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home : news : arts & entertainment March 9, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers

Saturday, March 6, 2021


Upping your mash game
What could be better than a rich and creamy bowl of mashed potatoes? How about a bowl of mashed potatoes infused with celery and horseradish?
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Music: Mavis Staples' guitarist opts for garage band basics in new release
Mask up, plug in and rock out to a stripped-down sound. That’s the recipe for success on “See That Light,” the new solo album by Rick Holmstrom, who has been Mavis Staples’ guitarist and bandleader for the past 13 years.
Monday, March 1, 2021

Books: King's new 'Later' is much more than a crime story
Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults.
Monday, March 1, 2021

A simple stew with big flavor
Here is something for your winter dinner rotation: chunky vegetables and slow-cooked beef swimming in a stock of beef and beer. This hearty no-nonsense beef stew is a must-have for a dreary winter night, and with St. Patrick's Day around the corner, you can dump a bottle of Guinness into the stock and call it Irish. And, while this stew is indeed simple and humble in ingredients, there are a couple of important steps you can take when making this recipe that will reward you with deep flavor.
Saturday, February 27, 2021

Man who played Duke Chapel bells for 50 years dies
When J. Samuel Hammond arrived as a freshman at Duke University in 1964, he knew nothing about the musical instrument that allowed a player to send melodies ringing across campus from the bells in the school’s iconic chapel tower. A demonstration from a fellow student introduced him to the 50-bell carillon that would become his life’s work as he played music that marked the end of the academic day for countless students.

Hammond, who retired as university carillonneur in 2018 after playing the bells at Duke Chapel for five decades, died Thursday at age 73 in Durham, the university said in a news release.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Hasbro creates confusion with Potato Head brand
Hasbro created confusion Thursday when it announced that it would drop the “Mr.” from the brand’s name in order to be more inclusive and so all could feel “welcome in the Potato Head world.” It also said it would sell a new playset this fall without the Mr. and Mrs. designations that will let kids create their own type of potato families, including two moms or two dads.

But in a tweet later that afternoon, Hasbro clarified that while the brand is changing, the actual Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters will still live on and be sold in stores. In a picture posted on Twitter, the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” names are less prominently displayed at the bottom of the box, instead of the top.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Film: Daniels, Day take on Billie Holiday's legacy
Lee Daniels didn’t want to touch the story of Billie Holiday. “Lady Sings the Blues” already existed after all. The 1972 film with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams showed him Black romance and a Harlem like he’d never seen on screen before. It was the film that made him want to be a director.
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Books: A look behind the scenes at '60 Minutes'
Long-time multi-award winning producer Ira Rosen has written a sometimes sad, often funny, always revealing portrait of American television's most famous and successful news show, "60 Minutes."
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Music: Cooper's 'Detroit Stories' a masterpiece
Who says you can’t go home? Alice Cooper, one of Detroit’s most famous sons, does it on new album “Detroit Stories,” producing a masterpiece of classic rock, soul and R&B in homage to the city that produced him.
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lucky to be alive, Woods faces a difficult recovery
In a career filled with remarkable comebacks, Tiger Woods faces perhaps his toughest recovery of all.

Woods was driving alone through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over a raised median and two oncoming lanes flipped several times before coming to rest on its side. Its airbags deployed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Paul McCartney memoir is due out in November
Paul McCartney is finally ready to write his memoirs, and will use music — and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet — to help guide him.

“The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present” will be released Nov. 2, according to a joint announcement Wednesday from the British publisher Allen Lane and from Liveright in the United States.

McCartney, 78, will trace his life through 154 songs, from his teens and early partnership with fellow Beatle John Lennon to his solo work over the past half century. Irish poet Paul Muldoon is editing and will contribute an introduction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Drunken driving charge against Springsteen dropped
The government dropped drunken driving and reckless driving charges against Bruce Springsteen on Wednesday stemming from an incident in November, admitting that the rocker’s blood-alcohol level was so low that it didn’t warrant the charges.

Springsteen pleaded guilty to a third charge, consuming alcohol in a closed area, the Gateway National Recreation Area. Better known as Sandy Hook, it is an Atlantic Ocean peninsula with views of the New York City skyline.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Betty White, furry friends star in 50-year-old 'Pet Set'
On a TV show Betty White hosted 50 years ago, the perpetual charmer flirts with James Brolin, teases Della Reese and trades quips with Carol Burnett.

