• Stanford aims to bring player pianos back to life

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano, which brought recorded music into living rooms long before there were cassettes, compact discs or iPods. Stanford researchers have launched an ambitious effort to restore and study instruments known as reproducing pianos that recorded major composers performing their own work in the early 20th century. "This technology of the reproducing piano was really astonishing to people at the time because they could hear major pianists playing music exactly the way they played in performance," said Jerry McBride, head music librarian at Stanford.

  • Churchill painting sells for record $2.8 million

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — A painting by Winston Churchill of the fishpond at his rural home has sold for just under 1.8 million pounds ($2.8 million), almost double the previous record for his work. "The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell" surpassed the 1 million pounds paid at auction in 2007 for another painting by Britain's World War II prime minister. The painting was a star lot at a Sotheby's sale Wednesday of possessions of Churchill's daughter, Mary Soames, who died in May. History-minded collectors snapped up several pieces for well over their estimated value. A red ministerial briefcase from Churchill's time in Cabinet sold for 158,500 pounds ($249,083). Its upper pre-sale estimate had been 7,000 pounds. A signed photo to

  • Verona's Arena to get $17.5 million restoration

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    MILAN (AP) — Verona's famed Roman amphitheater, home to one of the world's premier opera festivals, will be the first large beneficiary of a new Italian government initiative to encourage private donations to protect cultural treasures. Italian bank Unicredit and the nonprofit foundation CariVerona signed a deal Wednesday with Verona's mayor to restore the arena at a cost of 14 million euros ($17.5 million). The project aims to secure the open-air Verona Arena, the third-largest Roman-era amphitheater to survive antiquity, against erosion from rain, which has damaged the seating areas, stairs and modern-day infrastructure like the electrical system.

  • The D'oh of Homer: Professors employ TV's Simpsons

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Bart and Lisa Simpson have been in elementary school for 25 years. But that hasn't stopped them from showing up on college campuses. Universities across the country are using satirical references from "The Simpsons" to grab students' attention and convey lessons in literature and all manner of popular culture. "If the references are important enough to be lampooned by 'The Simpsons,' these works must be important cultural milestones," says Hofstra University adjunct English professor Richard Pioreck, who has been incorporating the denizens of Springfield into his courses for about a decade. He currently teaches a course about the Broadway theater and how "The Simpsons" have embraced various musi

  • Fraternity suspended over 'Beyonce' holiday card

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A University of Pennsylvania fraternity has been suspended pending an investigation into a holiday card showing the mostly white group posing with what it says was a Beyoncé sex doll. Phi Delta Theta's national leadership halted its Penn chapter this week amid concerns the image — criticized as racist and misogynistic — shows a lack of judgment that's inconsistent with its values. The chapter issued an apology and says it displayed poor judgment by including the sex toy in a holiday picture. They say they weren't being racist. In excerpts published by the Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper, the chapter called the doll "distasteful" and acknowledged it could be offensive to some people.

  • More theaters bail on 'The Interview' in wake of hackers' threat

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    More theaters are yanking "The Interview" from their holiday schedules in the wake of a threat from hackers urging moviegoers to avoid seeing the film on Christmas Day, according to The Los Angeles Times. New York-based Bow Tie Cinemas said Wednesday it was scrapping plans to screen the Sony comedy at its 55 movie theaters, which have roughly 350 screens. Bow Tie is one of the oldest theater chains in the country with theaters in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Colorado. 

  • Central Texas TV meteorologist shot, gunman sought

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    EDDY, Texas (AP) — Authorities are searching for a gunman who shot a Central Texas television meteorologist during an altercation in the station parking lot. The Department of Public Safety says the attack happened around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday outside KCEN-TV in Eddy, 75 miles north of Austin. The suspect ran away. Investigators are seeking a motive for the gunfire. A message left for management of KCEN, the NBC affiliate in the Waco area, wasn't immediately returned Wednesday. KCEN, on its website, identified the victim as morning meteorologist Patrick Crawford. Trooper D.L. Wilson says the victim was in his personal vehicle when the suspect approached, the two argued and the employee was shot. Crawford was

  • Dish adds Netflix app to some of its set-top boxes

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Dish is making it easier to watch video from an online rival, Netflix. The satellite TV company said Wednesday that it is adding the Netflix app to its latest set-top boxes, its second-generation Hopper devices released in February 2013. Dish wouldn't say how many customers have that box. Customers with older boxes would need a replacement to use the feature. Dish customers also must subscribe to Netflix's $9-a-month service on their own. TiVo also makes a device that combines regular TV channels with online video services, but Netflix said Dish is the first U.S. pay TV provider to add the app to its own set-top box. Netflix has similar deals with cable companies overseas.

