#TBT: The Day the Music Died

Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

For Throwback Thursday, we’re going back to February 3, 1959, “The Day the Music Died,” when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, along with their pilot, were killed in a plane crash in Iowa. After the musicians endured numerous colds, flus and freezing bus rides while on tour, Buddy Holly decided […]

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know Downton Abbey?

Source: Flickr, bassijpkes

For the past six years, Downton Abbey fans, myself included, have followed the rising and falling fortunes of the Crawley family and their household staff, and we’ve been charmed, moved, shocked and saddened. In the final season, I’m hoping Bates and Anna finally have the child they so desire. Will Mary find love again? And […]

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#TBT: History of Billboard Hits Quiz

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The first Billboard music chart was published 80 years ago, in January 1936. A number of charts were consolidated, and the first Hot 100, which is still around today, appeared in 1958. The modern Hot 100 not only takes into account sales and radio play but has added digital downloads and streaming to the equation. The […]

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Top Picks: Jane Austen Screen Adaptations

three buttons: I heart Knightley, I heart Bingley and I heart Darcy

There are a couple of excellent excuses to celebrate Jane Austen this month! December marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma, and Jane Austen Day also falls in December. I'd like to toast Austen by recommending some of my favorite movies and television series based on her novels. The BBC has made many screen […]

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Caught Reading: Union Station

Source: lewolf011, Flickr

Holiday travel is in full swing, and we caught you reading some great books while waiting for your train at Union Station. You may have been on your daily commute home or on a long trip to visit family or friends, and you certainly have good taste in books! Humor is always a great antidote to […]

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Revisiting Wonderland

Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Lewis Carroll's Alice made a lasting impression on me. As a child, I was first fascinated by the Disney movie and later mesmerized by Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The books were full of whimsy, nonsense, fantastical creatures, and an inquisitive and precocious girl protagonist, which were […]

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Top Picks: Ray Charles

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To celebrate the 85th birth anniversary of American music icon Ray Charles, I’m picking my favorite Ray Charles recordings. The Genius of Ray Charles, released in 1959, was Charles’ sixth studio album. Although this album has been criticized for a number of reasons, it still has held up over the years, and Rolling Stone included […]

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#TBT: Jimi Hendrix

Source: dannypigart, Flickr

Jimi Hendrix had a short but remarkable career as a musician, and he was at the height of his career when he passed away in London from drug-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970. The Chicago Tribune's "Last Days of a Pop Idol" provides details about his final days. Hendrix had accomplished much during the previous […]

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The Suspect: 5 Articles About Robert Durst

jinx

Jinx, The - The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which aired on HBO earlier this year, will be released on DVD this month. You've probably heard of the chilling documentary mini-series even if you have not yet watched it. It’s a fascinating true-crime story with a bizarre real-life protagonist, Robert Durst, a suspect in the […]

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Thrillers Jaws and Psycho Celebrate Anniversaries

Source: wahlander, Flickr

It’s that time of year when studios release high-budget films with wide appeal in hopes of having the next summer blockbuster. And this year, two iconic summer films—both thrillers—are celebrating anniversaries: Jaws and Psycho. Jaws, arguably the first summer blockbuster in history, celebrates its 40th anniversary in June. Beachgoers of 1975 were probably less interested in taking […]

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