Black Holes, Creating The Universe, And The 'Blue Screen Of Death'

From fear over black holes to creating your own universe. From seeing back in time to the "blue screen of death." It's been quite a week. Yes, the Large Hadron Collider was switched on in Switzerland, and there are some (OK, a handful of) people who worry about dark matter or random black holes engulfing the Earth as a result of smashing particles together. (Stephen Hawking is a reassuring voice of reason, in case you're wondering.) Of course, if you believe this webcam then we're all doomed! In all seriousness, it's a fascinating pursuit for the stuff that we're all made of, right down to the smallest level.

The much-anticipated game from Will Wright called "Spore" was also released Sunday, and last week we got a chance to chat with Wright at his Maxis (EA) studio in Emeryville, California. He's an intriguing guy with a dedicated following, and I first had the chance to interview him for back in early 2000 right before "The Sims" was released. Once called "Sims Everything," "Spore" allows players to, in a sense, "play god" at the ultimate level -- controlling your own species as it evolves from tide pool to galactic warrior. There have been more than 3 million creatures already created and about 100,000 videos posted on YouTube. It'll be part of a series on video games airing next week on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Earlier this week I was in Houston attending the pre-flight briefings and interviewing the astronauts who will be aboard Atlantis next month as part of the Hubble servicing mission. It's been called the "last great shuttle flight" since every other trip is relatively more routine (if you can ever consider space travel routine) ferrying supplies and parts to the international space station. In early October (launch slated for Oct. 10), seven astronauts will attempt to repair Hubble and extend its life for at least another five years. It's a risky mission (complete with back-up rescue plan), but one the science community (and NASA) is passionate about. Since 1990 we've all become familiar with the now iconic photos from Hubble, and its had quite a storied history in that 20 years. Be sure to visit CBS space analyst Bill Harwood's "Space Place" and we'll be bringing a few stories to you on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in the next few weeks.

Finally, it seems the new iTunes 8 is giving fits to some Windows Vista users. Our corporate colleagues over at CNET have more on the story and how to prevent the dreaded "blue screen of death" (OR BSOD for those in the know).

Until next time, stay connected!