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The bad news (for you at least): No more posts this week because this afternoon I’m embarking on my yearly SXSW jaunt. I’m back in the world of the badgeless this year, and currently have no obligations or assignments from the Scene, so this year should be interesting. Also, my band Scale M0del is playing the Red Gorilla Festival on Friday at 3pm at the Dizzy Rooster on 6th St. So if you’re down there, try to stop by! It’s totally free and doesn’t require a badge or wristband of any kind. Actually that may not be bad news for you at all, because it’s probably of little significance to you whether I post the rest of the week.

But, I do have good news! Wormhole travel is slightly less inconceivable now thanks to some research by a team of physicists from Germany and Greece! In short- those convenient things called wormholes that made intergalactic travel possible in science fiction such as Stargate, Contact, etc… are actually pretty tricky business, and were once thought to require unfathomable amounts of negative energy to keep stable enough for a person to travel through. All the while, the very existence of negative energy isn’t even a sure thing. BUT, this new research pulls from elements of string theory, quantum theory, and other far-out theories to get around that massive negative energy requirement. This New Scientist article explains it all, so head over and check it out. It’s a long one, but well worth the read. Unfortunately the idea of traveling through a wormhole is still pretty inconceivable, because according to these new calculations, the wormhole would have to be tens to hundreds of light years across in order for a human to travel through it without getting ripped apart by tidal forces. I actually LOL’d at the line “…our galaxy’s stars are crowded together within a few light years of each other. While this doesn’t prevent the existence of a wormhole with a mouth tens of light years across, it makes it hard to position it so that star systems don’t accidentally fall in. Fallen stars would surely disrupt the timetable and so users might avoid our galaxy altogether.” (Emphasis mine.)

This is one of those articles which requires you to create an account through New Scientist, but it’s free, and all you’ll have to endure is a few email newsletters full of fascinating discoveries and other tidbits from the science world. Not bad if you ask me.

I shall see you back here sometime next week, whenever my brain and liver have fully recovered from SXSW. Till then, cheers!

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I’d forgotten that the Blendtec blender existed. Of course they had to do a demo with an iPad. Sure enough, it blends….

Be sure to check all the other blendable things on their channel.

In case you’ve been under a rock, the Eyjafjajokull (don’t even begin to try to pronounce that…) volcano has been erupting in Iceland for well over a week now. Coincidentally, the sun decided to send a rather strong geomagnetic storm our way last weekend. We all know what happens during geomagnetic storms- aurora borealis. Since Iceland is at such a high latitude, it almost always gets to see these aurorae, and when you combine that with a rather docile volcanic eruption, you get photographers hanging out there and taking eye-gasm photographs like this: (Via Live Science)

Photo by Albert Jakobsson

I haven’t posted any real mind-benders on here in quite a while, so here goes:

An Indiana University theoretical physicists is proposing that our universe might actually exist inside a wormhole, inside a black hole that exists in a much bigger universe. If that isn’t a total mind-fuck, I don’t know what is. But it’s really cool to think about if you can wrap your brain around it. The only way I can do that is to reduce our space-time to 2 dimensions and visualize like they do in all those discovery channel shows that talk about black holes and wormholes. You know- the old bowling ball on a sheet analogy. If you dare, read the full article at Universe Today. And see the 2D visualization.

Some cat humor to lighten up your day. Cats Are Always Doing Shit. Via Yewknee.

Remember that Canadian tour the White Stripes did a couple years back? They made it into a documentary, and it’s coming out this fall. It also finally has a title: The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. I’m looking forward to footage from all those impromptu, intimate/acoustic shows they did. Via PFK.

Last summer a new band straight out of high school called The Turf burst onto the local music scene. These kids instantly caught the attention of several Scene critics and local music fans with their catchy brand of dance-rock. I remember seeing them at Mercy Lounge once and was impressed by how tight they sounded at such a young age. They disappeared just as quickly as they appeared, though, and several members went in various directions to pursue college. This summer they’re back, and they’ve got a brand new album called Fascination of a Sort. While the dance-rock wave may have crested a few years ago (at least from a commercial marketability perspective), that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love them. I haven’t yet heard if they have any shows booked this summer, but keep checking their Myspace page for updates. Here are a couple of tracks they were kind enough to send my way for posting:

The Turf-Julio’s Jean Shorts

The Turf-Prey

I came across some truly unique and gorgeous landscape photography today. Tim Simmons has a slightly different take on landscapes than most. He uses artificial light along with what appears to be HDR imaging to accentuate certain aspects of the natural beauty of his surroundings. You can’t go wrong with any of the galleries, but the snow gallery was especially intriguing to me. I’m still not exactly sure how he lit some of those scenes….  Via Joshua Blankenship blog.

Scientists in Isreal have created an artificial black hole. Not the kind that sucks in everything, just the kind that sucks in sound waves. They used Bose-Einstein condensates, which are clouds of atoms that have been cooled to almost absolute-zero. Using two of these, they created a tiny area of extreme low density which allows the atoms between the clouds to flow at nearly 4 times the speed of sound. As with most amazing scientific discoveries of this nature, the event was incredibly small and lasted only 8 milliseconds, but it’s still pretty cool because this is essentially a small-scale analog to “real” black holes in space. Via Discovery News.

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