Weekend fun

Monster Jam at Landers Center (F-Sun), the 34th Annual Blues Challenge on Beale St (F-Sat), John Caparulo at Chuckles Comedy House (F-Sat), Memphis International Raceway Job Fair (F 1-6 and Sat 9-2)

Fri: Grizzlies vs Kings, The Nightowls at BPAC, Mandy Gonzalez at The Halloran Center, Habitat for Humanity’s Tool Box Bash at Crosstown Concourse, Greensky Bluegrass at New Daisy, Storm Large at GPAC, Ghost Town Blues Band at Lafayette’s

Sat: Wolf River 5K at 6am, Grizzlies at New Orleans, Tigers at Tulsa, Bill Engvall at Gold Strike, Forever Abbey Road at Lafayette’s, School of Rock tributes all day at Minglewood starting at noon with Southern Rock , 2pm is Bob Marley, 4pm is That 70’s Show, 6pm is Chris Cornell, The Crystal Ball Gala to benefit the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.


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All 50 states woke up Thursday with snow on the ground

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – The United States is a big country, but every single state had something in common Thursday morning.

Despite covering 3.8 million square miles, each state in America had snow on the ground.

Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas were recovering from the second straight winter storm Thursday–with businesses getting back into the swing of things in west Tennessee and north Mississippi.

It’s not unusual for the Mid-South to have snow on the ground this time of year. In fact, the area is just slightly above average when it comes to seasonal snowfall totals.

However, even typically tropical states were unable to avoid the snow. Tallahassee, Florida, had .1 inch of snow on the ground Thursday morning.


2017 the 2nd hottest year on record, according to NASA

Thursday, January 18th 2018, 11:12 am CSTThursday, January 18th 2018, 11:14 am CST


WASHINGTON (AP) – Earth last year wasn’t quite as hot as 2016’s record-shattering mark, but it ranked second or third, depending on who was counting.

Either way, scientists say it showed a clear signal of man-made global warming because it was the hottest year they’ve seen without an El Nino boosting temperatures naturally.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom’s meteorological office on Thursday announced that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second.

The agencies slightly differ because of how much they count an overheating Arctic, where there are gaps in the data.

The global average temperature in 2017 was 58.51 degrees (14.7 degrees Celsius), which is 1.51 degrees (0.84 Celsius) above the 20th century average and just behind 2016 and 2015, NOAA said. Other agencies’ figures were close but not quite the same.

Earlier, European forecasters called 2017 the second hottest year, while the Japanese Meteorological Agency called it the third hottest. Two other scientific groups that use satellite, not ground, measurements split on 2017 being second or third hottest. With four teams calling it the second hottest year and four teams calling it third, the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization termed 2017 a tie for second with 2015.

“This is human-caused climate change in action,” said Nobel Prize winning chemist Mario Molina of the University of California San Diego, who wasn’t part of any of the measuring teams. “Climate is not weather, (which) can go up and down from year to year. What counts is the longer-term change, which is clearly upwards.”

Which year is first, second or third doesn’t really matter much, said Princeton University climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi. What really matters is the clear warming trend, he said.

NOAA’s five hottest years have been from 2010 on.

During an El Nino year – when a warming of the central Pacific changes weather worldwide – the globe’s annual temperature can spike, naturally, by a tenth or two of a degree, scientists said. There was a strong El Nino during 2015 and 2016.  But 2017 finished with a La Nina, the cousin of El Nino that lowers temperatures. Had there been no man-made warming, 2017 would have been average or slightly cooler than normal, said National Center for Atmospheric Research climate scientist Ben Sanderson.

On the other hand, NASA calculated if the temperature contributions of El Nino and El Nina were removed from the global data through the years, 2017 would go down as the hottest year on record, NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said.

Carbon pollution is like putting the Earth on an escalator of rising temperatures, with natural variation such as El Nino or the cooling effect of volcanoes like hopping up or down a step or two on that escalator, scientists said. Not every year will be warmer than the last because of natural variations, but the trend over years will be rising temperatures, they said.

The observed warming has been predicted within a few tenths of a degree in computer simulations going back to the 1970s and 1980s, several scientists said. It has been 33 years since the last month that the globe was cooler than normal, according to NOAA. Northern Illinois University climate scientist Victor Gensini has never lived through a month or year that wasn’t hotter than normal.

“I look at pictures of the great winters of the late ’70s from my parents and wonder if I’ll ever experience anything like that in my lifetime,” said Gebsini, who’s 31.


To Protect Deer, Train Will Sound Like Friend and Foe

New system for preventing train-deer collisions in Japan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2018 2:46 PM CST

(NEWSER) – The BBC reports officials once tried to keep deer away from trains by spraying railway tracks with lion poop. So a train that barks like a dog isn’t the strangest idea ever. A team at Japan’s Railway Technical Research Institute has developed a system to keep deer safe and trains on time by turning to the sounds of the animal kingdom, according to Asahi Shimbun. Under the system, trains emit three seconds of the snorting noise deer make to warn each other of danger then 20 seconds of dogs barking as a “deterrent noise.” The idea is that the deer, alerted to danger, will run away from the oncoming train.

