What do you do with 1,500 washing machines? ‘You tell me’

Salesman’s sample for the wood and brass washing machine known as ‘The Queen,’ manufactured by J.H. Knoll, Reading, Pa. Image courtesy of Showtime Auction Services and LiveAuctioneers.com Archive

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) – One of my pet peeves is how we so casually use the term “unbelievable!” as the catch-all for such amazing accomplishments as an NBA shooting guard draining an 18-foot fall-away jumper with a hand in the face.

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Deep origin of rare blue diamonds revealed in their flaws

Art deco natural fancy blue diamond and platinum ring, J.E. Caldwell & Co., which sold at auction for more than $1.4 million (hammer price) in 2013. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers archive

WASHINGTON (AP) – Blue diamonds – like the Smithsonian’s famous Hope diamond – are the rarest of all and how they formed more than a billion years ago is a bit of a mystery. Now scientists think they have a glimmer of an answer.

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Zsa Zsa and Elvis lived here and so can you, for $23.45M

The Bel Air home built by Howard Hughes and later home to Elvis Presley in the 1960s and Zsa Zsa Gabor from 1974 until her death in 2016. Image courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

LOS ANGELES – It doesn’t get much better than Zsa Zsa, Elvis and a party with The Beatles — one of the most storied celebrity homes in America is for sale at $23.45 million. The Bel Air home was built in 1955 by eccentric playboy, wealthy businessman and aviator Howard Hughes — romantic friend of Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn and several more Hollywood stars. It was later Elvis Presley’s home who entertained The Beatles there in 1965. Zsa Zsa Gabor bought it in 1974 and stayed until she died in 2016. Guests who have visited the property include Queen Elizabeth, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra. A house well known in the film industry, it was the location for the movies “Behind the Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, and in the Oscar-winning film “Argo,” starring Ben Affleck.

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All-star recalls glory days in women’s pro baseball

 

Programs from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Scheerer McCulloch Auctioneers, Inc.

MILLSTADT, Ill. (AP) – Barbara Hoffmann owns a DVD copy of A League of Their Own, but has yet to watch it from start to finish.

She played two seasons for the South Bend Blue Sox of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which inspired the 1992 movie, but even at age 87 still has too much competitive vigor to relive it as a spectator.

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Texas bluebonnet season means great time for painting

Julian Onderdonk (American, 1882-1922), ‘Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets,’ oil on canvas. Price realized: $437,000 in November 2015. Heritage Auctions image

HOUSTON (AP) – A sea of yellow wildflowers recently cast a magical glow upon the flat pastureland just east of the Brazos River at Highway 290, but a dose of reality awaited on the west side of the bridge, under the “Welcome to Washington County” sign that usually draws a crowd this time of year: no hill of bluebonnets.

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Nebraskan Aaron Gunn Pyle paintings hang in hometown library

Aaron Gunn Pyle (1903-1972), ‘The Horses,’ egg tempera on panel egg tempera on Masonite, 6.5 x 8.75 in. Price realized: $4,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers and Soulis Auctions

CHAPPELL, Neb. (AP) — One of the Nebraska panhandle’s best-kept secrets isn’t a secret at all. It’s hanging in plain sight on the walls of the Chappell Memorial Library and Art Gallery. The red brick building is unassuming but it is no ordinary public library.

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Agatha Christie lived through pain on the Orient Express

‘Murder On The Orient Express’ 1974, British Quad movie poster, based on the murder mystery by Agatha Christie, EMI, folded 30 x 40 in. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Ewbank’s

PARIS (AP) — Luxury travel meets murder.

Aboard the original Orient Express for the first time, Agatha Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard reminisced on how the Queen of Crime became enchanted with the fabled locomotive, and how its legendary route to the exotic east not only inspired one of her most famous novels, Murder on the Orient Express, but it defined her.

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Pre-Hispanic pieces adorn the pyramid-shape tomb in the garden at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City. Photo by Anagoria, taken Dec. 22, 2013. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

On the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera art trail in Mexico City

Frida Kahlo, 'Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,' Nikolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, the University of Texas. Accessed through Wikimedia Commons.

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954) painting titled ‘Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas y Colibri’ (‘Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird’) from the Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Fair use of low-resolution copyrighted image.

MEXICO CITY (AP) – With her unibrow, braided updo, colorful clothing and mustache, the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has become an idiosyncratic cult figure in the United States.

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Female pulp fiction illustrator getting her due

Gloria Stoll Karn, cover illustration for ‘Rangeland Romances,’ June 1949. Image courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

BOSTON (AP) — Gloria Stoll Karn nearly trashed her high school artwork back in the 1940s, figuring her art career was over before it even started. But thanks to a janitor with an artistic eye, she ended up smashing gender barriers instead.

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For winter doldrums: small decor changes wield big impact

NEW YORK – Holiday decorating season is long over, yet spring is still far off. It’s cold in much of the country, and still getting dark early. A lot of us could use some kind of visual pick-me-up.

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