  • Richard C. Hottelet, last of original 'Murrow's Boys,' dies

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Richard C. Hottelet, the last of the original "Murrow's Boys," the pioneering group of wartime journalists hired by CBS radio newsman Edward R. Murrow, has died. He was 97. CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco said that Hottelet died early Wednesday morning at his home in Wilton. Hottelet was a foreign correspondent for the United Press in Berlin at the start of World War II — and even spent several months in a Nazi prison — before joining CBS in London in 1944. He reported from many battlefronts, and went on to become CBS' correspondent for the United Nations, an assignment he began in 1960. He resigned in 1985 to join the U.S. Mission to the U.N.

  • Christmas countdown 2014: Amazing Spider-Man #166

    Matthew Price | Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    In today’s Christmas countdown, we take a look back at a Spider-Man holiday tale from 38 years ago.  I first reviewed this one as part of my “2,011 in 2011″ comic-book challenge to read 2.011 comic books in the year 2011.  The comic has a cover date of March 1977, which means it was on […]

  • Country singer Boyd crowned 'The Voice' champion

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) — Country fans have spoken again. Craig Wayne Boyd, the country rocker from Blake Shelton's team, was named the winner of "The Voice" Tuesday. Boyd is the third country singer to win the NBC sing-off. The father from Nashville, Tennessee, was up against three finalists from Adam Levine's team: Runner-up Matt McAndrew, Chris Jamison, who took third place and Damien Lawson, who nabbed fourth. This is the fourth win for country star Shelton. "We went into this thing with the odds stacked against us," Shelton said Tuesday during a post-finale news conference.

  • The 8 best Christmas movies ever

    Richard Hall | Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Christmas is just eight days away, so let's take a couple of minutes and check out the eight best Christmas movies of all time.

  • Amazon-Hachette feud headlines book news in 2014

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Like a serial for the digital age, the book world's most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time. A dispute about e-book revenues between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group led to Amazon's removing buy buttons, cutting discounts and reducing orders for works ranging from J.K. Rowling's latest detective thriller to J.D. Salinger's "Nine Stories." The battle lasted for months. Hachette author Stephen Colbert flipped the bird to Amazon, right on camera. Amazon suggested that frustrated customers might try buying books elsewhere. You could call the resolution happy, and open-ended. The two sides agreed to a multiyear deal in mid-November and Hachette books were back in full for the ho

  • 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies': 3 points for parents

    Shawn O'Neill, Deseret News | Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Information for parents about the film "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

  • No charges over theater ceiling collapse

    Updated: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — London authorities say no one should be prosecuted over a ceiling collapse at the Apollo Theatre last year that injured more than 80 people. Westminster Council said Wednesday that the accident was a result of the building's age and there had been no breach of the law. Seven people were seriously hurt and scores more slightly injured when chunks of plaster and wood fell from the theater ceiling during a performance of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" on Dec. 19, 2013. An investigation blamed deteriorating cloth and plaster ties, in place since the theater was built in 1901.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on Dec. 17, 2014: Hear December Songs at the Blue Door

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Today’s featured event: Celebrate the season with December Songs, featuring Amy Speace, Rod Picott and Wild Ponies, at 8 tonight at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.bluedoorokc.com. For more events, go to newsok.com/events. -BAM

  • WATCH: 40 photographers team up to capture stunning London time-lapse

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Time-lapses might be pretty common these days but this one is spectacular. Earlier this month, more than 40 photographers clubbed together to produce 80 clips featuring 35,000 images for one awesome video, Mashable reports.

  • Netflix comes to cord havers, will be available on Dish Network's set-top boxes

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Netflix has struck its first deal with a major U.S. pay-TV company, bringing its content to Dish Network's set-top box, Mashable reports. Starting Wednesday, Dish subscribers that have the newest version of the company's digital video recorder — called Hopper — will be able to stream Netflix content for the standard $7.99 to $8.99 monthly fee.

  • "7th Heaven" Dad: Yes, I Molested Girls

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    Embattled actor Stephen Collinshas released a lengthy statement to PEOPLE in which he admits to inappropriate sexual contact with three female minors. The 67-year-old – who has remained out of the public eye ever since a recording of him confessing to child molestationwas released to TMZ – goes into detail about the incidents that occurred over a 20-year time span. In vivid detail, Collins explains how there were three victims from 1973 to 1994, and how "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the last 20 years. 

  • Singer almost quit a year before 'Voice' win

    Published: Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    The Voice's Season 7 winner almost didn't make it to the NBC singing competition, USA TODAY reports. Craig Wayne Boyd, 35, the country singer who moved to Nashville a decade ago to pursue a music career, came close to giving up his dream in the face of financial pressures. "I remember a little more than a year ago sitting in a pickup outside of a club after I had played to basically no one and talking to my drummer and saying, 'Listen, I may have to quit because it's not paying my bills and I'm losing my house.' I lost my pickup. I didn't know what I was going to do. And him telling me, 'Dude, you can't do that,'" the singer said Tuesday during a post-finale press conference with his coach, Blake Shelton, and host Carson Daly.