Penn State Behrend Jazz Ensemble to Perform Annual Fall Concert Dec. 5

The Jazz Ensemble at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will perform its fall concert Tuesday,...

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Penn State Behrend Jazz Ensemble to Perform Annual Fall Concert Dec. 5

The Jazz Ensemble at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will perform its fall concert Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. in the McGarvey Commons...

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Arts & Culture News

PARIS (Reuters) - Fancy some 232-year old pornography, written in the Bastille and hidden behind a stone?

ROME (Reuters) - Visitors to Rome's Pantheon, one of the ancient world's best preserved monuments, will have to pay an entry fee from next May unless they are going there to pray, Italy's culture and tourism ministry said on Monday.

LONDON (Reuters) - A sculptor who produced the image of Queen Elizabeth used on Britain's coins has been chosen to create a new statue of Princess Diana, the office of Princes William and Harry said on Sunday, to commemorate 20 years since her death.

LONDON (Reuters) - Buckingham Palace released on Monday a new portrait of Prince Philip, painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans in the year that Queen Elizabeth's husband announced his retirement from active public life.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Bolshoi Theatre ballet about the life of Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev set to premiere on Saturday contains tender scenes of gay romance, testing the Kremlin's tolerance for what it calls "homosexual propaganda".

Sports News

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt is to come out of retirement temporarily and play doubles with compatriot Sam Groth at next month's Australian Open, local media reported on Friday.

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble will "uate" next year whether to negotiate another sponsorship deal with USA Gymnastics (USAG), a company spokesperson said on Thursday.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's former anti-doping chief-turned-whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov is working under the control of U.S. special services, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of National Hockey League games on Thursday:

(The Sports Xchange) - Brock Osweiler threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Denver Broncos to a 25-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.

Science News

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google and NASA said on Thursday that advanced computer analysis identified two new planets around distant stars, including one that is part of the first star system with as many planets as Earth's solar system.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At a time when China is working on an ambitious lunar program, President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States will remain the leader in space exploration as he began a process to return Americans to the moon.

(Reuters) - A capsule carrying U.S., Russian and Italian astronauts from the International Space Station landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday after a five-month mission, a NASA TV live broadcast showed.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists have unearthed in New Zealand fossil bones of what might be the heavyweight champion of the penguin world, a bird nearly 6 feet tall (1.77 meters) that thrived 55 to 60 million years ago, relatively soon after the demise of the dinosaurs.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ticks, the notorious disease-spreading parasites, have been making life miserable far longer than human beings have walked the Earth. Even dinosaurs felt their blood-sucking wrath.

Movie Reviews

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CD Reviews

- Robin Denselow

(Glitterbeat)

Hasan Nakhleh and his brother Rami describe themselves as stateless musicians. They are singer-songwriters from a village in the Golan Heights, the plateau in south-west Syria that has been occupied by Israel since it seized it during the six-day war in 1967. “I do not exist on the ID card … without a nationality, without borders,” as Hasan explains on the opening track Laissez Passer.

The brothers have created their own unlikely style, but their guitar-and-saxophone-backed songs of protest and dreams of escape are influenced more by reggae and the Tuareg desert blues of northern Mali than the music of Syria, the homeland they never knew. More Middle Eastern influences would have been welcome – as on Roots Rock Jabali, their tribute to the mountains of the Golan – but this is still an impressive set, thanks to the powerful and personal Arabic lyrics, for which, thankfully, a translation is provided.

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- Robin Denselow

(Knitting Factory Records)

It wasn’t easy getting hold of Fela Kuti’s extraordinary music during much of his lifetime, but that changed dramatically after his death in 1997. The legendary Nigerian creator of Afrobeat had recorded over 50 albums, which have since been re-mastered and re-released, with classic tracks reappearing on a series of vinyl and CD compilations. The most recent box sets have been curated by musicians: Questlove, Ginger Baker, Brian Eno, and now the American singer-songwriter and actor Erykah Badu. I can’t imagine that there’s a Fela fan on the planet who doesn’t already own some of the material here, but this seven-LP set comes with the original artwork, and entertaining and informative essays by Badu and Afrobeat historian Chris May. It includes Coffin for Head of State, remarkable for Fela’s wide-ranging and furious lyrics, Yellow Fever, in which he wittily attacked the fashion for skin-bleaching, and the cool, gently driving instrumental Dog Eat Dog. Magnificent.

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- Michael Hann

(Craft Recordings/Universal)

Admittedly, you need your own home studio to get the benefit of the Dolby Atmos treatment given to REM’s superstardom album, but you only need ears to hear why it sold 18m copies. From start to finish, it’s a perfect mix of sombreness, playfulness, anger and melancholy, with one moment of great mass communication – Everybody Hurts, a song whose power is undimmed by constant exposure. A stunning live disc repositions Drive as a stomping rock song, and showcases the playful side of the group with covers of Love Is All Around (pre-Four Weddings) and Funtime. The disc of demos is occasionally revealing but inessential: the version of Everybody Hurts (called Michael’s Organ) shows just how much minor alterations added to the song; Mike’s Pop Song is a charming little frippery. But when you get down to a minute of Pete’s Acoustic Idea, then you know the end of the line has been reached. However, for the original album and the live disc, five stars are wholly merited. Non-completists should get the two-disc version, unless they’re desperate for the Blu-Ray of promo clips.

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- Dave Simpson

(Cherry Red)

Although the Fall’s formidable reputation was built on classic albums such as This Nation’s Saving Grace, this exhaustive compilation traces their slightly lesser-heralded prowess as a singles group. Over 38 years, seven CDs, 51 A-sides and 66 B-sides, the group make dizzying progress, from angular Salford post-punk oddities to alt national treasures. A multitude of lineups hurtle through northern rockabilly (Fiery Jack), hypnotic repetitive mantras (Living Too Late), Brix Smith-era big riffs and tunes (Cruiser’s Creek), indie disco floor-fillers (Hit the North), chart hits (Kinks’ cover Victoria) and even a song that ended up in a car advert (Touch Sensitive). The constant presence, of course, is singer Mark E Smith, whose off-kilter, vinegary, sometimes eerily prescient worldview (such as in anticipatory football song Kicker Conspiracy) and barked, obtuse comments (“Turn that bloody blimey space invader off!”) propels the music forward. There’s a dip in overall quality in the last decade or so, but 2010’s Bury! is among their best.

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- Alexis Petridis

(Numero Group)

More than any other band that emerged out of the US hardcore punk scene, Minneapolis’s Hüsker Dü paved the way for what would happen next. This beautifully curated set covering their earliest years reveals a band already sporting an advanced case of split musical personality: Midwestern punk rockers unsure whether they wanted to scream their way through songs called Obnoxious and Guns at My School or do something more thoughtful and arty and strange. The hardest of hardcore bands – the edge-of-hysteria live recordings of them in full flight in 1981 are still pretty startling nearly 40 years on – who attempted to conceal a penchant for 60s psych-pop melodicism behind their torrential sound, before finally giving up and just going with their instincts: their cover of Donovan’s Sunshine Superman is taken at warp speed, but without any accompanying sneer. It often feels like you’re listening to the birth of something more than a band: the contradictions at Hüsker Dü’s heart would fuel American alt-rock for years to come, from the Pixies to grunge to emo.

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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

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The Melting Pot

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