has “a religious aspect.”
“There’s a primacy to audio,” he says. “It’s a form of magic.”
By Kathi Keys
The Randolph County Board of Education decided, by a 6-1 vote, at a special meeting Wednesday evening to reinstate Ralph Ellison’s book, “Invisible Man,” to the county school library shelves. Casting the dissenting vote was board member Gary Mason.
On Sept. 16, the board, by a 5-2 vote, originally decided to ban the book after receiving a parent’s complaint about the book, the decision bringing international attention to Randolph County over the past week. The book was one of three selections to choose from on Randleman High School juniors’ summer reading list; both school-level and district committees recommended the book stay on library shelves.
Before Wednesday’s 6-1 vote, board members who originally voted to ban the book spoke to the approximately 50 people who attended the meeting about their reasoning and other considerations since the first vote. Many of those present were media representatives.
Mason said he reread the book since the last meeting and deliberated about the ban for several days. He talked about dedicating “his entire life to the safety and protection of other people” and his obligations to parents, students and the citizens who had elected him to represent them.
He said he remained concerned about the “strong language” in the book. “I still feel it is not appropriate for children or young teens to read,” Mason said, adding that he realized that others would disagree with him for opposing the book.
More than 20 goats were stolen from a Hawaii farm, and the owner says the thieves used duct tape to keep the animals from making noise.
KHON-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1aijpQI) the 23 purebred goats were taken from a farm in Kahuku, on Oahu’s North Shore, sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Keal Pontin says the thieves left behind other goats at his family’s farm with ropes around their necks and duct tape over their muzzles. Pontin says the experience likely was traumatic for the friendly animals.
Family and Film: Will parents buy a break from moviegoing tradition to let kids play games along with second-screen showings?
By Nicole Sperling
For many parents of young children, the battle over limiting little ones’ time with iPads and other mobile devices is difficult and seemingly unending. They can serve as fantastic baby sitters in a pinch, but the soulless gaze they can prompt in children can be downright terrifying.
A number of scientific studies have raised red flags; this summer Public Health England, for instance, warned that children who spend more time watching screens tend to have higher levels of emotional distress, anxiety and depression.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to see that Disney was putting “The Little Mermaid” back in cinemas and encouraging kids to download a new related app onto their iPads and bring them to the theater. As the movie runs they can play games, compete with fellow audience members and sing along with the Disney classic.
Launched Friday in 16 theaters in Southern California, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and New Jersey, the “Little Mermaid Second Screen Live” screenings are essentially a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the digital generation.
Disney sees “Second Screen Live” as a novel way to get young moviegoers to want to go to theaters more often.
“This is a special event. We are inviting people to break the rules,” said Disney’s head of theatrical distribution Dave Hollis. “It’s a departure from the traditional moviegoing experience. We wanted to inject a different kind of life into it.”
I had to wonder: Is the singing, brooding Ariel really not enough anymore — now the kids have to “interact” with their fellow moviegoers? For many parents (including me), sitting in a dark room with my children and not interacting is what makes moviegoing such a blissful family activity.
By Margaret Bristol and Natalie Zutter
For 26 years, the beloved television show “Reading Rainbow” aired on PBS, each episode offering new adventures and series book recommendations. The show was critically acclaimed (26 Emmys!) and host LeVar Burton–not to mention an addictive theme song–became an integral part of its success.
Now, Burton (with his multimedia company RRKidz) has relaunched the “Reading Rainbow” brand for a whole new generation of young readers–readers used to consuming media on computers, tablets and mobile devices. The “Reading Rainbow” app is now available in the iTunes store, and with it comes a world of learning and books.
In a recent interview, Burton explained that after “Reading Rainbow” was cancelled in 2009, he wanted to continue to inspire kids in their love of reading. “‘Reading Rainbow’ the television show was really about using the prevailing technology of the day to reach kids and turn them on to books and literature and the adventures of reading,” he said. “If you want to reach kids today, you need to be on a mobile device.”
MOSCOW (AP) — An argument in southern Russia over philosopher Immanuel Kant, the author of “Critique of Pure Reason,” devolved into pure mayhem when one debater shot the other.