So far in tests it seems to be working. Officials at RTRI say only 7.5 deer were seen every 100 kilometers during test runs. That’s about 45% fewer than normally spotted. RTRI hopes its system will be in use outside of tests by March 2019, the Telegraph reports. Deer, which need iron in their diet, are attracted to rail lines by the iron filings they lick up. It’s a big problem in Japan, where there were a record-setting 613 incidents of trains suspended or delayed at least half an hour due to a collision with a deer or other animal in 2016.


NASA Scientist Finds Michigan Meteorites

Weather radar is the key for Marc Fries
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2018 5:22 AM CST


(NEWSER) – If the United States Geological Service’s reading of a magnitude 2.0 earthquakein Michigan on Tuesday night wasn’t enough to convince you that a meteor did in fact streak through the sky there, let Marc Fries. The NASA scientist says he managed to track the meteorites (those are the pieces of rock that end up on the ground after a meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere) down by using weather radar data, pinpointing them to the Lakeland and Hamburg areas in Livingston County. He explains to the Detroit Free Press that the radars are pointed downward, versus at the sky, but the rocks “are reflective and they will show up in radar images” as they fall past the radar. In fact, he has even published a study on that very idea: “Doppler weather radar as a meteorite recovery tool.”

He provided this map that shows the radar reflections, which occurred between altitudes of 1.2 miles to 1.8 miles. As the title of his study suggests, the meteorites “can be collected” he says; because it wasn’t a windy night, the meteorites should be on the ground beneath the reflection points. The AP talks to another NASA scientist, Bill Cooke with the Meteoroid Environment Office, who says the meteor measured six feet wide and had the power of 100 tons of TNT when it exploded in our atmosphere. He says it was traveling at about 28,000mph, but don’t be impressed: “For a meteor this is about as slow as it gets.” And on the smaller side: The AP points out the meteor that rocked Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 was 10 times as wide. A half-ton meteorite was recovered months later from a Russian lake.


Amazon Reveals 20 Finalists for 2nd HQ

Some ‘shoo-ins,’ but also some surprises
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2018 9:23 AM CST

(NEWSER) – North American cities and regions have been going to “unusual extremes” to vie to become Amazon’s second headquarters, reports the New York Times, and the online giant announced a short list Thursday, with just one city—Los Angeles—out of the 20 hailing from the West Coast. The rest of the chosen Canadian and US competitors (Mexican bids didn’t make the cut) included what the Times considered “shoo-ins,” including Dallas and Raleigh, NC, but also some surprises, such as Miami, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio. “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough—all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” an Amazon rep tells the Times. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.” Here the top 20:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York
  • Northern Virginia
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto
  • Washington, DC


We think WE’RE cold…

Deep freeze in Siberia pushes temperatures down to 85 degrees below zero



If you thought the recent cold snap in the United States was bad, try telling that to some residents of Siberia.

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On Tuesday, in Russia’s Yakutia region, temperatures dropped to an unbelievable 85 degrees below zero. Temperatures are so low that thermometers are freezing and bursting.

PHOTO: A newborn lynx kitten peers into the snow at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Siberia, Russia, Jan. 16, 2018.Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Images
A newborn lynx kitten peers into the snow at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Siberia, Russia, Jan. 16, 2018.

For the Yakutians, cold Januarys are normal, so life typically goes on.

But Tuesday’s temperatures were so cold, schools were closed and people had been advised to stay indoors.

The government has warned of emergencies at energy plants due to increased loads and warned everyone about the increased danger of fires from indoor heaters.

But for those with jobs to do, it’s on with that extra layer, brave the freezing fog and get on with the day.

PHOTO: Local residents walk along a city street in Yakutsk, Russia, Jan. 16, 2018.Vadim Skryabin/TASS via Getty Images
Local residents walk along a city street in Yakutsk, Russia, Jan. 16, 2018.

In the Magadan region, further to the south, it was a little warmer — a balmy 67 degrees below zero. Farther south, in the Krasnoyarsk region, it was a milder minus 40, although with wind chill it felt like 58 degrees below zero.

Even by Siberian standards, this year has been extremely cold, and the bad news is that these extreme temperatures are expected to last until the end of the month.



International Blues Challenge 2018: One of the blues world’s biggest gatherings returns to Memphis

Bob Mehr, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

In just a matter of days, 232 acts from 40 states and 13 countries will arrive in town for the annual International Blues Challenge. Presented by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation, the event — which marks the 34th edition of the competition — has become one of the blues world’s most important gatherings.

In addition to the main IBC competition — which will run for three nights on Beale Street before the finals at the Orpheum — the annual five-day extravaganza includes youth, international and regional blues society showcases, film screenings, panels, symposiums and the Keeping the Blues Alive awards presentation.

