Area Life

Books which have inspired literary classics

NEW YORK — Behind every great book are the books which influenced it. The “micro-learning” app and platform blinkist.com has been compiling literary sources for such classics as “A Clockwork Orange,” “Oliver Twist” and “1984.” Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” was inspired ...

Documentary follows Israeli family grappling with transition

NEW YORK — “Family in Transition” is a new documentary that tells the story of an Israeli family adjusting to their husband and father transitioning into a woman. Set in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya and shot over two years, the film follows husband and wife Amit and Galilt ...

A ‘festive holiday experience’

More than 50 vendors will be helping area residents find unique and personal gifts for those holiday shopping at the 2018 Ho Ho Expo at The Grand Hotel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 25. “The Altoona Grand is the perfect venue to offer a holiday shopping experience,” said Candy Holliday, ...

‘Picasso’ found in Romania appears to be hoax

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian novelist who thought she had found a painting by Pablo Picasso stolen from a museum in the Netherlands six years ago seems to have been the victim of a prank. Mira Feticu said an anonymous tip led her to the picture — supposedly Picasso’s Tete ...

Keita makes persecution of fellow albinos visible

BAMAKO, Mali — Singer-songwriter and albino activist Salif Keita assembled an international forum on protecting albino people in Africa and dedicated a benefit concert to a 5-year-old albino girl who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mali in May. More than 100 politicians, diplomats and ...

‘Streamliner’: Altoonan pens story of industrial designer Raymond Loewy

John Wall, a former Altoona Mirror writer and editor, has published a non-fiction book about famed futuristic industrial designer Raymond Loewy, best-known for designing tudebaker cars, Greyhound buses, Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives and more. While Loewy may not be known by name, the ...

War posters discovered at New Hampshire

ROCHESTER, N.H. — One poster in a recently discovered trove vilifies the Nazis with a sword through a Bible and the words “This Is the Enemy.” Some encouraged self-sacrifice by promoting recycling, planting gardens and buying potatoes. Still others warned that loose lips can literally ...

Motown style

Christmas is around the corner. People are busy decorating their homes with festive lights and stores are full of merry displays. The telltale sign that the holiday is quickly approaching is the music — radios are blasting holiday songs and folks can be heard singing favorite Christmas tunes. ...

Bublé back with ‘love’ album after 2-year break

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Michael Bublé says though his cancer-stricken son aspires to have superhuman powers, he’s already a superhero in his eyes. “He loves Spiderman, he loves Superman, but they are not real,” Bublé said of 5-year-old Noah. “I tell him all the time that he’s ...

A chance to give back

Bellwood mom Katie Grager proudly wears a unique tattoo on her right, upper arm — her son Cayden’s tiny footprints taken upon his premature birth at 29 weeks weighing 2 pounds, 7 ounces. Today, Katie, her husband Allen and Cayden are giving back to the March of Dimes as this year’s ...

ASO wows crowd with soaring songs

The Altoona Symphony Orchestra assembled in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for its second concert of their season last Saturday. Conductor Teresa Cheung presented a refined program of music with references to birds and wings, as harp music is often associated with winged angels. The ...

Group calls for halt of boat tours

SEATTLE — A Washington state task force on critically endangered Northwest orcas wants to temporarily suspend whale-watching boat tours focused on those whales, one of three dozen recommendations to save a population that is at its lowest in over 30 years. The group advising Gov. Jay Inslee ...

Comic book legend Lee dies at 95

LOS ANGELES — Stan Lee, the creative dynamo who revolutionized the comic book and helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, died Monday. He was 95. Lee was declared dead at Cedars-Sinai ...

Choosing the perfect sofa for your space

Ask interior designers what the most important element in a room is and many will say that — after wall color — it’s the sofa. So how do you choose this crucial piece of furniture? What about materials, arm styles and the all-important question of how to position the sofa in the ...

Captivating theater

Musical theater — especially Stephen Sondheim’s musicals — captivated Jonathan O’Harrow since childhood which makes his directing of Altoona Community Theatre’s presentation of “A Little Night Music,” Nov. 15 to 18 “a labor of love.” O’Harrow, 40, of Altoona has directed ...

‘A force of nature’

Pastor Marlys Hershberger says she has had many adventures in her life and now she is ready to take on a new one. She is retiring from the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren and will preach her last sermon there on Sunday. She said when she came to the church 15 years ago, she found it ...

The very best of gifts

My husband, Bob, and I had an interesting conversation the other morning. We were on our way to church, and as we drove, we noticed that the streets in our town were being decorated for Christmas. Big trucks were using cranes to heft shiny stars, candles and garland high up into the sunny ...