One prominent NASA scientist believes that we will find life on Mars by 2019. Peter Smith, who led NASA’s Phoenix Lander Mission, made that prediction at a recent presentation at the University of Delaware. I used to think that Mars was probably dead, but used to harbor life millions of years ago. But due to recent findings of the Phoenix mission and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, I do think there’s a chance that we’ll soon find microbial life beneath the soil surface. I certainly hope he’s right… more at Fanboy.com.

President Obama recently further confirmed his promises on boosting science funding and “restoring science to its rightful place.” But unfortunately NASA has not been mentioned nearly as much as other government science organizations. Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy expresses his worries about this and the fact that Obama still hasn’t appointed a new NASA Chief Administrator. I’m inclined to agree… though I should make a point that overall this is a huge win for science and reality in general, and we’re already making vast improvements over the last 8 years of putting politics and ideology before scientific truth.

Oddee has a great post today about 10 amazing and fascinating natural phenomena. I’ve seen a few of these myself, including mammatus clouds, but none quite so dramatic as those pictured.

If you’re Nashvillian reading this, you’ve surely heard about the recent carjackings and robberies in East Nashville. Unfortunately 3 close friends of mine were victims of one of the carjackings, 2 of which received gunshot wounds. They are all fine and recovering, but these people were all heavily involved in our great local music scene and instantly the scene has rallied around them to help with their medical expenses. Jeremy Ferguson of Battletapes has volunteered to put together at least one, if not several benefit shows for these guys. I’ll post more info as soon as dates and lineups are confirmed. It’s possible that there may be a silent auction at these shows, and if there is I will probably put some framed prints in it. Thankfully, it seems that all 3 suspects have been caught.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m curating an 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge on May 11th. It’s gonna be a great one, and I urge you to mark your calendars and plan to attend. As always, it’s free and 21+. Here’s the awesome flier, created by Alicia and Drew at Monkey Ink Design. Spread the word!

Monkey Ink Design!

Monkey Ink Design!

Jack White’s latest side project, The Dead Weather, will be playing their first public show in NYC @ Bowery Ballroom on April 14th. They played a private show right here in Nashville for the opening of White’s new label offices/record store/recording studio/photo studio complex back in early March. In other news via Brooklyn Vegan, AC/DC will be heading back to the US for some extended tour dates. I was under the impression that the Nashville show at Sommet Center was to be their last performance in the US… apparently I was gravely mistaken.

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, Lake Fever has posted a special 5-song issue of their “Lake Fever Sessions” video series starring Superdrag. They play several tracks from their new record Industry Giants, which was recorded at Lake Fever. Pretty effin’ awesome if you ask me. I suggest reading Joe Baine Colvert’s blurb to the right of the videos about his teenage years and first discovering Superdrag. The photo to the left was taken by me when I ran into them at SXSW. Speaking of that… I FINALLY got all my pics from Austin on my Flickr, so go have a look. There are a lot of random candid shots on there that weren’t in the Scene slideshows.

For your daily dose of “awww how cute,” check out this article about a new dog that will be a strong contender for the world’s smallest dog. His owners oh-so-cleverly named him Tom Thumb. Via sister sisyphus.

While we’re on the subject of really tiny animals… might as well mention this new species of tree frog discovered in the Andes Mountains. It’s called Noble’s Pygmy Frog. How cute.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has a set of amazing photos of Mt. Redoubt, the Alaskan volcano that recently erupted. I knew it was only a matter of time before they had a post full of nice Redoubt imagery. I have a hard to choosing between the aerial shots and the nighttime lightning shots as my fav.

Credit: Josh Wurman, CSWR

Credit: Josh Wurman, CSWR

This May 10 through June 13, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are co-funding the greatest tornado chasing effort in history. It’s called VORTEX-2, and in classic scientific tradition, they came up with a really cool acronym, and then figured out words that would work with the acronym and also describe their project. The result- Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2 (VORTEX 2). As if we need verification that tornadoes rotate…. No matter how silly the name, I’d still LOVE to be right there with them!

io9’s quote of the day today: “The Best Green Technology is Population Control.” Just read this whole excerpt by author Paolo Bacigalupi. My favorite quote from the interview:

Advertising agencies and PR firms are delighted to sell us any number of “green” gizmos and they’re throwing in some nice self-esteem blowjobs for all of us, using their persuasive talents to assure us that we’re enlightened and forward thinking because we just stuffed a green X into our Prius.