A dispute over the names of two new moons of Pluto is highlighting a broader battle over who names what in our solar system and beyond. On one side is the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a venerable consortium of astronomers who have set the naming rules for the better part of a century. On the other side, a growing number of astronomers who feel the IAU has unfairly designated itself as the intergalactic naming police.
The wildfire season is expected to intensify and firefighters are facing it with decreasing resources. Federal budget cuts, including the sequester, mean fewer firefighters, less equipment and less spending on prevention.
It's been four weeks since Pakistan's new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the oath of office. In that time, Pakistan has suffered a wave of militant attacks, an economically crippling electricity crisis, and now a deadly drone strike. Many Pakistanis deeply resent U.S. drone attacks against targets in their tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Recently, there's been a lull in these, but overnight a fresh missile strike killed at least 17 people.
Hear JoAnn Falletta's Discussion With Robert Siegel
Our country's culture is a vast conglomeration of more than 200 years of influences from all over the world. We have taken what began as an extraordinary European tradition and expanded that legacy on American soil. We have added our essential egalitarianism, our love of experimentation, our inclusiveness and our boldness to the very form of the symphony. Americans have not been bound by one definition of the symphony, and composers have applied that formal name to pieces of varying length, structure and content.