'Mad Max' to return

Los Angeles - Mel Gibson will earn almost $25 million to return to the "Mad Max" franchise for a fourth time, Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety said in its Tuesday edition.

The $104 million project, called "Fury Road," will start shooting next May in Australia. The project is set up at Twentieth Century Fox.

The "Mad Max" franchise kicked off in 1979, and was followed in 1981 by "Mad Max: The Road Warrior" and 1985 by "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome." Daily Variety noted that for all their iconic value, the trilogy grossed only $69 million at the U.S. box office.

An unforgettable honor

Los Angeles - Singer Natalie Cole and her sister, Carole, took part in a ceremony to rename a post office for their father, Nat King Cole, in the neighborhood where he resettled his family in 1948.

The former Oakwood Postal Station, serving an area of small shops, apartments and upscale homes of Hancock Park, became the Nat King Cole Post Office under an act of Congress signed by President Bush Oct. 30.

Cole previously was honored with a Postal Service stamp.

Nat King Cole died in 1965 at 47. His hits include "The Christmas Song," "Nature Boy" and "Unforgettable."

Imagination knows no bounds

Tulsa, Okla. - Joyce Carol Oates says she's always looking for something that will trigger her imagination.

"Being a writer is liberating," says Oates, who's written nearly 100 books. "You can write about horrible things you would never do or would never confess to, or you can write about the most wonderful things you can imagine."

The 64-year-old author received the 2002 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Saturday night from the Tulsa Library Trust. Past winners include Norman Mailer, Margaret Atwood, Larry McMurtry, William Kennedy, Eudora Welty and Toni Morrison.

Oates said selection by Oprah Winfrey's book club of her "We Were the Mulvaneys" novel in 2001 "really exposed me to a larger, commercial audience."

Wright lamp sets auction record

New York - A leaded glass lamp designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has been sold for just under $2 million, a record for a Wright piece at auction, Christie's auction house said.

The lamp, created around 1903 for the Susan Lawrence Dana House in Springfield, Ill., was acquired Tuesday for $1,989,500 by a telephone bidder who wished to remain anonymous.

The double-pedestal lamp, designed in shades of green, yellow and amber, was one of a pair of lamps that stood in the library of the house, which was also designed by Wright.

The previous world auction record for a work by Wright was $704,000 for a lamp sold by Christie's in 1988.


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