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Click to enlarge. Trust me- you want to do this!

Before the newsy stuff I had to give you that eye-gasm of a photo of our nearest star a.k.a. the Sun, blowing off millions of tons of hot gas into space a couple weeks ago. This image combines two spectrums of light that we can’t see with our eyes, both of which are in the ultraviolet range and show the magnetic activity better. Both were taken with NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO). We should be glad this enormous eruption wasn’t aimed directly at Earth, else we could have had serious satellite and power disruptions.

Now for the headlines:

  • The teams of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have officially published their findings on the Higgs boson in a legit, peer-reviewed journal- Physics Letters B. This is the same journal in which Peter Higgs first published his revolutionary paper that began the hunt for the boson to begin with. Once a discovery passes this level of scrutiny, it’s DONE. That means we did it! Scientists have been a little hesitant to actually call this discovered particle the Higgs boson, however, since all the properties and attributes of the particle are yet to be nailed down. Over the next few years we’ll start to get a better picture of just what this particle looks and feels like, so to speak, and I’m sure there will be many more questions raised than answered. (Via NewScientist)
  • Star Trek is starting to look a bit more like reality than science fiction thanks to new research being done into anitmatter and fusion propulsion. That’s right- antimatter, as in the stuff they used to run the Enterprise‘s Warp Drive. NASA teamed up with consulting firm the Tauri Group for a presentation that included a prediction that human technology will have advanced to the point that antimatter and fusion propulsion will be possible for spaceships by around 2060. The technology will not, however be capable of faster-than-light travel. According to the 2010 report the presentation was based upon, it would take about 4 months to get a ship to Jupiter with this technology. That’s significantly faster than current technology, but still a very VERY far cry from Warp speed. (Via Space.com)
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First of all, if you’re a LOST fan as I am, of course you know that the final season premiers tonight. To go along with that, I give you two links of interest:

The New York Times’ timeline of a few significant events. This is pretty helpful in remembering the time scale we’re talking about here…

The real physics involved with the time travel of LOST. As an avid science lover/advocate, I have of course been pleased with the fact that the time travel involved with LOST is at least somewhat based on real-world physics.

Image via Nashville's Dead

Unfortunately there’s a great show that I’m going to miss out on due to LOST tonight, and that is the Infinity Cat Rock the Block at Exit/In. In case you’ve been under a rock the past couple of months, Ryan Bruce has revived Exit/In’s free tuesday night weekly series Rock the Block. It’s similar to the 8 off 8th series at Mercy Lounge in that it’s hosted by a rotating cast of local musicians/scenemakers/bloggers/radio show hosts/etc…. It differs in that the number of bands is entirely up to the host, however most of the ones so far have been in the 7-9 band range. Tonight’s is hosted by Infinity Cat records and has a killer lineup. So if you’re not going to be glued to ABC for 3 hours, Exit/In should be your destination, because it’s free.

Speaking of 8 off 8th… Mercy Lounge released the actual lineups for each of the 4 Road To Bonnaroo series today. See the full lineups at Nashville Cream. This is going to get interesting.

For your daily dose of eye-candy, checkout local vintage clothier Carmen Jaudon’s official spring 2010 lookbook. Photography was done by Bradley Spitzer and of course the styling was by Carmen. A good pairing of photographer/stylist indeed.

Speaking of lookbooks… I present to you Hipsters Have to Pee. Must be all those PBRs and soy lattes… (Via Hipster Runoff)

Happy LOST day!

Via Ironic Sans

Via Ironic Sans

That image kinda made my day this morning. Click to get to the actual Ironic Sans post.

I’m pretty stoked to announce a DJ gig next week with one of my all-musical heroes Matt Mahaffey. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid sElf fan and basically love anything the guy has done. The event is a benefit at Mai for Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX). It’s next Thursday July 26th and starts at 10pm. DJ’s will be Matt Mahaffey, Me (DJ Burgers), and DJ Busta Window (Kelly Kerr). There’s no cover and 5% of the bar sales will go towards VOX. From the press release:

This special one night only event will be used to raise funds for PPMET’s Volunteer Program and area college and university student-run organizations known as “Vox®: Voices for Planned Parenthood.” Anyone who supports Planned Parenthood® can join Vox® as its members are a composite of young professionals and post-grads whose progressive values and volunteer spirit reflect the diversity of Tennessee.

