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It’s been a while since I got on my soapbox of how the 2012 Mayan calendar doomsday myth is, well… a myth. Let me begin by saying that there is no reason to believe that anything exceptional will happen when the Mayan long count calendar ends. Anyone that tells you otherwise is either totally full of shit, or is very gullible to fluff and hype (generated by the former). The descendants of the Mayans themselves have even said that the doomsday myth is bullshit. So, this thing is already completely blown out of the water by real science and reason, but just in case you needed another reason not to believe the doomsday hype, now the actual date of the end of the long count calendar is in question. The methods used to convert the Mayan calendar into our own Gregorian years has been shown to be unreliable, and this could throw off the date conversion by as much as 50 to 100 years. So in reality, the Mayan calendar might have already ended (and thus simply started over again)! I’ll keep an eye out for any updates and clarifications to this story, but let’s face it- the Mayan calendar doomsday hype is nothing more than fear-mongering and utter ignorance. (Via LiveScience)

Image via Wikipedia

I know I link to this blog all the time, but the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog continually showcases some of the most amazing imagery you’ll find anywhere, and what’s best about it is the content. This particular series involves the National Ignition Facility in California. This massive experiment could literally solve all the world’s energy problems. What they’re attempting to do here is essentially create a miniature star right here on earth. Just recently they completed a successful test in which they fired 192 lasers simultaneously into one tiny frozen target capsule containing deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen). The ultimate goal is to create a nuclear fusion reaction- the same process taking place in the center of our Sun. As you can easily deduce, this would release enormous amounts of energy that is completely clean- the only by-product is helium, which is the element formed when hydrogen atoms fuse. The only hurdle is that it already requires a massive amount of energy to power the lasers that start the reaction in the first place, so the reactor must produce significantly more energy than it consumes in order to truly be a viable solution to the energy crisis. Another issue could be safety. With a reaction as powerful as nuclear fusion, things can get dangerous very quickly. Thankfully though, if an explosion were to occur, it wouldn’t involve the radioactive fallout danger associated with current nuclear reactors which use a different process- nuclear fission. (AKA the reaction used in the atomic bomb.) Click here to learn more about the NIF.

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Via Ironic Sans

Via Ironic Sans

That image kinda made my day this morning. Click to get to the actual Ironic Sans post.

I’m pretty stoked to announce a DJ gig next week with one of my all-musical heroes Matt Mahaffey. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid sElf fan and basically love anything the guy has done. The event is a benefit at Mai for Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX). It’s next Thursday July 26th and starts at 10pm. DJ’s will be Matt Mahaffey, Me (DJ Burgers), and DJ Busta Window (Kelly Kerr). There’s no cover and 5% of the bar sales will go towards VOX. From the press release:

This special one night only event will be used to raise funds for PPMET’s Volunteer Program and area college and university student-run organizations known as “Vox®: Voices for Planned Parenthood.” Anyone who supports Planned Parenthood® can join Vox® as its members are a composite of young professionals and post-grads whose progressive values and volunteer spirit reflect the diversity of Tennessee.

I came across some amazing photos from the Glastonbury Music Festival today at the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. Do give it a look, your eyes will thank you.

Some more updates on the new “SyFy” series Stargate: Universe can be found at io9 today. They’ve also launched a new website for the full Stargate franchise. Give the Universe section a good look-over if you’re interested. It contains quite a few video clips and images of the new cast as well as the set.

The Ad Astra Rocket Company has been hard at work building a rocket engine that sounds like something straight out of Star Trek. It’s called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). This thing will greatly reduce the costs of space exploration because it’s many many more times efficient than our current chemical fuel rockets. Unfortunately it won’t work within Earth’s atmosphere, so we’ll still have to use conventional rockets to get us into space, but once we’re there, these engines will make space travel much easier. They build upon the idea of an ion engine (like the one used on NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission), but VASIMR will use superconducting electromagnets to accelerate the ions to much higher velocities (and thus generate more thrust) than past ion engines. (Via Daily Galaxy)

Photo by Steve Cross

Photo by Steve Cross

First of all, I can’t even explain how awesome the Those Darlins album release show was saturday night. They TORE IT UP! Go look at the tons of pics I took, and read the great review over at Nashville Cream. NOW. Then go check out the new Lake Fever Session featuring Hung Up On Me, Snaggletooth Mama, and DUI or Die.

Something else that blew my mind: reading that MGMT will be opening for Paul McCartney for two dates at Fenway Park in Boston. One year ago if you had told me MGMT would be opening for Paul McCartney I’d have laughed in your face. What a difference a year makes… (Via Brooklyn Vegan)

Spoon have been in the studio again, and already have new material coming out in form of an EP called Got Nuffin. Stereogum posted a link to Amazon this morning where you could stream it, but for some reason Amazon has since taken that down. No matter, it’s always good to hear new Spoon material. They have the uncanny ability to just keep on making good music, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

For your daily eye-gasm, take a look at the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. I’ve linked to this blog several times before, as well as posted photos from the International Space Station, but I challenge you to ever tire of such beautiful imagery, because you can’t. Today’s post includes the image I posted last week of the Russian volcano, along with 34 others. Feast your eyes.

