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Image via Stargate Universe blog

Image via Stargate Universe blog

Ok first of all I have to get out my excitement about Stargate Universe, the third show in the Stargate TV franchise. The 2-hour series debut will hit your screen this Friday at 9pm (8pm Central) on SyFy. io9 posted a fairly revealing clip from it today. Don’t get me wrong, no real spoilers there, just a good idea of the vibe and overall tone of the show. This series will be a much more serious take on the Stargate saga. I’m thinking it’s going to end up taking on a similar mood to Battlestar Galactica.

Ok now that’s out of my system….

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines about how water was discovered on the moon recently by NASA’s mineral mapper instrument aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 probe launched in 2008. First of all, this does NOT mean that water is swirling around on the surface of the moon. The moon has no atmosphere and therefore water can’t even exist in a liquid state at all. What’s happening is that the incoming solar rays are reacting with the material on the surface to create a thin layer of hydroxyl (OH) and normal water (H2O) in the very top milimeter or so of regolith. This layer is so thin that it would amount to 1 liter of water per ton of surface soil. That’s a VERY small amount, but it’s a lot more than we ever thought would be there. What does this all mean for the future of human exploration on the moon? Read this Universe Today article to find out.

Here is a great Daily Galaxy article about something that I had honestly never even heard or known before. I hadn’t the slightest clue that there are more bacteria/microbes in our bodies than there are actual human cells. That’s to say that if you counted the number of human cells and the number of microbial/bacterial cells in your body, there would be more bacteria/microbes. In fact it’s utterly awe-inspiring (and slightly terrifying) to think that some of the species if bacteria actually don’t exist anywhere else outside our bodies, and that we could NOT survive without them. Essentially they’re as important as any organ. We’re literally more germ than we are human, and it couldn’t exist any other way. Of course, we look more like us because human cells are MUCH bigger than bacteria cells. The crazy thing, as the article points out, is that doctors still don’t know anything about most of these bugs that live inside us. But they’re trying to change that.

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My Macbook Pro died

July 1, 2009

Soooo, my macbook pro died today. I’m posting from my work PC right now…. thus no good stuff today or really until I get my laptop fixed. I have pretty much everything backed up in various places, save for a few mp3s I downloaded today. I really hope it’s not too expensive… (the laptop was bought in late 2006, so it’s way past the warranty).

Some cat humor to lighten up your day. Cats Are Always Doing Shit. Via Yewknee.

Remember that Canadian tour the White Stripes did a couple years back? They made it into a documentary, and it’s coming out this fall. It also finally has a title: The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. I’m looking forward to footage from all those impromptu, intimate/acoustic shows they did. Via PFK.

Last summer a new band straight out of high school called The Turf burst onto the local music scene. These kids instantly caught the attention of several Scene critics and local music fans with their catchy brand of dance-rock. I remember seeing them at Mercy Lounge once and was impressed by how tight they sounded at such a young age. They disappeared just as quickly as they appeared, though, and several members went in various directions to pursue college. This summer they’re back, and they’ve got a brand new album called Fascination of a Sort. While the dance-rock wave may have crested a few years ago (at least from a commercial marketability perspective), that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love them. I haven’t yet heard if they have any shows booked this summer, but keep checking their Myspace page for updates. Here are a couple of tracks they were kind enough to send my way for posting:

The Turf-Julio’s Jean Shorts

The Turf-Prey

I came across some truly unique and gorgeous landscape photography today. Tim Simmons has a slightly different take on landscapes than most. He uses artificial light along with what appears to be HDR imaging to accentuate certain aspects of the natural beauty of his surroundings. You can’t go wrong with any of the galleries, but the snow gallery was especially intriguing to me. I’m still not exactly sure how he lit some of those scenes….  Via Joshua Blankenship blog.

Scientists in Isreal have created an artificial black hole. Not the kind that sucks in everything, just the kind that sucks in sound waves. They used Bose-Einstein condensates, which are clouds of atoms that have been cooled to almost absolute-zero. Using two of these, they created a tiny area of extreme low density which allows the atoms between the clouds to flow at nearly 4 times the speed of sound. As with most amazing scientific discoveries of this nature, the event was incredibly small and lasted only 8 milliseconds, but it’s still pretty cool because this is essentially a small-scale analog to “real” black holes in space. Via Discovery News.

So I had monday off this week. Hence the lack of posting yesterday. But I must say the weekend of photobooth insanity was quite a blast. The most enjoyable one was definitely the Moustache May party Saturday night. We found this absolutely ridiculous/hideous sheet to use as a backdrop and it worked perfectly. The rest of the MM pics can be found at the Moustache May website. The Bike For Branches photobooth pics can be found at the Soundforest website, and to my knowledge Johnny Kingsbury hasn’t quite gotten the Happy Valley pics up yet. But keep checking his website. They should be up in a few days. I must say though, I was getting tired of taking pictures of drunk people by the end of it all.

