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DJ A-Trak’s Dirty South Dance 2 mixtape is officially available for free download today via his Bandcamp. This mix follows up his 2007 release Dirty South Dance, and continues his style of blending popular hip hop vocal lines with more electro/dance beats. Personally I’m a fan just about everything he does, but then again who isn’t? Dude is one of the most well-respected DJs in the world right now. Just go grab the mix and enjoy. (Via A-Trak’s blog)

Speaking of DJs and dancing, Justin Kase is apparently planning a revival of the post-Buddytown/pre-Happy Valley era Youth Group parties at a yet-to-be-disclosed new location. Kase is planning to move to L.A. this September, thus the emphasis on making the most of this summer. More info will posted here as soon as I know it, but I’m sure it’ll be well-publicized.

Tonight is the final Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge. Come early and stay late, and cast your vote not based on who you’re friends with, but who fucking rocks your face off. I’ll be there shooting pics as usual. Lineup is: Heartbeater, My Tyger, Pico Vs. Island Trees, Delta Saints, Space Capone, Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, And The Relatives, and Deep Fried Five.

On a side note- if you’re in Nashville, please check your property for standing/stagnant water. The recent floods combined with the typical hot/humid summer weather will make the mosquito population explode this year, so if we don’t take measures to prevent them from breeding, we may be in for one very itchy, West-Nile virus-ridden summer. Mosquitoes breed in even the smallest areas of standing water- empty flower pots, buckets, old tires, etc… All you have to do is simply empty them out after it rains, or put them in a place where they won’t collect rainwater. If you (like Megan and me) use a rain barrel to water your lawn/garden/flowers, you can get tablets at any gardening store that when dissolved in said rain barrel, will prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water. I like summer for the most part, but I absolutely dread dealing with mosquitoes every year. I’m cursed with a pretty significant reaction to their bites, and they usually leave me with a quarter-size whelp that lasts a couple of weeks. So, for your own sanity and the sake of everyone else’s, PLEASE take measures to minimize the mosquito population this summer! For more info read this article from WKRN.

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Suckers.

Suckers.

So they found West Nile virus in some mosquitoes in East Nashville. I hate those damned insects as much as anyone, but I get the feeling that media tends to overhype WNV a bit, so I’m here to give you the facts about it. The fact is, it’s not really that big of a deal. Most average, healthy people who contract WNV will never even know they have it; they will be asymptomatic. First of all, there are millions of mosquitoes in the Nashville area, and only a small fraction of them carry WNV (this number varies from state to state and from season to season, but it’s always relatively small). So your chances of getting bitten by one that has WNV are pretty small. Secondly, ~80% of people infected are asymptomatic and will probably never know they had it. Of the ~20% who do show symptoms, only a very few will develop the severe form of the disease (West Nile encephalitis). The CDC estimates that only 1 in 150 people (in other words, less than 1%) infected will come down with the severe form of the disease (which does require hospitalization). Only 44 people died from WNV in 2008 in the U.S. Approximately 36,000 died from the flu. In other words, your chances of dying from the flu are MUCH higher than your chances of dying from WNV. One major thing to remember though, is that people over 50 are more likely to get the severe form of the disease. That being said, you should still take precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. No one likes having mosquito bites all over their legs and arms. Use bug repellent and if possible, wear long pants/sleeves, especially if you’re going to be outside during the dusk hours. That’s when mosquitoes are active. Also, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so if you have any around your house (inside old tires, buckets, cans, etc…) simply empty them out. But for heaven’s sake if you have symptoms get your ass to the doctor. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t be mindful of this virus, I’m just providing the facts and statistics, and trying to counter the unwarranted media frenzy that happens every year. Information taken from here, here, and here.

Though I’ve posted before (though ATTM I don’t care to dig up exactly when that was…) about the world’s fastest clapper, this entertaining video has the world fastest…. everything! (Via Kottke)

Do you have a cat? Have you ever gotten the strange feeling that your cat is somehow secretly controlling you, or that it was plotting to kill you in your sleep? The last part of that statement is a bit far-fetched, but some scientific research has discovered that in a way, cats really do control humans’ behavior. They’ve learned to make a unique combination of meowing and purring to create a sound that is universally unpleasant to humans. They use this sound when they want to be fed. More at Live Science.

