The Awesome Few is one of the most literal band names that has come through the Richmond, VA music scene. This band has constantly been a collection of a few awesome musicians fronted by Marshall Costan. Currently, the Awesome Few are in a trio incarnation and the weight of the few never seems to tamper with the force of the awesome in this band. “On The Radio” was recorded live at Gallery5 in the beautiful Jackson Ward neighborhood.
This is one of the seven bands that are coming together on December 14th to raise awareness and funds for HomeAgain, a local homeless service provider and emergency shelter agency. This has been a long standing Richmond holiday-season tradition and we could not be more excited to usher in another Ghost of Pop to show off what this town has to offer and help out a good cause all at the same time.
Mark your calendars folks, December 14th at Gallery5, join this band and a whole slew of other awesome acts that make this city one of the best places to live on planet Earth.
Well, it appears that the days of going for a stroll and stopping to smell the flowers are a thing of the past. Ladies and gents, may we please present to you orchid mantis! This lovely creature is so successful that in many observations it attracts more insects than actual flower petals do, how deceptively freaky. Scary thought that a flower could mean the difference between life and death, but so is the process of evolution. Many a bug have met their match when stopping in to seek nectar from this dangerous impostor. Nectar? …more like DEATH-TER!!!
Barring some unforeseen circumstance it appears as though the next planned destination for humanity is going to be the planet next door, about 9 months of travel time away, Mars. Our understanding of the red planet has changed quite a bit since the earliest recordings and observations which deemed it a warrior trapped in the night sky. Since the advent of modern science, Mars has gone from being a red blurry dot with mythical meanings to a terrestrial hunk of rock floating in the vastness of space just flirting with our imagination. Everything from little green men that live in deep underground canals to the very real study of the soil on Mars have kept this planet in the public awareness for some time now. Consider for a moment the massive amounts of time that go into researching our celestial neighbor-planet. The implications of this work are enormous. The decades of speculation over Mars’ past and the potential for water there were finally made solid when the Curiosity rover sampled some watery soil earlier this year. The Indian Space Research Organization just launched their own Mars exploration project a few days ago. There is no shortage of interest in studying the planet next door and study after study it seems as though humanity is poised to make Mars the next landmark destination for human history’s list of accomplishments. Dutch company Mars One has already drafted a plan to have the red planet colonized by humans in the year 2023. Private funders are looking to send a couple to travel to Mars and back as an extended honeymoon and research trip in 2018. When you pair all this up with the rise in commercial space tourism, private companies contracting for cargo transportation to space, and the need for continued technological support for these projects it becomes very apparent that this happenings could very feasibly lead to us witnessing the landing of a human on a foreign planet in the very near future.
With that said, today is a day to celebrate as NASA launches the MAVEN space craft from Florida. MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN. The goal of the mission is to study Mars’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the solar wind. These are all important variables in gaining a larger understanding of its climate, the history of water, and even potential colonization variables. It’s been a long journey on the path to understanding more about our natural world, but these small steps are vital roles for humanity’s true awareness of our surroundings. After over 200 thousand years of evolution we’re finally attempting to reach across to the next stepping stone, located 140 millions miles away. Perhaps in another two hundred thousand years we will be more familiar with the concept of traveling to other stellar systems that redefine our understanding of life and certainly help us understand more about how this whole crazy party got started in the first place, till then we must patiently wait and encourage each advance, such as the MAVEN spacecraft leaving Earth today.
More Mars stuff:
Maven roll out!
Even more MAVEN stuff:
Part Perspective Part Panic
The ever humbling process of demotion seems to have followed the human psyche with every major discovery rooted in natural philosophy, or its current state, science. Once we were a proud species home to the wonderfully flat and universally centered Earth. Okay, so the first big step was to get over the whole flat thing. Then we could focus on perfect circles and spheres, of which the Earth was the central body that all other bodies went around. Okay, so then we were made aware that were not in the center, but the sun is. Regardless, our solar system was still remarkable in our island universe. Then we had the next step which allowed us to understand there are…other…galaxies out there. Like, everywhere! Well, we still had our planet. A remarkable feature that could not be seen anywhere else. Until technology caught up, then there were planets all over the place. Which is where we’ve been sitting, not centered nor in the central galaxy, but we’ve got our awesome niche location, not too hot-not too cold. It is with that thought that we have just been demoted yet again.
