Credit: NASA

Universe Today is currently running a pretty cool blog series called “13 Things That Saved Apollo 13.” They talked to NASA engineer Jerry Woodfill who came up with 13 key things that led to their survival. Yesterday’s post was part 2 of the series, focusing on the hatch between the Command Module and lander that wouldn’t shut initially. This malfunction actually turned out to be a blessing, because if they’d been able to shut it, it would’ve slowed down the later efforts that were vital to their survival. I look forward to the rest of this series.

One day over the weekend my girlfriend pointed me to an article about an east TN father who asked the Knox County schoolboard to remove a biology textbook that uses the phrase “the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in 7 days” (regarding creationism) from its curriculum. That sounded like just the type of thing Dr. Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy would pick up, and sure enough he did. Thankfully the board and review committee is standing behind the book and it will remain in the curriculum. Let me re-iterate how important it is that creationism stay out of public school curricula- IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. These are public schools! The separation of church and state is crucial to our democracy and teaching anything from the Bible as a viable scientific theory in public schools is a clear violation of that. This book states that the story of creation in the Bible is a myth, and by strict definition that is completely true. I would even say that the statement doesn’t go far enough. It should go on to say that creationism is simply not true. Decades of research and cold, hard scientific evidence have proven beyond any and doubt that our planet and solar system is roughly 4 billion years old. The stories in the Bible are parables that have absolutely no scientific basis. Let’s keep them out of scientific discourse in the classroom, because they are NOT SCIENCE.

djburgers-102409delitparty13DJ Burgers (me) has posted a brand new mix for your dancing/listening pleasure. Click here to download the official DJ Burgers Spring MIXXXX 2009. Here’s the tracklist:

Leif-Timbs
Le Castle Vania- Trouble in Daylight (LA Riots Remix)
KUDU- 4 Let’s Finish (Sinden Remix)
All-American Rejects-Gives You Hell (Bloody Beetroots remix)
La Roux-In For the Kill (the Twelves Remix)
Jensen Sportag- Jackie
PNAU-Baby (Breakbot remix)
Daft Punk- One More Time (Radio edit)
Black Kids- Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance (Twelves Remix)
The Presets-Girl and the Sea (Cut Copy Remix)
Rye Rye- Bang (ft. M.I.A.
)

If you want me to DJ at a party or something, email me at djburgers@gmail.com. Also I’m hosting another 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge on May 11th. Mark your calendars, it’ll be a good one. Lineup is mostly confirmed but I’ll wait until I hear from everyone to post it here.

Ok now that the shameless self-promotion is out of the way, on to some music news… and there’s really only one thing that sticks out to me today. Phil Spector was found guilty of murder and could face life in prison.

From the department of “OMG THAT’S DISGUSTING!!!”…. A man in Russia had a 5 cm. fir tree removed from inside his lung. I don’t understand how it grew without any light…. In fact, I question the legitimacy of this story. Gross, nonetheless.

Scientists in Spain have discovered one potential cause of Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder, Science Daily reports. No, it’s not lethal tree farts as M. Night Shyamalan would have us believe. They found a bacteria that was infecting a colony and successfully treated it with anitbiotics. This may or may not be the main cause of CCD. Let’s hope it is, because if they keep dying, it could be devastaing for the world’s food supply.

Scientists at the University of Calgary have come up with a new definition for the edge of space. According to them, it’s 73 miles above the Earth’s surface. But the definition is still pretty unclear, becuase technically an astronaut is said to have been to space after travelling only 50 miles above the ground. Furthermore, for the space shuttle the edge of space is defined as 76 miles becuase that’s where it switches from thrusters to using air surfaces (the wings) for control. But the atomsphere at that altitude is still negligible, the only reason the space shuttle can use air surfaces that high-up is becuase at that point it’s just beginning re-entry and thus is travelling at 16,000-17,000 mph. If it were travelling much slower than that it would still have to use thrusters.

On this day in 1970, the famous words “Houston, we have a problem” came across the radio from Apollo 13. If you’re interested, you can read the details of the incident on the National Space Science Data Center website.

Update to yesterday’s post- the tornado that hit northern Murfreesboro was upgraded to EF4 intesity. It briefly reached EF4 status around Highland Park Drive and again near Tomahawk Trace, but was at EF3 strength for most of its duration. The total path length was also extended to 23 miles.