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PARIS (Reuters) - Vandals attacked a giant green inflatable sculpture in one of the most famous squares in Paris in the early hours of Saturday after its resemblance to a sex toy sparked an outcry.

PARIS (Reuters) - Billowing sails of glass join the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur as permanent fixtures of the Paris skyline this month, when the new Fondation Louis Vuitton contemporary art museum designed by Frank Gehry opens to the public.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "On The Town" is back on Broadway, 70 years after its debut, in a revival that critics hail as "fizzy and frisky" and a "helluva show."

LONDON (Reuters) - How do you make an exhibition about a man who never existed?

NEWBURY Mass. (Reuters) - Andre Dubus III put his faded hometown of Haverhill, Massachusetts, on the map of modern literature with his gritty memoir, “Townie.”

Sports News

(Reuters) - Ben Martin fended off a strong challenge from fellow American Kevin Streelman to win the $6.2 million Shriners Hospitals for Children Open by two strokes in Las Vegas on Sunday.

(Reuters) - Defending Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks suffered a second straight defeat with a 28-26 loss at the St Louis Rams on Sunday while the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys continued their strong form.

(The Sports Xchange) - The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled left winger Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Luke Witkowski from their AHL affiliate in Syracuse on Sunday.

(The Sports Xchange) - San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Kawhi Leonard will likely miss the remainder of the preseason with an infection in his right eye that spread to his left eye, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

(Reuters) - Andy Murray clinched the Vienna Open title on Sunday with a 5-7 6-2 7-5 victory over David Ferrer, one of the Briton's main rivals in the battle to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals.

Science News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars where a fleet of robotic science probes were poised for studies.

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored fishes, called placoderms, about 385 million years ago in Scotland.

(Reuters) - Opponents of GMO food labeling proposals on the ballot next month in Oregon and Colorado have contributed roughly $20 million for campaigning against the proposed laws, nearly triple the money raised by supporters of the initiatives, campaign finance reports show.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. military landed its X-37B robotic space plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Friday, ending a classified 22-month mission that marked the third in Earth orbit for the experimental program, the Air Force said.

(Reuters) - Opponents of GMO food labeling proposals on the ballot next month in Oregon and Colorado have contributed roughly $20 million for campaigning against the proposed laws, nearly triple the money raised by supporters of the initiatives, campaign finance reports show.

Movie Reviews

Funghi blooms across the screen, a female choir floods the stage and the singer’s hair is otherworldly. Immersively directed by Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland, this document of the tour finale for Björk’s “app album” Biophilia is no average gig-pic. While ecology and evolution provide loose themes, Björk’s impish glee ignites a fabulously off-piste affair. Whether introducing strange instruments, singing ‘Isobel’ or stomping through ‘Declare Independence’, she’s a riot of charisma and daring, finding pleasures in the places most pop stars wouldn’t think to look.

Those heroes in a half-shell have travelled a curious path, starting as a satirical indie comic in the mid-’80s before morphing into a merchandising phenomenon, with multiple movies and TV series seeing them renew their appeal again and again. That appeal’s based partly on the camaraderie and chutzpah of the plucky crime-battling quartet, and partly because they usually look cute. The most daring thing about the soullessly efficient TMNT ’14 is that it does away with the cute, rendering the gang in off-putting CGI. Luckily, as counterbalance, the humans (Megan Fox, Whoopi Goldberg) are relentlessly cartoonish. The origin story’s been tweaked, but most of the players remain the same. Mysterious criminal organisation The Foot Clan is running amok in New York; hot on their heels is fledgling reporter April O’Neil (Fox), who witnesses the evil clan getting trounced by four giant turtle-dudes. She realises the turtles are her former pets, flushed into the sewers after being injected with mutant juice by her mad-scientist father. Naturally, she teams up with her former pets to battle the Clan’s cyber-warriors and their wicked samurai leader Shredder (Tohoru Masamune). Many eyeball-searing explosions follow. After super-sizing ’80s franchise Transformers, Michael Bay (who produces) was the clear choice to power-up this reboot. And like his robot-wars saga, it’s jammed with insane action sequences and gratuitous, lingering shots of Fox’s backside. Apart from our heroes’ state-of-the-art makeunders, all the trademarks are there: cries of “Cowabunga!”, goofy wisecracks, incessant pizza references. Business as usual, then, only a lot more business-like.

