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I originally planned to resume posting yesterday, but we encountered some traffic issues on the way back from Austin which resulted in us not getting back till 6am monday morning. I had to be at work at 7. Needless to say, I did not feel like blogging yesterday. More on that later…

Mostly quick links today:

First of all, be sure to check all my slideshows of pics from SXSW over at Nashville Cream. I had a blast, even if I did catch the SXSW Cold Virus of Death on saturday.

Also on the Cream, round one of the Mercy Lounge’s Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th contest happened last night, and apparently the Features won by one single vote, edging out Kindercastle. Phew. I do like Kindercastle, but I have to say that the Features deserve it more, even if they do get stuck in some tiny side tent playing at noon while everyone’s still nursing their hangovers. They’ve been at this since 1994, and are probably the tightest, best live act in this city.

The New York Times has an interesting article about the extreme branding/marketing/advertising involved with SXSW.

Those Darlins did a Daytrotter session back in January. I guess they don’t always post these right after they’re recorded… I honestly never paid that much attention before though.

Local bloggers Janet Timmons (Out the Other) and Glenn Peoples (Coolfer.com) were both mentioned in a Reuters article about the blogging panel held on Thursday of SXSW.

Ok enough SXSW junk….

Kottke.org highlights a survey that reaveals the average American citizen’s ignorance of basic science. I find it absolutely pathetic and appalling that only 53% of Americans know how long it takes the earth to complete one revolution around the Sun. But it doesn’t surprise me.

Alaska’s Redoubt volcano finally erupted last night after weeks of rumbling. Seismologists have been expecting an eruption for at least a month now. It’s good to see that our prediction methods are at least somewhat accurate.

The entire Cosmos Series, hosted by Carl Sagan, is now available on Hulu. I will be watching them soon. It’s sad that I can only recall seeing one or two episodes…

I hate mosquitoes. They are the bane of my existence. In my opinion, the world would be a better place if they did not exist at all. They do nothing but reproduce uncontrollably and bite people… and animals. That’s why I was very pleased to read this article about a high-tech laser system that targets and kills them. Yes, you heard right- a mosquito-killing laser weapon. This will probably only be used in areas where mosquito-spread disease is a major problem, but we can hope for it, right?

The Space Shuttle Discovery has been attached to the ISS for several days now, and the astronauts have successfully attached the final set of solar panels, which will give the station enough power to support the new crew size of 6-7 astronauts. You can watch live coverage, including footage from onboard the shuttle and the space station, on NASA TV.

Finally, I have some sad personal news to report. My cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I know it seems lame, but to avoid having to explain the whole story over and over again, I posted a facebook note about it that read as follows:

I’m sad to say that my cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I’m telling this story on here so that I don’t have to do it 100 times for everyone I know.

We arrived back in nashville from my SXSW trip at 6am monday morning, just barely in time for me to get ready for work at 7. I found him lying on the floor unable to move. He was still yowling, however, so I rushed him to the vet. We discovered that he had a urinary blockage and had been unable to urinate for at least a few days. (Probably since friday, because that’s the day Megan checked on him & he was ok.) This caused his kidneys to malfunction and thus his body was unable to get rid of toxins. He was so near death when I found him that the vet told me there was little hope for him, but I had to at least try to save him. They put him on an IV, relieved the blockage, and put him on a heating pad. His condition improved slightly, but this morning he was unable to control his bladder, showed no interest in food or water, and was still unable to walk or stand. It was obvious that the odds of him recovering were too small for it to be worth the continued suffering it would put him through. So I made the decision to end his suffering. It was a hard choice but it gives me relief to know that he’s no longer suffering.

If you have a male cat 3 years or older, be wary of their urinary habits. This only occurs in male cats, and it’s due to the chemical makeup of cat urine and its tendancy to crystallize. When that happens in their urethra, it causes a blockage. When you can’t pee, it causes major problems VERY quickly. Can you imagine not being able to pee even for 12 hours? If your male cat constantly goes to the litter box but seems to just scratch around a lot, or you notice him squatting but not really doing much, that’s a sign that he might have a blockage problem, and it needs to be treated FAST.

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This image links to a great flickr set of vintage ads. Just take a minute to peruse through a few. You will enjoy it. Among my faves “Betty’s Gay with Midol“… “I cure women“… “The Miracle of Marlboro.”

Possibly one of the snarkiest local bloggers/writers/music critics is Andrew J. Smithson. He used to write for the Scene, but apparently didn’t like it very much and focused on his own blog. That original blog died, but now he has a new with an incredibly catchy and indicative name- indieocraty. I highly recommend checking it out.

You Ain’t No Picasso posted this new Microsoft ad about their new software Songsmith. Oh. My. God. According to YANP, this is, in fact, the real ad. Maybe Microsoft is trying to make fun of itself? No matter the intent… I too view this as a sign of the apocalypse.

Improv Everywhere is awesome. Check that link for coverage of their latest shenanigan- no pants day. Imagine being in NYC and seeing a bunch of people on the subway and on the streets just walking around with everything but pants on. I love the “freeze” events that they do as well. Nashville has a small group called the Dive-In Theater that does similar stuff. Megan and I participated in the “June Freeze” event in Hillsboro this past June. We met at the dragon park and walked over to Hillsboro Village, and with our phone alarms synced, we all froze up at the same moment, doing random things. It was hard to keep a striaght face while people looked at us curiously, wondering what the hell was going on. I highly suggest checking them out and participating in one of their events. It’s lots of fun.

Anyone who knows me probably knows that I like to do crazy shit like chase tornadoes, go hang-gliding, bungee-jumping (still on my to-do list), etc…. Well, I may have finally found something I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t call myself an adrenaline junkie by any means… I don’t have the need to get out and do this kind of shit everyday… but I do love it. In my eyes these dudes are totally badass. I’ve actually seen this video once before… about a year ago. But my dad sent it to me today and I thought it would be worth posting. So what do you think? Are these guys totally badass or totally insane?

And finally, I must leave you with the metal band name flow chart: (click image to enlarge, then prepare to laugh histerically)

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