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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover is back to work on Mars, after a few weeks of radio silence due to Mars’ being behind the Sun from Earth’s perspective. The photo above shows a new hole created by Curiosity’s drill, and scientists hope that the analysis of the samples taken from this hole will match up with, or at least support, the exciting results of the previous drilled rock analysis back in February. Those results suggested that Mars’ surface was once habitable for microbial life as we know it. The results of the analysis will no doubt be released in the next few weeks, before Curiosity begins the long drive to its ultimate destination, a huge layered mountain known as Mt. Sharp. (Via Universe Today)

Warning: If you are one who is prone to getting sucked into rabbit holes of Wikipedia links and losing all sense of productivity, I highly recommend you DO NOT read this article while at work!  Wikipedia has a really awesome, really addictive list of common misconceptions. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! (Via Kottke.org)

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Here we are with another weekend full of great shows to see. No excuses, get out and see at least one show this weekend! Here are my picks:

FRIDAY;

Frontier Ruckus, James Wallace & The Naked Light, and Fox Bear Snake @ The Stone Fox. 9pm $8 adv/$10 DOS

Scorpion Child, Slick, and Blüdeagle @ The End. 9pm $10

QDP @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $1 21+

SATURDAY:

Pale Houses (new project from Aaron Robinson of Imaginary Baseball League), with Photo Ops and Audrey Rose @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $5

Molly Conley, Spike And Mallets, The Glorious Return, and Million Sellers @ Live True Vintage & Vinyl’s grand opening. 5pm, free. More deets on the facebook event.

Bobby Bare Jr., Birdcloud, and The Grenadines @ The Basement. 9pm $8 21+

SUNDAY:

R. Stevie Moore, Deluxin, Lame Drivers, and Woolen Men @ The End. 9pm $7

That’s it, have a great weekend!

kepleroriginal-original

Credit: NASA/Kepler

Some sad news from NASA: the immensely successful Kepler Mission in danger. The space-based planet hunting telescope has suffered another malfunction with one of its reaction wheels. The craft had four of these wheels to begin with, and they are responsible for keeping the spacecraft correctly oriented. It lost one of the wheels last year, but can still survive with three. Now that another wheel has stopped functioning, it will be nearly impossible for engineers to keep Kepler correctly pointed at the small patch of sky it’s been staring at since the mission began. NASA engineers think they can devise a way to use the spacecraft’s thrusters to coarsely aim it in the right direction, but since the process of analyzing Kepler’s observations is so painstaking and tedious, coarse alignments may not be accurate enough to keep the mission running normally. NASA engineers also haven’t given up on getting the wheel working again, so we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out. Even if Kepler dies, the mission has already been a huge success and there are several other new planet hunting missions in the works. For more on this story check out the always-reliable Bad Astronomy.

Photo 2013-05-10 02.18.40 PM

What a fine weekend is in store for us Nashvillians! Lots of good shows happenin’, so I’ll cut right to the chase:

FRIDAY:

T. Rust cassette release, with Switchblade Kid, Shy Guy, and Blank Range @ The End. 9pm $5

East Nashville Underground ft. The Weeks, Evan P. Donohue, The Kicks, Young International, The Future, and Bang Ok Bang @ The East Room. 9pm 21+ $Tix here

Generationals w/ Brass Bed @ The High Watt. 9pm $10

Courtney Jaye album release, w/ special guest JP5 @ The Stone Fox. 9pm $7

SATURDAY:

Hotpipes album release show w/ Echo Group and Treekeeper @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $10 (includes vinyl copy of their new album DUST)

Turbo Fruits, Richie, Tipper Whore, and Ben Spinks Supermelt @ Ben Weber’s house. FREE (Check out the facebook event for details)

East Nashville Underground (DAY SHOW) ft. Alyssa Bonagura, Erin McCarley, Little Bandit, Justin Kalk Orchestra, Derek Hoke, and Bears of Blue River @ The East Room. 11am-8pm. 21+ $Tix here

East Nashville Underground ft. The Kingston Springs, Chancellor Warhol, Hotel War, Kink Ador, *Repeat Repeat, and Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces @ The East Room. 9pm 21+ $Tix here

Night of the Living Cover Bands: a benefit for Nashville Rock Block and YEAH! @ The Stone Fox. 9pm $7

A little late today but better late than never!

A couple of Nashville local music tidbits to mention before we get to the show listings

  • Hotpipes’ long-awaited new album Dust is now out! Grab it on their bandcamp or website.
  • Sugar Sk*_*lls also has a new album, called Intermission full of his undeniable 8-bit goodness. Grab it on his bandcamp as well.
  • NORM (aka Dave Paulson of The Privates, The Pink Spiders, and My So-Called Band) released his debut solo album via bandcamp, but in an email statement he says that while he initially thought his home mastering job sounded just fine, a few days later he realized that it just wasn’t up to par. So, while the ‘rough’ version remains on his bancamp, the re-mastered version will be up “sometime in the month of May.” This version “will be much kinder to your eardrums no matter where you listen to it.” Needless to say, these songs are all VERY GOOD.

