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As expected, today Obama submitted his budget proposal for NASA, which includes cutting the Constellation/Ares rocket program. Under the new plan, he wants to pursue commercial options for getting people to low-earth orbit, and focus NASA’s main efforts on exploring the rest of the solar system. This will no doubt meet some resistance in Congress and the Senate, but overall I think it will go through. I’m starting to agree with it more and more. The biggest reason is that companies like SpaceX will probably be capable of safely transporting our astronauts to the ISS much sooner than NASA’s Ares rockets could have (without a massive and utterly impossible funding boost). Read more details at Space.com and at Discovery news.

Now enjoy these two nice nuggets via yewknee’d:

Unhappy Hipsters

Sky:

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Before you do anything else, watch this amazing time lapse video from a star party in Texas. It was taken over a whole night and shows the Milky Way rising. Nerd-gasm! Sorry, I still haven’t found a way to embed Vimeo videos on WordPress.

Now that you’ve gotten your fill of star-porn, some great news from the U.K…. Blur may be hitting the U.S. on some dates in and around their string of U.K. festivals. Yes, please. Though the chances of them actually coming to Nashville are pretty small, I’d go to Atlanta to see them easily.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

The Atlantis astronauts took an IMAX 3D camera with them on their mission to service Hubble, and the footage will be turned into an IMAX movie set for release next spring. I can’t effin’ wait to see it. Wow, this is turning into a really geeky post… sorry.

I tweeted earlier today about the iPhone coming to Verizon, which would make me jump for joy. Unfortunately further research has revealed it’s still just in the negotiation phase, and nothing’s confirmed. But from what I can tell from this article on USA Today, the prospect is looking fairly good. I refuse to switch to AT&T because their service coverage SUCKS. I’ve been in many buildings (including my own) where AT&T users can’t even get a signal, and I cannot recall ONE SINGLE TIME that I’ve experience coverage issues with Verizon. About a year or two ago there was some bizarre hiccup with their Nashville service, but that lasted only a few hours and wasn’t a coverage issue. If Verizon gets most of their network upgraded to the 4th generation (4G) LTE system by next year, I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t go for the deal since their 5-year contract with AT&T will be up. I’ve already been pissed at AT&T for even having exclusivity with the iPhone in the first place, and if they manage to sucker Apple into extending it, they can kiss my sweet ass.

Some bizarre links for your enjoyment today:

Oddee spotlights 8 strange subcultures.

io9 has a clip from 2000’s What Planet Are You From? in which Ben Kingsley’s character teaches his race of alien men how to achieve penis insertion with human females. It’s not as NSFW as it sounds, trust me.

Tonight I can be found at Foobar checking out Totally DJs, a new Wednesday night DJ gig started by my friend Spice-J. He’s already had some pretty awesome guests, including Pimpdaddy Supreme and Makeup & Vanity Set. I should be making an appearance there in the next few weeks as DJ Burgers. I’ll keep you posted.

Click image to see bigger version

This has been popping up in a few places around the interwebs for a couple days now, and I should’ve posted about it earlier, but I’ve fallen victim t0 post-SXSW sickness and laziness. A team of physicists have discovered a brand new subatomic particle, which they’re calling “Y(4140).” Ironically this particle was not discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, which is still not operational due to repairs from the catastrophic helium leak last fall; it was discovered at Fermilab, right here in the USA. This new information will be valuable in future mathematical models of the universe, as well as in the experiments conducted at the LHC later this year. You’d think they could come up with a cooler name for a completely new type of subatomic particle… something like “megaquark” or “quarktron.” Lazerquark…

The space shuttle undocked from the ISS yesterday and did a fly-around, capturing the first images of the fully symmetrical, full-length ISS. Universe Today has the space porn, including video of part of the fly-around.

According to Space.com, NASA has decided to go ahead with the Hubble repair mission, despite the increased risk of debris impact due to the satellite collision on Feb. 10th. I’m glad, but kinda scared for the crew. The danger is heightened by the fact that they won’t have the ISS as a lifeboat. Instead, NASA will have Space Shuttle Endeavour on a different pad, ready to launch and be used as a lifeboat should Atlantis be damaged.

Several different time-lapse videos of plants growing. These things are always fun to watch. Via kottke.org.

This has been showing up on almost every blog I read, but it’s definitely worth posting- the first trailers for the Spike Jonze-directed, Arcade Fire-loaded, live-action version of Where the Wild Things Are has been posted. The best place to view it is on apple.com. They have gorgeous HD versions that are true eye candy.

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

Camera Obscura @ SXSW 2009 Photo: Steve Cross

I was quite pleased yesterday to find out that Camera Obscura will be kicking off their north American tour in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on May 27th. To my knowledge, they have never played here, and they’re one of my favorites. Even though I just saw them at SXSW, I will be there enthusiastically. Their new album My Maudlin Career drops April 20th via 4AD. Check out the rest of their tour dates at their myspace.

Another upcoming show I’m looking forward to is The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ the End on May 2nd. Like C.O., I saw this band at SXSW and they did not dissappoint. But I really look forward to seeing full length sets from both bands, as all the shows at SXSW are showcases with 5 or so bands, thus each band has less time to setup and a shorter set length than normal. POBPAH are definitely one of those “blog-buzz” bands, but I honestly think they will have more staying power and are on an entirely different level than say, Vampire Weekend or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

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