A long time ago, way back in the late 1900′s, scientists started to ask questions like “What are the chances there are other Earths out there?” and “I wonder how many other Earths there are out there?” and “Earths? Out There?” and so on. The culmination of all these questions is the Kepler space telescope. One awesome eyeball fixed in the night sky looking at a patch of the sky and recording data. It’s like the never blinking eye of saruman, but way less…wait…never mind, just as geeky. So over the years this telescope has employed a few different means to capture information on distant stars and their neighborhoods. There are ways to measure light changes from passing planets, ways to look for a gravity wobble, and scanning for various elemental signs of a us-friendly situation. Okay, the official count is pretty remarkable. 1 in every 5 Sun-like stars holds at least one planet in its habitable zone. In a galaxy of 300 billion stars 1 in every 5 adds up real quick. So, what’s their best guess? 8.8 billion other Earth-like situations out there.
Now this does not mean there are 8.8 billion Earths. If that were the case BP would have a fleet on its way filled with mini-Starbucks stores. The current data indicates that there are about 8.8 billion planets that potentially allow for similar temperatures and solar climate. Most of them are about our sized, but again size does make a difference. The gravitational pull of the Earth would be quite different if it were bigger or smaller. We do need to hit it pretty close to this for a comparable situation. Needless to say a number too large to truly grasp in our minds. However, this is a pretty massive demotion. Consider some alternatives. Let’s say that the discovery led to just 1 billion, that’s still enormous and 8.8 is even crazier. One billion alone is a huge concept. In the average human lifetime you could not count from 1 to 1 billion. One billion pennies is $10 million. 1 billion miles would mean you would have to circle the Earth about 41,000 times. A billion seconds is over 31 years. Huge number, bigger ramifications for this recent demotion. In a human life time one could not even learn the names of one billion planets, much less 8.8 billion. Okay, so let’s shift gears the other way for a moment. A remarkable thought would be to have an idea of a location of just one other habitable zone planet. Let’s say that there was only one other one discovered. That would be a new project for humanity to get cracking on, right away! Sure, the technology would not be ready today, but the groundwork most certainly could go into fifth gear soon after. One other destination to go look at and see how different or similar that world would be. To be able to look back on our home and gain a better perspective on what we once knew. One place that we could explore to see if there is any other life. One concise goal for future generations. That would be impressive on its own, but we have 8.8 billion options!!
Quite the step down from the once centered fulcrum around which everything revolved.
Here’s another perspective focusing more on the findings and less on numbed minds: http://www.universetoday.com/106121/22-of-sun-like-stars-have-earth-sized-planets-in-the-habitable-zone/
Also, perhaps time to listen to this again?
It’s Halloween again, and the usual barrage of cute and sexy costumes have started to get old– come on, we live in the most ADD impacted time period in human history. If it ain’t new, it’s through! So this year, we’ve thought up some sexy alternatives…
This post goes out to all of you seeking a new approach to raising a brow with your halloween costume at parties and bars this year!
Sexy Bunny-Nurse-Witch: Three classic costumes combined into one super naughty creation!
Sexy Asparagus: Steaming hot and drizzled in oil, this one is sizzling!
Sexy Twitter Account: This #costume is definitely trending, and will have followers retweeting for days.
Sexy DMV: Sure, the wait is long, but trust us– it’s worth it to get a license to ride.
Sexy Scoliosis: Diagnosis: This costume gets all your flirtiness back in line.
Sexy Mailbox: This special delivery redefines the phrase “you’ve got male.”
Sexy Moat: Hark! All the king’s men yearn to crosseth this body of water!
Happy Halloween folks!
Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney has been smashing box office records and people have been so excited about reading all the inaccuracies in this movie. However, this is a very welcome surprise for the science community because they’re pumped its part of the national discourse for once! Big hot shots like Space.com and Neil deGrasse Tyson and many others have all said that though there are a few things here and there this movie manages to make the inaccuracies pale in comparison to the mind-blowing visuals, the very strong sense of realism, and the gripping sequences. The thoughts about films being accurate and totally like real life are valid, but then everything would be like a never ending Seinfeld episode…its all real, its about nothing, no plot, no problems, yada yada yada. So, what is the deal with this movie Gravity? Well, its awesome! Go see it if you have not already seen it a couple of times. The premise of this movie is simply mind numbing. Imagine taking whatever it is that you’re doing right now and replace it by being stranded in space!! Sure, there are some issues in this film, but suspension of disbelief is not necessarily a terrible thing, a little wiggle room in the mind pokes a few new questions from time to time. So, with that said, here’s just one take on the highs and lows and all of the sweet in-betweens about the movie Gravity.
