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I guess the biggest news today is that the reunited Blur finally played some shows recently in the UK, and the announcement that 3 members of New Order have joined with Blur bassist Alex James to form a new band called Bad Lieutenant. More on that story at Brooklyn Vegan.

I’m a little late in posting about this, but if you’re a Nashville band (or actually, any band, really) you can now submit to play the 4th annual Next Big Nashville festival/conference being held this October 7-11. This year’s festival is now open to any band, from any city, though according to their blog, a Nashville connection does help:

“While NBN is obviously focused on shining a spotlight on artists from the area, our submission process isĀ open to artists from anywhere (that means you Iceland!). A Nashville connection certainly helps, but our event is about a celebration of the creative center that is Music City, and much like the party our Austin friends throw every year in March, everyone is invited.”

I’m glad they ditched the rip-off scheme that is Sonicbids in favor of this submission form through American Songspace. I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s festival!

Right off the heels of his big success with The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky is working on a film adaptation The Black Swan. While I’m unfamiliar with this book, the story sounds intriguing and the idea of Aronofsky working with Natalie Portman makes it a must-see in my opinion. Via Kottke.

NASA had to postpone the launch of Endeavour until July 11 at the earliest. The same hydrogen leak popped up again as they were filling the external tank for launch this morning.

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Olympus Mons is the largest volcano on Mars (though no longer active), and is also the largest volcanic feature we’ve ever discovered in our entire solar system. It’s so big that you wouldn’t even know you were on a mountain if you were standing on it- it would just look like a vast gently sloping plain, as far as your eye could see. Well, not only is it the most badass volcano ever… it’s also the latest location to exhibit the possibility for life on Mars. According to this Universe Today article, a couple of scientists from Rice University have found evidence that liquid water may be trapped in clay deep underneath the giant moutain, and is the only explanation for its assymetry. The only life that could survive there would be heat-loving microbes called thermophiles, much like the algae that lives in the thermal pools at Yellowstone.

NASA is seriously considering sending a fleet of robots to the moon to do some preparatory construction on what will eventually be a manned moon base. There are some who think going back to the moon is pointless, and that we should just shoot straight for Mars, but I tend to agree with the government that we should take our expansion into the solar system one step at a time. Yes we’ve been to the moon, but we haven’t built a base there, and I think we need to build a base somewhere close before we try to build a base on Mars.

Speaking of robots, The Boston Globe’s “Big Picture” has a series of awesome robot photographs. My favorite is the very last one, which shows NASA’s next Mars mission, the Mars Science Laboratory. The cool thing about it is that there’s a woman in the photo, giving you perspective on the actual size of the thing, which is much bigger than anything we’ve sent to Mars before.

Now for some music-related news…

Wired.com reports that Ticketmaster and Live Nation are running into some problems with their proposed merger (thank god). In a recent hearing they were unsuccessful in convincing Sen. Herb Khol (D-Wisconsin) of the legality of the merger. One of their biggest arguments for the merger is that it will result in lower ticket prices. I’m no economic expert by any means, but even I know that the only thing that really keeps prices low is competition.

Check out this Rolling Stone blog post with a clip from Michael Jackson’s “comeback announcement” yesterday. I wonder just how many shows he can make it through… I’m betting not as many as he promised.

Lastly, if you’re in Murfreesboro this weekend, be sure to check out the YEAH benefit show at the Vine, featuring JEFF the Brotherhood and And The Relatives, and then head over to the Grind for a FREE show featuring the Tits, my band Tigers Con Queso, and Mean Tambourines. Have a great weekend!

New comet/Fairey arrested

February 9, 2009

Science first today, people.

A new comet has been discovered and will be visible at least with binoculars and maybe even the naked eye for people in rural areas over the next few weeks. It was discovered by a 19 year-old student named Quanzhi Ye at the Lulin Observatory in Nantou, Taiwan on July 11, 2007. Be on the lookout for it over the next few weeks. I’m sure Universe Today or Bad Astronomy will post something about the exact location in the night sky, and when they do I’ll be sure to post it here. Via Live Science.

Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch has been pushed back again, to no earlier than Feb. 22nd. Engineers are still testing those new hydrogen flow valves to make sure they’re safe.

Do you own a cat? Do you know if it’s plotting to kill you in your sleep? Here’s a quick quiz to find out…

Shepard Fairey has been arrested for tagging property with graffiti. He was on his way to a kickoff event for his first solo exhibition. Shitty timing!

Did you you know the grammys were this past weekend? Yeah, me niether. I actually did know, I just forgot about them. They seem to be pretty forgettable these days. Brooklynvegan has a listing of all the awards.

Various people in London decided to use the opportunity nature gave them in the form of recent snowfall to make a bunch of giant snow-penises around town. Reminds me of a few years ago when Nashville got a few inches of snow and some Vandy kids made several snow phalli around campus. The final button in the dailogue box to post a photo on this blog is “insert into post.” Huh… huh huh…. Via Vice Magazine blog. (I promise I’m not really this immature…)

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