Arts & Life

Pets
8:45 am
Sat December 22, 2012

The Animals at the Manger

The Nativity



There may be a reason why we humans like to include our animal friends in the Christmas celebration.  After all, they were included from the very beginning!


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HIV Inmates-Alabama
4:28 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Judge Blocks Ala. Policy Of Segregating HIV Inmates

A judge has blocked Alabama's policy of segregating HIV inmates calling it a violation of federal law.
Credit Ryan Vasquez

A judge has struck down Alabama's policy of segregating prison inmates with HIV, ruling that it violates federal law.


U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Friday in favor of inmates who filed suit to end the longstanding practice. Thompson says the state's policy violates federal disabilities law.


Thompson says the state and inmate attorneys will have time to propose a way to bring state prisons into compliance with his order.


The American Civil Liberties Union calls the decision "historic." The state has yet to comment on the ruling.

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Arts & Life
11:12 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:03 am

  • Tenor Rolando Villazon let loose during a recent Q&A with The Arts Desk: "One thing that I haven't achieved is longevity. This will come — if it comes. That said, I don't think that longevity is a necessary part of a great career." And regarding his own health problems: "[My doctor] would have told [critics] the problem was biology. I would have got it if I had sung Mozart. It had nothing to do with repertoire or technique or how much I sang.
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Arts & Life
11:10 am
Fri December 21, 2012

The 12 Tones Of Christmas

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 10:59 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Auburn-Trees Poisoned
5:26 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Attorney Says 'Bama' Fan Competent To Stand Trial

Attorneys say Harvey Updyke is competent to stand trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.
Credit AP Photo/Opelika-Auburn News, Vasha Hunt, Pool

Attorneys for Harvey Updyke say the University of Alabama fan is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.


But the lawyers said Thursday that Updyke still plans to use an insanity defense to fight the charges.


Attorney Margaret Brown told a judge in Opelika that Updyke's mental condition at the time of the offense is an entirely different question than his competency now, about two years after the incident.

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Arts & Life
9:42 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Andre Rieu On The Allure Of The Waltz

Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 6:33 pm

On a list of the world's highest-grossing tours of last year, you'll find a lot of familiar names: U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga. And then, at No. 9, is an outlier: Andre Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

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Arts & Life
9:40 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Question Of The Week: What Are Your Holiday Music Memories?

Members of the Victorian State Youth Brass Band of Australia during an attempt to set a world record by playing Christmas carols for 40 straight hours.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 2:28 pm

I played trumpet in my high school band and wasn't very good. I held the thing down, sort of like a clarinet, and played out of the corner of my mouth. It sounded like I had a kazoo wedged in the tubing. But nobody else in my school was very good either, so I still managed to spend a lot of time at first chair.

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Arts & Life
9:38 am
Thu December 20, 2012

The Landfill Harmonic: An Orchestra Built From Trash

Cellist Juan Manuel Chavez, whose instrument is made from an oil can and discarded bits of wood.
Landfill Harmonic

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 9:13 am

There's an amazing video floating around YouTube that has brought a ray of sunshine to a very dark week for all of us. It's the trailer for an upcoming documentary called Landfill Harmonic, which focuses on one remarkable group in Paraguay: an orchestra that plays instruments created out of literal trash, made lovingly for them by their community.

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Alabama Public TV
4:55 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Alabama Public TV Raises Money With Fired CEO's Letter

Alabama Public Television is using a form letter signed by its fired executive director Allan Pizzato in a fundraising campaign.
Credit APTV.org

Alabama Public Television is using a form letter signed by its fired executive director in a fundraising campaign.


The statewide network recently sent a letter to past donors bearing the name of Allan Pizzato. Commissioners fired Pizzato in June, a decision that preceded a wave of resignations by other leaders of Alabama Public TV.


Network spokesman Mike McKenzie says a mistake by a direct-mail company resulted in the letters going to about 1,000 households.

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Arts & Life
7:26 am
Wed December 19, 2012

30 years of dining with Frank

Books
11:00 am
Tue December 18, 2012

My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

Credit www.amazon.com

My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

Editor: Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America

Introduction by Richard Russo

Illustrations by Leif Parsons

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

Pages: 378

Price: $23.95 (Cloth)

There is a wave of justified anxiety moving among the bookstore owners and patrons of America; the number of independent bookstores has been declining steadily since the 1990s.

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Books
10:48 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Sins of the Father: The True Story of a Family Running from the Mob

Credit www.amazon.com

Sins of the Father: The True Story of a Family Running from the Mob

Author: Nick Taylor

Publisher: Pocket Star Books

Pages: 485

Price: $9.99 (Paper)

Much of the narrative “Sins of the Father” will be familiar to viewers of the TV show “In Plain Sight.” The U.S. Marshall’s Service takes those who are to testify in high profile cases, whose lives would definitely be in danger because of that testimony, and puts them into the Witness Protection Program.

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Books
10:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Leaving Tuscaloosa

Credit www.amazon.com

Leaving Tuscaloosa

Author: Walter Bennett

Publisher: Fuze Publishing

Pages: 313

Price: $16.95 (Paper)

A novel called “Leaving Tuscaloosa” is simply irresistible to a resident, past or present, of Tuscaloosa. Bennett, who grew up in Tuscaloosa and has had a long career as a lawyer, law professor and judge, now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has studied fiction writing with Lee Smith, among others.

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Books
10:27 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Credit www.amazon.com

Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Author: Frank “Doc” Adams and Burgin Mathews

Publisher: The University of Alabama Press

Pages: 267

Price: $34.95 (Cloth)

The reader can tell that Burgin Mathews put in a heap of work on this book, interviewing “Doc” Adams dozens of times, transcribing the interviews from nearly a hundred cassette tapes, and editing, cutting, and arranging the material.

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Books
10:17 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Tasia’s Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre

Credit www.amazon.com

Tasia’s Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre

Author: Tasia Malakasis, Photography by Stephanie Schamban

Publisher: NewSouth Books

Pages: 143

Price: $29.95

We are used to chef stories like that of Jacques Pepin, who worked as a child in his mother’s restaurant in France, or Anthony Bourdain, who began as a young fellow and worked his way up.

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Pages