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VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian tycoon Hans Peter Haselsteiner has come to the rescue of home-improvements millionaire Karlheinz Essl by buying a modern art collection that Essl had tried in vain to sell to the state to prop up his BauMax business empire.

(Reuters) - A foundation controlled by the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett has paid $4.5 million for hundreds of artifacts belonging to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, a lawyer for Parks' heirs said on Friday.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British actor Rupert Grint, best known as wizard Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" film franchise, makes his Broadway debut as a young, wunderkind director alongside a stellar ensemble cast in the show business comedy, "It's Only a Play."

(Reuters) - Burning Man, the week-long arts and culture festival that brings attendees from around the world to the Nevada desert, canceled its first day on Monday as rare rain storms drenched the area, organizers said.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Poet Simin Behbahani, a champion of women's rights and free speech whose lyrical verse captured the hopes and disappointments of Iranians since the 1979 revolution, died on Tuesday at the age of 87, official media reported.

Sports News

(Reuters) - The National Football League on Tuesday suspended Indianapolis Colts owner James Irsay for six games after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Reigning National Basketball Association MVP Kevin Durant has signed a new shoe deal with sports apparel retailer Nike, spurning a deal from rival Under Armour that reportedly was worth as much as $285 million over 10 years.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic kept their time in blazing conditions to a bare minimum on Monday as they breezed into the U.S. Open quarter-finals but Eugenie Bouchard's hopes of a maiden grand slam title melted away in the heat.

(Reuters) - Fernando Alonso is not relishing his racing with Ferrari this year and has little hope of success at this week's Italian Grand Prix, but he has rejected persistent speculation that he is set to move teams next year.

MADRID (Reuters) - Alberto Contador snatched the leader's red jersey from Nairo Quintana at the Tour of Spain on Tuesday after the Colombian suffered a spectacular high-speed crash in the 10th-stage time trial.

Science News

LONDON (Reuters) - British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves.

OSLO (Reuters) - Polar bear DNA has been isolated for the first time from footprints left in the snow on an Arctic island, a breakthrough that could help scientists better protect rare and endangered wild animals, experts said on Tuesday.

VOSTOCHNY Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered construction sped up on a multi-billion-dollar spaceport in Russia's Far East that he said would break reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and launch future missions to the Moon and Mars.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Belying their reputation as the dumb cousins of early modern humans, Neanderthals created cave art, an activity regarded as a major cognitive step in the evolution of humankind, scientists reported on Monday in a paper describing the first discovery of artwork by this extinct species.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A solution to the longstanding mystery of why rocks move erratically across an isolated patch of California's Death Valley finally emerged on Thursday, when researchers published a study showing the driving force was sheets of wind-driven ice.

Movie Reviews

The smartest spoofs secretly love the genre they’re slapping about for laughs. Under the relentless rain of gags unleashed in David Wain’s mirthful but merciless satire of New York romcoms, lies a nugget of affection making it as acute as his cult teen-tease Wet Hot American Summer (2001). But he and co-writer Michael Showalter don’t spare lovebirds molly and Joel (Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, both exuding weapons-grade affability). As her indie sweetshop is menaced by his candy corporation’s megastore and his sexy ex (a smouldering Cobie smulders) rocks their romance, the path of true love is strewn with meet-cutes, klutzy sex, and no-hope nuptials. We’re parked firmly in Ephrontown, with a view of Woody-world. Take a drink every time you spot a pitch-perfect steal from Manhattan, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle or You’ve Got Mail and you’ll be legless before the first kiss. Wain’s world is an unrepentantly wacky one, with an Airplane!-style fizzy mix of verbal, visual and raunch gags shaking up the sharp-eyed spoofing. His absurdist streak pushes things way beyond Scary Movie yucks, as when Joel and a barman enter into an exchange of “You can say that again!” and ‘tell me about it’ that threatens to become endless. But the downside to the film’s pacey gag race is that sketch-comedy shtick overwhelms the plot periodically – a more solid story would have helped when things get plotless in Manhattan. Wain’s great eye for details (right down to cheesy romcom edits, music and décor) sadly doesn’t extend to the visuals, with the film sporting an over-lit TV-movie look. What keeps things bubbling are Rudd and Poehler’s superb central performances, which exploit their existing screen personas (boyish vs a-dork-able) and their fine comic chemistry together. Rudd, who plays it straighter than a ruler, uses that good-guy grin to make the film’s mood hilariously sweet, rather than snarky.

The problems start at the title. Sex Tape. For one thing, there is no ‘tape’. It’s a sex mp4 if anything. For another, from the iPad-centric plot to all the yammering about ‘the Cloud’, Jake Kasdan’s (Bad Teacher) film strains after a relevance that only makes it look instantly dated. In five years it will all seem like complete gibberish. But that doesn’t stop it hammering home product placement – in this case Apple – with a relentlessness to rival last year’s Google-tastic The Internship. And it’s just as funny as that seat-emptier. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel play Annie and Jay, a successful suburban couple with kids who have lost their passion in the bedroom after 10 years of social-climbing and child-rearing. To spice things back up, they decide to burn through their copy of The Joy Of Sex, one position at a time, in a marathon three-hour session. Naturally they film it, and naturally it leaks to all the synced iPads Jay gives away to friends, relatives, the mailman and even Annie’s potential new boss (Rob Lowe). That’s right, the filmmakers (including Segel, who co-wrote the screenplay) would like you to accept the concept that some guy is giving away all his old iPads to everybody he knows, and that he can afford to do so because his wife is raking in the cash as a “mommy-blogger”. If you’re still willing to hang with that, what follows is a fairly fast-paced night of tablet retri, with the embarrassed couple capering around town getting into increasingly sitcom-y situations. Segel and Diaz are fine, cute and up for it, but they are let down by a cynical script more interested in selling hardware than entertaining the audience. And for a film about amateur porn, it’s alarmingly chaste. However, there is an amazing scene where Rob Lowe and Cameron Diaz snort coke and listen to Slayer. It’s the best scene in the movie. They should have just made it about that.

