South African photographer Paul Shiakallis produced a series of photos, "Leathered Skins, Unchained Hearts," of the "queens" of Botswana's heavy metal "Marok" scene, mostly in their homes. Read the rest
A group at Saudi Arabia's King Abdulla University of Science and Technology have developed a new carbon-nanotube-based material that absorbs 98 to 99 percent of light between 400 and 1,400nm, from all angles, making even blacker than Rice University's 2008 none-more-black, Boston and Duke's 2008 none-more-black and Leiden University's 2009 none-more-black. That's pretty fucking black. Read the rest
"Fingers Bloody Fingers," with Sabbath's Anthony Frank “Tony” Iommi, from The Complete History of Heavy Metal. Read the rest
This. Looping. Forever. Read the rest
Above, Bart's "apology" on behalf of The Simpsons writers for referring to Judas Priest as "death metal" in a previous episode which infuriated the group's very vocal fans. From The Guardian:
The original slur came in a storyline where Homer starts illegally downloading music, leading to an anti-piracy investigation from the FBI and an escape to immunity in a Swedish consulate. The FBI counter by hiring the "death metal" Judas Priest to blast a piracy-themed rework of their track Breaking the Law, with the words changed to "Respecting the law: copyright law!""The Simpsons apologise to Judas Priest for calling them 'death metal'" Read the rest
Update: Iron Maiden did not decide to tour latinamerica based on Internet analytics about the countries where their music was most pirated. The author of the story cited here made an "error." However, there was research showing that the countries where Maiden was making millions from live shows were also the countries where their music was pirated most.
Iron Maiden hired a BitTorrent analytics company called Musicmetric to determine where piracy of their music was highest, then scheduled tours of those countries. They made millions touring Central and South America. Iron Maiden LLP has outperformed the UK music sector as a whole and was named one of the "1000 Companies That Inspire Britain" by the London Stock Exchange. Read the rest
Here's a story that combines two favorite bits of volcano news into one interesting discovery. You know those great, freaky photos of volcanic lightning? (In case you don't, I've got one posted above.) Remember how the Icelandic volcanic eruptions totally screwed up everybody's airplane travel plans?
Apparently, studying volcanic lightning could lead to better eruption detection systems that could make it easier to predict how big a plume of ash off that volcano will be—knowledge that can help airlines and travelers be better prepared. At Nature, Richard Monastersky reports:
The researchers found that the amount of lightning correlated with the height of the plume, something they could not test using more limited data collected during an eruption at Alaska’s Mount St Augustine in 2006. This observation is important, says Behnke, because systems to monitor lightning could provide an estimate for the size of an eruption, which is not always easy to assess for remote volcanoes.
During a previous eruption at Mount Redoubt in 1989 and 1990, for example, the size of the plume wasn’t known and a plane nearly crashed after passing through the ash cloud and temporarily losing all power from its engines. Behnke and her colleagues suggest that VHF stations similar to the ones they installed at Mount Redoubt could be used to monitor volcanoes to give early warning of an eruption and an estimate of its size.
Via Graham Farmelo
Image: Oliver Spalt via CCRead the rest
Motörhead has officially disavowed the "Complete Early Years Box Set" new $600 product issued by the band's former label, a division of Universal Music Group, which controls the rights to the band's early recordings. Quoted on CNN, the band's frontman Lemmy Kilmister said "Unfortunately greed once again rears its yapping head. I would advise against it even for the most rabid completists!" (I can't locate an underlying source for this quote -- it's not clear whether the band published the statement somewhere, issued a press-release, or were interviewed by CNN). Writing in this Motörhead forum, a fan called Juggernaut describes the set as a "re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-release."
Housed in a Motörhead-style skull with red light-up eyes, the package includes the eight early albums -- from the self-titled debut to "No Remorse" -- plus the band's early singles, along with some posters and a photo book.
"Motörhead have no control over what's done with these early songs, and don't want fans to think that the band is involved in putting out such a costly box set," the band said.
You may recall that Elvis Costello recently decried his own label's box set reissue of his discography, and exhorted his fans to buy a Louis Armstrong box-set instead, and, if necessary, to acquire his own music by "unconventional means."
After World War II and the toppling of the Nazi regime, the Soviets laid claim to much of Germany's highly-advanced metallurgy industry. In so doing they got a head start on the Cold War race for supersonic air superiority. Unwittingly, they also set in motion a larger, and largely forgotten, industrial revolution that shaped the second half of the 20th century and will shape the 21st. This is the story of the birth of the Jet Age — but it’s anchored firmly to the ground.