The Spirit and Opportunity twin rovers that have been operating on Mars for a mind-blowing 5 years now are starting to show their age. Spirit has been stuck in some sandy dirt for a couple of weeks and engineers are having quite a time trying to get her free. They’ve even created a website called “Free Spirit” to chronicle the progress being made. Basically, they have to take different types of dirt from earth and blend them together to simulate the martian soil as closely as possible, then build a dummy replica of the rover and try to position it exactly how the real rover is positioned in the dirt. No one at NASA ever dreamed that these 2 rovers would last this long (the original mission plan was for only a few months!) so it’s not a huge loss if they can’t get her free. At least Opportunity is still in good shape.

stiller-rowlandOK Matt Rowland, first you made an appearance on SNL last week posing as Joaquin Phoenix, now you’ve made it all the way to the Oscars? Does Richie know about this? How is your new found fame going to affect Ghostfinger? Please don’t forget about your friends back here in little ol’ Nashville…

Seriously though, I was pretty happy to see Sean Penn win best actor for his role in Milk. I still haven’t seen The Wrestler yet, though, so I can’t say for sure that I thought he deserved it over Micky Rourke, but ever since I saw Milk, I’ve been hoping Penn would win it. I guess I’ll form my opinion when I finally see Rourke’s job in The Wrestler. On that note, I need to add Slumdog Millionaire to my “must-see” list as well.

So by saturday afternoon half of Nashville had found out about the alleged “Pavement reunion” that was taking place at the 5 Spot that night. Well, you probably know this by now, dear reader, but it didn’t happen. 4 of the 5 members of the band were onstage at the same time, however, and Malkmus sang 2 covers, so that made me happy. Read the full account, and see my photos from the event over on the Nashville Cream post. Oh, and Pitchfork picked up the story and linked to us, as well. Go us!

More local music happenings: I was pleased to find news in my inbox this morning of the Carter Administration’s upcoming releases. The 10-year Nashville rock veterans are releasing a retrospective collection of older songs that they weren’t quite happy with the first time around called Bomb-Ass Singles, 1998-2008. AND they’re taking a cue from How I Became the Bomb and releasing an album of new material 2 songs at a time, for free, via download. The first installment is called Victory Girls b/w Bitchery and Abomination, and is available starting today at their amiestreet.com page. Go get the songs! I’m listening right now and it’s good stuff. These dudes just seem to get better with time.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture series has unleashed another great collection of photographs. This one is called “At Work,” and features some great imagery of everyday people doing a variety of interesting jobs. The Big Picture never disappoints.

You Ain’t No Picasso posted this video footage of the White Stripes on the last episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I agree it’s a somewhat awkward rendition of the song… and the rhythm and speed is changed up a bit, but Jack & Meg can practically do no wrong in my eyes.

Want to really bend your brain? Read this article on the Daily Galaxy about the resolution of reality. Are we real or are we just holograms caused by the quantum interactions at the edges of the universe? This will be fun to read, even if you aren’t that much of a science nerd, because this particular writer (Luke McKinney) has a humorous and witty way of explaining things.

REUTERS/Jason Reed

I link to this website way too often, but this one really deserves it- the Boston Globe’s Big Picture website has some fantastic imagery from Obama’s inauguration.

I tried to like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! back when every blog on the internet was drooling over them, but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t really know why everyone liked them so much… in my opinion they were just another one of those incredibly over-hyped Pitchfork bands, just like TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, and Vampire Weekend. Well, according to Stereogum, there was a rumor they were breaking up, but they’re not afterall. Just taking a hiatus while the members work on their respective side projects. I don’t really give a shit what happens to them.

The coolest shirt ever. Well maybe not EVER, but it’s right up there with my LED belt buckle. If you’ve never seen my LED belt buckle, come to the Deli party I’m DJing this sat. at 3609 Pilcher Ave. It will be in full action.

Total eye-gasm. In fact… multiple eye-gasms. The Boston Globe’s “Big Picture” comes through as always with another set of amazing imagery. This is a collection of images from satellites. Click the image to get to the site.

Anamalia: Mikel Uribetxeberria. Not sure what country this guy is from, but his images are amazing. These images of different animals in completely odd places make me very happy and yet uneasy at the same time… and I’m not really sure how this was pulled off technically.

In music news, Devo is playing this year’s SXSW, and Pavement is heavliy rumored to be re-uniting to play ATP NY. I’m contemplating joining my friend and bandmate Seth on an adventure to SXSW this year. I’ve been talking about it for a few years now, and now it’s time to just DO IT.

Nashvillians are stupid sometimes. Metro schools are closed today because of the cold. Come on people, because of the cold? Seriously? Apparently a lot of kids walk to school… but why can’t you just bundle the hell up? Layers, people, it’s all about layers! You people are bunch of of pansies! Via Nashvillest.

Remember that scene in A Christmas Story where the kid is dared to put his tongue on a metal lightpost and ends up with his tongue frozen to it? Well, I guess kids still actually do that.

A tutorial video from a xhardcorex kid on how to do a xone-stepx and xtwo-stepx xwall flipx. That’s sooo xhardcorex dude.

A US Airways plane taking off from LaGuardia airport in NYC had to abort and land in the Hudson river yesterday, which I’m sure you’ve seen in the news by now. Apparently it was caused by a bird flying into one of the engines. Thankfully no one was hurt. A quick youtube search for water plane landings yielded this terrifying video of a plane barely missing some buildings near a beach, then landing in the water.

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