But White appears most delighted in the company of the real stars of “Betty White’s Pet Set,“ among them elephants, lions and snakes. And dogs, lots of dogs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Entertainment this week: 2 Billies and Superman
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Publishers Weekly Best-Sellers
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Music: Arlo Parks goes deep
(AP) — The first full-length album by Arlo Parks delivers on the promise of the intriguing pieces that have led some to tag her already as the voice of a generation, riding a gentle R&B retro-soul groove that soars with cinematic imagery.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Documentary tells stories of black enslaved women
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Playing a banjo as a Black female artist is a form of activism for the four members of Our Native Daughters.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Danish writer's collection of stories mesmerizing
(AP) — “Hygge” is the Danish word for a sense of coziness and comfort that is supposedly characteristic of that Scandinavian country. In her latest collection of short stories, “Wild Swims,” the Danish writer Dorthe Nors puts to rest any notion that her compatriots are happier or more content than the rest of us.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sangria is a versatile beverage
Everyone should have a go-to sangria recipe in his or her cocktail repertoire. Sangria, when done right, can be a highly refreshing punch that is at home any time of the year.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Time for a dip
Let's be honest. Life has been a little stressful of late. In times of anxiety and uncertainty, some self-care is warranted. I am not talking cleanses and fasts, folks, I am talking indulgences, because, well, we deserve it.
Saturday, February 20, 2021

Muted Mardi Gras: Closed bars, barricaded Bourbon Street
Coronavirus-related limits on access to Bourbon Street, shuttered bars and frigid weather all prevented what New Orleans usually craves at the end of Mardi Gras season — streets and businesses jam-packed with revelers.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

James Brown's emcee gets funeral sendoff with shiny cape
Danny Ray spent years as the emcee for James Brown, and part of his job during performances was draping capes on the Godfather of Soul.

Ray was 85 when he died Feb. 2 in Augusta, Georgia. During his funeral in that city Saturday, Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown-Thomas, draped a shiny silver cape over Ray’s casket — just as Ray had draped a shiny red cape over Brown’s casket in 2006.

Monday, February 15, 2021

A very Swiss good morning
I had my first bircher muesli in Switzerland, where it's a breakfast staple. I was at a breakfast buffet, and a large bowl of what appeared to be a thick and chunky porridge was presented in the center of the table. At first glance, I was unimpressed, but at the prompting of my Swiss friend, I gave it a try. It was fresh, bright and creamy, chock-full of fruit and nuts, and not at all stodgy. Not only did it feel healthy to eat, but it was downright delicious.
Saturday, February 13, 2021

Review: Schaffhausen spins a twisty tale at a torrid pace
Every Waking Hour,” by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur)

The push-pull relationship between Boston police detective Ellery Hathaway and FBI Agent Reed Markham took a big leap last year in “All the Best Lies,” the third book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s compelling series of crime novels. Now, in “Every Waking Hour,” the world seems determined to pull the new lovers apart.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

As suicides rise, young survivors make case for hope in film
"Each and Every Day" represents studies in courage, both in life and in the MTV documentary about young people and suicide.

In frank and revelatory conversations, nine survivors recount what took them to the brink and how they fought, and continue to fight, to keep claim on themselves and their right to live.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Longest-reigning Supreme dies at 76
Mary Wilson, the longest-reigning original Supreme, has died at 76 years old.

Wilson died Monday night at her home in Las Vegas and the cause was not immediately clear, said publicist Jay Schwartz.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Writer Mick Herron's 'Slow Horses' are spies for our times
Like a spy in the night, writer Mick Herron’s success has been stealthy. It took a while for the world to catch up with him.

A decade after he introduced a crew of flawed secret agents caught between sinister plotters and cynical spymasters in the novel “Slow Horses,” Herron is a best-selling, award-winning writer who has been called the heir to master of espionage John le Carre.

