Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.
The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.
The partially restored headstone for Thomas C. Potter, who traveled west from Rhode Island, shows that he died on July 21, 1871, at age 25. The inscription reads, "He has gone from the earth, With its pain and care: He is safe in a realm That is bright and fair."
The headstone for Benjamin Taylor, who died in 1873. Taylor helped drive a wagon train for pioneers who settled in Northern California's Green Valley in 1850. His headstone has been pieced together after being found under a foot of dirt. Caretaker Tony Pires says he hopes to find the missing piece.
Seismologist Jack Boatwright checks his notes from 2006, when he determined that two-thirds of Gilliam's headstones had very likely been shattered during the 1906 earthquake. Back then, he didn't know that Tony Pires had been resurrecting buried headstones at the cemetery.
Some of the oldest headstones at the Gilliam Cemetery were broken and buried by two factors: the 1906 earthquake that also hit nearby San Francisco, and plant and animal life that mounded dirt over broken stones.
The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.
The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.
The latest national security issue to figure in the presidential campaign has little to do with Iran, Afghanistan or other foreign policy challenges. Mitt Romney is instead focusing on what he and other Republicans allege is the Obama administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes.
NASA's newest space telescope will start searching the universe for black holes on Wednesday. Scientists hope the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, which launched about six weeks ago and is now flying about 350 miles above the Earth, will help shed some light on the mysteries of these space oddities.
Mission control for the telescope is a small room on the University of California, Berkeley, campus, where about a dozen people with headsets rarely look up from their screens.
Raffaele Lombardo, the governor of Sicily, speaks to reporters after his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome last week. Lombardo has been accused of having ties to the Mafia in Sicily.
In antiquity, Sicily was known as Greater Greece. Now, the eurozone crisis has led to sharp spending cuts and, with an economy based on public sector wages, Sicily is being called Italy's Greece. The central government fears the region's debt of more than $6 billion could further endanger the country's financial stability.
Worried about contagion, the Rome government is dictating on Sicily tough bailout conditions similar to those international lenders imposed on Greece.
A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."
In honor of Woody Guthrie's centennial, Wilco opened with "Christ for President," featuring lyrics by Guthrie. Wilco then played a two-hour career-spanning set on Friday night that culminated in an encore featuring Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee.
Jim James looked fabulous at Newport — yes, that is both a cape and a Roland SP-404SX Portable sampler draped around his neck. The dude was everywhere, too, from an umbrella-toting guest spot with Conor Oberst to a concert with his New Multitudes project.
While the former Nickel Creek fiddler shows her pop side more these days, Sara Watkins took center stage with a bit of grit and darkness, too. She was joined by Jackson Browne and Charity Rose Thielen of The Head And The Heart during her set.
Varnaline's Anders Parker and My Morning Jacket's Jim James (right) tackled some of Woody Guthrie's most obscure work in their New Multitudes project with Will Johnson (Centro-Matic) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt).
Charles Bradley once made his living as a James Brown impersonator, which no doubt aided in his positively energetic live show that featured a couple wardrobe changes (gold jacket not pictured) and so much dancing.
Conor Oberst was joined on the Fort Stage by a roster of the weekend's most talked-about acts: First Aid Kit for "Classic Cars" and "Lua"; the members of Dawes for "Soul Singer," "Method Acting" and "Make War"; and Jim James for "At the Bottom of Everything."
Sara Watkins isn't the flashiest of singing stars, but she's already carved out a remarkable career: She got her start as a kid with Chris Thile and her brother Sean in the heavily decorated, platinum-selling Nickel Creek, and has since gone on to perform with The Decemberists,