Two good updates from space via Space.com:

Ever since last November, astronauts on the International Space Station have been working out glitches in their new urine/wastewater recycling system. Yesterday they finally were able to successfully test it and drink water made from their own urine. It’s a bit uncomfortable to think about drinking the water from your own urine, but it may eventually be necessary for people even here on Earth if the population keeps expanding exponentially. The problem isn’t that water itself is in short supply, it’s that the vast majority of it is either undrinkably saline (the oceans) or located too far away from the people who need it. So far there’s not an energy-efficient or cost-effective method of desalinization of ocean water.

The astronauts onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis are scheduled to land tomorrow at Kennedy Space Center at 10:01 AM EDT. They’ve been given the all-clear on the heat shield inspection and are currently getting the shuttle ready for re-entry. As always, nasa.gov will have live coverage and video of the landing.

In other space-related news, former astronaut Scott Parazynski finally reached the summit of Mount Everest yesterday. He’s been at it for a few years now, and last year an injury forced him to delay his climb. This time he made it, and brought along some “moon rocks and remembrances of fallen astronauts.” He was also doing research and collecting samples for various other scientific endeavors. Read more at this Universe Today article.

From NBN showcase at SXSW 2009.

Turbo Fruits: NBN showcase at SXSW 2009.

The Next Big Nashville website is still the 2008 version, but according to this post on Nashville Cream (which is about sonicbids, not NBN), NBN 2009 will feature a Friday evening of events that will take over the honky-tonks on lower Broadway, as well as an outdoor event on Saturday. This is all good news because those bars are all conveniently located close to each other, much like the bars/venues in Austin for SXSW. It makes it much easier to hop between shows, especially if bands you want to see are playing at nearly the same time, but different venues. I would hope the outdoor event on Saturday is the grand finale throwdown, like the one at Cannery last year.

Please do yourself a favor and go browse through Photos that Changed the World. These are truly magnificent images. Some are very graphic and difficult to look at, but everyone needs to see these photographs. Via Kottke.org.

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colbert_largeNASA decided to name the newest and final American-made Space Station node “Tranquility,” after the touchdown site of Apollo 11 on the moon, as astronaut Sunita Williams announced on the Colbert Report last night. Even though “Colbert” technically won the online poll, I guess NASA just couldn’t justify putting the Colbert name on something so important, and instead went with historically significant name. However, in typical scientific acronym fashion they did decide to call the station’s new treadmill the “Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,” or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. I’m just glad that NASA has a sense of humor. All in all, it was a big win for both parties involved. I’d say the biggest win was for NASA, though… this was great P.R. for them and in these times it’s crucial for NASA to stay popular in the public’s eye. Read the whole NASA press release here, and watch the clip from last night here.

Jack White’s new band The Dead Weather played their first public show last night at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Brooklyn Vegan has photos and coverage. Also, the White Stripes are working on a movie to be released late this year, according to an interview with White on Self-Titled. Via Nashville Cream. P.S.- one Cream commenter says the film is a documentary of their 2007 Canadian tour.

Apparently the Kings of Leon needed extras for a video shoot, but we all missed it- the auditions were yesterday. Tear.

Ever wondered where the phrase “Murphy’s Law” comes from? Look no further. It comes from an engineer named Edward Murphy who worked at the government’s rocket sled test facility at Edwards Air Force Base. Click here for the full story.

LIFE has a new website that’s very photograph-centric, and features a ton of great photojournalistic work. Feast your eyes.

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