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An Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker behind “American Factory” whose films explored themes of race, class and gender, Julia Reicher has died at 76. Her family said through a representative that she died Thursday night in Ohio from cancer. Often called the “godmother of American independent documentaries,” Reichart told the stories of ordinary Americans, from autoworkers dealing with plant closures and foreign investors, to communists and female labor activists in the 1930s. In her 50 years of filmmaking, Reichert won two Primetime Emmy Awards and was nominated for four Oscars, winning one.

Time to update that dusty old holiday playlist with some new offerings that will appeal to everyone at the table. The Associated Press reviews a roundup of albums of new Christmas — and  Hanukkah — music from Alicia Keys, Chris Isaak, Pentatonix, Backstreet Boys and more. Reviewer Martina Inchingolo says Alicia Keys' album is “cheeky and cozy" and Armstrong's “Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule” is the best Christmas present for his fans. Reviewer Scott Stroud said Isaak brings the rockabilly to Christmas classics. Unwrap a new record that you'll be thankful for.

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Believe it or not, an iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is closing soon. The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum will close on Dec. 31 after more than 26 years of tempting Boardwalk strollers with oddities including shrunken heads, mutant animals and models of unbelievably tall or short humans. The building that houses the museum is an instantly recognizable feature of the Boardwalk. It is designed with a giant globe that appears to have smashed into the front of the building and wedged part of the way inside it. It became popular with families looking for non-gambling entertainment, gamblers taking a break from the action, and curious passersby.

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If you’ve ever had trouble solving a Rubik’s Cube, a good piece of advice is to break it down into steps. It’s worth a shot: That advice is from the man who made it. Ernő Rubik invented the cube in 1974 and has seen his color-matching puzzle go from a classroom teaching tool in Hungary to a worldwide phenomenon with over 450 million cubes sold and a mini-empire of related toys. The latest brain-teaser is called the Phantom, which takes the 3x3 original cube and adds a memory test: Using thermochromic technology, the tiles revert to black unless the heat of the user’s hand keeps them visible.

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