I came across some amazing photos from the Glastonbury Music Festival today at the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. Do give it a look, your eyes will thank you.

Some more updates on the new “SyFy” series Stargate: Universe can be found at io9 today. They’ve also launched a new website for the full Stargate franchise. Give the Universe section a good look-over if you’re interested. It contains quite a few video clips and images of the new cast as well as the set.

The Ad Astra Rocket Company has been hard at work building a rocket engine that sounds like something straight out of Star Trek. It’s called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). This thing will greatly reduce the costs of space exploration because it’s many many more times efficient than our current chemical fuel rockets. Unfortunately it won’t work within Earth’s atmosphere, so we’ll still have to use conventional rockets to get us into space, but once we’re there, these engines will make space travel much easier. They build upon the idea of an ion engine (like the one used on NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission), but VASIMR will use superconducting electromagnets to accelerate the ions to much higher velocities (and thus generate more thrust) than past ion engines. (Via Daily Galaxy)

Some local music news for you this fine monday:

How I Became the Bomb has released the final installment of their 3-song digital EP series. Go grab it for free at their website. This one is titled Through Adversity to the Stars! It’s a fine piece of work I must say.

And The Relatives recently did a Lake Fever Session. They just posted the videos on the website. The Fleetwood Mac cover is especially awesome. My band Tigers Con Queso will be playing with them on June 20th at the Zombie Mansion along with Team Illuminati and Sunset Soundtrack from Atlanta. It’s the final show at this awesome house. I honestly wish they’d done more house shows there. It has a huge living room that, when filled with people in a party setting, makes you feel like you’re in a John Hughes movie.

Johnny Kingsbury has posted the photos I did at Happy Valley on May 29th. Check it out if you were there, or if you want to see photos of people getting drunker and drunker as the night goes on….

I thoroughly enjoyed Hipster Runoff’s take on those epic wolf t-shirts. Are you a WolfBro?

Geek alert: i09 posted a video clip featuring a few scenes and interviews with the cast of Stargate: Universe. The new spinoff show is scheduled to air this October.

I photographed Coldplay and Snow Patrol at the Sommet Center this past Saturday night. Check out the pics and the spin review at Nashville Cream.

On to some science news:

Remember Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: the Next Generation? Who doesn’t, right? Well, that ridiculous looking visor he wore to give him vision is getting much closer to becoming reality. I absolutely love it when gadgets or ideas presented in science fiction years ago starts to become reality. Watch this video on Live Science about a new technology that involves a camera installed on a set of glasses that transmits a video signal to a chip that’s surgically implanted on the retina. Of course, this woman’s vision is still limited to “that’s a light area, and that’s a dark area” but it’s a step in the right direction. In 20 or 30 years, I’d say this technology will be far enough along to be very comparable to that of La Forge’s visor.

Tennessee, meet Dogwood Winter. Let’s face it, people, every year we get 1 or 2 cold snaps in April, and southerners usually name these “winters” based on whatever is in bloom at the time. Usually Dogwoods are in bloom when it happens so I usually call it Dogwood Winter. But seriously… SNOW tonight?

A somewhat surprise reunion happened at Radio City Music Hall over the weekend- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr came together on stage for the first time since 2002. I don’t know how I missed hearing about this lineup until now… but it was a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation called “Change Begins Within.” Brooklyn Vegan has several video clips posted.

In other reunion-related news, Simon & Garfunkel are going to reunite for a tour of Australia and New Zealand, Billboard.com reports.

Photo via io9.

Photo via io9.

