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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & Worse Than Azkaban & r & & r & There's a group within the Vatican that oversees the absolution of sin. It's called (we are not making this up) the Apostolic Penitentiary. This week, the A.P. added several more sins to Catholics' already lengthy list of damnable offenses. Drugs, pollution and genetic modification are now among the mortal sins -- which means that if you hooch up while your company is creating GM food and befouling our resources, then you are now officially in a whole lot of hot water with the Catholic Church.

Orchestral Horizon

Next February marks the Abe Lincoln bicentennial, and the Spokane Symphony's 2008-09 schedule will tie into the national celebration with Thomas Hampson singing in the world premiere of Letters from Lincoln (for baritone and orchestra) by Michael Daugherty (Metropolis Symphony). James Galway will be here two weeks later, while the pops series features Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and something called Cirque de la Symphonie. Two afternoon family concerts will have Halloween and Western themes, and a half-dozen standard-repertoire symphonies (including Beethoven's Ninth) pepper the Classics series. Visit

Do Your Movie Homework

The 1941 film of The Maltese Falcon is actually a remake. The 1931 original will be shown on Friday, March 14, at 7 pm at the MAC, with a discussion by three talking heads to follow. You'll witness an entirely different, smiley-faced playboy take on the Sam Spade character and a fat man who isn't really fat. The camera's really static too. Call 456-3931.

Body Painting 101

Great win the other night for the Whitworth hoop men to get into the D3 Sweet 16, with the maniacs in the student section cheering them on. Now at Whitworth's current tuition rate (and figuring on 226 days per academic year, including weekends), parents are spending just over $7 for their student's every waking hour on campus. That's $14 the parents shelled out just so Pirate Johnny could strip down to gym shorts and slather red and black paint all over his torso and hair. We particularly liked the guy with the cross tat and butt crack.

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