Rare is the thriller that converts Downton Abbey fans to the dark side. But this could do the trick. Starring Dan Stevens – aka Abbey’s Matthew Crawley – it’s another playful ’80s-infused crowdpleaser from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (V/H/S, You’re Next), who more than know their way around the video shop. We begin with army boots pounding the desert floor, before a lurid title card arrives with a speaker-shuddering chord. It’s Dead Man’s Shoes to Dario Argento in one cut, although A History Of Violence via Roadhouse gives a better idea of the mood. The boots belong to David (Stevens), who arrives at the Peterson family’s door with a message from their late son who died on duty in Afghanistan. Mourning mum (Sheila Kelly) invites this nice young man to stay, doubting dad (Leland Orser) is not so sure; daughter (Maika Monroe) dismissive, son (Brendan Meyer) smitten. Soon, David’s inveigled himself into family life, instantly becoming the coolest thing in Dipshitville. Could he be too good to be true? Well, yes, but there’s an indecent amount to enjoy here: sensitive central performances, cameos from Wingard buddies Joel David Moore, Ethan Embry and A.J. Bowen, whetstone-sharp dialogue, some big laughs and a synth score that pumps like blood in the ears. Especially cherishable are the scenes where dreamy David suddenly shows his mettle, snapping bones and smashing faces to protect his new family, despite their protestations. The tension between them needing him and fearing him makes up the best part of the film. Like David, the third act badly outstays its welcome, but even this cruises merrily by, thanks to his cringey charms. The stuff that Diet Coke breaks are made of, the film all but swoons every time he flexes a muscle – let alone steps out of the shower. Even if it doesn’t launch Stevens’ career Stateside, it’ll keep his existing fans more than Abbey.

Based on the 2011 bestselling book by former clinical scientist S.J. Watson, Rowan Joffe’s sophomore movie is every bit as polished-looking as his directorial debut, Brighton Rock, its action lent a sci-fi sheen by antiseptic interiors that gleam like honey. As with Memento or, played a different way, 50 First Dates, its plot is driven by a protagonist suffering from anterograde amnesia, meaning each day she awakens with her memory wiped clean. It’s a neat enough gimmick that affords the opportunity for suspense, scares and more twists than you can shake a corkscrew at, but the action will evaporate from viewers’ minds within 24 hours. Christine (Nicole Kidman) arises each day to learn that she was involved in an accident, while Ben (Colin Firth), her husband, sets about earning her trust and aiding the effort to reassemble her life. But there’s a catch: each morning she receives a call from psychotherapist Dr. Nash (Mark Strong) informing her of the video diary she’s keeping hidden, and contrary versions of her past start to emerge. Was she really in an accident or was it something more sinister? Who is her best friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff)? And can Ben – or, for that matter, Dr. Nash – be trusted? Shot by Kick-Ass DoP Ben Davis, Before I Go To Sleep features solid performances from its A-listers and packages heavyweight themes within propulsive genre trappings. But Joffe’s tidy script and slick direction never quite capture the ragged emotional heft required to make us truly care about the outcome, and the persistent memory that we’ve been here before, done better, puts a blot on proceedings.

The imaginative whimsy of Belleville Rendez-Vous and The Illusionist is both present and correct in Sylvain Chomet’s live-action debut, a gentle charmer with dark elements in which music plays a pivotal role. So does the mutely expressive Guillaume Gouix, on double duty as both the silent piano prodigy trying to unlock repressed memories and the wrestler father he suspects had a hand in his mother’s death. Tuneful flashbacks supply fantastical punctuation to a film that sees Chomet pay elaborate homage to everyone from Jacques Demy to Marcel Proust.

CD Reviews

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Book Reviews

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham2. WORTH DYING FOR, by Lee Child3. AMERICAN ASSASSIN, by Vince Flynn4. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson5. SIDE JOBS, by Jim Butcher

Top 5 at a Glance1. LIFE, by Keith Richards with James Fox2. BROKE, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe3. EARTH (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart and others4. THE LAST BOY, by Jane Leavy5. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOL. 1, by Mark Twain

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson2. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson3. THE FINKLER QUESTION, by Howard Jacobson4. LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave5. CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese

Top 5 at a Glance1. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson3. THE RECKLESS BRIDE, by Stephanie Laurens4. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson5. 61 HOURS, by Lee Child

Top 5 at a Glance1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert2. INSIDE OF A DOG, by Alexandra Horowitz3. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson4. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls5. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Funny Pictures

The Melting Pot


Shortest Books Ever Written



Internationally Acclaimed Book of the True Story of Two Holocaust Survivors is Now Available in French

Author and Holocaust survivor Leon Malmed kept a secret for more than 60 years – a secret he has unveiled in his moving book,...


‘Send This Instead’ App Gives Kids an Alternative to Sexting

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Ontario, Canada launch a sexting alternative app for teens...


Turn Back Time with Oldies Music Radio Which Brings Good Old Hits Back to Life

Nimaxy presents a new radio app for the most enjoyable music experience. Nimaxy studio has the pleasure of announcing the release of the...

Local Scene


18th Annual Erie German Fest

By Kimberly Eddy This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 30th & 31st, kick off your Labor Day weekend and come enjoy the Erie German...

Backstage Pass


Find Out Where Your Favorite Band Is Playing

Want To Know Where The Best Bands Are Playing And Where The Hottest Shows Are In Town? Plan your weekend entertainment with our Weekend...