Nerd alert!

io9 reports that Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver) will make a few appearances in the opening episodes of the latest installment of the Stargate franchise, Stargate: Universe. Not only will RDA make an appearance, but several other veterans of the older series SG-1 and Atlantis are supposedly making appearances. This makes me very happy because I’ll miss those older characters. The Stargate series has easily challenged Star Trek as the most successful science-fiction television franchise in history. SG-1 alone outlasted any of the Star Trek series by reaching an impressive 10 seasons. I guess it depends on who you ask, but that figure alone is unheard of for a sci-fi series.

Speaking of Star Trek, physicist Michael Alcubierre from the University of New Mexico is known for coming up with the idea of a real-life warp drive. Yes, you heard me, a warp drive, as in the thing that allows the Enterprise to go faster than light. But unfortunately quantum physics has put a serious damper on this theory. Universe Today reports on a new set of research that concludes that Hawking Radiation would be present within the space-time “bubble,” and this radiation would literally fry anything inside the bubble. Of course, this whole thing was pretty impossible to begin with because according to U.T., the energy such a device would require is equivalent to the entire mass of Jupiter if it were converted to energy. Whoa…

I read today on Clusterflock that the Xerox Corporation is working on a special type of paper that erases itself, making it reusable. This is truly revolutionary, and I hope it gets off the ground sooner rather than later, though the article warns that it could be many years before this technology could be made commercially viable.

The “a-ha” moment came from developing compounds that change color when they absorb a certain wavelength of light but then will gradually disappear. In its present version, the paper self-erases in about 16-24 hours and can be used multiple times.

I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday’s tomfoolery. Everyone seems to hate April Fool’s but I enjoy all the jokes. I always look forward to what kind of ridiculousness Google will cook up each year. Here’s the Wikipedia page with a history of their pranks.

Photo by Steve Cross

Photo by Steve Cross

Shoot the Mountain have been getting a lot of buzz lately and playing a lot of shows, but everyone’s been wondering when their first release would happen. Well, it’s finally happening on May 16th on Theory 8 Records, and it’s an EP (presumably self-titled?). A release show will happen on that date at the Basement with Totally Snake (WTF?!?) opening. They’re also playing on April 9th at the End opening for Appleseed Cast.

The Features just released details of their upcoming tour with The Dexateens. They’ll be hitting clubs all over the southeast, northeast, and midwest later this month and into May. Oh, and they’ll also be featured in the July issue of Nylon Magazine.

More comprehensive local music news coverage can be found at We Own This Town and Out The Other.

Four Russian cosmonauts and two European astronauts volunteered to be locked up together in a simulation of a spacecraft for 105 days. This is part of an experiment to study the psychological and physical effects of being stuck with 5 other people for an extended period of time in cramped quarters. The experiment will help scientists and engineers plan for an eventual manned-mission to Mars. This will be very interesting to monitor.

I’ve been reading a few different posts and articles over the last week or so regarding a recent vote on science standards for the Texas Board of Education. The board held a vote on several standards for science education and it was mostly a travesty, the biggest of which was the deletion of the statement that the universe is “roughly 14 billion years old.” Sure, there are several different numbers out there that vary by a few million years, but everyone in the entire scientific community agrees that it’s pretty damn close to 14 billion years. A variance of a few million years is NIL when you look at the big picture, and is definitely covered by term “roughly.” There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest otherwise! One faint glimmer of hope is that the board voted down a proposed change that would allow the teaching of “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. If this had passed, it would’ve been just one more way for Creationism to creep its ugly way into the scientific classroom. This article on the NewScientist blog sums it all up very well. I suggest reading it. I cannot get over the quote of board chairman Dr. Don McLeroy, who is quoted as saying, “I disagree with these experts. Someone has got to stand up to experts.” HA! Yea, you tell ’em Dr. McLeroy! Tell those experts that they don’t know what they’re talking about! Afterall, they’ve spent the majority of their lives studying REAL science, FACTS and EVIDENCE… how could they possibly know what they’re talking about? I find it amazing that this man (a dentist) was able to get through medical school with such anti-scientific beliefs. I sure as hell wouldn’t want someone that dumb working on my teeth.

Ok enough ire for one day. I’ll leave you with this hilarious video clip from a 50’s sci-fi movie. I really hope this is how they dance in the future.

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