Former Nashvillian and ex-Be Your Own Pet singer Jemina Pearl got some blog love on Stereogum. She’s got 3 new solo tracks on her myspace. It’s really catchy, I must say.

Billboard.com reports that the Elektra Records imprint has finally been ressurected under the Atlantic umbrella. Amongst their first signings- Justice, Cee-Lo, and Little Boots.

A once-in-a-lifetime occurrence is upon us. At five minutes and six seconds after 4am on July 8th of this year, the time and date will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. Via dontstaylong.

Ever wanted to see a Blue Whale up close? They’re biggest animals in the world afterall… Well you can do just that here. And take their message to heart while you’re at it, too.

This wed. night I’ll be making an appearance as DJ Burgers at Foobar. I’ll be joining my friends Spice-J, fats, and Action Replay for their weekly series Totally DJ’s. Come on out and dance. I just might have some special surprises up my sleeve. That’s right, east side, I’m talking to YOU.

Just a few science-y tidbits today:

Launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center is now officially in the hands of the Constellation program. The last shuttle mission (the one that serviced the Hubble Space Telescope) was the last time that both launch pads would ever need to be used for space shuttles. From now on, the shuttle program will only use pad 39A. There will never be a need to have 2 shuttles ready for launch simultaneously because the few remaining shuttle missions are all to the ISS, which can be used as a lifeboat if the shuttle is severely damaged, thus alleviating the need for a 2nd shuttle to be ready for a rescue mission. Pad 39B will now be “remodeled” for tests of the new Ares rocket system.

If you were in New York City this past weekend you got a real treat at sunset. On both May 30th and 31st the sun set in perfect alignment with NYC’s cross-streets, an event nicknamed “Mahattanhenge” by astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson who calculates the events every year. The phenomenon will happen again on July 11th and 12th this summer. Via Live Science.

A London company called Solar Botanic, Ltd. has a great new idea for solar power. They want to make realistic-looking trees that are actually solar panels. This a wonderful idea and I hope it one day becomes reality. Via EcoGeek.

Today Theory 8 Records released the new self-titled EP from Shoot the Mountain. So far I’ve only listened the 1st track “Invitation,” and so far so good. Actually, so far so AWESOME. I can’t wait to have time to check out the rest of it. Head on over to their Bandcamp page and purchase it for a measley $5. Yet another Nashville indie rock gem recorded and produced by Jeremy Ferguson at Battletapes.

In other release news, Those Darlins have announced the release date and album art for their debut self-titled full-length album. The vinyl version hits shelves on June 23rd, followed by those “other” formats on July 7th. They’ll be celebrating the album release on June 27th at Mercy Lounge with….. the Black Lips. Fuck yes. More details at We Own This Town.

Thank you to everyone who came out to my 8 off 8th last night. It was most definitely a success, at least as good as the last one I did. All the bands played great sets, and I was especially happy to hear some new stuff from The Nobility and Carter Administration. Mean Tambos killed it, and Ryan was really getting crazy on stage because my friend/bandmate/videographer Seth was taping the performance for their EPK. Hopefully I’ll do another one late summer/early fall. And who knows? Maybe I’ll book a full-on show.

It was really nice to have today off from work at Vandy. When you host an 8 off 8th you gotta stay till the end, and even a little after, so it was nice to be able to sleep in today. I’ve been sitting around with the doors open listening to the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Association on vinyl. It also gave me a chance to take the new kittens to the vet, where we discovered that Sebastian is actually a Sebina. But they’re in pretty good health, main concern was a little bit conjunctivitis in Sebina’s eye, which should be easy taken care of with some meds.

EcoGeek reported on an amazing new company that aims to create a Second Life-esque “video game” interface that will allow homeowners to control every energy-consuming device through a 3D animated program. The “game” uses avatars to control lights/AC/etc… So you would login and make your avatar turn down the AC, and in real-life your AC would be turned down by a computer that controls your house. Whatever you do, just don’t name your house’s computer H.A.L….

Space Shuttle Atlantis is now on its way to Hubble. They’ve completed the heat shield inspection with the shuttle’s robotic arm. There were a few dings found, but the initial opinion is that they’re very minor and not a threat. Detailed analysis is underway, however, to be certain. I’ll keep you updated daily. In the meantime, watch this kickass HD video of yesterday’s launch. If you have your computer hooked up to a sound system, I highly suggest turning the volume and bass waaaay up.