A police spokeswoman in Rostov-on Don, Viktoria Safarova, said two men in their 20s were discussing Kant as they stood in line to buy beer at a small store on Sunday. The discussion deteriorated into a fistfight and one participant pulled out a small nonlethal pistol and fired repeatedly.
By Lee Moran
He wanted McEverything!
A food fan ordered every single sandwich on the McDonald’s menu to create his very own $140 gut-busting super-sub.
He rolled into the chain’s eatery in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, 30 minutes before the end of breakfast service so he could order all 43 different sandwiches available.
He admitted that many will question why he spent $140.33 on the food – plus an extra dollar for the Diet Coke.
But he said: “The way I see it though is that with all the leftovers I have I’ve got all my breakfasts, lunches and dinners covered for the next week or so!”
By Ian Harrison
IN 1976 PRINCE JAZZBO would be immortalized on The Upsetters’ Lee Perry-produced classic Super Ape. He voiced the humid, dubbed up stream of consciousness track Croaking Lizard over the rhythm of Max Romeo’s Iron Shirt – referring to tribal war and the all-important natty dread skank, it remains an essential transmission from what many would hold to be the glory years of reggae and dub.
Though the success enjoyed by peers including Big Youth and U Roy would elude him, he would sustain a four-decades career as MC, producer and label owner. Born Linval Roy Carter in Clarendon 1951, Prince Jazzbo was first heard at Studio One in 1972, his first hit being the spontaneous, madcap Crab Walking, using Horace Andy’s Skylarking rhythm.
He’d also work with producers Bunny Lee and Glen Brown before hooking up with Perry, recording the admired, Vatican-bashing Natty Passing Thru’ LP (also known as Ital Corner) in 1976. From 1977 he ran the Ujama label – whose label famously carried a picture of jockeys riding a donkey and whose discography would come to feature something of a who’s-who of Jamaican vocalists, including Frankie Paul, Horace Andy, U-Roy and I-Roy, plus many more.
Amusingly, Jazzbo had dueled with the latter on vinyl in 1975 (this musical feud involved Jazzbo answering I-Roy’s demolishing Straight To Jazzbo’s Head with Straight To I-Roy’s Head – subsequent vinyl blows included Jazzbo Have Fe Run and Gal Boy I Roy, all, the story goes, with the encouragement of producer Bunny Lee). The two men would later make peace, recording the duet Live Together in 1990.
A creepy and anonymous clown has been terrifying residents of Northampton by standing around on street corners and staring at passers-by.
The clown, who bears a striking resemblance to Pennywise from the 1990 film It, adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, first appeared on Friday 13th and was spotted again over the weekend.
According to the Northampton Herald and Post the clown has appeared in several locations in the Abington and Kingsley areas of the town. On each sighting, he or she has worn the same white face makeup, red wig, all-in-one suit and oversized bowtie.
He is also sometimes seen carrying a clown teddy.
The newspaper also reports that the clown knocked on someone’s door and offered to paint their window sills despite having no painting equipment. She reported the men to police for their suspicious behaviour stating they looked like clowns. The article stated: “A number of sightings of people dressed as clowns have also been reported across Northampton in recent weeks”.
The newspaper reported: “He doesn’t juggle. He doesn’t twist balloons into animal shapes. He just stares.”
A pervet sneaked into an off-campus dorm at St. John’s University in Queens and groped a female student on Friday, cop sources said.
The suspect, described as a heavyset Latino man who is not a St. John’s student, entered the dorm on Henley Road in Jamaica Hills at about 7:30 p.m. and grabbed the victim’s rear end, according to sources.
A student who lives at the St. John’s dorm said the pervert had been seen before — and been given a nickname. “There’s a guy around here always grabbing girls’ butts,” the female student said. “We call him ‘Carlos the Booty-Grabber.’”
British authors say award will lose its distinctiveness and new talent will be ‘crowded out’
The British literary world has been stunned by news that the Man Booker prize is set to allow American writers to enter from next year, with authors questioning whether it would lose its “character” and even prevent the emergence of domestic talent.
The Man Booker, which currently allows entries from British, Irish and Commonwealth authors, is the most prestigious prize in British literature; past winners include Salman Rushdie, Iris Murdoch and JM Coetzee.
