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This has got to be one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. Cincinnati has a group of real-life superheroes. These dudes/dudettes walk around in a mask and cape, just looking for people who need help. They carry tazers, pepper spray, and handcuffs. I don’t really know what to say about this… I guess it’s good, but as the CNN video says, they could face lawsuits if they taze/pepper spray/citizens’ arrest the wrong person. File this one under WTF?!?!? Via io9 and CNN.com.

I just discovered that the White House has a flickr. You’ll find it has a nice variety of fun photos and serious ones from inside meetings/briefings/etc… Most of them are by the official White House photographer Pete Souza.

Speaking of photography, I just stumbled across this amazing archive of NASA images. All of the images are considered public domain and free for any kind of usage. They also have some great video clips. You could spend hours and probably even days going through this massive archive. We’re talking basically every image NASA has ever released. Each photo has a cool flash application which allows your mouse wheel to zoom in and out on the photo.

WARNING: THIS GAME COULD CONSUME YOUR ENTIRE DAY IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL!

I present to you- Effing Hail. This flash game is perfect for weather nerds like myself. The goal is to move your mouse around to control where the updraft is located, and the updraft lifts the hailstones over and over until they get so huge they fall and crush the buildings below. Simply destroy/crush as many buildings as possible. Via Kottke.org.

I know I’ve been rather dry on music-related posts these past few days but tomorrow I promise to include more!

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One prominent NASA scientist believes that we will find life on Mars by 2019. Peter Smith, who led NASA’s Phoenix Lander Mission, made that prediction at a recent presentation at the University of Delaware. I used to think that Mars was probably dead, but used to harbor life millions of years ago. But due to recent findings of the Phoenix mission and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, I do think there’s a chance that we’ll soon find microbial life beneath the soil surface. I certainly hope he’s right… more at Fanboy.com.

President Obama recently further confirmed his promises on boosting science funding and “restoring science to its rightful place.” But unfortunately NASA has not been mentioned nearly as much as other government science organizations. Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy expresses his worries about this and the fact that Obama still hasn’t appointed a new NASA Chief Administrator. I’m inclined to agree… though I should make a point that overall this is a huge win for science and reality in general, and we’re already making vast improvements over the last 8 years of putting politics and ideology before scientific truth.

Oddee has a great post today about 10 amazing and fascinating natural phenomena. I’ve seen a few of these myself, including mammatus clouds, but none quite so dramatic as those pictured.

If you’re Nashvillian reading this, you’ve surely heard about the recent carjackings and robberies in East Nashville. Unfortunately 3 close friends of mine were victims of one of the carjackings, 2 of which received gunshot wounds. They are all fine and recovering, but these people were all heavily involved in our great local music scene and instantly the scene has rallied around them to help with their medical expenses. Jeremy Ferguson of Battletapes has volunteered to put together at least one, if not several benefit shows for these guys. I’ll post more info as soon as dates and lineups are confirmed. It’s possible that there may be a silent auction at these shows, and if there is I will probably put some framed prints in it. Thankfully, it seems that all 3 suspects have been caught.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m curating an 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge on May 11th. It’s gonna be a great one, and I urge you to mark your calendars and plan to attend. As always, it’s free and 21+. Here’s the awesome flier, created by Alicia and Drew at Monkey Ink Design. Spread the word!

Monkey Ink Design!

Monkey Ink Design!

Image via Space.com

The Kepler spacecraft took its first few images earlier this week, and NASA has released them. The one shown here is zoomed in on a small cluster of stars about 13,000 light years from Earth. Kepler has a 95 megapixel camera to take these images. 95 megapixels. Fuck.

An awesome new concept is emerging in some of the world’s largest cities- green rooftops. It’s a concept that I sincerely hope catches on quickly. Typical building rooftops are dark and dry; they absorb and then release much more heat than a natural plant-covered surface would, and the result is what’s called the “heat-island effect.” This phenomenon is what causes some large cities to be a few degrees hotter than the surrounding areas, and it’s a growing problem. But if we cover most of the city rooftops with gardens and grass, this problem would be virtually eliminated. Please check out this National Geographic article on the subject… not only for the story but for the awesome photography.

Will humans ever be able to travel beyond our solar system? Or will we just resort to armchair astronomy and send an army of intelligent robots to other worlds to explore them for us? The question is tackled in this great article by Luke McKinney from the Daily Galaxy. It’s a short and entertaining read, as all of McKinney’s witty posts tend to be.

The new Harry Potter movie comes out July 15th, and the trailer has just hit the interwebs. I first saw it on this io9 post.

Carles of Hipster Runoff had an encounter with the now somewhat-famous hipster grifter, who brought her cancer/pregnant/sex fraud scheme from Salt Lake City to Brooklyn scammed quite a few hipsters out of a lot of money.

As I said yesterday, I’ll be photographing Rites of Spring this weekend, but there’s also a TON of other great stuff going down, most notably National Record Store Day on Saturday, for which Grimey’s is hosting their Big Ass Outdoor Sale. Be sure to stop by between 10am-8pm and check out the great record deals and live music out in the parking lot. A list of some other stuff happening can be found at Nashvillest. Have a great weekend!

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