Monday, February 8, 2021

A Sandwich With French Sensibilities
The humble and satisfying sandwich can be found in nearly every culture. From classic American PB&Js to hoagies and burgers, wraps and clubs, pockets and panini, and an international smattering of open-face toasts and tartines, there is a version of a sandwich for every cuisine and appetite. In honor of the sandwich and its universal appeal, I submit to you a delectable recipe for banh mi, which is guaranteed to whisk you away from the daily humdrum of sheltering, ZOOM meetings, discordant news and the winter blues -- at least for lunch.
Saturday, February 6, 2021

A look back at the life of 'Sound of Music' star Christopher Plummer
(AP) — It’s one of the great Hollywood ironies that Christopher Plummer didn’t like the film that made him a legend. He was an actor’s actor and had cut his teeth doing Shakespeare. “The Sound of Music,” he thought, was sentimental shlock. And he wasn’t alone — reviews at the time were famously terrible. Then, like a personal curse, it would go on to become a universally beloved classic. He’d played Henry V and Hamlet and yet Captain von Trapp, he said in 1982, followed him around “like an albatross.”
Saturday, February 6, 2021

Lincoln Library named a top venue
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has been voted one of America’s best places to hold special events in the 2020 “Best Of” awards by Unique Venues magazine.
Thursday, February 4, 2021

'Saved by the Bell' star Dustin Diamond dies of cancer at 44
"Saved by the Bell" star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a three-week fight with cancer, according to his representative. He was 44.

"Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful," the actor's spokesman, Roger Paul, said in a statement.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Different types of chocolate to give this Valentine's Day
Chocolate is a popular gift on Valentine's Day. According to the Nielsen Company, Valentine's Day is the third busiest holiday for chocolate sales, following Halloween and Easter.

More than 70 million pounds of chocolate are purchased each year and offered as Valentine's Day gifts. Chocolate connoisseurs can learn more about the different types of chocolate to find the one their loved one will find most appealing.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Cheesecake makes a decadent Valentine's Day treat
A cheesecake recipe can be useful on any special occasion, and especially so on Valentine's Day. For many people, cheesecake is not cheesecake without the addition of ricotta cheese. While ricotta is included in savory dishes like lasagna or manicotti, it is at home in desserts like cheesecake as well.
Saturday, January 30, 2021

An Ode to Lentils
I don't know why I overlook the humble lentil. These tiny legumes that resemble pancaked pebbles are often bypassed in my pantry, as I reach for grains and beans. When I finally do cook lentils, I remember how good they taste, how satisfying they are to eat, and how easy they are to prepare. Eminently flexible, lentils can stand in for a grain, starch, even a protein. They are healthy too -- rich in nutrients and high in protein, iron and fiber, arguably placing them neck and neck with other lauded foods in the super-food department. They also have the added benefit of being very easy on the wallet.
Saturday, January 30, 2021

Review: 'Tropic of Stupid' continues slapstick-noir series

“Tropic of Stupid,” the 24th novel in Tim Dorsey’s series featuring obsessive-compulsive psychopath Serge Storms, finds the anti-hero and his drugged out sidekick, Colman, zipping around their beloved Florida in a borrowed sports car. As usual, they’ve got a kidnap victim whimpering in the trunk.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sophie, Grammy-nominated Scottish musician, dies at age 34
Sophie, the Grammy-nominated Scottish disc jockey, producer and recording artist who had worked with the likes of Madonna and Charli XCX, has died following an accident in the Greek capital of Athens. She was 34.

In a statement, U.K. label Transgressive said the musician, whose full name was Sophie Xeon, died in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Wendy Williams subject of juicy new biopic and a documentary
From breakups to pregnancies to lawsuits, Wendy Williams has made a career out of deep dives into celebrity gossip. It helped her to gain a following in radio and now she spends a good 25 minutes during her talk show, “ The Wendy Williams Show,” devoted to the latest rumors, scandals and missteps of the rich, famous and cast member of “The Real Housewives.”

In the last few years, however, the table has turned and Williams has become a hot topic herself.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Tiger that underwent hip surgery has setback
An Amur tiger that underwent hip-replacement surgery at a zoo outside Chicago has managed to dislodge the orthopedic implant, veterinarians at Brookfield Zoo said Thursday.

Malena recovered well from Wednesday’s surgery, but as she began moving about overnight the custom-made implant in a femur was dislodged. The 10-year-old tiger will undergo surgery on Saturday to remove the implant and an alternative procedure will be performed that will allow a fibrous joint to form and her leg muscles provide stability to the joint.

