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.

Not much in the music realm today: The biggest thing I read was that Jack White is planning a solo album…. I swear the guy must be a glutton for punishment. How can anyone be in 3 bands, run a record label, and still have time for a solo project? He’s a machine. That’s the only explanation.

Also of interest- How I Became the Bomb will be teaming up with Kindercastle for quite an undertaking: covering ELO’s Out of the Blue in it’s entirety on June 26th at Mercy Lounge. Obviously these two local bands are heavily influenced by ELO- HIBTB in the use of vocoders and Kindercastle in their use of thick orchestral string arrangements. According to the calendar both bands will be onstage along with an eight-piece string section. That means 16 people onstage y’all. That means this will be seriously EPIC y’all.

If you’re a Twitterer, you might find Tweemap interesting. It plots all of your followers on a map for you. Kind creepy but kinda cool…

EcoGeek reports on the first easily attainable wind power generator for the home. It mounts on your roof and generates 2,000 kWh per year, which is about 18% of the average household’s energy requirement. It ain’t cheap ($4500 plus up to $1500 installation) but apparently you can get some serious tax credits and discounts due to the stimulus bill and other statewide incentives. This makes me very happy. If I owned a house and could even come close to affording the unit, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

The National Weather Service has said that conditions are favorable for an El Nino pattern to form over the equatorial pacific ocean this summer. We haven’t had a strong El Nino in a while, so I fully expected one to develop this fall. The good thing is that El Nino ultimately leads to more wind shear in the areas where hurricanes normally develop, which makes it harder for them to develop/strengthen. But it also means more rain in the US southeast, and slightly above-average temperatures during the winter. However, most areas of the southeast have been experiencing a drought for many years now, so more rain is not necessarily a bad thing. For more info on exactly how El Nino works go here.

I love dinosaurs. We all love dinosaurs. They’re pretty awesome because they ruled this planet for several million years, compared to about 200,000 for humans. When we first discovered their remains, we thought they were related to reptiles. Then after some more discoveries and research, we thought they actually had more in common with modern day birds, and even that modern birds may have descended from dinosaurs. Now that last theory has had some pretty big holes shot through it. Turns out the bone structure of birds’ femur provides a major clue that birds simply evolved parallel to the dinosaurs, not from them. Via Science Daily. Read more if you’re interested.

Back tomorrow, and then that will be it for a while as I’ll be photographing at Bonnaroo all weekend.

colbert_largeNASA decided to name the newest and final American-made Space Station node “Tranquility,” after the touchdown site of Apollo 11 on the moon, as astronaut Sunita Williams announced on the Colbert Report last night. Even though “Colbert” technically won the online poll, I guess NASA just couldn’t justify putting the Colbert name on something so important, and instead went with historically significant name. However, in typical scientific acronym fashion they did decide to call the station’s new treadmill the “Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,” or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. I’m just glad that NASA has a sense of humor. All in all, it was a big win for both parties involved. I’d say the biggest win was for NASA, though… this was great P.R. for them and in these times it’s crucial for NASA to stay popular in the public’s eye. Read the whole NASA press release here, and watch the clip from last night here.

Jack White’s new band The Dead Weather played their first public show last night at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Brooklyn Vegan has photos and coverage. Also, the White Stripes are working on a movie to be released late this year, according to an interview with White on Self-Titled. Via Nashville Cream. P.S.- one Cream commenter says the film is a documentary of their 2007 Canadian tour.

Apparently the Kings of Leon needed extras for a video shoot, but we all missed it- the auditions were yesterday. Tear.

Ever wondered where the phrase “Murphy’s Law” comes from? Look no further. It comes from an engineer named Edward Murphy who worked at the government’s rocket sled test facility at Edwards Air Force Base. Click here for the full story.

LIFE has a new website that’s very photograph-centric, and features a ton of great photojournalistic work. Feast your eyes.

Jack White’s latest side project, The Dead Weather, will be playing their first public show in NYC @ Bowery Ballroom on April 14th. They played a private show right here in Nashville for the opening of White’s new label offices/record store/recording studio/photo studio complex back in early March. In other news via Brooklyn Vegan, AC/DC will be heading back to the US for some extended tour dates. I was under the impression that the Nashville show at Sommet Center was to be their last performance in the US… apparently I was gravely mistaken.

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, Lake Fever has posted a special 5-song issue of their “Lake Fever Sessions” video series starring Superdrag. They play several tracks from their new record Industry Giants, which was recorded at Lake Fever. Pretty effin’ awesome if you ask me. I suggest reading Joe Baine Colvert’s blurb to the right of the videos about his teenage years and first discovering Superdrag. The photo to the left was taken by me when I ran into them at SXSW. Speaking of that… I FINALLY got all my pics from Austin on my Flickr, so go have a look. There are a lot of random candid shots on there that weren’t in the Scene slideshows.

For your daily dose of “awww how cute,” check out this article about a new dog that will be a strong contender for the world’s smallest dog. His owners oh-so-cleverly named him Tom Thumb. Via sister sisyphus.

While we’re on the subject of really tiny animals… might as well mention this new species of tree frog discovered in the Andes Mountains. It’s called Noble’s Pygmy Frog. How cute.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has a set of amazing photos of Mt. Redoubt, the Alaskan volcano that recently erupted. I knew it was only a matter of time before they had a post full of nice Redoubt imagery. I have a hard to choosing between the aerial shots and the nighttime lightning shots as my fav.

