Travel: In the high mountains of Sicily, a quieter and wilder world

Goetze 1801 map of Sicily and Malta. Gangi is located in far north-central Sicily. Image courtesy of Jasper52

GANGI, Sicily (AP) – Far from the packed beaches of Sicily’s busy coastlines, there’s a quieter and wilder world in its high mountains.

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Quackarazzi: Mandarin duck holds NYC in its spell

Central Park’s newly famous Mandarin duck, known to some as Mandarin Patinkin. Image courtesy of

NEW YORK (AP) – It took just days for the brightly colored Mandarin duck that appeared suddenly in a Central Park pond to turn both New Yorkers and visitors into a new gaggle: the quackarazzi.

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Elder Bushes are gone but family’s Maine retreat to stay alive

Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Photo by Zollernalb, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) – “Poppy” and “Bar” are gone, but the passing of George H. W. and Barbara Bush won’t mean an end to children’s laughter, splashing in the pool, barking dogs or clinking horseshoes at the family’s property on the Maine coast.

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A huge array of rustic antiques shown by Cherry Gallery of Damariscotta, Maine. Photo copyright Catherine Saunders-Watson.

NHADA announces 2019 Board, next show dates

A huge array of rustic antiques shown by Cherry Gallery of Damariscotta, Maine. Photo copyright Catherine Saunders-Watson.

A display of rustic antiques at a past NHADA antiques show. Photo copyright Catherine Saunders-Watson.

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Antiques Dealers Association held its annual meeting on November 15, 2018 at the Common Man restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire. After a buffet luncheon, speaker Cliff Wallach gave a presentation about the company Jasper 52, which is a marketing platform for weekly antique auctions.

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Liz Weston: 5 guidelines for holiday tipping

A tip left in a Spanish restaurant. Image by Adeeto, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

NEW YORK – Holiday tips are a way to thank the people who make your life easier. So why is it so hard to figure out whom to tip and how much? Guides published by etiquette experts don’t always agree on what’s appropriate. What people actually do is another matter altogether.

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Wildlife Trafficking Alliance urges use of Tiger Stamps for holiday postage

Save Vanishing Species Tiger Stamps. USPS image

NEW YORK – The Save Vanishing Species stamps sold by the US Postal Service are administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and provide funding for projects to conserve endangered species in the wild. The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance and Association of Zoos & Aquariums are urging consumers to purchase the stamps for their holiday mailing needs.

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So-called haunted hotel in West Texas draws Halloween crowds

A room inside the Olde Park Hotel in Ballinger, Texas. Image courtesy of Olde Park Hotel, Facebook

BALLINGER, Texas (AP) – The activity never stops at the Olde Park Hotel in Ballinger. From full-body apparitions to cold spots, this century-old hotel is a hot spot for the paranormal.

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Renowned planetarium screens Mars film to celebrate 60th year

True-color image of Mars as taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft in 2007. Image courtesy of European Space Agency & Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research for OSIRIS Team, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO license

BOSTON (AP) – A renowned Boston planetarium is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a new film that’s out of this world.

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LiveAuctioneers named one of NY’s ‘Best Places to Work’ for 3rd straight year 

In an example of unity and social consciousness, LiveAuctioneers team members from across the United States donated toward a stockpile of everyday necessities most needed by the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The company matched those purchases dollar for dollar. Some of LiveAuctioneers’ Manhattan-based team members are shown here with donated goods.

NEW YORK – LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online platform for auctions of fine art, antiques and premium-quality collectibles, has been named “One of the Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business for 2018. It is the third consecutive year that LiveAuctioneers has been selected for the coveted honor.

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Christie’s to auction 19-carat Pink Legacy diamond

The Pink Legacy diamond, weighing nearly 19 carats, to be auctioned on Nov. 13, 2018. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2018

GENEVA – On November 13, Christie’s Geneva will present “The Pink Legacy,” the largest and finest fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction by the company. Weighing just under 19 carats (18.96 carats), this exceptional rectangular-cut gem will lead Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction, held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. The incomparable pink diamond has descended from the Oppenheimer Family and is estimated at US $30 to $50 million.

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