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Morning, all. Even though the weather’s not obeying (seriously, what’s with all these days in the mid-90s after last week’s glorious temps?), fall is in the air—I can feel it. The city’s arts scene is waking up again after a sleepy August. There are some great talks next week at Busboys & Poets and the Smithsonian, the Page to Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center this weekend… it’s about time!

It’s hard to discuss anything today without first addressing yesterday’s hostage standoff at the Discovery Channel. Twitter was definitely the place to be for all the latest breaking news. I know it’s not something to joke about, but @logankyoung had one of the funniest tweets of the day: “Someone was REALLY upset about Shark Week ending!” Thank goodness all three hostages are safe now.

Speaking of politically uncorrect tweets, in response to a question about the Ground Zero mosque controversy, John Cusack tweeted on Sunday, “I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES [OF DICK] ARMEY AND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS.” Needless to say, Fox is not amused. Oh, John, you’re just reaffirming my teenage belief that you are the thinking woman’s sex symbol.

Heinz Fricke, music director of the Washington National Opera, is retiring down after 18 years. The news comes as little surprise: because of his health problems, the WNO has been searching for his replacement since 2008. I’ll admit it: I’m completely ignorant about opera. But I’m definitely looking forward to checking free annual event, Opera in the Outfield. This year’s production is Verdi’s A Masked Ball.

H&M’s collaborated with the likes of Sonia Rykiel and Stella McCartney; their next design-house partnership is with Lanvin. Creative director Alber Elbaz, known for clothes that understatedly—and sometimes quirkily—luxurious, is changing his tune after previously saying he’d never design a mass market collection. Look for the line to hit select stores worldwide on Nov. 23—and the word “select” is no joke. Out of the chain’s 2,000 or so outlets, the collection will only arrive at 200.

Image: http://creativeimpulsesandoverblownoratory.blogspot.com/