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Entertainment gift guide: Books, Blu-rays and more



books present

Give the gift of entertainment this season, with a book, movie or album that is perfectly suited to your loved ones’ tastes. Best part? These gifts are readily available all around town in big box stores, independent mom-and-pop shops and online. Here are some picks for those final gifts.
‘Star Trek Discovery: Season 1’

‘The Orville: The Complete First Season’

For the sci-fi fan in your life, there’s a couple of strong options. The new streaming “Star Trek” series is now available in a physical copy, as is Seth MacFarlane’s underrated homage to “Next Generation.” “Discovery” is a very serious, modern take on the franchise, while “Orville” is a sillier take, though still grounded in serious “Trek” tropes. (“Trek: Blu-ray, $50.99; DVD, $41.99; “Orville,” DVD, $29.99)
‘Dungeons and Dragons: Art and Arcana — A Visual History’

In a world where you can now wear your geek cred on your sleeve, this massive tome is the perfect coffee table book for your favorite fantasy fan. Clocking in at nearly 450 pages, this whopper chronicles the game’s history with hundreds of interviews, photos, artwork and more. ($50)
‘Sid Caesar: The Works’

If you know someone who is already a fan of the great Sid Caesar, this is a no brainer, but for anyone who loves comedy, this is a history less on the early days of television humor, with skits, shows and more from the seminal funny man. Keep an eye open for a slew of comedy icons, like Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Imogene Coca, Nanette Fabreay, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart, to name a few. (DVD, $49.99)

‘Mission: Impossible — 6 Movie Collection’

For the action junkie, this set includes all of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” movies, including the most recent, “Fallout.” (Blu-ray, $59.99; 4K, $125.99)
‘The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together’

Any film buff in need of a gift will likely savor this expansive look into the catalog of perhaps our greatest living filmmakers, with interviews, critiques and more. Written by film critic Adam Nayman. ($40)

‘Springsteen on Broadway’

Whether or not you were able to see Bruce Springsteen’s performance on Broadway, this complete live performance is a must-own, featuring some of his most iconic songs as well as the stories behind the tunes. (CD, $18.99)
‘Mary Poppins Returns Soundtrack’

Featuring songs composed by Tony Award-winner Marc Shaiman (“Broadway’s “Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can), this soundtrack features some soon-to-be favorite tracks from this sequel, not to mention vocal performances by Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Broadway’s favorite son, Lin-Manuel Miranda. ($13.99)


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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