Today I leave you with this video. It’s a cover of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” Thank me later…. (Via A.V. Club)

I originally planned to resume posting yesterday, but we encountered some traffic issues on the way back from Austin which resulted in us not getting back till 6am monday morning. I had to be at work at 7. Needless to say, I did not feel like blogging yesterday. More on that later…

Mostly quick links today:

First of all, be sure to check all my slideshows of pics from SXSW over at Nashville Cream. I had a blast, even if I did catch the SXSW Cold Virus of Death on saturday.

Also on the Cream, round one of the Mercy Lounge’s Road to Bonnaroo 8 off 8th contest happened last night, and apparently the Features won by one single vote, edging out Kindercastle. Phew. I do like Kindercastle, but I have to say that the Features deserve it more, even if they do get stuck in some tiny side tent playing at noon while everyone’s still nursing their hangovers. They’ve been at this since 1994, and are probably the tightest, best live act in this city.

The New York Times has an interesting article about the extreme branding/marketing/advertising involved with SXSW.

Those Darlins did a Daytrotter session back in January. I guess they don’t always post these right after they’re recorded… I honestly never paid that much attention before though.

Local bloggers Janet Timmons (Out the Other) and Glenn Peoples (Coolfer.com) were both mentioned in a Reuters article about the blogging panel held on Thursday of SXSW.

Ok enough SXSW junk….

Kottke.org highlights a survey that reaveals the average American citizen’s ignorance of basic science. I find it absolutely pathetic and appalling that only 53% of Americans know how long it takes the earth to complete one revolution around the Sun. But it doesn’t surprise me.

Alaska’s Redoubt volcano finally erupted last night after weeks of rumbling. Seismologists have been expecting an eruption for at least a month now. It’s good to see that our prediction methods are at least somewhat accurate.

The entire Cosmos Series, hosted by Carl Sagan, is now available on Hulu. I will be watching them soon. It’s sad that I can only recall seeing one or two episodes…

I hate mosquitoes. They are the bane of my existence. In my opinion, the world would be a better place if they did not exist at all. They do nothing but reproduce uncontrollably and bite people… and animals. That’s why I was very pleased to read this article about a high-tech laser system that targets and kills them. Yes, you heard right- a mosquito-killing laser weapon. This will probably only be used in areas where mosquito-spread disease is a major problem, but we can hope for it, right?

The Space Shuttle Discovery has been attached to the ISS for several days now, and the astronauts have successfully attached the final set of solar panels, which will give the station enough power to support the new crew size of 6-7 astronauts. You can watch live coverage, including footage from onboard the shuttle and the space station, on NASA TV.

Finally, I have some sad personal news to report. My cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I know it seems lame, but to avoid having to explain the whole story over and over again, I posted a facebook note about it that read as follows:

I’m sad to say that my cat Sherman had to be put to sleep this morning. I’m telling this story on here so that I don’t have to do it 100 times for everyone I know.

We arrived back in nashville from my SXSW trip at 6am monday morning, just barely in time for me to get ready for work at 7. I found him lying on the floor unable to move. He was still yowling, however, so I rushed him to the vet. We discovered that he had a urinary blockage and had been unable to urinate for at least a few days. (Probably since friday, because that’s the day Megan checked on him & he was ok.) This caused his kidneys to malfunction and thus his body was unable to get rid of toxins. He was so near death when I found him that the vet told me there was little hope for him, but I had to at least try to save him. They put him on an IV, relieved the blockage, and put him on a heating pad. His condition improved slightly, but this morning he was unable to control his bladder, showed no interest in food or water, and was still unable to walk or stand. It was obvious that the odds of him recovering were too small for it to be worth the continued suffering it would put him through. So I made the decision to end his suffering. It was a hard choice but it gives me relief to know that he’s no longer suffering.

If you have a male cat 3 years or older, be wary of their urinary habits. This only occurs in male cats, and it’s due to the chemical makeup of cat urine and its tendancy to crystallize. When that happens in their urethra, it causes a blockage. When you can’t pee, it causes major problems VERY quickly. Can you imagine not being able to pee even for 12 hours? If your male cat constantly goes to the litter box but seems to just scratch around a lot, or you notice him squatting but not really doing much, that’s a sign that he might have a blockage problem, and it needs to be treated FAST.

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