NASA has updated its news on the pending descent of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and here's the headline: the satellite's re-entry has been pushed back. The UARS is now expected to plunge towards Earth late today or early Saturday, EDT.
The main drag on the satellite's speed - solar activity - is no longer the main reason why the spacecraft is slowing down. Its path, speed and spin are now so unpredictable that scientists say they cannot estimate when it will fall.
Lead singer of the fake rock band Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins, famously uttered these words in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap: "Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It's just not widely reported."
And so an obscure phenomenon exploded into pop culture's collective consciousness.
Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:48 am
The president of the Palestinian Authority handed United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon an application that asks the world body to recognize Palestine as a member state. The dramatic move caps months of diplomatic wrangling in which the United States and Israel tried to dissuade Mahmoud Abbas from reaching this point.
Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson made it official on Twitter, saying:
President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General.
Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:29 am
In two reports released today, regulators say the federal mortagage-financing giant Fannie Mae knew as early as 2006 that lawyers were illegally signing foreclosure documents, but it failed to stop the practice.
I'll never forget the taste of a particular glass of milk offered to me at my friend's house when we were in the fourth grade: Sour grass. After I tried it, my friend's hippie mom proudly informed me it was goat's milk. Gross, I thought.
I had a pretty typical East Coast 1980s childhood diet of sugary cereals and processed dinners, and so my palate was completely unprepared for the funky flavor of goat.
But now, some 30 years later, I've often pulled goat cheese out of the fridge to bolster a quick dinner or to serve unexpected visitors.
Deb Barth is raking leaves for Lesley Jones. But Barth isn't earning money for her yardwork, at least not in physical currency. She's earning "time dollars" — for every two hours she spends doing odd jobs, she'll earn a free visit with her doctor.
Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:53 am
The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.
There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."