Arts & Culture

Britney Spears' recently named lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, promised when he came aboard on July 14 that he would act speedily towards setting a new course for the pop icon and her conservatorship. On Monday, he filed a petition on Spears' behalf with Los Angeles Superior Court asking for Jason Rubin to be named as the new conservator of her estate. If approved, Rubin would replace Spears' father, Jamie Spears, who has controlled her money and financial decisions since 2008. Rosengart has also filed a petition asking for Jamie Spears to be removed from his position.


TOKYO — If you've been tuning in to Olympic events, you might have noticed that every medal winner carries a small bouquet of yellow, green and deep-blue flowers tied with a blue bow.

But they're more than just flowers. The elements of the bouquet carry a deeper story, and they are years in the making.

They're meant to symbolize Japan rising from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which left about 20,000 people dead or missing. Homes were swept away and whole areas were deserted.

Plenty of mere mortals want to host Jeopardy!

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, for example. And actor Mayim Bialik. And Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings. All intelligent, charismatic ... and in the running as the legendary trivia show tries out hopefuls before naming a new host.

But they're not LeVar Burton.

In a romance novel, there's nothing like an element of danger and mystery to make the heart beat faster and the pages turn quickly. These three novels feature heroes in danger from mysterious assassins, deranged shooters, and angry airship pirates — and the heroines who protect them. There's one danger that can't be avoided, though: losing their hearts.

It used to be that friends and family laughed when Leanne Simmons told them about her #FreeBritney activism. They'd tell her to grow up, that she wasn't 9 years old anymore. Why would anyone care so much about Britney Spears, anyway? Embarrassed, Simmons would find comfort online, talking on Britney message boards and to friends on social media.


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The places we live forever live within us. A new student film called "Anita" explores that notion in India.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (Singing in non-English language).

The question popped into my head when I first started thinking about Celestia, Manuele Fior's new cli-fi graphic novel: Does anybody actually read cli-fi? (That's "climate fiction," the trendy-since-2013 genre whose authors delve into the narrative and thematic implications of the Earth boiling and killing us all.) Confession: I don't.

Omar El Akkad's knows about the cultural, historical, and political forces that drive countless people to migrate illegally, but in What Strange Paradise, he leaves those things aside and focuses instead on telling the stories of the people at the core of the migrant crisis. This book is hard to read because it brings to the page the fear, suffering, language barriers, injustices, and risk of death that come with leaving home for some other hostile place, but it's also a pleasure to read, because hope and kindness light the story in unexpected ways.

Would you buy a headband from this woman? Lee Miller took the picture for a fashion article. A pretty woman could sell lots of headbands to avid photo magazine readers. And Lee Miller (1907-1977) was certainly pretty.

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JUDY GARLAND: (As Dorothy) But anyway, Toto, we're home - home. And this is my room. And you're all here. And I'm not going to leave here ever, ever again because I love you all.


Because the world is vast, and the internet is deep, we can take certain things for granted, among them: There exist, in surprising numbers, Masters of the Universe purists.

These are individuals who love the Filmation animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which ran in syndication in the 1980s, with a fierce ardor unsullied by irony, or cynicism, or, you know, taste.

From Animal Farm to Watership Down, a small yet impactful group of novels has explored the ironies and ideals of being human, by filtering those qualities through the unlikely lens of talking animals.

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to have evidence of what they say are more alleged, but uncharged, crimes committed by R&B singer R. Kelly admitted at his upcoming trial in New York. The allegations include the abuse of teenage girls and women dating as far back as 1991, the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy, physical abuse, hush payments and bribery.