The fourth season of Downton Abbey is about to start in the UK. While it won't hit American TV screens until January, we can enjoy the one-minute trailer that just came out.
So join the Dowager Countess and Carson as they console Lady Mary by watching here.
Jane Austen is a British treasure...and, apparently, so is her jewelry.
Kelly Clarkson paid more than $230,000 at a 2012 auction for a ring that once belonged to the author of such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma. But the British government is keeping Kelly from taking it home.
The UK Department of Culture is giving buyers in Britain until the end of September - and perhaps until the end of the year - to match the price Kelly paid in order to make sure the ring doesn't leave the country. Culture Minister Ed Valzey declared in a statement: "Jane Austen's modest lifestyle and her early death mean that objects associated with her of any kind are extremely rare, so I hope that a UK buyer comes forward."
Meanwhile, the singer is said to be wearing a replica of the ring ordered up by her fiance.
Here's a link to the story - and a photo of the ring.
How about a triple conjunction? It's not something from an old grammar lesson. It's a triangle of bright points in the sky right after sunset each day this weekend.
Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are clustering together to form a triangle from our vantage point. Especially on Sunday night, when they will be less than 1.5 degrees apart, you can cover all three with your thumb held at arm's length.
Start looking each night after 8:30 in the low northwest sky. Venus will appear brightest. Binoculars will be helpful for spotting all three - but astronomers say, with clear skies forecast, we should be able to observe the triangle of planets with the naked eye. Be quick - it won't take long each night for them to start slipping below the horizon.
The next triple conjunction isn't coming until October of 2015. But you'll have to wait until 2026 to see three planets in such a close formation.
Here's more from National Geographic.
According to Q Magazine, Adele is "the worst flier." But, a new study says her own music could be the cure for in-flight nerves.
Research by anxiety psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman of London's Private Therapy Clinic uncovered songs that can comfort fliers. They tend to be slower tunes that lower the heart rate and blood pressure - or have emotive lyrics that create a connection with the listener.
At the top of the list is Adele's Someone Like You. Fliers might also want to listen to As I Lay Me Down by Sophie B. Hawkins, The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, or tunes from artists ranging from the Red Hot Chillli Peppers and Beyonce to Mozart. Here's part of the playlist for you to listen to on demand (breathe deep and relax):
This weekend, what is the opposite of partying in the Preakness infield?
The answer might actually be found in the outfield at Nationals Park. Here are a few ways to have an art-filled weekend:
The Washington National Opera production of Show Boat at the Kennedy Center will be simulcast free at, yup, Nationals Park at 7 pm Saturday - with gates opening at 5. Not only will the Anacostia be the backdrop as Ol' Man River keeps rolling along, Opera in the Outfield also features the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon What's Opera, Doc?
If Sunday turns out to be a rainy day, go indoors and enjoy the majesty of the Washington National Cathedral in both sight and sound, with a pipe organ recital beginning at 5:15.
The free Gaithersburg Book Festival takes place Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm on the grounds of City Hall. Featured authors include two-time National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin and 2013 Newbery Medal winner Sheila Turnage. Plus, as you listen to WASH-FM's Best of the 80s Weekend, you can head to the Book Festival to meet four original MTV VJs who have written a memoir about their experiences caled VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave.
Another class act is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, through Sunday at the Greater Reston Art Center.
At the other end of the spectrum is some pure schmaltz.
On Saturday, Sweden hosts the annual Eurovision Song Contest. European nations have been competing in this thing since 1956 - and an estimated 130 million people will be watching. You can watch along in HD in DC at a viewing party from 2 to 7 pm at the House of Sweden.
Of the singers representing the 26 Eurovision finalists, you will probably only recognize one - and she is an 80s icon. Bonnie Tyler is representing the UK. Winning songs do not fare so well in the United States, ABBA's Waterloo being the exception. Other singers you've heard of who have performed the winning songs in the past include Celine Dion, who took the title for Switzerland in 1988, and Katrina and the Waves, who sang for the UK in 1997.
Have a great weekend!