Disclaimer: Posting may be pretty sporadic over the next few days as Megan and I head to east TN to visit my family for thanksgiving.

Today I just have some links for you. No rants. Just some links… mainly because Kottke.org had my RSS feed full of goodness this morning. The following three are from Kottke.

Photography is for Jerkoffs.
A very clever way to put the impressiveness of a magnetic hard drive into perspective.
Chinese use rockets to get the cables for a bridge higher than the Empire State Building across the gorge over which it is being built.

Via NME: It’s finally official. They’ve teased us for over a year now, but Blur is reuniting for another album. Let’s hope they tour too. I’m skeptically excited.

The Boston Globe’s website continues to post amazing hi-res photographs of even more amazing things, such as this series of International Space Station.

And now, for your daily dose of WTF?!?!? Blowjobs as performance art:

Enjoy your thanksgiving!

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Last night one of my favorite musicians/artists of all time, Matt Mahaffey (of sElf), played a last-minute show at the Boro Bar & Grill in Murfreesboro. I already was planning to attend the benefit show he’s playing this saturday in Johnson City for his late brother Mike’s kids/family, and to see him play twice in one week was all the more awesome. His fans, especially the old-school ones from around middle TN, are all just great people. It’s amazing how his music seems to only attract the best of people as fans. The show was really just a “warmup” for saturday’s show, which he said will include his longtime friend Seth Timbs of Fluid Ounces collaborating on some songs. I was fortunate enough to catch last year’s benefit for Mike, also in Johnson City, and I can only imagine how this one will be even better with Seth’s contributions. It’s amazing how last night’s show was announced at 1pm yesterday, and in about 8 hours word got around enough for 80-100 or so people to cram into the Boro. I won’t get into how that place has gone downhill in the last few years, but Matt and the crowd that showed up definitely made it cool again at least for one night. I was doing some videotaping, but I doubt I will post anything from last night since I’m also taping Saturday’s show. However, Jess McKelly was also recording with her pocket video camera, so check out her YouTube page in the next couple of days for some clips.

Nashville Cream has been doing some cool ticket giveaways lately. They’ve been posting some absurd photos and giving the tix to whoever comes up with the wittiest/snarkiest caption in the comments of the thread. Just go over and read some of the hilarity, or even post one yourself for a chance to win.

This has seriously got to be one of the coolest optical illusions I’ve ever seen on the web. Drag the lines slowly for the best results. Link via Bad Astronomy.

Nicole Kidman apparently loves Nashville, and is a little worried about the “secret getting out.”

Ok, I debated for a minute on whether to post this as an update to today’s earlier post, or make a whole new one. Obviously I decided on the latter because somehow having 2 posts in one day makes me feel as though I’m making up for not posting since last wednesday. Anyway- I found this video on Bad Astronomy and had to post it, because this guy is really awesome. He speaks the truth, as Dr. Plait said. We easliy take for granted the amazing technology and scientific breakthroughs that make our modern lifestyle possible.

Sorry for the dry spell in posting… last thursday was my birthday and that combined with having to take my cat Sherman to the vet (he’s doing fine now) resulted in me not having time to surf the interwebz for goodies and bring them to you.

Yep, I’m 27. That famous age where so many rock icons lost their lives. I’d better watch myself over this next year… I hope I can make it through, but being a rock legend isn’t easy… nope. A list of rock icons/musicians who’ve died at 27-
Jim Morrison
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Kurt Cobain
Brian Jones (Rolling Stones founder)
Robert Johnson (legendary blues guitarist/singer)
Dave Alexander (Stooges bassist)
D. Boon (of the Minutemen)
Ron McKernan (of the Grateful Dead)
There are many more in the “27 Club,” but I won’t post them all here. Check out the Wikipedia entry if you’re interested.

According to Stereogum, this is Katy Perry, not Zooey Deschanel:

WTF???? Seriously? If you asked me who this was, I would say definitively that it’s Zooey Deschanel. This is uncanny. Either way, they’re both on my celebrity crush list.

This guy really knows his various British accents. I love listening to accents. My favorite has to be New Zealand though.

Facial asymmetry. Fascinating.

Wow. I’ve only been doing this for about a month and I’m already getting requests from a promotions company to review an album. Look for some mp3’s and my take on the new local band Blue Eyed Blacks, and their first album “Black Eyed Soul” soon.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a huge sci fi nerd, and that I’ve been an avid fan of both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis for many years now. SG-1 was the longest running sci fi television series ever, lasting a whopping 10 years. They started Atlantis as a spinoff in 2005, and even had some interesting interplay between the two series while they overlapped. While I was sad to see SG-1 come to an end in 2007, I knew it was time, and quite frankly, the new SG-1 team just wasn’t quite the same without Richard Dean Anderson’s character, Colonel Jack O’Neil. I was heartbroken initially upon hearing that this current season of Atlantis will be its last, which prompted me to do a little research as to the reasoning for this, and in the process I discovered that executive producers Brad Wright and Robert Cooper are up to something new: another spinoff series called Stargate Universe. There’s not much info about it yet, but according to the press release, it will be set on a ship rather than earth or a remote base, and the crew will be a group of earth explorers who get stuck on this ship and have to fend for themselves as the ship carries out its unalterable mission of exploring the entire universe. Yes, not just one galaxy… the whole universe. I’m cautiously excited about this new direction for the franchise. I really hope the writers keep the same level of character development of the other two and keep using the layers and layers of mythology developed in the SG-1 series. Read the full press release to get the details if you’re interested.