Now, onto this weekend’s show listings:

FRIDAY:

GOAT w/ Holy Wave @ The High Watt. 9pm $10

The Black Keys w/ The Flaming Lips @ Bridgestone Arena. 7:30pm $25-$47

SATURDAY:

Shari Rowe, Midnight Riders, Sugar Pants Johnson, Honey Locust, Scale Model, Ryegrass, and Roy Ira @ Sevier Park Festival Corner Music Stage. 11am-7pm, FREE.
*Please note: this event is rain or shine and there is a large tent over the stage/crowd area and the beer gardens, so you can still attend and stay dry in the areas that matter- music & beer!*

Griffin Technology presents YACHT ROCK REVIVAL ft. Yacht Rock Revue & special guests, w/ Guilty Pleasures, Space Capone, Larry g(EE), The Aquaducks, and Whiskey Disco afterparty. All in the Mercy Lounge/Cannery/High Watt/ONE complex, 4pm-last call. $20 adv/$25 DOS/$75 VIP

Hurts To Laugh, Megajoos, 3 Birds, and Opossum Holler @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $5

Musician’s Corner ft. Charles Walker & The Dynamites, The Fairfield Four, and Andrew Ripp @ Centennial Park. 12pm FREE

SUNDAY:

The Black Angels, Hanni El Khatib, and Wall of Death @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $15

That’s it! Have a great weekend and try to stay dry!

10years-1It’s hard to believe it was over 10 years ago when I was at a college party in Murfreesboro, TN and my roommate Blake had introduced me to Cal Dykes, this synthesizer-obsessed dude who lived with his friends Lance McDonald and Andy Stella- all of them were in the recording industry major at MTSU. At that party he showed us a couple of new vintage Moog synths he had either just bought or was working on… and also excitedly told us about this new band he was starting called The Protomen, and that they were gonna make epic rock-opera-esque music based on the backstory of the videogame Mega Man. I then attended their debut live show on April 26th, 2003 (or it might’ve been Fri. the 25th…) at The Boro and had my mind blown. Little did I know what an amazing ten years lay ahead for these dudes. This Saturday The Protomen celebrate their 10-year anniversary at Mercy Lounge, with another ally who’s been there from the beginning- the inimitable Makeup And Vanity Set. And rounding out the bill is Hanzelle, another synth-heavy troupe that originally hailed from Murfreesboro.

Now that I’ve gotten my little trip down memory lane out of the way, here are my picks for shows to see this weekend in Nashville!

FRIDAY:

The Sword, Kyng, and Laser Flames on the Great Big News @ Exit/In. 9pm $17

Magnolia Sons, Star and Micey, and Strung Like A Horse @ The 5 Spot. 9pm $5

The Weeks album release w/ Junior Astronomers @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $12

SATURDAY:

The Protomen 10-year anniversary show w/ Makeup And Vanity Set and Hanzelle @ Mercy Lounge. 9pm $12 adv/$14 DOS

Ri¢hie, Cannomen, and Fragments of God @ The Stone Fox. 9pm

That’s it- have a great weekend!

It’s been way too long since I last posted anything science-related. Photographing weddings, playing in two bands, and working a day job has eaten up all of my spare time lately! But I’ve found enough time to bring you some exciting updates and cool videos today.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Above is a comparison of the 5 newly confirmed exoplanets in the Kepler-62 system. The Kepler mission also confirmed an exoplanet around another star, Kepler-69, but that one isn’t nearly as interesting as the Kepler-62 system. Specifically, Kepler-62e and 62f are very exciting because they are officially the smallest potentially habitable exoplanets discovered to date! 62e and 62f are about 1.6 and 1.4 times the size of Earth, respectively. Based on our best computer models for planetary formation and evolution, scientists estimate that 62e is probably cloudy and quite warm, while 62f is probably covered in water and quite cooler, possibly even covered in ice. But different atmospheric conditions could change that significantly… there’s no way (yet) to know for sure. For more on this exciting discovery check out Universe Today and Bad Astronomy.

In related news: Building on the awesome success of the Kepler mission, NASA has announced its next exoplanet-hunting mission, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS. Scheduled for launch in 2017, this new space-based telescope will look for exoplanets in the same way the Kepler mission has been, but it will use four wide-angle telescopes to look at a much broader part of the sky.

Now for the video goods. These are both very cool short segments from Canadian astronaut and current ISS commander Chris Hadfield.

This one is a mesmerizing demonstration of how water behaves in a zero-gravity environment by wringing out a wet washcloth:

And this one is Chris talking about possibly the coolest aspect of being in the ISS- taking breathtaking photographs of Earth from the ISS’s cupola:

 

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