Ah, Contrails!

* This is Earth Science Week and the folks at NASA and GLOBE, an international student science program, have a project in mind.

The groups would like science teachers all over the country to take their students outside on Thursday and Friday to count contrails in the sky. Contrails are streams of water vapor that sometimes form behind airplanes.

Contrails increase cloudiness, which ultimately affects Earth's climate and natural resources. That's why the space agency and GLOBE want to study them.

For infomation on the contrail count, visit the Web site www.globe.gov/earthsciweek2004.

Deadly News for Potter

* Attention HP fans: Do you want the good news or the bad news?

We'll start with the good: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" will be in bookstores next year (no word yet on which month, but we're betting on another summer release).

The bad news: J.K. Rowling said on her Web site (www.jkrowling.com) that she will kill off another character in Book 6 of her series about the young wizard. Of course, she didn't say who dies.

Contrails from jets leave their mark over Mount St. Helens in Washington state.