I was backstage during MGMT's and the Flaming Lips' performances Friday night. Before the performances, we wandered in and out of various musicians' trailers, enjoying the scene. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips dropped into MGMT's trailer and they did a brief, rough rehearsal of MGMT's "Kids." Coyne wanted Andrew V. and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT to join him onstage during the Lips' rendition of the tune — which they did.
Below are a few pictures from the evening ...
My son and I drove around north of Memphis and in the Shelby Forest area today and it was water, water, everywhere. You couldn't get to the Mississippi River through the park, due to high water in one of the streams. Lots of salamanders, small snakes, leeches, frogs, and small aquatic creatures were swimming in the road.
The first two shots were taken off of Benjestown Road in the Loosahatchie bottoms. One of the locals stopped to chat and said that they were expecting another 11 feet of water and that several houses would be affected along the road.
The last three were taken Sunday at Tom Sawyer RV Park, as it succumbed to the rising waters.
Beale Street Landing is looking ... a little damp. I'm guessing work has stopped for a while. The top part of that ramp looks pretty sweet, though. Waterslide?
What does Memphis have in common with Dresden, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Macau, and Sao Paulo? We're named by the website Flavorwire as one of the best cities in the world for young artists. Or as the article says, "Move over, Austin." Read the article here.
Welp, they did it. The Tennessee House voted 70 to 28 to pass a bill that would allow science teachers to teach alternatives to broadly accepted scientific thought, including evolution. The language of the bill is broad, designed: "to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."
But the intent is clear: to allow teachers to teach alternative "theories," such as creationism, in science classes.
It is, of course, absurdist political theater, yet another example of social engineering and meddling in places where our legislators shouldn't be meddling. Creationism is Christian theology, period, and has no business in a science class in a public school. But that doesn't bother these clowns, who seem intent on making Tennessee the backwoods, possum-eating, snake-handling laughingstock of the U.S.
In truth, the bill is fairly meaningless, as it's written. It's a symbolic gesture, meant to appease the rubes and the GOP's far-right base — and piss off progressives. Mission accomplished, you morons. Of course, these people never bother to consider that any corporation looking to relocate to Tennessee might think twice about asking its employees to move to a state that allows creative "interpretations" of scientific learning.
The bill will accomplish something: If Governor Haslam signs it into law, we'll have another clear indicator of just how low he's willing to go to pander to his party's neanderthals. And how little he cares about its effect on job "creationism."
An odd thing happened to the Flyer website over the weekend: 130,000 people went to this June 25th, 2010 post in Memphis Gaydar by Bianca Phillips. The subject? An ice-cream social at First Congregrational Church benefiting the Tennessee Equality Project. That's a LOT of web traffic for such an obscure and out-of-date posting.
So what happened? We're not really sure. Sunday was International Ice Cream Sundae Day (who knew?), but why would so many of the world's "ice cream sundae" googlers hit our site? And why was so much of the traffic from Asia? Even the three comments on the post are recent and appear to be from people not particularly proficient in English.
We're not complaining, of course. Any weird spike in traffic only helps our numbers — and our web revenue. And there are companies out there that specialize in what's called "black hat" practices, schemes to game Google search results. Here's a good article from The New York Times on the phenomenon, and how J.C. Penney made it work for weeks.
Like I said, we don't really know what happened, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared for next year, so here goes: Ice Cream Sundae Porn Sex Boobs Cleavage. And Butt.