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Credit: Pete Souza/official White House flickr photostream

Credit: Pete Souza/official White House flickr photostream

Obama officially announced former astronaut Charles Bolden as his pick for the new NASA Chief Administrator. FINALLY! I’m just glad they now have a clear idea of who’s in charge, and soon will have a clear direction as well.

In case you’re under a rock, Obama also announced Sonia Sotomayer as his pick for the vacant U.S. Supreme Court Justice seat.

Space Shuttle Atlantis landed Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base in California after 3 scrubbed attempts to land at Cape Canaveral. The orbiter will spend a week there being prepped for the piggy-back ride on top of a modified Boeing 747 to take it back to Florida.

With the scheduled Soyuz Rocket launch tomorrow at 6:34AM, the International Space Station will have a full crew of 6 personell for the first time ever. Coincidentally, this also marks the first time that representatives from all 5 agencies involved with the ISS have been aboard it at the same time. Those agencies are NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Ok, enough space stuff already… we’ll stick to science, though, because I found lot of good science news in my reader today, and not much else worth posting.

The National Ignition Facilily (NIF) in California is about to create a tiny man-made star with deuterium, tritium, and one big-ass laser. This has to be one of the coolest-sounding descriptions I’ve ever seen. In all honesty, though, it’s not really a star. But they will create nuclear fusion, the process that occurs at the core of stars, on a very tiny scale for a fraction of a second. This is just one small step toward the solution to all of earth’s energy problems. Not only will this device help solve energy problems, it will also help physicists study what happens when a star explodes, and also the inner-workings of any nuclear explosion. Back to the energy issue, though. If we can figure out a way to contain a sustained fusion reaction, and make it yield more energy than is required to create and contain it, then humans will have solved our energy crisis. As far as I can tell, there’s no Dr. Octavius employed at the NIF, thank goodness…

Stephen Colbert interviewed Seth Shostak on The Colbert Report. Shostak is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute. (SETI stands for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.) Watch it on Colbert Nation.

Ok I have to post something not-so-serious now- Hurley has a blog! Seriously, it’s not the most interesting thing I’ve seen but it’s still way-cool to read about his real life. Besides, who doesn’t love Hurley?

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Obviously the most important thing for me to do today is promote my band’s show tonight at the 5 Spot. TCQ is playing with Mean Tambourines and Dixie Whiskey, and it’s guaranteed to be the best way to start off your Memorial Day weekend! Please do come out for the show around 930… and don’t be alarmed if there’s some other band you’ve never seen playing, because there’s an earlier separate show that will be ending around 9 or 930.

JEFF the Brotherhood got another good mention on Brooklyn Vegan yesterday, as they’re heading back to NYC for another round of shows this weekend along with Turbo Fruits. I also learned in that blog that Turbo Fruits have signed with Fat Possum Records, also home to Andrew Bird, Crocodiles, and WAVVES. Pretty damn cool! I forsee them opening for WAVVES in the near future.

This Nashville Cream post really makes me feel old. It’s crazy to think that some of the shows mentioned on there happened 5 years ago. Of Montreal at the End (both times) were amazing.

We’ll obviously be at the 5 Spot tonight, but as far as other weekend activities, I’ll be shooting the Alcohol Stuntband show Saturday at the Basement, and I have no idea what we’re doing Sunday & Monday. Anyone having a pool party? I really just want to hang out by a pool and have a margarita.

RunPee.com tells you the best times during recent movies to run to the bathroom, and what you missed. They even scramble the part that tells what you missed, in case you’re just checking out the site, but don’t want any spoilers. Hilarious. Be sure to stay there long enough to watch the animation of the type-graphic at the top of the page. Via Kottke.org.

The Atlantis astronauts get an extra day to hang out in space due to bad weather in Florida. They were originally scheduled to land today at 10am, but it’s now been delayed to tomorrow. If I were an astronaut that would be music to my ears. I’d want to spend as much time up there as possible. Speaking of space, I found another awesome image from the mission:

Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA

Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA

Have a great extended weekend!

