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I’ve written a lot about exoplanets, planet-hunting missions such as Kepler, and various other topics related to the search for other worlds in the universe. Never have I seen any one image that could really sum up my feelings about it. But that time has come, and the brilliant Randall Munroe who does the well-known nerdy web comic xkcd is the man who did it. I can’t really say any more- just look and read for yourself. Be sure to click through to enlarge it enough to read the small text.

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I’m allowed to be a lazy blogger every once-in-a-while, right? Yea, sorry for the lack of posts this week.

The music news item of the day is actually nothing new at all… but still very important to me. For some bizarre reason I have missed out on the fact that sElf’s masterpiece Gizmodgery is on iTunes! Furthermore, their somewhat-rare Half-Baked Serenade is on there as well! I already have both of these albums, but for quite some time they were difficult to come by. sElf/Matt Mahaffey are/is among my top favorite bands/artists of all time. Quite simply, if you aren’t familiar with the band or the man, then you have a massive hole in your music collection/knowledge and you must remedy that problem immediately by going to self-centered.org. There’s actually a ton of his music for free download there, and just about everything you need to fill that hole. I feel compelled to also point out that Gizmodgery was recorded using ALL toy instruments. Keep that in mind when listening to it and allow that fact to further the extent to which your mind gets blown. Ok, stepping down off my sElf soapbox.

My only other offerings to you right now are these two amusing images:

Via Davis

Via Kelly via The Oatmeal

At a party in Murfreesboro several weeks ago I ran into an old acquaintance from college- Alice Buchanan. She’s from Memphis and had been in a band called Scandaliz Vandalistz which may or may not still exist… but when I talked to her she told me of this new band she’s involved with called Magic Kids that had just formed and were already gearing up for a tour with Girls. I was astounded at the speed of their ascent to label-signed status. As gorilla vs bear, Nashville’s Dead, and the Matador Records blog all report, they just signed to True Panther. Their quick emergence is not unfounded, though, as it’s literally impossible to deny the warm-fuzzy-feel-goodness of “Hey Boy.” It’s very summery, fun, and has the ability to turn even the dreariest winter day into a breezy summer afternoon. The first two bands that come to mind when I hear these songs are the Beach Boys and I’m From Barcelona. Grab two mp3s at Nashville’s Dead. Then just try to keep from putting them on repeat. I dare you. They’ll be playing at the Exit/In on Feb. 6th with Girls, and also hitting up SXSW in March. I’m sure they’ll be on my “must-see” list.

Monotonix singer Ami Shalev’s luck finally ran out at a show in Florida Wed. night. Though Brooklyn Vegan’s headline says he broke his leg, the statement from the band doesn’t quite make it that clear. Seriously dude, you should’ve expected this to happen sooner or later. You just can’t do crazy shit like that at shows without getting hurt eventually. Hopefully they’ll be able to resume melting faces soon enough.

As for this weekend, I’ll be attempting to get to the super-exclusive Clipse show at Phatkaps, but the snow/ice-gasm 2k10 may prevent it. The roads should be clear by tomorrow night, though, for the Wax Fang/How I Became the Bomb/Non-Commissioned Officers show at Exit/In.

And, given my post yesterday about the Mars rover Spirit, I must share this adorable comic from xkcd:

Remember that meteorite from Mars that caused a huge stir back in 1996 when NASA announced that it thought it had found remnants of fossilized bacteria in it? If you don’t, just know that this meteorite, named the “Alan Hills meteorite,” had what we initially thought was a fossilized remnant of ancient Martian bacteria. But then some other scientists came forth with an equally plausible hypothesis for a non-microbial origin of the microscopic formation. So ever since then, the scientific community has been at odds, with one camp saying “Yes, it’s an ancient Martian microbe! There really was life on Mars!” and another camp saying “Nope. That formation wasn’t biological in origin.” But new technology has shed some light on the subject that wasn’t possible back then. Researchers at the Johnson Space Center have used more sophisticated High Resolution Electron Microscopy than was available in 1996 to study the meteorite, and their findings contradict the nay-sayers. So, if no new nay-saying hypotheses come out, then we can be pretty damn certain that microbial life once existed on Mars. AND it may even still exist there, under the surface! (Via Universe Today)

Kottke.org is one of longest-running blogs in existence, and it’s almost always full of random awesomeness. In this case, it’s all about the H1N1 vaccine, and how it and other vaccines are made. I had no idea it took soooo many chicken eggs. Do yourself a favor and read all about it.

Now here’s yet another hilarious comic from xkcd:

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