"Weird Al" Yankovic announced this morning that he'll be touring in 2019 with a full symphony orchestra, well, several full symphony orchestras.
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Two weeks from today – Monday, Nov. 12 – we’ll be announcing the dates for my 2019 tour, which we’re calling Strings Attached.
We’re going directly from my most scaled-down, low-key show ever (this year’s Ridiculously Ill-Advised Vanity Tour) to my most full-blown, over-the-top extravaganza ever. Not only are we bringing back the costumes and the props and the big video screen, but also… every single night we’ll be performing with a FULL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. For real. No, we’re not cramming an orchestra on our bus – it’ll be a different orchestra in every city. Sometimes it will be a “branded” local orchestra (like, say, the Colorado Symphony), and other times we’ll basically just be putting together our own orchestra with local musicians.
And yes, we’re back to PLAYING THE HITS… but we’ll also throw in a few deeps cuts too (including a couple songs that we’ve never played before – not even on the Ill-Advised Vanity Tour!) Of course it’ll be the same amazing band as always – Jim, Steve, Ruben and Bermuda – plus, for the first time ever we’ll be touring with female background singers (Lisa Popeil, Monique Donnelly and Scottie Haskell – incredible vocalists who have appeared on many of my studio recordings).
I think it’s really going to be a special show, and I can’t wait to get started!
Space Station Commander Sunny Williams takes you on an in-depth tour of humankind's home away from home in space.
If Britain had been attacked by a nuclear bomb during the Cold War, its government would have survived by retreating to a massive, 35-acre complex buried beneath the county of Wiltshire. I call it a bunker in the headline, but it was more like a small town—large rooms linked by roads, built on the site of an abandoned quarry. Known as Burlington, it could house 4000 people and feed them all for 3 months. It was also home a broadcasting studio and hospital.
The whole thing was kept secret up until its decommissioning in 2004. You can take a tour in the BBC news clip above, or check out the photo galleries and interactive maps on the BBC's Burlington site. With few upgrades since the 1960s, the place looks like a time capsule. An awesome, gigantic time capsule. It's easy to understand why the news presenter in the video is rubbing his hands together gleefully as he's about to get on the elevator to go down. I'd be excited, too!
Thanks to grosmarcel for Submitterating, and to Retronaut for posting pictures from the BBC galleries!
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BoingBoing reader davidsongray visited Biosphere 2 recently, and took some photos of the site. Today, Biosphere 2 is owned by the University of Arizona. It's also being used for scientific research projects, including the Landscape Evolution Observatory, which will study the natural cycles of carbon, water, and energy, and how those cycles are affected by climate change and by natural systems like vegetation and microbes. The LEO experiments are being constructed in Biosphere 2 right now. That picture above shows the construction site set up in Biosphere 2's old agricultural area.
Some of the niftiest shots davidsongray took are from the living areas of Biosphere 2, which I don't remember having ever seen before.
Oh, and this isn't something where you need to know a guy to get in. Tours are $20 a ticket.
The Biosphere 2 "starvation diet"
Portraits of an aging, decaying Biosphere 2
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For more than 20 years, the Tevatron reigned as the gold standard in particle accelerators. Under a berm outside Batavia, Illinois, the machine pushed protons and antiprotons to high energies around circular tracks before crashing them into each other. What's the point of that? When high-energy protons and antiprotons collide, they reproduce the conditions at the beginning of the Universe, just after the Big Bang. In the wreckage, you can find particles that don't normally exist, and observe phenomena that humans have never seen before. By rubbernecking at a particle crash, researchers hope to better understand life, the Universe, and everything. It's kind of a big deal.
But on Friday, September 30, the Tevatron smashed its last protons.
Ultimately, the Tevatron was simply the victim of the progress of technology. When it opened in 1983, it replaced older, lower-energy accelerators. And, in turn, the Tevatron has been replaced by the Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator capable of pushing particles to even higher energies. Once that happened, it was only a matter of time before the Tevatron felt the budgetary axe.
The end of the Tevatron doesn't mean the end of research at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and it doesn't mean the end of particle research in the United States. But it is the end of an era.
William S. Higgins is a radiation safety physicist at Fermilab, and a contributor to Tor.com. He helped build the Tevatron and he was on hand last Friday, recording his thoughts and some photos to share with us. Read the rest
There are things you can't buy at Radioshack. There is not always an App for that. Sometimes, the only way to make something work is to build it yourself.
Nobody knows that better than scientists.
From physicists tracking a particle, to taxonomists identifying a new species of wasp, to chemists creating a useful molecule—nearly every discovery you read about in the paper began with the researchers creating the tools they needed to test their own hypotheses. In the lab, DIY isn't just a hobby. It's part of the job.
And Alvin, a research submersible owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is one of the most successful scientist DIY projects ever. Launched in 1964, Alvin was part of a trend. At the time, everybody wanted their own deep-sea-worthy mini-submarine. But, almost 50 years later, Alvin is one of the few still in use. The little research vessel that could, Alvin was made—and is regularly re-made—by the very people who use it. Read the rest