Credit: Josh Wurman, CSWR

Credit: Josh Wurman, CSWR

This May 10 through June 13, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are co-funding the greatest tornado chasing effort in history. It’s called VORTEX-2, and in classic scientific tradition, they came up with a really cool acronym, and then figured out words that would work with the acronym and also describe their project. The result- Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2 (VORTEX 2). As if we need verification that tornadoes rotate…. No matter how silly the name, I’d still LOVE to be right there with them!

io9’s quote of the day today: “The Best Green Technology is Population Control.” Just read this whole excerpt by author Paolo Bacigalupi. My favorite quote from the interview:

Advertising agencies and PR firms are delighted to sell us any number of “green” gizmos and they’re throwing in some nice self-esteem blowjobs for all of us, using their persuasive talents to assure us that we’re enlightened and forward thinking because we just stuffed a green X into our Prius.

Jack White’s label Third Man Records has just opened its new office in downtown Nashville, Stereogum and Nashville Cream reports. Included in the new space is a custom designed recording studio. Damn… I’d love to see that. Apparently the opening party featured a performance from yet another JW supergroup side-project called The Dead Weather. This new band features Jack on drums, Raconteur Jack Lawrence on bass, Stonage Queen Dean Fertita on guitar, and the Kills’ Allison Mosshart on vocals. Not only is the space an office and studio, but it will (does?) house a record store and photo studio. Is the photo studio hiring? If so I’m first in line.

Blogging is Serious Business reports on the new Friday night series kicking off May 8th, and lasting all summer, called Noise to Nashville. It’s being put on by Ultimo & Disco and Beatport. “A fusion of indie, pop, electronica and nu disco, Noise will bring artists by the likes of A-Trak, Cut Copy, Chromeo, The Presets, Crookers, Diplo, Little Boots and the best local and regional residents.” Wow. If you had come up to me 5 years ago and said that such large national electronic artists/DJs would be hitting Nashville on a weekly basis in 2009, I’d have laughed in your face. It’s really amazing how far Leon Jackson, Justin Kase, Principal & Coach, Jensen Sportag, and the many others involved in our electronic scene have taken it.

In other music news, BrooklynVegan and Bob Lefsetz chime in on the Ticketmaster/Live Nation fiasco. I’ve said all I can say about it… but I thought you might find both of these posts interesting.

David Friedman of Ironic Sans has a good idea for progressive food packaging. I may just do a little of my own progressive packaging next time I go to the grocery store…

Space Shuttle Discovery had its launch scrubbed yesterday due to a hydrogen leak in one of the fuel lines. Apparently this has nothing to do with the valve issues that caused the earlier delays. They have a tentative launch set for March 15th, this Sunday.

Tatally tatts!

Totally tatts!

Like, TOTES OMG!
I think Hipster Runoff is my favorite new thing. I’ve linked to them a lot lately but it’s really worth it. Today they make fun of people obsessed with myspace, or “myspacers.” And who do they choose to pick on? None other than TRACE CYRUS. Let me explain why this is exceptionally hilarious for me. While in college I had a great friend named Blake Healy. We even lived together for a year. After graduation in the spring of 04, he moved to LA. A couple of years later, he joined this new band called Metro Station with, you guessed it, Trace Cyrus (and his friend Mason Musso). Now they’re getting pretty big. So yes, this is exceptionally funny because one of my best friends is in this guy’s band. They are becoming quite the synthpop tweenage sensation, and Trace is totally playing into that crowd with emo hair, tatoos, and being a “myspacer,” so I can’t really blame them. They know how to make make a lot of money and have fun and get famous while doing it. Wouldn’t we all love to be able to do that? Maybe not the famous part, but the money+fun.. hell yes!

More from the music world:

Ryan Adams is engaged to Mandy Moore. I didn’t even know they were dating. Shows you how much I care about Ryan Adams.

So we all know Conan is heading to LA to take over Jay Leno’s place on the Tonight Show. Pitchfork reports that he’s tapped his red & white buddies The White Stripes to play on his last edition of Late Night. Check the article, as they have a lot of good links to old WS performances on Conan.

I’m proud to announce the launch of my new photography website! The extremely talented Michael Eades (aka Yewknee) put it together for me. He also posted a blurb about it on his blog so make sure to head over and check that out, in addition to my website! www.stevecrossphotography.com

From the department of WTF?!? in the science world, apparently a breed of cattle exists in Belgium which has a mutation of the gene associated with Myostatin, a protein that limits muscle growth in some mammals, resulting in this:
Researchers are attempting to use this protein to treat muscular dystrophy. Via Kottke.org.

A U.S. communications satellite collided with a dead Russian military satellite yesterday, creating a huge debris field, further cluttering up the already dangerously crowded low-earth orbit sector of space. Scientists say that it shouldn’t pose a major threat to the International Space Station, and that the ISS can always execute evasive maneuvers to avoid a deadly impact. The military has sophisticated radar techniques that can track almost every little piece of space junk, so if the ISS or Space Shuttle is on a collision course with an object, they can let them know and the ship can avoid the object. You wouldn’t think tiny pieces of junk floating around would pose a major threat, but you have to remember that in order to be in orbit, that piece of debris has to be traveling at around 17,000 mph. That’s many, many times the speed of sound, and when even a piece of dust hits you at those speeds, it can cause serious damage. Thanks to Matt Sullivan for the tip.