Friday, January 29, 2021

This week: 'Resident Alien,' Arlo Parks, 'Palmer'
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Ragtime and more from jazz pianist Emmet Cohen
Stride provides a starting point on jazz pianist Emmet Cohen’s new album. The opening cut, “Symphonic Raps,” is a New Orleans ragtime tune recorded by Louis Armstrong nearly a century ago, and Cohen plays it as though his piano is rolling downhill, accelerating until he leaves the rhythm section behind.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

'The Maltese Falcon' celebrates 80th anniversary
Danny Huston’s first dog was an Airedale Terrier named Sam after Humphrey Bogart’s “Maltese Falcon” character, Sam Spade. His father John Huston’s debut may have been over 20 years old by the time Danny was born, but the film that helped define the noir genre and launch both his and Bogart’s careers still factored heavily in his life from an early age.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Historian rewrites history in 'Robert E. Lee and Me'
Few authors can say they have lived their story with quite the same authority as Ty Seidule, retired U.S. Army brigadier general and professor emeritus of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and lived a life of white privilege provided by de-facto segregation. He revered Robert E. Lee.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sea chanteys: Life under the pandemic mirrors months at sea
If you’ve perused social media in recent weeks, you may have come across people singing chanteys, which were work songs employed on merchant sailing ships.

Historically, chanteys – which are also spelled as “shanties” or “chanties” – began with a sing-out by a crew member recognized as “the chanteyman,” usually someone prized for his voice and ability to extemporize. Fellow sailors would respond with the refrain as they toiled away at their tasks. Now we’re seeing TikTok and Twitter users belting out songs inspired by chanteys to their followers, often accompanied by the hashtag #seashanty.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Recipe for Carmelized Bacon Chips
Saturday, January 23, 2021

Field Museum reopening to public
Sue the T. rex and the rest of the dinosaurs at the Field Museum are about to start seeing visitors again.

Two months after the famed natural history museum on Chicago’s lakefront closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museum will once again open its doors this week.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lincoln Library hosting art contest
Illinois children can showcase their artistic talents and consider the importance of art in our lives, thanks to a statewide art contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The theme of the contest is “Art Surrounds Us.” Illinois students from kindergarten through high school can let their imaginations run wild to create original works of art reflecting what the theme means to them.

Monday, January 18, 2021

The strange, new underground world of ghost kitchens
I have arrived at a neutral location — the parking lot of a Virginia Beach Barnes & Noble — to procure a bag of hamburgers that can’t be found at any restaurant.

The burgers in question are not good, as it turns out. They are, in fact, barely edible. But they arrive with a pedigree of sorts. They come from MrBeast Burger, a fast-food chain that launched overnight in December with a boggling 300 locations, stamped with the name of a 22-year-old North Carolina YouTube star famous for filming himself giving away stacks of money to randomly selected people.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Publishers Weekly Best-sellers list
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Potato pancakes are great any time
Potato pancakes are traditionally served during Chanukah celebrations. This dish is often referred to as "latkes," a Yiddish word that loosely translates to "little oily thing."

Potato pancakes are not exclusive to Jewish celebrations and cuisine. Germans have their own variation called "kartoffelpuffer" that can be served with sour cream, applesauce or smoked salmon. The Irish have "boxty," which may be made with a combination of shredded potato and mashed potato before being fried. .

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sheet pan comfort
How do you define comfort food? For me, it's a meal or dish that is easy to make and undemanding, yet deeply flavorful and homey, as though it has been tended to for hours to reap delicious results. Sheet pan recipes often fall into this category.

A sheet pan dish is simply that -- a complete meal assembled on a pan and plopped in the oven, where the meat, vegetables and aromatics mingle together. Their juices baste the dish, along with any other liquids, such as a splash of wine or stock, infused by sprigs of fresh and woodsy herbs.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Review: 'Locked Down' mirrors our quarantine experiences
Doug Liman’s “Locked Down,” one of the first and most ambitious films to be conceived and shot during the pandemic, is, like our own quarantine experiences, erratic, a little absurd and sporadically delightful.

