Remember when those crazy religious zealots disguised as “developers” wanted to build a Bible theme park in Rutherford County and failed? Then they tried to do the same thing in Wilson County and failed again? Well, a family in Rutherford Co. is suing the county for damages because they had a land deal with the developers, pending county approval. The county is ready for a fight, though, and declined a settlement offer to avoid hearings. I can’t see how the family will win this. The county had very good, completely legal reasoning for not approving the park. There was no wrongdoing involved! Via Nashvillest.

There’s a tornado watch today until 4pm, so be on the lookout. Since it’s a relatively hot topic lately, I thought I’d show you a little tidbit about how tornado warnings are issued. As you should know, warnings are only for counties or cities. They issue them when a tornado is indicated by either doppler radar or by a trained spotter, or both. Doppler radar has a unique ability to determine whether the precipitation it detects is moving toward or away from the radar site. Here’s an image from this morning from the NWS website showing the Storm-Relative Mean Radial Velocity. Don’t worry about what that means, but just know that red indicates precip moving away from the radar site, and green indicates precip moving toward it.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The brighter the color, the faster the wind speed. The area highlighted is what’s called a “couplet” and it shows bright red and green right next to each other, indicating rotation. This is what the NWS means when they say that doppler radar indicates a “storm capable of producing a tornado.” The couplet only means there’s large-scale rotation in the storm, not necessarily a twister on the ground. That’s where spotters like me come in. We are the eyes and ears that can actually confirm that a tornado is on the ground, thus enhancing the NWS’s ability to issue accurate and timely warmings. Sorry that ended up being a little longer than I expected…

Now for a taste of what’s going on this weekend…

Tonight I’m shooting pics of Flight of the Conchords at the Ryman. It’s sold out, so I’m very excited to be photographing/seeing them.

Saturday there are a few things going on, but I have no idea what we’re going to, if anything, yet:
Pico Vs. Island Trees/And the Relatives/Elle Macho @ Mercy Lounge
JEFF the Brotherhood, The Tits, The Weiners @ The End

Finally, if you haven’t seen this video of Billy Bob Thornton on a Q TV interview with his band the Boxmasters, please do watch it NOW. It will make your day. The man is just plain weeeeird. Via Nashville Cream.

So there it is. Enjoy it. The look on his face right after it is priceless. Overall, though, he rocked the house like only he could. In my opinion, one of the better superbowl halftime shows in recent history. GIF image via You Ain’t No Picasso.

The RIAA and Universal Music Group are at it again, claiming that if you’re a music reviewer and you haven’t kept track of every single promo CD you’ve ever recieved, then you’re a pirate. They won’t win the court battle, because if they do then, technically any book publisher could stick a label on their books saying “not for library lending.” When are these assholes gonna learn?

In case you haven’t heard, Flight of the Conchords are playing at the Ryman April 10th.

A new Spoon track has surfaced on Stereogum… and I have to admit it’s kinda strange. Now, I’m far from being a Spoon fanatic, so someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first Spoon track to involve an electronic beat. Their new album hits shelves Feb. 17th.

Old 1940’s photographs superimposed on new ones taken in exactly the same location in Russia. The text is all in Russian, but you needn’t read it. The images say it all.

Speaking of Russia, apparently they want to build their own space station. I also had no idea that the current Internation Space Station was scheduled to retire in 2015. It just seems to me that too much money has been spent on the ISS to retire it only 5-6 years after its completion.

Finally, I want to say a few things about science and religion. While I consider myself a person of faith, I don’t follow any one organized religion specifically, and I don’t beleive that we should ever look to religious texts to explain our environment and how it works. The only reliable method of explaining our environment (and by environment I mean everything from our planet to the entire universe) is SCIENCE. My favorite writer from the Daily Galaxy, Luke McKinney, posted a very well worded blurb about evolutionary theory and its unknowns. Let me say this- science and religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they are completely different methods of thought. Science has even supported some of the stories in the Bible, but as Mr. McKinney so eloquently says, “Religious texts can be incredibly positive works, prescribing social support and good rules for a good life if used properly, but declaring one to be a definite depiction of reality is like calling Chicken Soup for the Soul a quantum mechanics textbook.”