Click image to see bigger version

This has been popping up in a few places around the interwebs for a couple days now, and I should’ve posted about it earlier, but I’ve fallen victim t0 post-SXSW sickness and laziness. A team of physicists have discovered a brand new subatomic particle, which they’re calling “Y(4140).” Ironically this particle was not discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, which is still not operational due to repairs from the catastrophic helium leak last fall; it was discovered at Fermilab, right here in the USA. This new information will be valuable in future mathematical models of the universe, as well as in the experiments conducted at the LHC later this year. You’d think they could come up with a cooler name for a completely new type of subatomic particle… something like “megaquark” or “quarktron.” Lazerquark…

The space shuttle undocked from the ISS yesterday and did a fly-around, capturing the first images of the fully symmetrical, full-length ISS. Universe Today has the space porn, including video of part of the fly-around.

According to Space.com, NASA has decided to go ahead with the Hubble repair mission, despite the increased risk of debris impact due to the satellite collision on Feb. 10th. I’m glad, but kinda scared for the crew. The danger is heightened by the fact that they won’t have the ISS as a lifeboat. Instead, NASA will have Space Shuttle Endeavour on a different pad, ready to launch and be used as a lifeboat should Atlantis be damaged.

Several different time-lapse videos of plants growing. These things are always fun to watch. Via kottke.org.

This has been showing up on almost every blog I read, but it’s definitely worth posting- the first trailers for the Spike Jonze-directed, Arcade Fire-loaded, live-action version of Where the Wild Things Are has been posted. The best place to view it is on apple.com. They have gorgeous HD versions that are true eye candy.

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

I was quite pleased yesterday to find out that Camera Obscura will be kicking off their north American tour in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on May 27th. To my knowledge, they have never played here, and they’re one of my favorites. Even though I just saw them at SXSW, I will be there enthusiastically. Their new album My Maudlin Career drops April 20th via 4AD. Check out the rest of their tour dates at their myspace.

Another upcoming show I’m looking forward to is The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ the End on May 2nd. Like C.O., I saw this band at SXSW and they did not dissappoint. But I really look forward to seeing full length sets from both bands, as all the shows at SXSW are showcases with 5 or so bands, thus each band has less time to setup and a shorter set length than normal. POBPAH are definitely one of those “blog-buzz” bands, but I honestly think they will have more staying power and are on an entirely different level than say, Vampire Weekend or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Clusterflock had two great links this morning:
Michael Jackson is apparently having to sell a bunch of stuff from his ranch via auction to pay off some of his creditors. There are some strange things in there…

Ever wondered what TV news anchors do during the commercial breaks??? Look no further.

I was recently given the debut album from a brand new Nashville electronic act called AXWY (I think it’s pronounced ax-wee). The duo consists of Ryan Malina, a local guitarist/friend/lighting guru/all-around cool dude who used to play in the Young Professionals, and another guy named Justin who lives in LA, and who also doesn’t have his last name on their myspace page. Apparently they’ve been trading songs back and forth via the interwebs, collaborating and synthesizing. The result is a moody, Postal Service-esque sound that is, in my opinion, quite refreshing for Nashville. The lyrics are mostly soft-spoken, and the beats are sometimes a bit glitchy, sometimes smooth and even a little dancey. Think the Postal Service and Phoenix making love while listening to Hot Chip. Check out their myspace, then grab the two tracks below:

AXWY-London
AXWY-Asteriks

Dr. Alan Boss, an astronomer and author, announced at a conference in Chicago recently that our own Milky Way could harbor billions, yes BILLIONS, of earth-like planets. He thinks that the Kepler Mission (scheduled for launch in just a few weeks) will even discover many earth-like planets just within 30 or so light years of earth. Dr. Boss’s comments can be found in several news stories released in the last few days, but I think Universe Today does the best job of reporting this announcement. I personally am a bit skeptical of this claim, as his numbers fall under the high end of the range of possible results from the famous Drake Equation. I do, however, believe strongly that the Kepler Mission will find an earth twin, and probably many of them. I don’t think that we will reach the conclusion that billions of them are in our own galaxy, though. Maybe hundreds of thousands, or even a few million….. but I’m hesitant to say billions. I do agree that if life does exist on these earth-like planets, it’s probably going to mostly microbial or other non-intelligent forms. No matter the result, I can’t wait to see what the Kepler Mission finds.

This ties in nicely to this video of President Obama talking about his mission to restore science & technology to the forefront of education and funding. I can’t explain how happy it makes me to hear this. After the last 8 years of regression, this is music to my ears, and it should be to yours, too.

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