The Nashville Scene/Cream is sponsoring all the 8 off 8th Mondays during July, and each week the 8 bands will all perform covers from a specific decade- the 60’s through the 90’s. Tonight is 60’s night and the bands are:

Matt Friction and the Cheap Shots
Roman Candle
Eureka Gold
The Clutters
Kindergarten Circus
Ole Mossy Face
Jacob Jones
Millionaire Magicians

Tigers Con Queso will be on the lineup for 90’s night on July 27th. More info at Nashville Cream. I’ll be there tonight taking pics, so come on out. It’ll be fun.

Hipster Runoff posted the new single Got Nuffin from Spoon today. It’s a good song, so go grab it.

I’ve got a lot of science to dump on you today, so here we go…

Astronomers have been a little puzzled by our Sun recently because it’s been unusually quiet. We reached solar minimum, the lowest part of the 11-year cycle of sunspot activity, in 2008. Normally we’d be seeing some sunspots appearing, marking the beginning of the next cycle, but for some reason the Sun has been strangely quiet this year, and no one really understands why. This weekend marked the first real appearance of sunspots for the new cycle, breaking the stretch of puzzling silence. has more.

I’ve always loved the large-scale, long-term predictions and statements that Dr. Stephen Hawking is known for. One of his latest predictions/statements is truly fascinating. He proposes that we take a much broader view of the term “evolution” and include not only genetic information (internal), but also external information. Because we now have the ability to communicate external information we are now in a different stage of evolution. Just like so many of his broad ideas, this one really makes you think almost on a totally different level. Read more at the Daily Galaxy article.

Even though communication with NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander ceased last fall, scientists are still evaluating the data collected while it was in operation. The scientists used a specialized instrument on the lander to detect water ice clouds and even snow falling to the martian ground. Yes, I said snow. On Mars. How effin’ cool is that? Learn more about this phenomenon by reading the Universe Today article.

Also from Universe Today- a more substantiated version of the blurb I posted a couple weeks ago regarding the possible back-up to NASA’s new Constellation program. A video clip from the presentation made to an external review committee by shuttle program manager John Shannon has been posted on YouTube. Apparently NASA is taking this proposal pretty seriously and everyone there is waiting on the final word by an executive session as to whether they’ll keep charging ahead with the current plans for the Ares rockets or try this new plan to retrofit the existing external fuel tank/solid rocket booster system to work with the new Orion Crew Vehicle. Watch the video below. As Universe Today points out, this system would be MUCH cheaper and faster to implement. Honestly, I think there’s a decent possibility that they’ll end up going for this and scrapping the Ares rockets. Only time will tell. Full article here.

My coworker Jordan sent me a link to this amazing website today-

Just go. My favorite so far- “Today, I had just gotten over the flu and thought I was better. So me and my boyfriend decided to have sex. As I was about to orgasm, I puked all over his face. He was so disgusted that he ended up throwing up on me as well.”

You may have heard about the issues that some Nashville venues/nightclubs are facing with the new city sprinkler ordinance that went into effect about a year and a half ago. Well, luckily the ones still unable to comply have been granted an 18 month extension. Furthermore the whole thing might change altogether because the council’s codes committee is voting on a bill that looks to shift Nashville buildings to an International Fire Code, which would dissolve the retroactive fire sprinkler requirement. Read more in the NewsChannel5 article.

In other local biz news, we might be getting wine in our grocery stores soon! This is something for which I’ve been hoping for a long time. I remember as a teenager growing up only minutes from the VA state line, my mom would take me with her on wine trips to grocery stores in VA because it was much cheaper than liqour stores in TN. Part of that was that VA has a lower alcohol tax than TN (because TN has no income tax) but still, grocery stores will likely have lower prices than wine stores. There’s a flip side to this, however…. Small local wine shops may suffer due to the price war induced by bigger chains such as Kroger, which will inevitably have much lower prices due to their size. My friend Courtney Wilder works at an awesome small wine shop in east Nashville called Woodland Wine Merchant. I’ll be interested to hear her opinion on this. I know that I will not stop shopping at wine stores such as hers for quality wine because I would rather buy from a small local store where the people who work there are actual wine experts. But your average Joe probably doesn’t share that sentiment.

Enrique Aguirre/Getty Images

Enrique Aguirre/Getty Images

Scientists in Spain have successfully cloned a species of ibex that went extinct in 2000. The Pyrenean ibex died out due mainly to overhunting. However, the calf died only minutes after birth. The team plans to try again in a year or so. This is amazing and scary all at the same time. We are NOT close to creating a real-life Jurassic Park, however. In order to clone something that’s extinct, you have to grow the embryo in some sort of currently living creature. We don’t have anything living right now that is a close enough analog to a dinsaur for that to work. Maybe we’ll find a way around that problem one day, but not anytime soon.