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Credit: M.R. Taufik

Yesterday a relatively rare phenomenon occurred over parts of the Pacific Ocean, southeast Asia and Australia- an annular solar eclipse. Solar eclipses aren’t that common to begin with, but what makes it an annular solar eclipse is the fact that the moon’s occultation of the sun coincided with its furthest point from earth in its orbit. In other words, the moon’s orbit is elliptical, so it’s not always the same distance from earth. IF the point at which the moon is farthest from earth in said elliptical orbit happens to coincide with a solar eclipse, the moon’s disc doesn’t fully cover the sun, and it results in a ring of light showing around the black disc of the moon. Pretty cool, and definitely something I’d like to see before I die. For now though, we can just enjoy the photos linked to on the Universe Today post about it.

So I read the stories yesterday about everyone’s favorite Atlanta troublemakers Black Lips getting chased around India on their tour, but I decided to wait until the full story surfaced to post about it. Pitchfork is totally gay for them so I knew they’d post an update the very minute they heard anything. I was right. But the full story can be found on their label Vice’s blog. It’s an interview with the drummer… and it turns out they weren’t actually chased by the cops, and the only people really after them were their tour manager and his production company. Now they’re in Germany hanging out with King Khan, who I can’t wait to see with the Shrines at the Exit/In in March.

Speaking of rock n roll, thanks so much to everyone who came out to my 8 off 8th last night. Unfortunately my band Tigers Con Queso couldn’t play because Seth came down with a serious case of the flu earlier in the day, so it was a 7 off 8th, but it was awesome nonetheless, and people seemed to really enjoy it. Everything was on time and the last band didn’t end up getting screwed & having to play at 1am on a monday. The official door count was 157 people. I also wore this insane sweater that my mom got for my dad back in the 70’s, and apparently it’s the most amazing thing anyone has ever seen, because people were flipping out over it all night. Thanks mom! (You just have to see it to understand.)

The Nashville Cream reported yesterday that guitarist Denis Deck will be leaving How I Became the Bomb soon. The split was amicable, and Deck will continue to play with them until temporary replacement Russell Hanberry from Stories That Live can take over.

Turns out even babies know how to rock out. My mom always said she knew I’d be a drummer even before I was born because I apparently pounded the inner walls of her uterus incessantly.

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January 14, 2009

I have a theory about Microsoft’s Songsmith software. If you haven’t read this blog in a while, read the last couple of posts, which mention this new software and how awful it is. Click the links, watch the ad, hear the David Lee Roth’s Runnin’ with the Devil run through it, then come back. Ok… I think that Microsoft intentionally made the software sound so cheesy, and the ad so ridiculous and un-ironic, that people like me (and most real musicians) would want to take their dry vocal tracks and run them through it as a joke, just to see how ridiculous it would sound. Just go read the comments in the Nashville Cream post about it. See how everyone is saying, “hey run this song through it!!!” ??? You know I’m right….. Just wait. In a few months some band will re-release a whole album “Songsmith’d.” I can see it now… Metallica’s Master of Puppets… SONGSMITH’D!

USAF

Credit: USAF

Obama has asked retired USAF Maj. Gen. Scott Gration to be the new NASA administrator. As mentioned a few posts back, current administrator Michael Griffin will be stepping down on Jan. 20th, as will the rest of the Bush-appointed NASA positions. I learned this from a Space.com post today, and the info contained in that article is all I know about the guy. He’s a decorated fighter pilot, and does have some experience working with NASA, but he’s mostly an outsider. Apparently many former NASA administrators have been outsiders, though, so this is really nothing new. What NASA needs is someone with good leadership skills and who can manage an organization that large and important. He also needs to be very good at managing budgets, as NASA will likely see further budget cuts due to the economic crisis and monstrous national debt.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this awesome image of the Aurora Australis from Universe Today. Click the image to get to the hi-res version. One of my goals is to see the aurora before I die. Right now is not a good time to try to see it, either, since the Sun is at solar minimum (the low point of its 11 year cycle of sunspot activity). That means that the solar wind isn’t as packed with charged particles as it is during solar maximum, thus the aurora is confined to the extreme north and south; you’d probably have to go to northern Alaska to see it. BUT if the upcoming solar maximum (coming in 2012 to a sky near you) is as powerful as some scientists think it will be, us southerners may even get a glipse or two of the aurora from our own backyards. Unfortunately a coronal mass ejection big enough to cause auroras visible from our latitude would also cause major disruptions with communication satellites, and possibly even power outages.
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