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Houston museum apologizes for questionable email subject line

A Houston museum issued a public apology for using a subject line that could be construed as racially offensive, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science used the term “Party with spooks” in the subject line of its bi-weekly electronic newsletter, the newspaper reported.

While the word "spook" is a synonym for "ghost," it is also a derogatory slur for black Americans.

"It's a tie to our annual Halloween party, which we've been doing for 10 years,” museum president Joel Bartsch told the Chronicle. “The word was meant to be a riff on the word spooky. That was the intention."

Bartsch said that when his employees saw the subject line, they addressed it by sending an explanation, the newspaper reported.

"Internal eyes noticed the subject line directly after it was sent,” Bartsch told the newspaper. 

The explanation reads:

"HMNS is committed to diversity and inclusion. We deeply regret that the subject line in this newsletter included a word with an offensive connotation, and sincerely apologize to everyone who received it. We are revisiting our internal policies and editorial review procedures to ensure this does not happen again."

No place like home: Stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers recovered

For 13 years, one of the most famous pairs of shoes were missing, stolen from a museum that honored actress Judy Garland, but finally the FBI has cracked the case and announced that the ruby slippers Garland wore as she portrayed Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” have been found. 

The red sequin-covered heels from the iconic movie were stolen on Aug. 28, 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, The New York Times reported.

There was no security camera video of the heist and whomever stole the shoes left no fingerprints and few clues. 

The Plexiglass box that held the shoes was smashed and nothing was left except for a single red sequin.

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The FBI made the announcement Tuesday that the shoes were recovered, but did not say who was responsible for taking them, The Times reported.

The shoes were a focus of not only federal law enforcement, but also local police and private investigators. There was a $1 million reward for finding the location of the shoes. The reward expired after 10 years, ABC News reported.

They were on loan to the museum, owned by a collector in North Hollywood, California. Michael Shaw bought the shoes in 1970 for $2,000 from Kent Warner, a costumer who found them at an MGM movie lot, The Times reported

Shaw also owned Dorothy’s dress, the hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West and a Munchkin outfit. The museum wasn’t the only time the shoes were lent out for display. Shaw would allow other museums display them for a fee of several thousand dollars, which would be donated to children’s charities.

The shoes were insured for $1 million, Newsweek reported in 2015.

An insurance company paid Shaw $800,000 and is the official owner of the shoes, The Times reported

Garland wore several different pairs during the filming of the 1939 movie.

One pair is in the possession of the Smithsonian American History Museum and are on display there. 

Another pair is jointly owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg and is in the collection at the Academy Museum of Motion PicturesABC News reported.

 

More dates announced for Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ tour

Taylor Swift is headed across the world as part of her “Reputation” tour.

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Tickets for the North American leg of the tour go on sale Dec. 13.

Fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the public sale date in North America via Taylor Swift Tix powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan, according to a news release.

Shows in Australia and New Zealand have been added to previously announced dates.

General ticketing and sale information is currently available at TaylorSwift.com.

Here are the dates and cities that have been announced so far: 

5/8 -- University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

5/12 -- Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California

5/19 -- Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

5/22 -- CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

5/25 -- Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

6/2 -- Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

6/30 -- Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky

7/7 -- Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

7/10 -- FedEx Field, Washington, D.C.

7/14 -- Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7/17 -- First Energy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

7/21 -- MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

7/28 -- Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

8/4 -- Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

8/7 -- Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

8/11 -- Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

8/14 -- Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

8/18 -- Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida

8/25 -- Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee

8/28 -- Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

9/1 -- U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

9/8 -- Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

9/15 -- Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

9/18 -- The Dome at America’s Center, St. Louis, Missouri

9/22 -- Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

9/29 -- NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

10/6 -- AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

10/19 -- Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia

10/26 -- Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia

11/2 -- ANZ Stadium. Sydney Olympic Park Australia

11/6 --The Gabba, Brisbane, Australia

11/9 -- Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland New Zealand

Man's comment card echoes thoughts of many at art museum

For some, a trip to the art museum means and experience filled with wonder and majesty. For others, it is the most boring way to spend a day, and that's the sentiment that one man expressed on a comment card of a London-area museum.

Reddit user mar480 posted an image of a comment card he found at the Tate Modern in London, which read, "My wife made me come here, and I'm not convinced this isn't a joke."

Other Reddit users chimed in with experiences of their own at art museums.

"When I was in the Saatchi Gallery a few months back, there was one exhibit which was literally just boxes and ladders laid out to look like it was an exhibit, which was waiting to be put together," Reddit user Gisschace wrote. "I am pretty sure the artist was taking the (expletive) with that one."

Another user said that the user should "frame the note, and boom, you got yourself another piece of modern art!"

Not all users were against the piece.

One man wrote that "some people would argue that since it provoked a reaction of emotion," -- even though negative -- "it must be good art."

Read more at Reddit.

Comment card at the Tate Modern today

Country music legend Merle Haggard dies at age 79

Country music legend Merle Haggard has died at age 79.

He died on his birthday.

Haggard had been in ill health recently and had to cancel concert dates while he battled pneumonia.

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The Bakersfield Californian confirmed the news.

>>Willie Nelson reacts to Merle Haggard's death

Fans took to social media to remember Haggard, who was known as the "poet of the common man" because of his dedication to writing songs for and about the working class.

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DNA tests could identify Mona Lisa

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For centuries, she's been smiling at us. Maybe thinking, 'you have no idea who I am'?

Mona Lisa. Well, researchers trying to identify the woman who modeled for Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting may have come across a critical clue. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Musee du Louvre)

Fox News reports researchers have started DNA tests on a skeleton found in a church in Florence, Italy. 

What they're trying to do is link the skeleton to other recently discovered bones — bones believed to be belong to the model's descendants. 

This is all based on the theory that the model for Mona Lisa was Lisa Gherardini, a noblewoman who lived near da Vinci. (Via euronews)

>> Read more trending stories  

And as The Wall Street Journal reports, if the DNA tests are positive, if this skeleton is Gherardini, the researchers plan to make a computer-generated reconstruction of her face.

And that could solve an age-old mystery. Who is the woman behind the smile? The DNA results are expected by May or June. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Musee du Louvre)

Still, some speculate da Vinci could have used several models over a period of years for the painting. In which case — might need to get Dan Brown on the phone or something.

See more at newsy.com.  

ABBA Museum opening

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