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Not much time today so here are newsy bits, as they’re called over at the Cream.

Pitchfork reports that Conor Oberst is probably “closing the book” on Bright Eyes after one more album. Emo girls: you’ll just have to settle for his solo project from now on. Sorry.

jamesjacksontothJames Jackson Toth moved to Murfreesboro around a year or two ago around the same time his band Wooden Wand was calling it quits. I honestly wasn’t familiar with Wooden Wand until about this time, but I did receive a promo copy of his new album Hard Knox under the name “Wand.” He’s been getting some serious love in the blogosphere as of lately, and is about to embark on a tour with the likes of Destroyer and Akron/Family, among others. Today he was mentioned on both RCRD LBL and Stereogum, both of which have free mp3s.

Local web design champion and music enthusiast Michael Eades did a stupendous (and much needed) redesign of the Mercy Lounge’s website. It’s a vast improvement and the calendar is much more readable and easy to use. They also have a blog in the works that hopefully will startup any day now. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

In some local news- it was cool to learn this morning that an emeritus professor at Vanderbilt was the mathematician responsible for solving the three-body problems required to send the Apollo missions to the moon.

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The Colony/Apollo stuff

July 21, 2009

Discovery has a new series called “The Colony” that looks somewhat interesting. It debuts tonight at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT. It’s a twist on the reality TV genre, set on the outskirts of L.A. Ten people are put into an environment that simulates what it might be like right after a major world disaster. I’ve never been big on reality TV, but this could be interesting. Watch a scene here.

Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy posted a bunch of good links to various interviews related to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It’s great to see this getting so much media attention. As I’ve said before, it’s quite possibly mankind’s greatest achievement thus far. It deserves the attention.

The tiny island nation of Tuvalu is hoping to set an example for the world by aiming to have 100% renewable energy by 2020. Obviously this is easy for a nation comprised of only 9 islands. A big portion of their power will come from the sun, since they kind of have an abundance of it there in the pacific ocean. But I’m just glad someone is taking such a strong stance. Hey world! Follow their example! (Via EurekAlert)

As I mentioned in the music post above, I’m splitting up the categories somewhat, so comment and let me know what you think!

Image via nasa.gov

Image via nasa.gov

Today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, on its way to what is arguably mankind’s greatest achievement thus far- putting a man on the moon. As part of the celebration, NASA has posted mp3’s of recorded conversations inside the module. They’re certainly not the highlights of the mission, but it is interesting to hear the casual conversations between Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. They have also posted newly restored footage from the mission here. Also of interest- notice the main logo in the upper-left corner of the website. They replaced the blue sphere with an image of the moon. (Via Universe Today)

Unsurprisingly, the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog put together a collection of 40 hi-res images from the Apollo 11 mission. Check out the eyegasm here.

Endeavour FINALLY lifted off yesterday after 6 delays. Watch the video here. This is a minor milestone in space exploration, as there are now a total of 13 humans in space at the same time, the most in history. There are 6 on the ISS and 7 on Endeavour. Some debris was clearly seen falling off the external fuel tank during yesterday’s launch, and the shuttle will perform a flip maneuver to allow the ISS astronauts to take hi-res photos of the heat tiles to look for damage. We’ll know in a couple of days if the damage was significant.

The New York Times did a nice article on the future of NASA, focusing on missions to the moon, Mars and the budget constraints that may force changes in those plans.

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