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This post on Universe Today prompted me to write up my own little plug for the Science Channel’s new(ish) show Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. The show is in its second season and is seeing more success than your average run-of-the-mill science show. Obviously having a celebrity figure like Morgan Freeman as the host is big reason for that, but watch the show and you’ll really understand why. It’s just uncannily appealing to hear Freeman’s warm, grandfatherly voice talking about quantum entanglement, time travel, string theory, relativity and all sorts of other fascinating topics that are at the very edge of modern science. The context and delivery of the information is unique, too. It’s hard to present what most average folks regard as “mumbo-jumbo” in a way that keeps them interested for a whole hour, but this show manages to pull it off. Freeman’s own genuine interest in the subject matter is definitely a big reason the show is successful; he has always had a keen interest in these edgey topics and simply decided to make a show in which he both asks these questions to real scientists who are working to answer them and attempts to share that sense of awe and wonder that inspired him to ask said questions to begin with. Tonight’s episode focuses on the question “can we travel faster than light?” This is obviously a very important question to answer if mankind is ever to explore beyond our own solar system. All those convenient workarounds (warp drives, hyper-space windows, wormholes, etc…) you see in science fiction actually have some basis in real scientific principles, and I suspect we’ll get much clearer and layman-friendly explanation than ever before of those principles on tonight’s episode. It airs at 10pm eastern/9pm central on the Science Channel, which most of you should now get if you have regular cable or satellite service.

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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!

Photo by Steve Cross

Photo by Steve Cross

I’m slowly getting back enough will power to blog again. I was so drained by Bonnaroo that I just didn’t feel like posting yesterday. You can see all of my photo slideshows at the Scene’s website. There are a ton of them, so plan out some time if you want to actually see them all. I guess the best parts of it for me were getting approved to photograph Springsteen (only 20 photogs out of the 100 or so got approved), and also getting to photograph the last Nine Inch Nails show in the U.S. Ever.

Honestly though, I must say the biggest surprise for me came from Raphael Saadiq. The former member of Tony! Toni! Tone! released a solo album late last year called The Way I See It and you can bet that I’ll be grabbing it a soon as possible. His music is nothing like the early 90’s jock-jams that TTT was known for. This is a throwback to the R&B sounds of the 60’s. I haven’t heard the full album yet, but as my friend and fellow Scene freelancer Sean Maloney put it during our drive back, “…it sounds like it could’ve come straight outta Detroit in 1967.” Their cover of the Stooges’ Search & Destroy officially blew my mind.

On to some non-Bonnaroo stuff:

Conor Oberst, Jim James, and M. Ward have finally released details of their collaborative album called Monsters of Folk. Yea, the named is kinda weird, but let’s hope the actual songs are better. It would be hard to go wrong with such a powerful combination of musicians, but it wouldn’t be the first time a “supergroup” failed to even equal the sum of its parts. Via A.V. Club

Apparently Steven Spielberg is taking his love of aliens to the networks. I read in this io9 article that he’s currently working on the new unnamed T.V. series and has tapped ER’s Noah Wyle for the star role. Check the article for more deets.

Ironic Sans isn’t updated very often, but when it is, it’s almost always something clever and intriguing. His latest post details an idea for solving the problem of that pesky mess of cables behind your T.V./entertainment center. Answer- make the whole wall out of outlets.

This is old news, but NASA delayed the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on Saturday due to a Hydrogen leak. They’ve rescheduled the launch for tomorrow at 5:40am EDT. UGH. That’s 4:40am my time. If you’re crazy and want to get up early enough to watch the coverage, you can do so at NASA TV.

It’s pretty rare for me to instantly fall in love with a band/artist these days. I’ve just become so “Nashville” about everything- jaded/oversaturated/desensitized/insert-apathetic-synonym-here. But RCRD LBL posted some mp3’s from this dude named Evan Voytas on Friday, and I was instantly blown away. It feels good to be totally into something new. This guy’s stuff is a little bit of everything- the tracks I’ve gotten my hands on so far range from a shoegazy, fuzzed out slow pop jam to electro-driven rock with a touch of twee to a full on summery disco-pop groove. That last track I’m describing is called “Getting Higher,” and I have hereby proclaimed it to be the official jam of the summer 2009. Please, PLEASE go to RCRD LBL and download it now! Then go to the Hype Machine and you’ll be able to find several other great tracks. But “Getting Higher” is where it’s at. It’s an instantly love-able dancey track, complete with a 70’s funk bass groove, and straight-up disco beat, and uplifting sunny guitars and syths bathed in a healthy but tasteful dose of reverb.

