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Archive for May, 2010

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove 

Okay, I don’t know about you, but I think this sounds like something out of a movie…

The Associated Press reports that famous paintings worth almost $613 million dollars were stolen out of the Paris Museum of Modern Art. The heist happened overnight last night and the police believe it was done by a highly sophisticated criminal or group of criminals.

The works of art were expertly removed from their frames, leaving nothing behind. The security cameras were disabled, but one video surveillance camera caught a lone individual on tape. That does not necessarily mean that he worked alone. He entered the premises by cutting through a padlock on a gate and breaking a window. 

Some of the paintings stolen were those of Picasso and Matisse. Here is the full video report from the Associated Press: 

The Museum will be closed until further notice so that police can conduct investigations. 

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Quite an interesting concept for today’s post…a book vending machine.

According to an article on Gizmodo, a German book publishing company, called Hamburger Automatenverlag,  has decided to turn a bunch of cigarette vending machines into those that will vend books instead. The article reports that the cigarette vending machines will be stocked with novels, travel guides, and poetry all written by authors local to the University of Hamburg area.

This is pretty much a genius idea. Not only is a college campus a great starting point for this concept, but it is also a way to turn an unhealthy addiction into a positive learning tool. Books definitely outdo cigarettes in my opinion.

The best part — all of the books inside the machines cost consumers a mere $5 each.

This idea has caught on in other countries as well. In Canada, they have the same general concept. All of those vending machines, which are supposedly priced at around $30,000 each, come with a secure credit card line so you don’t have to worry about having cash to purchase a book. Upgrade!

Maybe if this idea continues to spread, we could see some book vending machines in our country soon!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

We all know that the recent flooding in Nashville, Tennessee has been devastating to its residents. People have been underwater for days, scrounging to collect any belongings they can save. But how did high-priced items, like world-famous rock instruments, weather the storm?

Not too well, according to the Los Angeles Times. An instrument storage facility, called Soundcheck Nashville, was home to the musical equipment of nearly 1,000 performers. Some of those include country stars Keith Urban and Vince Gill, along with other classic rock gurus like Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend. Brad Paisley apparently lost all his equipment for his upcoming tour.

The storage facility sat underwater for nearly six days before anyone could try to recover the instruments.

The owner of the facility, Ben Jumper, claimed that all musicians were responsible for having their own insurance for each instrument kept there. However, his own flood insurance on the building was minimal. Many of these classic instruments have since crumbled and are in no way recoverable.

This is sad news for rock and roll history. When we lose some of our great musical artifacts, like a guitar once played by Johnny Cash, it’s hard not to think that a little piece of the music dies along with it.

However, all the musicians housing instruments at Soundcheck Nashville are being supportive of each other. Not only are they reaching out to help, but they are also lending out some of the instruments they have that were not housed in the facility. The American Federation of Musicians Union has since set up a donation fund to help out those musicians who can’t afford to replace their equipment.

It’s good to know that when something like this happens, there are so many people who want to help.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

“Give me sugar…in water.”

Remember that line? That big scary cockroach disguised as a human in the movie Men in Black sure did give me the willies, especially when all his fellow cockroaches came spilling out of the dumpster. Ew. The good news — we won’t have to deal with that guy again. The even better news — a third installment of Men in Black is set to be released in May of 2012.

Will Smith has just signed a contract to start production of the film. Rumor has it that most of the original cast and crew will be coming back for MIB III, as negotiations are in progress with Smith’s co-star, Tommy Lee Jones. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the movie will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

To me, it seems a little late to be releasing another sequel to the previous two. It was eight years ago that the last MIB came out. And if I remember correctly, it wasn’t received very well. Let’s hope the third romp with the aliens will really rock our solar system.

Oh, and did I mention it is going to be in 3D? This raises my expectations a little bit. When something goes 3D, I really want to see some great special effects..and of course, when aliens are involved, the creators of this film could really do some interesting stuff. I would like a close alien encounter, please.

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