Hope you didn’t miss me yesterday. I just didn’t really have anything to blog about. But today I bring you this:

Credit: NASA/Thierry Legault

Credit: NASA/Thierry Legault

Yes, that is space shuttle Atlantis, and the tiny dot just below it is Hubble, just before the shuttle’s robotic arm grappled it yesterday. This is the first time the space shuttle AND Hubble have been photographed transiting the sun. It’s really an awesome achievement. Yesterday the astronauts successfully installed a new camera into Hubble, and today they will tackle the task of replacing all 6 of Hubble’s gyroscopes and installing new batteries. While we’re talking about astronauts and space and whatnot, I might as well show you this TOTALLY AWESOME airstream astrovan in which they ride to the launch pad to board the shuttle. How cool is that? They get to ride in a vintage airstream!

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

In other NASA news, Obama is expected to appoint former astronaut Charles Bolden as the new NASA chief administrator on Monday. FINALLY. I agree with Phil Plait (of Bad Astronomy) that he took way too long to make this decision. But with the economic issues, the war issues, and having to fight the GOP tooth & nail to achieve any of his goals, I can understand how this kinda got put on the back-burner.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has posted a collection of stunningly beautiful aerial photographs by photographer Jason Hawkes. Go have yourself an eye-gasm.

We still don’t have any concrete plans for this weekend, but I’m hoping to include Shoot The Mountain’s EP release show at the Basement Saturday. I highly recommend it, as the Protomen and Totally Snake are also on the bill. This will indeed be one EPIC show. Then there’s also Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele with Kindercastle and the Winter Sounds tonight at Mercy Lounge.

One more quick link- Pitchfork did an interview with Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell. Only 12 more days till their Mercy Lounge show!

Have a great weekend!

Flier by Monkey Ink Design

Flier by Monkey Ink Design

Obviously the most important thing to blog about today is my 8 off 8th tonight. This is the flier (done by Monkey Ink Design). I really hope you’ll come out and check out at least a few of these amazing bands I’ve picked. It will kick of PROMPTLY at 9pm, and I promise to keep things moving along swiftly so that the last band goes on no later than 12am, which means the show will be over by 12:20. Here are the last 2 mp3s:

First off is “Home Run Derby” by the Carter Administration. These guys have been around approximately 10 years now. They’ve crafted an interesting blend of simplicity and syncopation that never grows old for me. This track is part of a brand new digital-only EP called Victory Girls/Bitchery and Abomination.

Carter Administration- Bitchery and Abomination

The next track is by a relatively new Murfreesboro-based band called the Only Sons. They used to be known as Ribbon Pigeon but recently changed their name. It had been a while since I’d seen them, and then I heard their new record Steel Hearts. (It can be downloaded for free at their website.) It was done at Grand Palace Studios and shows some real promise. I look forward to seeing these guys continue to develop their sound and style, as I feel like in another year or so they could almost be the next Glossary.

The Only Sons- Hadn’t Been That Long

The other big news today is that Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for liftoff today at 2:01pm, Eastern Daylight Time. As of this morning, the lauch is a go. You can watch detailed video coverage at NASA TV. This mission will not go to the International Space Station, as the rest of the recent shuttle missions have. It’s the final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Because of this, Space Shuttle Endeavour is ready to go on the second launch pad, just in case Atlantis is severely damaged and needs a rescue mission. Normally they could use the ISS as a lifeboat, but since they’re going to Hubble instead, they don’t have that luxury in the event of a major problem. Let’s hope they launch on time and successfully.

Megan and I adopted 2 new kittens yesterday. Somehow I managed to leave my guitar at Springwater Sat. night. (Yes, I’m a dumbass…) and when we went back to get it yesterday (thankfully it was still there) a couple had these two kittens to give away. Since it had been a couple months since the death of Sherman, I figured why not… we ended up getting both of them because they were brother and sister, and had a very strong bond. They freaked out if they were away from each other for too long. Megan had the clever idea to name them Belle and Sebastian. So they’re now officially “indie rock kittens.” Here’s a pic:

BelleandSebastian-Kittens

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