Okay…this one goes out to the fellas! Men, pay attention! Through out the path of history there have been many reasons to not go to New Jersey. Here’s the latest addition to that wonderful and hilarious list, but this addition is nothing to joke about. Perhaps one of the scariest things to imagine is someone or something going after our most valued possessions, our testicles. Right off the Jersey shore a Pacu fish has been caught. For those unfamiliar with this fish, get ready to freak out, this thing is nuts…
This animal does not swim around looking for men’s peas and carrots, but it does use those big choppers to dig into tree nuts. Occasionally when swimming around you run into something that looks like a tree, but once bitten definitely does not act like a tree. There have been some reports of this fishy-ball-buster doing its evolutionary function on what it thought were tree-nuts, but it turns out they were in fact…umm..dude nuts. Population control? Maybe? Errr…Anyway, this was most likely someone’s pet that had been abandoned in the ocean, but as a basic act of common sense…don’t go in the water there!! Yet another reason not to leave the house…its a scary world out there.
Hmm…wonder how far Anthony Weiner is from the Jersey shore right now?
There are over seven billion people on this planet right now. A small percentage of them still thinks the Earth is flat and refuse to move beyond this belief. Seriously, not making this up, The Flat Earth Society very much so exists and oddly enough refuses to accept modern science yet is easily willing to accept modern finance in order to have their publications and memberships and such. On the other end of the spectrum is another small group that’s going beyond where revolutionary sciences have explored. This particular group has decided to go hunting. Similar to a hunter uncomfortably crouching in the woods sitting silently waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for the right moment when their equipment, their minds, and the elusive object of their desires all line up in just the right way. Then and then only can the hunt begin, until then its just waiting and observing. Well, similar to that we have the community of particle physicists seeking the elusive Higgs Boson, also known as another dumb name that we’re not going to use.
So, what’s the issue with the Higgs thing anyway? Why would anyone even be concerned with this? Well, for those interested in being awesome people and living their lives as teachers, mechanics, doctors, parents, strong community members, and other valuable things, the Higgs issues means little at this point. Part of the beauty of humanity is the many many many different layers of culture and progress we have created. Our teachers, doctors, and community leaders ensure that the vested interest of ourselves and future generations remains a priority. However, the Higgs hunters have a whole different mission all together. They’re looking for an to answer this questions, “Why is there stuff?”
May not seem like a big deal, but think about it for a moment. Currently we blindly, and easily, accept that there is stuff everywhere. There are a lot of things on our planet, on our continents, in our oceans, in our cities, on our streets, in our pockets, in purses, and in our bodies down to the smallest atom that can be labeled as matter. We are a matter-having world, but how? Those that are hunting down the mystery of the Higgs are basically trying to establish what series of events or processes allowed for mass to accumulate thus allowing for our universe to exist the way it does, full of stuff, everywhere. About 13.7 billion years ago we believe that the universe formed in an event known as the big bang. Great, a big explosion of energy that would one day turn into the conditions necessary for your eyes to be reading this right now. Somewhere between the giant explosion of energy and you reading these words right here, there had to be an event that allowed for all the various particles to exist and wander around space. These early particles were flying around at light speed, which does little good if you eventually want to do…umm…anything. So, the theory is that at some point, very early on in the universe’s history, there was a mechanism introduced to allow these particles to be “slowed down’ and eventually be considered ‘matter’. Scientists don’t get along too well with Bill and Ted, so the time machine trip back to the earliest parts of the universe is out of the question, dude. Instead, they’ve built the largest machine ever created and are flinging particles together at unimaginable speeds in hopes for a collision where they hope to see all the components that make up these particles and get some insight into how they became what they are. The idea is that somewhere in the collision photographs there will be irrefutable proof of the bits and parts of what allows our ‘stuff’ or ‘matter’ to exist. This is done by studying the boson, or characteristics, of this matter-retaining mechanism.
Not very simple stuff, but important none the less. The implications of understanding how and why we have matter has applications ranging from manipulating the smallest atoms for unbelievable impact on a molecular level to the broad range further understanding at how elements of the cosmos work and beyond. This is big stuff…well, little stuff that’s of big importance. The bigger challenge will be seeing if we can find anyone that can explain it clearly…here are the latest attempts:
Big props to those that hunt this boson for the future of all humanity, including those that don’t believe the Earth is round. If you find anything else on the Higgs that you think is worth showing off please share it with us!
The newest iPhone is the iPhone we’ve wanted since 2012, adding long-overdue practical upgrades like a bottle opener, a pregnancy test, and a series of new apps for the modern day mobile device user. This is the iPhone, rebooted.
The new design is simply lovely, both to look at and to use, and it’s hard to find a single part that hasn’t been upgraded from any of the previous models.
Snackchat: Momentarily share snack pics and instantly forget your caloric intake. This app is ideal for the habitual grazer that does not want to leave behind a trail of crumbs of their snacky addiction.
Hinder: Need a way to spoil someone else’s good time? Want everyone to feel as lonely as you feel? Tired of traditional cock-block techniques? From the makers of Tinder comes a new romance prevention app, Hinder!
All in all a fantastic new product. We’re excited to see how it does in the market. For more information visit the apple page: http://www.apple.com