Unlike our time in quarantine, it has Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway. This, not a small difference, is crucial in “Locked Down,“ an energetic romantic comedy-slash-heist movie that makes a game entry into the emerging genre of COVID-19 movies. Liman, the director of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,“ “The Edge of Tomorrow” and “The Bourne Identity,” has always, in a movie world of lumbering, oxygen-depleted action films, had a knack for more agile and playful films that give A-list performers ample room to breathe.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Philip J. Smith, who led Shubert Organization, dies at 89 from complications arising from COVID-19
Philip J. Smith, who rose from box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway to chairman and co-CEO of the theatrical giant Shubert Organization, has died from complications from COVID-19, according to his daughters. He was 89.

In a career that spanned 63 years, Smith worked in every department of the Shubert Organization and was named general manager of all Shubert Theatres in 1964. The Shubert Organization owns and operates 17 Broadway theatres and six off-Broadway venues.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

"A Swim in a Pond in the Rain," by George Saunders
Have you ever wondered what makes a story great? George Saunders has, and at Syracuse University, where he has taught for more than 20 years, he takes his students under the hood of great fiction to show them how it works. Now, for the price of his latest book — a lot cheaper than an MFA —he’ll do the same for you.
Friday, January 15, 2021

"The Dig': Buried treasure, impending war, loss
Just before the outbreak of the World War II, a small-time archeologist was hired by a local woman to excavate her land. The thought was that it possibly contained some Viking remnants. But what was unearthed in the mounds out in the fields was far more significant than they could have imagined: Buried in the grounds of Sutton Hoo was actually a ship that would end up providing a deeper understanding of the sophistication of the early Anglo-Saxon period.

It’s this true story that John Preston used as the stage for his novel “ The Dig,” which has been adapted into a very lovely film by screenwriter Moira Buffini and director Simon Stone. Carey Mulligan stars as the Sutton Hoo landowner, Edith Pretty, a wealthy widow, mother to a pre-teen son and a bit of an amateur archaeologist who has a hunch about one of the mounds on her property. There’s also a ticking clock behind her expedition — the story is set in the summer of 1939 and by September, Britain would be declaring war.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Sunday News: Guest Lineups
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Saturday, January 9, 2021

Books: 'Bone Canyon' a first-rate police procedural

(AP) — In the wake of wildfires ravaging Southern California hillsides, a Hollywood screenwriter discovers a human skull fragment on the edge of his property.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Music: Chris Cornell shines on album of covers
(AP) — No disrespect to Sinead O’Connor, but there’s another version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” that might be even better than the one the Irish singer delivered. That would be the cover by Chris Cornell, which is ragged with heartbreak.
Saturday, January 9, 2021

This week: Morgan Wallen, tiger cubs and 'Herself'
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

With 'Stillwater,' meditation expert Mallika Chopra brings mindfulness to kids
When the producers of the new animated children’s series “Stillwater” asked Mallika Chopra to be the show’s “mindfulness consultant,” the meditation expert, author and speaker said she was immediately on board.

“What an amazing title to have, right?” Chopra recounted in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Some Mummers strut despite Philadelphia parade cancellation
Scores of costumed performers took to the streets of their south Philadelphia stomping grounds for a New Year’s celebration of Mummers tradition, far from the customary parade route and despite official cancellation of the annual event and a ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Dip into this
Are you feeling the winter doldrums? January can be a blue time, post-holidays, when the dust settles and winter stretches ahead. It's tempting to daydream about far-flung escapes to steamy destinations, away from the cold, snow and darkness. Reality, of course, keeps us home for many practical reasons. So, as the saying goes, instead of cursing the dark, it's time to light a candle -- or in this case, the stove. If we can't travel away, then we can bring the taste of travel home to our kitchen.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

Health benefits of popcorn
 Many people will say that no movie marathon is complete without a big bowl of popcorn. Movies and popcorn have been linked for decades, but popcorn is more than just a must-have on movie night.

Popcorn lovers may be surprised to learn just how healthy this beloved snack can be.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Book Review: 'Ties That Tether' pits love against family
Jane Igharo’s “Ties That Tether” tells the story of Azere, a Nigerian immigrant living in Canada who at 12, made a promise to her dying father that she would only marry a Nigerian man.
Saturday, January 2, 2021

'Gilligan's Island' star Dawn Wells dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dawn Wells, who played the wholesome Mary Ann among a misfit band of shipwrecked castaways on the 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” died Wednesday of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist said. She was 82.
Thursday, December 31, 2020

Noon Year's Eve: Toasting new year early
(AP) — Don’t want to stay up till midnight on the last day of the year? Families, early sleepers and those wanting to social distance might consider a midday celebration for December 31.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Three reads to consider from best-selling authors