All rise for Robert Downey Jr., who takes a breather from franchise load-bearing to stretch his legs dramatically. The Judge may deliver his meatiest role since The Soloist but it comes saddled with the same issues that afflicted Joe Wright’s 2009 film, namely being manipulative middlebrow awards bait without the substance to land any prizes. Downey Jr. stars as Hank Palmer, a hotshot Chicago lawyer who heads home for his mother’s funeral and ends up staying after his estranged father (Robert Duvall) is involved in a deadly hit-and-run. Opening scenes portray Hank as a brash alpha happily defending guilty corporate schmucks and divorcing his supermodel wife. In time, he naturally softens into someone altogether less dickish, the film suggesting that small-town values are the remedy for any soul-sick city slicker. Frank’s hometown is so ludicrously bucolic, you half expect to see the Funny Or Die logo pop up on screen. Adding some grit is Robert Duvall as the judge of the title. It’s a typically no-nonsense turn from Duvall, and he and Downey Jr. bring appealing punch to their battling scenes. Also on hand are Hank’s mentally impaired younger brother Dale (Jeremy Strong); disappointed older brother Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio); and Samantha (Vera Farmiga), an old flame with a hot daughter (Leighton Meester) whom Hank wastes no time getting to know better. Hank has so much catching up to do that there seems barely room for the whole legal thriller bit. True, it does bring the welcome addition of Billy Bob Thornton as a slick prosecutor. But it also spawns courtroom scenes that degenerate into family therapy sessions, as Hank steps up to defend his father. Draped in a schmaltzy haze, The Judge needed smarter steering to harvest real results, so how it ended up in the hands of the man who directed Fred Claus (David Dobkin) is anyone’s guess.

The latest Coppola to grab a camera – Francis Ford’s granddaughter, Gia – makes a quietly assured debut with this tale of disaffected youth, adapted from a book of short stories by James Franco. The star also appears as a creepy soccer coach, object of desire for April (Emma Roberts). Shying from the more controversial yarns in Franco’s book, this is a dreamy take on teen life, authentic in its everyday feel. Yet it plays like a series of disparate shorts and the absence of parents rings false. But with a distinct visual sensibility, Gia proves she’s one more Coppola to watch.

Céline (Lou-Lélia Demerliac) is an 11-year-old in a domestic hell: the least of it is that she’s left to look after her young siblings; the worst, that she’s being abused by her dad (Jacques Bonnaffé). The hard-hitting drama literally shifts gears when Céline runs away to join soulful Scottish trucker Peter (Douglas Gordon) on the road. What follows is an oblique, overlong film from French fashion designer Agnès B, whose arty flourishes and wooden dialogue are as intrusive as the blaring Vivaldi score. A laudable attempt, but ‘Hmmm…’ will likely be the most common response.

CD Reviews

- Alfred Hickling

Grand, LeedsDaniel Slaters eastern-bloc revival of Smetanas hymn to the Czech soul benefits from one of Opera Norths strongest casts to date

Daniel Slaters production of Smetanas great nationalistic opera has been one of Opera Norths most popular successes in recent years. Though the staging is over 15 years old, the concept has hardly dated, given that it was meant to appear dated in the first place.

The Bartered Bride is not so much an opera as a three-act national anthem in which Smetana sought to express the proudest aspects of the Czech psyche. Slaters version concentrates on the period when the Czech soul was under the cosh; with the bucolic setting transferred to a dispiriting 1970s eastern-bloc backdrop of ugly pylons and unflattering polyester.

