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New comet/Fairey arrested

February 9, 2009

Science first today, people.

A new comet has been discovered and will be visible at least with binoculars and maybe even the naked eye for people in rural areas over the next few weeks. It was discovered by a 19 year-old student named Quanzhi Ye at the Lulin Observatory in Nantou, Taiwan on July 11, 2007. Be on the lookout for it over the next few weeks. I’m sure Universe Today or Bad Astronomy will post something about the exact location in the night sky, and when they do I’ll be sure to post it here. Via Live Science.

Space Shuttle Discovery’s launch has been pushed back again, to no earlier than Feb. 22nd. Engineers are still testing those new hydrogen flow valves to make sure they’re safe.

Do you own a cat? Do you know if it’s plotting to kill you in your sleep? Here’s a quick quiz to find out…

Shepard Fairey has been arrested for tagging property with graffiti. He was on his way to a kickoff event for his first solo exhibition. Shitty timing!

Did you you know the grammys were this past weekend? Yeah, me niether. I actually did know, I just forgot about them. They seem to be pretty forgettable these days. Brooklynvegan has a listing of all the awards.

Various people in London decided to use the opportunity nature gave them in the form of recent snowfall to make a bunch of giant snow-penises around town. Reminds me of a few years ago when Nashville got a few inches of snow and some Vandy kids made several snow phalli around campus. The final button in the dailogue box to post a photo on this blog is “insert into post.” Huh… huh huh…. Via Vice Magazine blog. (I promise I’m not really this immature…)

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Everyone is quite familiar with Shepard Fairey’s iconic adaptation of a photograph of Barack Obama. The photograph was taken by well-known photographer Mannie Garcia for the AP. Apparently the AP is claiming a copyright infringement, but technically the image belongs to Garcia because he was not on the AP staff, he was just a hired temporary fill-in when he took the photo. John Harrington has a great interview with Garcia on his blog Photo Business & News Forum, in which you can learn more of the gritty details of this situation. I agree that in fact the issue is not whether it is infringement, it’s whether the term “fair usage” can be applied. I also agree that the copyright owner is entitled to some sort of settlement. Fairey has made A LOT of money off of this image. I find it very honorable that Mr. Garcia is concerned more about recognition than monetary compensation.

Recently I’ve been getting into a new band from New York called The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I highly encourage fans of The Smiths, Jesus & Mary Chain, or the Raveonettes to check them out. These days it seems like the music world is completely overrun with stupid indie rock bands with beards and animals in their names, who make the same fucking album over and over again. But every now and then a new band will stick out to my ears and I’ll actually latch on and add them to my “bands I officially LIKE” list.

I officially am excited to see Coraline. They Might Be Giants did a song for the movie, which is used in one of the tv trailers, and it was directed by Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s also awesome that it was done with REAL stop-motion animation, not CG. Henry Selick+Stop-motion+They Might Be Giants= Awesome. Even cooler is that the filmmakers made 50 customized homemade boxes containing unique items from the movie, and sent them to their favorite bloggers.

Ever see that crappy 90’s scifi movie Anaconda? Ok, maybe not, but it had a big ass snake. Turns out that snakes that big actually did exist a long time ago. They were as long as a school bus, and their body was “so wide that if it were moving down the hall and decided to come into my office to eat me, it would literally have to squeeze through the door.” Whoa.

A company has come up with a way to channel sunlight from a collector on your roof into a light fixture in your house or office using fiber optics. Why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago? Like, when fiber optics were first commercially viable?

And I’ll leave you with the first of three video segments of the Beatles’ last live performance- on the rooftop of the Apple Records building in London on Jan. 30th, 1969. As I said this is segment #1, and here’s segment #2 and segment #3.

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