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Grand Geyser

Grand Geyser

After way too long, I’ve finally gotten the photos from our trip to Yellowstone National Park on my flickr. We had a great time and I will never, ever tire of seeing that place. It is literally one of the most fascinating places on earth and everyone should go see it. It had been 9 years since I last saw it, and while reading some of the information plaques I realized that some major geologic changes had taken place just since the last time I was there. The place is just teeming with hydrothermal activity and is always changing. Not to mention that the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. So please go take a look at the photos. We also visited Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Grand Teton Park, and came back by driving through Colorado and New Mexico, making a quick stop at Philmont. Not only was the land beautiful, but we also got to see a pretty nice light show in the sky almost every night we were in Yellowstone. The Perseid meteor shower peaked while we were there, and with the absence of light pollution from cities, we could see them quite well. (That is, until the gibbous Moon rose around 11pm…) Literally, we could look up at any given time between sunset and Moonrise and see a meteor within a minute.

Some other random scientific tidbits:

A team of Swedish scientists, with the help of some other Chinese researchers, have discovered a very exact location and date for the birthplace of dogs. Apparently dogs originated from a group of tamed wolves about 16,000 years ago in an area of China south of the Yangtze River. Sadly, it’s also thought that those dogs met their fate in the stomachs of humans. (Via EurekAlert)

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Apple’s new OS Snow Leopard. It’s not a total upgrade, since the last major update was called Leopard, but it is a significant advance in how the computer utilizes those multiple-core processors that have become standard over the past few years. It all boils down to the OS providing a way for applications to run multiple processes in parallel, or at the same time. Gizmodo has an article that explains it quite well, and I suggest reading it. I’ll probably be upgrading to Snow Leopard pretty soon.

And now I’m simply going to leave you with this incredibly creepy video using time-lapse footage of a rotting apple. No pun on the previous paragraph intended. (Via Kottke)

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billy-puppet2

Stereogum reports that Billy Corgan is endorsing the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? I’ve really lost most of my respect for him after seeing this. As Stereogum points out, his band is managed by Irving Azoff, who also happens to be the CEO of Ticketmaster. Coincidence? I think not. Please do follow the link and read his letter to Congress. He offers absolutely no solid reasoning to back up his “opinion.” All he does is rehash what we all already know about the state of the record business- it’s broken because it failed to embrace and keep up with the evolution of technology, and it will never be the same again. “The combination of these companies creates powerful tools for an independent artist to reach their fans in new and unprecedented ways” he says. Really? A huge monopoly is going to help small independent artists reach their fans? I THINK NOT. Since when has any kind of music business behemoth given a shit about indie artists? NEVER. And this merger isn’t going to change anything. The next thing he says is that it will restore the power “where it belongs.” Where is that, Mr. Corgan? The CEO’s? You really think the “power” should belong to the CEO’s??? The very problems you were outlining earlier in your letter happened because the power has always been in the hands of the suits and not the artists and their fans! It’s blatantly obvious that he wrote it because Azoff told him to. I really wonder what kind of bribe Mr. Azoff offered him to write that letter. The most despicable thing about it is that Corgan did it in the first place. He’s just a corporate puppet now, and has lost almost all credibility in my eyes. I say “almost” because I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that he also testified in support of a new law that would require radio stations to pay royalties to the musicians who played on the recordings aired, not just the songwriters. I actually think this is a good idea, but I don’t know enough details to make a full judgment on the issue. Pitchfork has good coverage of that part of the testimony. It’s odd that they don’t even mention the merger support letter, though…

Ok, off the soapbox, and onto some local news:

Nashville hit a record high temperature of 80 degrees yesterday. Now, we’re looking at the possibility of sleet and snow thursday night into friday. Leave it to the mid-south to have a record high temp and then snow 2 days later. Why is this happening? It’s not global warming and it’s not some kind of sign of the apocalypse, it’s just how the weather behaves during the transitional seasons at this particular latitude. Yesterday we were in the “warm sector” of the low pressure system, and under the influence of strong winds out of the south, which brought very warm air up from the Gulf. Last night a very stark cold front passed by allowing much colder air from Canada to spill southward.

Nashville Is Talking reports on the failure of the Bible theme-park proposal in Wilson County. This same group of investors/developers/idiots tried to do the same thing in Rutherford County a year ago and got denied. Thankfully the lawmakers in Wilson County/Lebanon saw the light as well.

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