Riley Wolfe has surely met his match in “Fool Me Twice,” the second novel in Jeff Lindsay’s series about the self-proclaimed world’s greatest thief.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

'Soul' features stairway-to-heaven visions of afterlife
Pete Docter’s “Soul” features stairway-to-heaven visions of the afterlife, a pre-birth “before” realm where souls are glowing turquoise orbs and an in-between spiritual realm trafficked by some kind of psychedelic pirate. And yet, kind of magically, it’s about “just regular old living.”
Saturday, December 26, 2020

Clooney moving in 'Midnight Sky;' Hanks doggedly heroic in 'News of World'
Netflix is on a roll this year, with "Mank,""Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,""Da 5 Bloods" and "The Trial of the Chicago 7" all garnering Oscar buzz. Well, hold onto your spacesuits for the latest  "The Midnight Sky."

George Clooney directs and stars in this feature film adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton's novel "Good Morning, Midnight" and what he has done on both sides of the camera is astounding.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Books: 'Fool's Paradise' resurrects the late great Robert B
The body of a stranger who had been dropped off by a car service at the gate of the richest family in fictional Paradise, Massachusetts, is found floating in a lake. That same night, someone tries to rape a friend of the town’s deputy police chief.
Monday, December 21, 2020

Music review: Paul McCartney is fab on latest, 'McCartney III'
Add Paul McCartney to the list of artists who have been busy making inspired music while grounded due to the pandemic.
Monday, December 21, 2020

Pop Culture in (ugh) 2020, from bizarre to sublime
And now, for our annual look at the year in pop culture.. Oh, wait. This was 2020. The year everything stopped cold.

Well, not really. Truth is, people turned to culture of all kinds in 2020 — highbrow and lowbrow — to satisfy varied and sometimes conflicting needs: Distraction, inspiration, consolation, escapism, hope. And those needs evolved: If we began lockdown in March by addictively binge-watching the darkly bizarre “Tiger King,” by early winter we were transfixed by a different sort of animal: the graceful octopod of “My Octopus Teacher,” extending her tentacles to make connections that seemed achingly poignant in a time when mere hugs between humans are taboo.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

SpongeBob and slime: Nickelodeon ready for NFL
Get ready for SpongeBob SquarePants running out of the tunnel, players being covered with digital slime after touchdowns and commentary from the cast of “All That” when Nickelodeon airs an NFL playoff game.

CBS Sports and Nickelodeon revealed their plans on Tuesday for the kid-focused channel’s broadcast of a wild-card game on Sunday, Jan. 10. The Nickelodeon feed will be tailored for younger audiences with the usual broadcast airing on CBS and online at CBS All Access.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

J. Lo, Billy Porter to perform at 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'
Jennifer Lopez will help bring in the New Year with a headlining performance in New York’s Time Square for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021.“
Sunday, December 20, 2020

Improve your crossworld-solving skills in the new year
Crossword puzzles are an integral component of newspapers. In addition to their entertainment quality, crossword puzzles can help improve cognition and brain health in individuals of all ages.

The first known crossword puzzle to be published was created by a British journalist named Arthur Wynne, who is often credited as the inventor of crosswords. The first puzzle appeared in the New York World on December 21, 1913. The original crossword was diamond-shaped and did not feature the familiar black squares.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

You know Dasher and Dancer, Comet and Cupid, but how well do you know Christmas carol trivia?
Following are brief synopses of some favorite traditional Christmas carols  and some little-known facts about each, along with a stanza or two from these timeless classics:
Sunday, December 20, 2020

If you want to grow apples, choose the tastiest
If you’re thinking about growing apples, take some time now to test varieties and talk with local growers.

I grow an apple called Hudson’s Golden Gem and I do so for one reason. Yes, this apple’s russeted, golden skin is beautiful. But it’s the flavor that puts it above the rest.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

For baking season, a primer on an essential: Vanilla
I used to take vanilla for granted.

Then, I was making chocolate chip cookies one day and ran out of vanilla extract. So I left it out. It was like leaving salt out of the recipe. The cookies lacked the round, full flavors they usually had. I realized vanilla was the foundation of all my favorite baked goods.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Follow these practical tips for successful holiday baking
The holiday season is steeped in tradition. Baking is one tradition that comes with the holiday territory.

