Russians are feeling pretty gloomy after spending days trying to contact a spacecraft aimlessly orbiting Earth.
The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was destined for one of Mars' moons. As we reported earlier this week, it was supposed to scoop up some rocks and return home with its specimens, but one of its boosters failed to ignite and now it's stuck.
Metaphors don't come balder than the one at the center of Lars von Trier's Melancholia. It's both the emotional state of the protagonist Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst, and also the name of a small planet on what might be a collision course with Earth. Actually, it does strike Earth in a lyrical, eight-minute, slow-motion prelude, but there's no way to know if that's real or a dream. Of course, the whole film can be taken as a dream, a bad but gorgeous one scored to the same few bars of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.
Improvements in medical care and equipment mean fewer troops are dying on the battlefield. But more troops are returning home severely wounded, with injuries that require lifelong care and cost millions of dollars in medical bills.
The Bay State Winds, the clarinet quartet of the Air Force Band of Liberty, plays music ranging from patriotic songs to Bach to Broadway. The three clarinetists and one bass clarinetist who make up the group routinely play for community members and troops both stateside and overseas.
"Volatile" is one of the words that probably best describes the race for the Republican presidential nomination and a new CBS News poll captures that flux. The national poll indicates a three-way tie, showing Herman Cain at 18 percent and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at 15 percent each.
That's essentially a tie since the margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
"My heart aches for the victims and the families and my mind searches for answers," Penn State University's interim president, Rodney Erickson, just said at the opening of a meeting of the school's board of trustees.