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- Andrew Clements

Royal Festival Hall, LondonThe shorter of the two UK premieres on offer in this programme of Americana proved the more profound by far

The BBC Concert Orchestras evening of Americana, conducted by André de Ridder, began with Charles Ivess Third Symphony and ended with Philip Glasss first orchestral work, The Light. But it was built around a pair of UK premieres, the first of them effectively the last hurrah of the celebrations for the refurbishment of the Festival Hall organ a concerto for the instrument, co-commissioned by the Southbank Centre from Terry Riley.

At the Grand Majestic, Rileys concerto, was first performed earlier this year in Disney Hall, Los Angeles. It was written for Cameron Carpenter, who was the soloist here, too, and requires a large, rather lopsided orchestra, with six bassoons and five trumpets. A strange, shambling piece in three movements lasting 35 minutes, it references a vast range of musical styles, from boogiewoogie to baroque, Wurlitzers to oriental chant, all of them gathered together in rather shapeless, rag-bag fashion, with the organ rather stridently leading the way. For once, Rileys musical open-mindedness seems to have got the better of his discrimination.

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- Tim Ashley

Hackney Empire, LondonEnglish Touring Operas production of the 1723 Handel opera works its hardest to overcome the originals unevenness

First performed in 1723, Ottone is one of Handels problem pieces. It has been much criticised for narrative confusion, though its flaws lie ultimately in variability of inspiration and characterisation. The plot has much in common with the formal patterning and metaphysical interventions of medi romance: Ottone, German ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and his Byzantine bride, Teofane, have fallen in love with each others portraits, but are prevented from meeting by a combination of court intrigue and the workings of abstract destiny.

This hapless pair, however, are ciphers he is conventionally heroic, she relentlessly put-upon and sorrowful and Handel is much more interested in the intriguers: Gismonda, the wicked queen of Italy, and her wanton son, Adelberto, former lover of Ottones strong-willed sister, Matilda, though he now has designs on both Teofane and Ottones throne. This splendid trio get the best numbers in the score and bring it magnificently, if intermittently, to life.

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- Kitty Empire

NIA, BirminghamLady Gaga is more like a life coach than the pop juggernaut of old, but she still delivers solid entertainment

Heralded by pounding techno, Lady Gaga emerges from a trapdoor wearing a white wig and furry brown wings. One blue pustular jewel adorns her leotard, like a mono-breast filled with a dubious cocktail. The first song of the UK leg of her artRAVE Ball is an energetic version of Artpop, the title track of her last album. The white-and-neon colour scheme of the space-cave set suggests that the designers have been downing a fair few blue drinks themselves.

She is reassuringly strange, Gaga, with her splendid wings that recall Jim Henson, as though held over from her Muppets special, aired last year in the US. Later, for Paparazzi, she will appear as a hybrid of a dalmatian and a squid.

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- Kitty Empire


Dorian Lynskey meets Thurston MooreListen to a stream of The Best Day

There is a significant tranche of alternative-minded music lifers for whom the break-up of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon and the dissolution of their seminal band Sonic Youth in 2011 verged on the traumatic. It was like your beloved parents getting divorced, only worse. These people were far cooler. They understood. They knew that the ineffable was in reach, and they flailed for it, in minor key, with detuned electric guitars.

Alongside REM and hardcore punk, Sonic Youth created the very idea of alternative in the pre-internet US, infamously paving the way for bands such as Nirvana. They elevated awkward, restless music to a status that made it necessary for the arts sections of broadsheet newspapers to cover it. Its hard to over-emphasise Sonic Youths role in shaping the cultural landscape we take for granted.

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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...

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Halloween Attractions

Erie County Zoo Boo at Erie Zoo Now through October 30th from 6:00pm-9:00pm nightly ‘Ghosts and Legends’...

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                Want To Know Where The Best Bands Are Playing And Where The Hottest Shows Are In...