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I’ve been loving the Morning Benders for at least a year now, and it’s good to know that they’re working on new material. Their debut record Talking Through Tin Cans is absolutely excellent and this demo for Hand Me Downs on their myspace page shows promise for the follow-up. Let’s hope they don’t have a sophomore slump. I enjoyed their live set quite a bit at SXSW, though I’d like to see them do a full-length set eventually. (Via You Ain’t No Picasso)

Brooklyn Vegan posted several photographs of Michael Jackson taken by Kevin Mazur during one of his last rehearsals prior to his death last Thursday. Kind of creepy… I can’t imagine being that photographer. Obviously he will profit greatly from the licensing of those images. It’s certainly an ethical dilemma that I would struggle with, were I in his shoes. The value of those images went way up due to his death, but if I were the photographer, I would want to sell those licenses at a “normal” going rate, even though publications would obviously be willing to pay an inflated amount for them because they’re essentially the last images of him alive. I would definitely feel guilty for “cashing-in” on someone’s death.

From Yale University comes some good news in the world of computing. They’re testing the first version of a quantum processor that could potentially offer a way around Moore’s Law. At least for a while. This team of scientists has their quantum processors already doing basic algorithms, so hopefully it won’t be long before these amazing pieces of technology start showing up in personal computing devices. With this type of processor, I’d surmise that a device the size of an iPhone could potentially have the processing power of today’s supercomputers. I won’t get into exactly how quantum processors work (mainly because I have a hard time grasping it myself) but if you’re really into it, check out the original article on Science Daily. (Via io9)

It’s been a while since we really learned anything cool/crazy about the moon, but now that interest in our only natural satellite has been renewed due to NASA’s plan to put a base there, we’re starting again to uncover interesting things. One such discovery is that there is Uranium there. And it’s even on the surface. Scientists made the discovery after seeing the tell-tale signature of gamma radiation in the data from the recently-crashed Japanese Kaguya Probe. (Via Bad Astronomy)

Also from Bad Astronomy comes this insanely cool optical illusion video that utilizes your eye’s natural blind spot (where the optic nerve connects to your retina). It works best if you view it full screen.

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she-and-him_1It’s been a while since I mentioned Zooey Deschanel on here. With her new movie 500 Days of Summer coming out July 17th, what better time than now? I was quite pleased to find a She & Him covers of The Smiths’ Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want on Stereogum this morning. Her beautiful voice is a perfect fit for the song and I honestly can’t stop listening to it. Go please your ears and stream it now. Also, at the bottom of that post is a video of ZD and Joseph Gordon-Levitt talking to each other about karaoke.

Also on Stereogum this morning was a brand spankin’ new Mew track, Repeaterbeater. And this one is downloadable! I’m definitely looking forward to the new Mew album, but I really don’t feel like typing out the album title because it’s a frickin’ poem.

The A.V. Club reports that Big Boi is promising a new Outkast album in the near future…. I’m not holding my breath though.

This kind of cracked me up, then made me sad… apparently a Bolivian TV station was fooled into airing scenes from LOST as footage from the French flight 447 crash in the Atlantic Ocean. Really? I have a hard time even pitying someone so gullible. Via Kottke.

Dave Paulson did a great write-up of Those Darlins in the Tennessean, as did Sean Maloney in the Scene. Speaking of Those Darlins, that’s where I’ll be saturday night taking pics, at their album release show at Mercy Lounge with the Black Lips.

Other weekend fun-to-be-had:

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be doing the photobooth at Happy Valley tonight at Aerial. Obviously the other big news for tonight is How I Became the Bomb+Kindercastle+string section covering ELO’s Out of the Blue in its entirety live at Mercy Lounge. You should probably be at one of these two places tonight. Or go to Mercy and then come to Happy Valley afterward… cuz that shit goes till 230 or 3am!

Oh, and R.I.P. King of Pop.

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!

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