Many people may only bake in November and December, so it’s understandable if they’re a little rusty come the holiday season. These baking tips can lead to successful yields of cookies, cakes and other holiday treats.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

HYGGE MEATBALLS
It's winter, nearly the new year, and uncertain times. With that convergence, we could all do with some hygge right now. You might have heard about hygge, a Danish word that's made a splash beyond its Nordic borders. It's an appealing term, albeit linguistically challenging (pronounced WHO-gheh). The meaning, however, is hardly challenging.
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Book Review: 'Ties That Tether' pits love against family
Jane Igharo’s “Ties That Tether” tells the story of Azere, a Nigerian immigrant living in Canada who at 12, made a promise to her dying father that she would only marry a Nigerian man.
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Edmunds announces '21 top-rated awards
Every year Edmunds’ experts put their heads together to determine the very best new vehicles on sale. Spread across eight categories, the  Edmunds Top Rated Awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that rank at the top of their class according to Edmunds’ vehicle testing program. That means each winner has been tested at the Edmunds test track and thoroughly evaluated over many miles of real-world use.

We’ve highlighted the four first-time winners for 2021, along with a returning champion from last year’s awards. The vehicles are listed in ascending order by manufacturer’s suggested retail price and include destination charges.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Movies, TV and music this week:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

San Francisco's iconic Cliff House restaurant to close
San Francisco’s iconic Cliff House restaurant that has served tourists and locals for more than a century from atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean is closing its doors at the end of the year.

Dan and Mary Hountalas, the restaurant’s proprietors since 1973, said in a post Sunday on the restaurant’s website they are closing Dec. 31 because of losses brought on by the pandemic and a dispute over renewing their long-term operating contract with the National Park Service.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Athletes to retrace escape route of Donner survivors
A pair of backcountry endurance athletes who became obsessed with the Donner Party spent the last seven years researching and exploring the Sierra on foot to try to pinpoint the final 90-mile (145-kilometer) route survivors of the infamous tale of cannibalism finally cut through mountain snow drifts to safety in the winter of 1846-47.

Now, four veteran ultrarunners from Northern California are setting out on snowshoes to retrace the footsteps of the pioneers who braved the worst blizzard in a century to escape over the top of what’s now called Donner Pass through the Emigrant Gap northwest of Lake Tahoe.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Film: Love, Irish farmer style in 'Wild Mountain Thyme'
(AP) — Ask any actor, Irish accents are notoriously tricky. Even natives can struggle with regional dialects. So it is a little alarming that the first voice you hear in “ Wild Mountain Thyme ” is Christopher Walken’s, who sounds exactly like you think Christopher Walken attempting an Irish accent would. It is a bold choice, certainly, and not the most solid footing to start out on. Still it might be worth giving this odd little duckling of a film a chance.
Saturday, December 12, 2020

Film: Join Streep, Wiest and Bergen for a meandering ride
Given that obvious fact, Cunard is likely to be thrilled that a new movie has come out which takes place — or 90 percent of it — on the Queen Mary 2, with its gleaming dining rooms, sparkling ocean views, disco nights and afternoon teas.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book review: 'Blind Vigil' a tense, fast-paced, hard-boiled read
(AP) — It seems unlikely that a sightless private detective could be of much use, but in “Blind Vigil,” the seventh book in Matt Coyle’s series featuring San Diego gumshoe Rick Cahill, the protagonist is determined to prove the doubters wrong.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dynamic folk duo evoke Appalachia and the Scottish Highlands
Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams, “Plastic Bouquet” (New West)

Second cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum emerged from rural Saskatchewan in the past decade as a dynamic traditional folk duo who evoke the Canadian prairie, Appalachia and the Scottish Highlands.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Albums of year include Springsteen, Goulding
The top 10 albums of the year by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Fans, Yoko, bandmates mark Lennon anniversary
Fans remembered John Lennon with flowers, candles and songs Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of the former Beatle’s death after being shot outside his New York City apartment building.

In Central Park’s Strawberry Fields section, which is steps from where he was shot and is dedicated to Lennon, photos of the icon ringed the inlaid “Imagine“ mosaic, along with a magazine, a small tree and other memorabilia, as musicians played nearby.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020






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