In local news- Makeout With Violence, the locally made feature-length film starring several members of our music scene, pretty much owned the Nashville Film Festival, taking the best feature-length narrative film and best music awards, along with a few other smaller awards. It’s good to see these guys finally getting the recognition they deserve for their 3 years of hard work on this thing.

My love of science fiction is no secret. That’s why I’m quite pleased to know that one of my favorite TV series Eureka, has finally been scheduled to return to action on July 10th on the SyFy channel. (Yes, the SciFi channel is now SyFy…. go figure.) I read about this on io9, and I agree with their sentiment that moving the show to Battlestar Galactica’s old slot of Fridays at 10pm/9 central was a bad idea. That means I’ll end up watching most of it online because I’m normally out & about by that time on a Friday night…

So we all know that the dinosaurs were killed because of a giant asteriod hitting just off the Yucatan Penninsula in Mexico, right? That’s what they taught us in middle school science class, afterall…. Not so fast. As more and more new evidence is uncovered, that theory is starting to look more and more… extinct. Universe Today posted this morning about some new discoveries that date the actual impact at least 300,000 years prior to the mass extinction. At the same time comes the discovery of a supervolcano eruption (or even a series of supervolcano eruptions) called the Deccan Traps in India. Such an eruption could easily have thrown enough dust and ash into the air to block out the sun and cause a sudden massive cooling. My personal hunch is that the asteroid surely did have some degree of impact on the global climate, (pun fully intended) and obviously would’ve killed a ton of dinos in the immediate area, but ultimately it may have been the volcanic activity that dealt the lethal blow to our bird-like ancestors.

I’ll leave you today with this great image of the next space shuttle crew… I must say NASA has been doing a great job of marketing lately. First the whole C.O.L.B.E.R.T. thing, and now this:

Click to enlarge

I’ve always wondered exactly how they create the yellow 1st down line in football TV coverage. It’s something I always think about while I’m watching a game, but never dig into later. Well, the wonderful kottke.org comes through again with a link to this fascinating explanation. I always knew it had something to with a chroma-key effect, so that it only shows up on the green grass as if it’s actually under the players. What I never could understand though, is how they keep the angle correct as the camera pans, zooms, etc….

This year’s Coachella lineup has been announced, and it’s pretty awesome. I actually really wish I could go this year. But with SXSW, the possibility of covering Bonnaroo again, and another summer trip with Megan, it ain’t gonna happen. Interestingly, it’s Paul McCartney’s 1st festival appearance in the US. Via Pitchfork. Still waiting to see if the big rumor about Phish playing Bonnaroo is true.

If you know me, you know that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Camera Obscura. You’ve probably heard me get all giddy about the time I saw them in Athens at the 40-Watt and got to meet Tracyanne Campbell (and buy her a drink!). Well, they have a new album coming out soon, and they’re playing SXSW. Of course, since I probably won’t have a badge when I go, I probably won’t get to see them, but who knows what will happen? I’m just really really happy that they worked with the same producer as their last record Let’s Get Out of this Country, Jari Haapalainen. He did wonders with that album, and matched just the right amount of lush production to their style. I’m really anxious to hear what he’s done with them on the new one. I’m also really anxious to see their US tour schedule. I have no clue if they’ll flesh out a bunch more dates around their SXSW appearance and the lone other US date on their current calendar- Mar 24th at the Bell House in Brooklyn. I don’t see why they wouldn’t.

It looks as though Mount Redoubt in Alaska is about to blow its top. The last major eruption for the active volcano was in 1989, and scientists says this eruption could be about the same or a little less intense than the last one. Luckily it’s not close to any heavily populated areas, and the small towns close enough to recieve some of the ash will just have to deal with it, but it shouldn’t cause any huge problems.

Not much to report on this looming winter storm coming monday and tuesday. The weather service hasn’t changed its forecast much, but I can see that the latest model runs show a slightly weaker storm than before, but there’s still a lot of time, and the models will probably change their minds several times. They just aren’t very reliable more than a day or two out, especially when dealing with these fickle winter systems.

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