Photo: Terror strikes Mumbai

AP Photo/Pravin Jain

A total of three bombs exploded in Mumbai during the evening rush hour today, killing 20 people and injuring 113, with officials expecting the numbers to rise. The explosions occurred in three busy areas of the city’s diamond district: Opera House, Dadar and Zaveri Bazaar (pictured above). This marks the second terror attack to rock the city of Mumbai in the past two-and-a-half years. Back in November 2008, Pakistani gunmen launched a dramatic terror attack that killed 164 people, including six American citizens.

Photo: Happy anniversary, Neptune

Neptune looking rather blue for its one-year (or 165-year) anniverary. Photo: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

The farthest true planet in our solar system is celebrating its big day today — one Neptunian year since it was discovered by astronomers — 165 years to Earthlings. NASA’s soon-to-be-retired Hubble Space Telescope took these photos to commemorate the day. Unfortunately, the weather report is going to be pretty cloudy for the next 40 years or so, until its seasons next change.

At least the gas-giant planet will have some company on this anniversary, since it’s always tagging along with Uranus and it has 13 known moons, four of them inside its rings.

Read All »

Photo: Cy Twombly dies at 83

Celebrated American painter Cy Twombly, photographed above at the the Louvre, whose large-scale paintings featuring scribbles, graffiti and unusual materials fetched millions at auction, has died at age 83 in Rome. Photo: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Photo: Bull dozing

People with their bodies painted red and black form the image of a dead bull to protest bullfights in Cali, Colombia, on Thursday. Photo: AP/Carlos Julio Martinez

Photo: Seeing smoke from space

Photo: NASA

The 93,000 acre wildfire in northern New Mexico is producing a thick funnel of smoke that can clearly be seen from space.  An astronaut aboard the International Space Station noticed the large cloud and took this picture, which shows the terrain more clearly than NASA’s satellite photos, the day after the fire began. The space station was 235 miles high at the time.

Though the fire is near the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which works with nuclear materials and other defense technology, it has not approached the facility or its storage units.  The fire continues to spread rapidly, consuming dry trees near the Santa Fe National Forest, which add to the broad plume of smoke.

Photo: Fun on the sun

Photo: NASA

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the sun unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down, looking as if it covered an area almost half the solar surface.

The radiation released from the blast on the surface of the sun released a firestorm of radiation on a level not seen since 2006. The coronal mass ejection moved toward Earth at 1,400 kilometers per second, but because of its angle, had relatively little effect on Earth.

Photo: Farewell, Rabbi

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish youths peer from a window as thousands gather next to the body of Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, Lithuanian-Orthodox leader and scholar, during his funeral Tuesday in Bnei Brak, Israel. Photo: AP/Ariel Schalit

Photos: Doggie face-off!

The contestant list was brimming with potential and past champions — Princess Abby, Squiggy and Pee Wee Martini to name a few.

In the end, though, there could be only one winner, and on Friday, they lined up to be judged. One wore dazzling feathers while others opted for more traditional attire. Some played to the crowd, while others almost peed on the judges. They came from all over to compete head to head for the title of World’s Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. Here are a few of this year’s contestants:

Ratdog. Photo: AP/Noah Berger

Ratdog, a 14-year-old Chihuahua mix, did not win. But he stuck his tongue out with the best of them.

Handsome Hector and Icky. Photo: AP/Noah Berger

Read All »

Photo: Rainbow state

The Empire State Building, already decked out in its rainbow finest this weekend for the annual Gay Pride events, became a Twitter sensation overnight as this (undated, but not recent) photo went viral in celebration of New York's passage of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

If you have some of the same Facebook friends I do, your news feed looked something like this at midnight: “New York!!” “NY, ya did good!” “Good job, NY” as if the state were a big, slow dog that had finally sauntered out from under the tree where it had been dozing and started to run. Yes, the state Senate finally ushered in a new era of equality, civil rights and really fun parties late last night by approving a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Republican-dominated Senate approved the bill 33-29, following on the heels of the Assembly, which OK’d the bill last week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had made the law his personal mission for months, rallying the Democratic senators around the cause and orchestrating the efforts of several gay rights advocacy groups. All but one Democratic senator supported the bill, while four Republicans backed it. Two years ago, the Democrat-controlled Senate resoundingly defeated a similar measure.

Read All »