It emerged on Sunday that novels by US authors would be allowed from next year for the first time. Jim Crace, who is on this year’s shortlist for his novel Harvest, said: “In principle, I should believe in all prizes being open to everyone. But I think prizes need to have their own characters, and sometimes those characters are defined by their limitations.”
A Booker spokeswoman declined to comment on Sunday but said some changes to the prize were to be announced as early as this week.
Mr Crace said: “If you open the Booker prize to all people writing in the English language it would be a fantastic overview of English language literature but it would lose a focus. I’m very fond of the sense of the Commonwealth. There’s something in there that you would lose if you open it up to American authors.”
Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg added that he believes the prize may lose its “distinctiveness”.
Ray Dolby, the inventor who took the hiss out of the soundtrack of our lives, died Thursday at his home in San Francisco. He was 80 and had been living with Alzheimer’s disease, compounded by a diagnosis of leukemia in July.
The name Dolby first became common decades ago when the sound wizard developed a system for eliminating the static noise on cassette tapes used for copying music from vinyl albums. The “Dolby” button on a cassette deck was a requirement for every college stereo. His influence also extended to film, where he helped bring “Star Wars” to life and created an entire industry devoted to the sound experience.
Now the imprint “Dolby” or “In Dolby” – or most recently “Dolby Atmos” – on a movie screen is a guarantee of sound quality known worldwide, and Dolby Laboratories, the San Francisco company he founded, has won just about every award there is, including the Oscar, the Emmy and the Grammy. The Dolby Theatre, the Hollywood home of the Academy Awards, is named for his company.
The retirement outlook for musicians and songwriters just got a whole lot better. In 1978, a legal change allowed songwriters to take their share of a song’s copyright back from labels and publishers after 35 years. Well, 2013 was the first year the provision went into effect. And on September 13, the former lead singer of the Village People will become what’s thought to be the first hit artist to invoke so-called “termination rights.”
Victor Willis told the New York Times he’s not sure yet how he’ll try to capitalize on his newfound control over 33 songs, including “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy.” But he noted that he’s considering blocking the Village People from performing his songs in the United States. The disco group still tours, though mostly without its early members. “I learned over the years that there are some awesome powers associated with copyright ownership,” Willis told theTimes. “You can stop somebody from performing your music if you want to, and I might object to some usages.”
Willis, who wore a police costume in the Village People’s prime, actually won his court case in May 2012, when a federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against him by two music publishing companies. The publishers, Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Production, had argued that Willis couldn’t reclaim his share of the songs without the approval of everybody else who co-wrote them. U.S. District Court Judge Barry Moskowitz in California disagreed.
The publishers also originally contended that Willis couldn’t use his termination rights because the songs were “works for hire” — essentially, because he was just an employee. The court’s decision didn’t rule on that argument, because the publishers’ lawyers eventually dropped it. Still, as the Times suggests, if publishers didn’t feel they could make a successful “work for hire” argument with the Village People, they’re going to have an even tougher time with more autonomous artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Parliament-Funkadelic.
Earlier this week Kim Dotcom resigned as Mega director to focus on other projects, including his upcoming music service. TorrentFreak can now confirm that the new service will be called Baboom. While the official release is still a few months away Dotcom was kind enough to share an early teaser with us. “Artists never had more freedom, transparency and control,” he says.
December 2011, a month before the criminal proceeding against Megaupload became public, Kim Dotcom first revealed his plans to launch a new service to transform the music business.
At the time the project was called Megabox and the similarly named .com domain was seized by the U.S. Government. However, despite all the legal troubles, Dotcom continued development on the music platform.
It’s currently being prepared for a public launch, albeit under a different brand. Dotcom had decided initially decided to keep the new name a secret for a while, but after he resigned from Mega earlier this week there were several signs suggesting that it could be “Baboom.”
A Vincent Van Gogh painting that was discovered in a Norwegian attic has been unveiled in Amsterdam in what is the first discovery of a full-sized canvas by the Dutch master since 1928.
By Barney Henderson, and agencies
Sunset at Montmajour, a landscape of trees and sky in the south of France in Van Gogh’s familiar thick brush strokes was painted in 1888 but has been lying in the attic of a Norwegian collector who bought the painting in 1908 but dismissed it as a fake.
