Yesterday, a 90 year tradition in Texas was marred by tragedy. Each year at Texas A & M University, a large tower of logs –typically well over 50 feet tall– is built to ignite in a bonfire prior to the school’s football game with arch-rival University of Texas. At least eleven students perished when the tower collapsed; two are still trapped. Monday would normally feature a pep rally at UT. This year, in a show of support, there will be a candle-light vigil instead. At Texas A & M, there was a memorial service at 7:00pm last night. Additional coverage: CNN, Bryan-College Station Eagle, DallasNews.com, Texas A & M.

On a more positive note, a tip of the hat to Ted Turner. The U.S. hasn’t paid it’s U.N. dues in years. Long enough that the Secretary General has been threatening to pull the U.S. seat on the Security Council. But, knowing the Congress, it was Turner’s money and the people he hired to work the issue –several former congressmen– that did the trick. Watch a little TNT for Ted. More coverage: Washington Post.

In another bit of good news, space.com reports that NASA, instead of taking the massive cut that appeared likely is only going to take the same 0.38% hit that most agencies are taking.