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The Nashville Scene/Cream is sponsoring all the 8 off 8th Mondays during July, and each week the 8 bands will all perform covers from a specific decade- the 60’s through the 90’s. Tonight is 60’s night and the bands are:

Matt Friction and the Cheap Shots
Roman Candle
Eureka Gold
The Clutters
Kindergarten Circus
Ole Mossy Face
Jacob Jones
Millionaire Magicians

Tigers Con Queso will be on the lineup for 90’s night on July 27th. More info at Nashville Cream. I’ll be there tonight taking pics, so come on out. It’ll be fun.

Hipster Runoff posted the new single Got Nuffin from Spoon today. It’s a good song, so go grab it.

I’ve got a lot of science to dump on you today, so here we go…

Astronomers have been a little puzzled by our Sun recently because it’s been unusually quiet. We reached solar minimum, the lowest part of the 11-year cycle of sunspot activity, in 2008. Normally we’d be seeing some sunspots appearing, marking the beginning of the next cycle, but for some reason the Sun has been strangely quiet this year, and no one really understands why. This weekend marked the first real appearance of sunspots for the new cycle, breaking the stretch of puzzling silence. Space.com has more.

I’ve always loved the large-scale, long-term predictions and statements that Dr. Stephen Hawking is known for. One of his latest predictions/statements is truly fascinating. He proposes that we take a much broader view of the term “evolution” and include not only genetic information (internal), but also external information. Because we now have the ability to communicate external information we are now in a different stage of evolution. Just like so many of his broad ideas, this one really makes you think almost on a totally different level. Read more at the Daily Galaxy article.

Even though communication with NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander ceased last fall, scientists are still evaluating the data collected while it was in operation. The scientists used a specialized instrument on the lander to detect water ice clouds and even snow falling to the martian ground. Yes, I said snow. On Mars. How effin’ cool is that? Learn more about this phenomenon by reading the Universe Today article.

Also from Universe Today- a more substantiated version of the blurb I posted a couple weeks ago regarding the possible back-up to NASA’s new Constellation program. A video clip from the presentation made to an external review committee by shuttle program manager John Shannon has been posted on YouTube. Apparently NASA is taking this proposal pretty seriously and everyone there is waiting on the final word by an executive session as to whether they’ll keep charging ahead with the current plans for the Ares rockets or try this new plan to retrofit the existing external fuel tank/solid rocket booster system to work with the new Orion Crew Vehicle. Watch the video below. As Universe Today points out, this system would be MUCH cheaper and faster to implement. Honestly, I think there’s a decent possibility that they’ll end up going for this and scrapping the Ares rockets. Only time will tell. Full article here.

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On my way home from work- 31st ave north near Centennial park.

On my way home from work- 31st ave north near Centennial park. Click to enlarge.

Yesterday brought some very interesting weather to Nashville. Interestingly enough, the biggest story was the flash flooding that occurred downtown, not necessarily the (not-yet-confirmed by the weather servie) tornado that allegedly touched down near the airport/Donelson. Nashvillest had a link to a pretty amazing video of the Hillsboro Village area during the peak of the flooding. Poor Fido’s! I hope they didn’t have any real damage from the water! I barely made it home from work before the cops shut down West End due to the water. Yesterday’s incident was the classic example of flash-flooding. It was simply a case of a tremendous amount of water being dumped in one area in a very short amount of time. When this happens it simply overwhelms even the best of drainage systems, and all that water has to go somewhere. In fact, according to the NWS website, we set a record high maximum daily rainfall yesterday! Go us?

The Sun is sleeping. At least as far as sunspot activity goes. As you probably learned in middle school, the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of sunspot activity. The peak time is solar maximum and the low point is solar minimum. Right now we’re in solar minimum (the last maximum was around 2001), but this one is particularly low. So low that it has scientists intrigued as to what exactly this could mean for the next solar maximum, scheduled for 2012-2013. Universe Today has a great article on this if you’re interested in learning more.

Ok, on to some non-scientific links…

Oddee.com has some really big stuff on today’s post.

A German researcher accidently pricked herself with a needle used to inject Ebola into mice, and was given an experimental vaccine that had never been tested on humans. She’s fine now, but it’s not clear whether the vaccine saved her, or if the virus simply never enter her bloodstream in the first place. Scary…

Those crazy pranksters at Improv Everywhere pulled off one hell of an April Fool’s joke wednesday. They attempted to give someone the “best funeral ever” by finding the smallest funeral with the fewest likely relatives/friends, and sending a large group of mourners to make the family have the best funeral ever. The only thing is… it was all staged, including the funeral itself. But the local news totally fell for it and covered it as a real news story! Congrats, guys. In case you didn’t know, this same group drew some ire over a prank where they found a crappy band with almost no fans, and sent a huge group of people to one of their shows to totally rock out and act crazy as though they were dedicated fans. Of course, this ended up backfiring and really pissed off the band and a lot of youtube viewers. The group finally apologized for the whole thing.

WEEKEND STUFF!

For Friday:

Probably the coolest thing happening is The Privates’ Motion EP release show at the Basement. These guys just can’t seem to stop making amazing rock music. Opening are Hotpipes and the Garland Sisters.

Also, L.A.-Nashville transplants The Ettes are rocking the Exit/In with Wax Fang and The Whigs.

Another event worth mentioning is the Hot Rocks Dance Party at Mercy Lounge. This event is basically the same thing as the weekly Monday night rock n roll dance parties held at the 5 Spot, except they’ve jumped the river for a weekend time slot, and added in Broadway honky-tonker Heath Haynes.

For Saturday:

The Tits, Lovehog, & Sam Stewart @ the End.

Carter Administration & Power Load: an AC/DC Tribute @ the 5 Spot. Power Load is comprised of members of the Carter Admin and the Clutters.

Another local music tidbit that you probably already know by now: the full motion picture soundtrack to locally-made indie film Makeout With Violence is now available at their website. Two full CDs of music for only $15? You can’t beat that with a stick.

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