The painting was unveiled at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on Monday, with Axel Rueger. the director, describing it as a “once in a lifetime experience”.
The painting was authenticated based on comparisons with Van Gogh’s techniques and a letter he wrote in which he described the painting.
It can be dated to the exact day it was painted because Vincent described it in a letter to his brother, Theo, and said he painted it the previous day – July 4, 1888.
He said the painting was done “on a stony heath where small twisted oaks grow”.
Researcher Teio Meedendorp said he and other researchers “have found answers to all the key questions, which is remarkable for a painting that has been lost for more than 100 years”.
The painting was listed among Theo van Gogh’s collection as number 180, and that number can still be seen on the back of the canvas. The work was sold in 1901.
By Tom Krisher/Associated Press
DETROIT — As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what’s to stop a hacker from taking over yours?
In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car’s brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.
The hackers are publicizing their work to reveal vulnerabilities present in a growing number of car computers. All cars and trucks contain 20 to 70 computers. They control everything from the brakes to acceleration to the windows, and are connected to an internal network. A few hackers have recently managed to find their way into these intricate networks.
In one case, a pair of hackers manipulated two cars by plugging a laptop into a port beneath the dashboard where mechanics connect their computers to search for problems. Scarier yet, another group took control of a car’s computers through cellular telephone and Bluetooth connections, the compact disc player and even the tire pressure monitoring system.
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press
For more than 50 years, Murray Gershenz ran a used record store in Los Angeles that was much more than a store. It was an international archive of more than 300,000 records that he loved, or that he hoped one day to hear and was convinced that someone else out there did, too.
“He told me, ‘If I could listen to every one of these records I would,’ ” his son Irving said.
But some people in Los Angeles take day jobs to finance secret dreams, and Music Man Murray, as both he and his store were called, was one of them. In 1938, when he was 16 and living in New York, he helped form the Bronx Playgrounds Operetta Club. They sang at the 1939 World’s Fair. When he was nearly 80, he started taking comedy classes in Los Angeles.
His much younger classmates wondered how he made it all look so easy. The dry delivery. The exasperated face. One evening a casting director spotted him, and soon enough there he was on “Will & Grace,” playing a character named Uncle Funny.
The fourth novel in the I am Number Four series by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym for James Frey),The Fall of Five, dominated social media chatter in August, according to the social media tracking service CoverCake.
Speaking of The Fall of Five, which was published by HarperCollins on Aug. 27, Jeff Costello, v-p of CoverCake, said, “This book just kept picking up momentum all month as the release date approached. It had more than twice as many comments as its nearest competitor in the last week of the month.”
Costello also noticed a large percentage of people who referenced both The Fall of Five and Rick Riordan’s upcoming book, House of Hades, in the same comment. “We’ve never seen that happen before with two different authors and book series,” he added.
Kenneth Cole has been accused of ‘mocking war to sell fashion’ after the designer posted a tweet making light of the U.S. government’s decision to take military action in Syria.
‘”Boots on the ground” or not, let’s not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear,’ the designer tweeted this afternoon.
The phrase ‘boots on the ground’ is used by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in regards to the controversial deployment of American troops on Syrian soil.
Hundreds of Twitter users angered by the designer’s statement are taking are no-holds-barred approach with their recriminations, labeling the tweet ‘awful’ and ‘insensitive’.
1. “The Fall of Five” by Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins)
3. “How the Light Gets In” by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
5. “Inferno” by Dan Brown (Doubleday)
6. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (Dutton Books)
7. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
8. “And the Mountain Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead)
9. “The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett” by Tom Angleberger (Amulet Books)
10. “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books)
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa
A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.
LONDON – David Frost may be best remembered for his post-Watergate interviews with former President Richard Nixon, but the veteran British broadcaster was equally at ease as a satirist, game show host and serious political journalist.
In a television career that spanned half a century across both sides of the Atlantic, Frost interviewed a long list of the world’s most powerful and famous, including virtually every British prime minister and U.S. president of his time. He also was a gifted entertainer, a born TV host, and his amiable and charming personality was often described as the key to his success as interviewer.