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The fine folks over at Nashvillest have attempted to top their famous reader-submitted “CMA Bingo” game this year by having a submission contest for this year’s. By the time you read this the contest will have closed, but look on Nashvillest.com tomorrow to see the winner. I don’t know if anyone can top last year’s though:

Some quick science tidbits before I get into my “rant”….

The Japanese Kayuga probe has been orbiting/studying the moon since 2007 and will make a controlled impact on the lunar surface today. No, it’s not landing, it’s actually going to crash into the surface at full orbital velocity. In other words, it’s going to make a crater. It’s done its duty, so might as well go out with a bang eh?

Remember when I told you about project VORTEX 2? A quick refresher- it’s a huge team of scientists that are currently chasing tornadoes out in the plains to gather data and improve on warning systems/prediction. Actually I think it ended today. But they did capture one piece of truly phenomenal footage when a twister they were filming turned/roped sideways and gave their videographer a view straight down the throat of the funnel. Check it out here. Absolutely amazing! Via Live Science.

Fair warning: I’m about to rant on something. But it’s very much worth ranting on.

As you know if you’ve read this blog before, I’m a photographer for the Nashville Scene. Last year I covered Bonnaroo for them and this year I’m doing it again, only this time my photos will be used across most of the blogs and papers owned by Village Voice Media. Photo contracts are quite commonplace at concerts involving big-name artists/bands. Bonnaroo, being the biggest festival in the country, is obviously no exception. They have a blanket contract that photographers have to sign in order to cover the festival at all. Last year its was a pretty basic contract just limiting the usage of your photos to whatever specific publication or wire service the photographer was shooting for. Without any kind of contract, legally a photographer can sell his/her images of a band or artist’s performance to any agency or news publication without a model release from the people in the photos because that is considered editorial usage, which is different from commercial usage (which requires a model release from anyone in the photo). In recent years, as the music industry has crumbled due to its unwillingness to adapt to technology, labels and artist management firms have introduced what are known as “rights-grabbing” contracts that get shoved in a photographer’s face right before they go in to photograph a show. These contracts have gotten more and more outrageous in the last few years, and this year I got my first taste of a full copyright-grabbing contract. I won’t say which artist/s I’m referring to, but suffice it to say that there are a few specific artists every year at Bonnaroo that have a separate contract than the overall festival photo contract, and they also have a restricted list of photographers who will be allowed to photograph them. This year there were 4 that did this. (So far I’ve been approved for 3 of them.) This particular artist’s contract stated that I would have to turnover the full image rights to the label, and that the images could be used only once for the specific publication I was shooting for. After that, the label would then own the images and wouldn’t have to pay me a dime for them. Furthermore, this meant that the label could then use my images in merch, promotional items, or whatever they please, and I wouldn’t get a penny of royalties or any other compensation. If I don’t sign it then I won’t be allowed to photograph the artist. Let it be known that I will certainly NOT be signing such an outrageous contract and that thankfully VV is backing me up on it. They agreed that the terms of the contract were completely unreasonable and didn’t expect me to sign it, and were fine doing without photos of said artist. It’s really pathetic that these record labels are not only screwing their artists out of money, they’re now trying to screw the photographers who cover their artists’ concerts. These people literally must have no shame or dignity. What these contracts do is essentially steal and then exploit. If you’re a music photographer, please read these contracts before you sign them. If an artist insists on such a ridiculous contract, then they are NOT WORTH YOUR TIME IN THE FIRST PLACE! And if the publication for which you’re shooting does not back you up on this, then you are working for the wrong publication, and they are not worth your time either!

Thank you and good night.

P.S. Don’t expect to see many posts on there over the next few days. I have no idea if I’ll have time to blog at all, and if I do it’ll be a very quick blurb about something crazy I witnessed.

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If you know me, you know that I’m a huge Zooey Deschanel fan. In fact, she’s #1 on my celebrity crush list. Even though her upcoming movie with Jim Carrey Yes Man looks like nothing more than a re-working of his older film Liar Liar, I am still eager to see it. She offers her voice to some synthpop tracks for the film, and it’s… well… just listen. Let’s just say she needs to stick to quirky indie-folk. Her voice is beautiful no matter what, but it’s just not well-suited for synthesizers.

The Japanese space agency JAXA is planning to fly a paper airplane out of the International Space Station, to the earth. The planes will be made of a specially treated paper that can withstand extreme heat and water. Yes, even a little paper airplane will create significant heat upon re-entering the atmosphere. Remember that it’s being launched from the ISS, which is in orbit, meaning that it will be traveling at around 17,000 mph. If my knowledge of physics is correct, since it’s so light it will have less inertia, and thus slow down much faster than say, a spaceship or a meteor… so it shouldn’t have to withstand the heat for very long. My question is this- do they really expect it to be found? The vast majority of the planet is covered by water, so the chances are that it will land in the middle of the ocean and never seen again. Link via Kottke.org.

UPDATE: Apparently the launch has been scrubbed due to concerns that the planes might collide with a satellite or end up as space junk. Link. It was a cool idea!

In 1960 Joe Kittinger set records for highest jump (102,800 feet), fastest unpowered flight (he fell at 614 mph!), and several others. This guy is the definition of badass. I’m not sure about the speed, though, because if you listen during the video clip, the narrator says 400+ mph… but the caption says 614. Oh well. Badass nonetheless! Check out the video clip on LiveScience.

In Nashville music news- The Privates are apparently recording a new EP at Battletapes. This brings me great joy. The Privates don’t get to play much, or even record much, due to the fact that they’re essentially a “supergroup” and all of them (except Dave) are in other bands that tour, record, etc… way more than they do. I’m really interested to see how Jeremy’s production style will influence their sound. They’ve done everything in the past with Jason Bulluck over at Lake Fever Productions (not that that’s a bad thing at all!) so it’ll be nice to have a little change in their sound, production-wise. I leave you with this hilarious video from one of their recording sessions, via Nashville Cream.

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