It's easy to giggle at the hero of Jeff Nichols' second feature, Take Shelter. Michael Shannon is Curtis, a crew chief for an Ohio sand-mining company who's ravaged by apocalyptic visions and nightmares. He's wiggy to start with and increasingly more unhinged, on a switchback track to madness that threatens to devastate his family. Curtis sees funnel clouds, locusts, even people staggering through the night like zombies. He knows it might all be in his head: His mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at about the same age he is now. But in the end, he follows his dreams.
It's been four years since Leslie Feist released "1234," the career-making single that also became a testament to the power of a still-nascent YouTube. Feist, who performs under her last name, took some time off from performing after that surge in popularity. But she'll return next week with Metals, her first new album since 2007.
It was a sports rivalry gone too far: You may remember that in February of this year, Auburn University football fans received some heady news.
Their beloved 130-year-old oak trees, which for years fans toilet papered to celebrate sports victories, had been poisoned with a herbicide that would kill them slowly. Spike 80DF disrupts a tree's photosynthesis process and in a painstaking process, it produces fewer leaves in each shoot until the entire tree is dead.
Right now, armies of marketers, pollsters and social scientists are trying to figure out what Americans are thinking about — issues like global warming or Lady Gaga's latest outfit. And surveys are only so good: It's hard to get a big enough sample to be sure of the results. That's particularly vexing for social scientists who want a high standard of accuracy.