Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 2:58 pm
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.
In 1942, the first black recruits allowed in the Marines trained at a facility in North Carolina called Montford Point. They're being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. But at first, the U.S. didn't want them fighting. Host Michel Martin speaks with the head of the Montford Point Marines Association, and 90-year-old former Marine James Rudolf Carter.
Thursday's Latin Grammy Awards featured more than 6,000 entries across 46 categories. Puerto Rican rap duo Calle 13 won nine out of 10 nominations, and Shakira won "Person of the Year." Host Michel Martin discusses highlights with Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd, hosts of NPR Music's Alt-Latino podcast.