I’m not a sports fanatic by any means, but I have been following my hometown team, the Tennessee Titans, for several years now, and of course I’m quite happy to see them leading the NFL at 10-0. Their veteran quarterback Kerry Collins apparently has an unlikely side-hobby: songwriting. Only in Nashville.

And now for some debunking. I came across this video on Oddee.com and couldn’t resist posting it because of the astonishing absurdity.

Because the show on which this guy Ramana is performing is in Dutch I really don’t know how seriously they’re taking him, but how can anyone not see that big wooden post (and base) to which he’s attached? Are people completely blind?!?!? I have much respect for the needle and thread trick he does, and for any tricks that require real skill and years of practice. I also think his performance art installations of hanging on the sides of buildings are interesting in a purely artistic sense, but this particular levitation stunt is just silly. “Illusions” that are obviously the result of specialized props just piss me off.

Random interesting tidbit: Scientists have created microscopic Obamas out of carbon nanotubes.

And The Relatives, a local indie rock trio featuring my friend and fellow Scene contributor Patrick Rodgers on drums, have released their first proper EP “Animals.” Their EP release show was this past friday at the 5 Spot, but I was unable to attend due to a huge conference at work. I highly recommend checking them out this thurs. Nov. 20th (I may be there- it’s my birthday afterall) at the End with The Ettes, The Howlies, and Mean Tambourines. For a couple of free mp3’s, head over to Out The Other. They are part of a new collective of bands/artists known as Holly House. I’ve heard this name a few times over the past year or so, and recently I checked out their website to find that they have quite a lineup of bands associated with them. They seem to be onto something good here- a collective of bands just trying to make good music and help each other out with booking, etc… Basically it’s like Movement Nashville, but not so focused on the commercial/business aspect. The artists/bands associated with MN are very commercial sounding (and sometimes acting), and I think that leaves a bad taste in many mouths amongst local bands who really just want to make good music, regardless of the commercial appeal. I have nothing against a band trying to make a little money doing what they love, but sometimes it’s just too blatantly obvious that they’re making their art fit into a certain formulaic mold, at which point I usually say “no thanks.”

This is slightly old news by now, but the Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off from Kennedy Space Center Friday night at 7:55pm EST and successfully docked with the International Space Station at 5:01pm EST Sunday. You can watch live footage from the mission at NASA TV. While we’re talking about NASA, there’s a little speculation about the future of NASA under the new Obama Administration. Current NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has said that he will stick around only if Obama wants to keep things going steady on the current course of developing the new Constellation program, and retiring the Shuttle in 2010. For more info see the full story at Universe Today.

Some random links:
10 fascinating last pictures of famous people before they died.
Obama plans to begin doing weekly YouTube video updates. FDR 2.0 maybe?
Plasma plants may vaporize garbage while generating power.
Photographs of female body builders. Not for the faint of heart….

And finally I’ll leave you with this bit of inspiration, thanks to the Holly House website:

CD’s are slowly becoming useless pieces of plastic, and good old vinyl records are making a comeback. I am sad to say that I only recently jumped on the vinyl bandwagon (at least for new releases). My vinyl collection really only consisted of the old records I will eventually inherit from my dad, plus a few other old Beach Boys records. I only recently started buying new releases on vinyl, but I’m totally in love with the idea of having a record at home, plus a digital version of the album for the trusty ol’ iPod. I think this is the future of music formats- embracing the greatness of the format of the past, while also embracing the format of the future. I think every release should be available on vinyl with a free download code inside the packaging. Normally the record label has the digital download on their website, but Insound is putting a new twist on this whole phenomenon by offering the albums for free download with a vinyl purchase, putting the digital end of the transaction in the hands of the online retailer, instead of the record label. Kudos.

Three exoplanets orbiting a young star 140 light years away are captured using Keck Observatory near-infrared adaptive optics. The planets are labeled and the two outer ones have arrows showing the size of their motion over a 4 year period.

Three exoplanets orbiting a young star 140 light years away are captured using Keck Observatory near-infrared adaptive optics. The planets are labeled and the two outer ones have arrows showing the size of their motion over a 4 year period.

The first-ever direct images of extrasolar planets have been released by NASA. This marks a major milestone in the search for that ever-elusive extrasolar “earth twin” that astronomers are looking for. Not only did they image one planet, they imaged three! I’m a huge fan of the effort to detect an earth-sized extrasolar planet, and I’ve eagerly awaiting the day that the science community announces such a discovery. Astronomers seem to mostly agree that there are earth-like planets lurking out there, it’s just that we haven’t been able to detect them yet. The smallest extrasolar planet detected thus-far is about 5 times bigger than earth. The vast majority of extrasolar planets are gigantic- several times the size of Jupiter, which makes them easy to detect through indirect methods. Earth-sized planets will be much harder to detect, and we just don’t have instruments or telescopes sensitve enough to detect them. Thus, I will probably have to wait until well after the launch of the new James Webb Space Telescope or the Kepler Observatory to get that exciting news.

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