Commentator Dennis O'Toole is a writer and improv performer from Chicago.
Today, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that expansion in the universe is speeding up. That's great news for me, since I had Riess and Perlmutter in my fantasy league.
Honestly, I could have gotten Schmidt too, but I drafted Nathan Seiberg, mainly because he's worked with both supersymmetric gauge theories and with discrete light-cone quantization. That was a hedge.
<p>In Tripoli, Libya, women celebrate the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and call for a strengthening of women's rights, Sept. 2. After playing large but largely unsung roles during the uprising, women are now seeking a greater political role.</p>
Credit Alexandre Meneghini / AP
<p>A woman flashes the victory sign with the colors of Libya's new flag on her fingers as demonstrators rallied in support of the Transitional National Council in Tripoli on Monday. Women are seeking an expanded role following Libya's revolution.</p>
Credit Karim Sahib / AFP/Getty Images
One recent day in Tripoli, hundreds of people strolled through a charity fundraiser organized by the women in Libya's capital city.
Ladies sold baked goods and handicrafts in rows of stalls. For the kids, there was a moon bounce and face painting. There was even a rock band that could use some practice.
It was a lot like charity bazaars in towns across the U.S., with a couple of notable exceptions: most of the women wore headscarves and among the more popular items for sale were hand-knitted versions of the Libyan flag.
<p>Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses a meeting of the Federation of German Industry in Berlin, Sept. 27. He is the son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, but his critics say he is betraying the work of his father, who built up the Greek welfare state.</p>
Credit John MacDougall / AFP/Getty Images
<p>A poster depicts Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou as an American puppet. The words on the hand hitting Papandreou's face are "never again".</p>
Credit Sylvia Poggioli / NPR
Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou, who was born and raised in the U.S., belongs to Greece's most important political dynasty — he's the son and grandson of prime ministers.
And yet just two years after he led the Socialist party to victory, his popularity has plummeted, his debt-stricken country is at the heart of the eurozone crisis and he faces the daunting task of dismantling the generous welfare state his father created.
You think your job is tough? Some scientists examined sewage from Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa in a hunt for unknown viruses.
They found scads. How many? At least 43,381.
To put that number into perspective, consider that up to now scientists have charted only about 3,000 viruses. And among the known viruses found in the sewage samples, only 17 were bugs that cause human disease — things like the common cold virus, diarrhea-causing Norwalk virus and human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
<p>Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone.</p>
Credit Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
Today was widely expected to bring the announcement of the iPhone 5 — maybe with a bigger screen, a different home button, or a differently shaped case — at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.
That's not to say Apple didn't say anything of note at its rather lengthy presentation. Not at all. But the big game-changing piece of new hardware didn't come to pass. Aficionados waited, wondering and chattering on liveblogs and on Twitter to see if it would come at the end in Apple's traditional "one more thing" fashion.