► More: Blues Music Awards: Don Bryant, Mavis Staples among nominees

The IBC is expected to draw an average of 2,500 to 3,500 attendees each night when it begins Tuesday.

For those wishing to attend, the Blues Foundation is selling a $100 pass that covers all events, and is available at blues.org. Single-day wristbands on Tuesday and Wednesday are available for $10. Thursday and Friday wristbands are $15. Tickets to the Saturday finals at the Orpheum are $55.

Here are some of the highlights from IBC week schedule:



Pacific Northwest Showcase

11:00 a.m., Club 152 (1st floor), 152 Beale Street

The Pacific Northwest acts entered in the 2018 IBC will appear as part of a showcase hosted by the Pacific Northwest Affiliated Blues Societies.

Roots & Blues Showcase presented by Blind Raccoon & Nola Blue

Noon (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), Purple Haze Night Club, 140 Lt. General W. Lee

A variety of acts will perform as part of the Roots & Blues showcase daily from Wednesday through Friday. The event will also feature Benny Turner signing copies of his new book. All proceeds benefit the HART Fund.

John Oates will be discussing his memoir, “Change of Seasons,” and his new folk-blues album “Arkansas” during an event at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum on Wednesday.
John Oates will be discussing his memoir, “Change of Seasons,” and his new folk-blues album “Arkansas” during an event at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum on Wednesday. (Photo: Rick Diamond, Getty Images for IEBA)
A conversation and book signing with John Oates 3:15 p.m., Blues Hall of Fame Museum, 421 S. Main St.

Singer/songwriter John Oates will discuss his memoir, “Change of Seasons”, and his new album, “Arkansas,” a tribute to Mississippi bluesman John Hurt, which includes his interpretations of classic Delta blues songs as well as original tracks. “Change of Seasons” will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to The Blues Foundation.

International Blues Challenge

4:30 p.m., various venues on Beale Street

The first round of the International Blues Challenge kicks off on Wednesday afternoon. A full schedule will be available at blues.org. IBC Pass or Wristband required for entry to all clubs and venues.


Great Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase

11:30 a.m., Kooky Canuck Restaurant, 87 S. 2nd St.

Downtown’s Kooky Canuck will host the Ottawa Blues Society as they showcase some of the many Canadian acts performing at the IBC. Free.

The Women in Blues Showcase

11:30 a.m., Alfred’s, 197 Beale St.

The Women In Blues House Band will back a number of female blues artists — including Rae Gordon, Bridget Kelly Fik, Kathy & The Kilowatts and Marija Gasparic, among others — with a special closing performance by Redd Velvet. Donations will go to The Blues Foundation’s Generation Blues Scholarship Fund, providing resources for youth musicians to attend summer blues camps and workshops. Donations accepted.

Mississippi Fred McDowell is the subject of “Shake ‘Em on Down,” a documentary screening as part of the IBC on Thursday.
Mississippi Fred McDowell is the subject of “Shake ‘Em on Down,” a documentary screening as part of the IBC on Thursday. (Photo: Submitted)
Shake ‘Em on Down: The Blues According to Fred McDowell

1 p.m., Blues City Café, 138 Beale St.

A documentary film by Joe York and Scott Barretta, this one-hour film tells the story of Fred McDowell, who was first recorded by Alan Lomax in 1959, mentored Bonnie Raitt, and served as the cornerstone of the unique and enduring North Mississippi style of blues music. Barretta will attend and hold a Q&A after the screening. Wristband entry.

Panel: Blues and Social Action

2:45 p.m., Doubletree Hotel (Grand Ballroom), 185 Union Ave.

This panel will explore the use blues music to create a better world. Panelists include Mike Kappus. “Little Steven” Van Zandt, Jim Pugh and Dr. Janice Johnston. The event will also include a Q&A session. Free and open to the public.

International Blues Challenge

4:30 p.m., various venues on Beale Street

The second round of the International Blues Challenge takes place Thursday afternoon.A full schedule of performers will be available at blues.org. IBC pass or wristband required for entry to all clubs and venues.


Keeping the Blues Alive Awards luncheon

11 a.m. Doubletree Hotel (Grand Ballroom), 185 Union Ave.

The annual Keeping the Blues Alive Awards luncheon will recognize the behind-the-scenes figures who “work to share, promote, and bring greater awareness to the blues genre.” $50.

Youth Showcases

4:20 p.m., various clubs on Beale Street

Developing blues talent will be highlighted during the IBC Youth Showcase. Youth Showcase performances will lead directly into the semifinal rounds of the IBC.

International Blues Challenge semifinals

5:20 p.m., various clubs on Beale Street

The semifinal round of the International Blues Challenge.

Former Muddy Waters sideman Bob Margolin leads the VizzTone showcase at Beale’s Rum Boogie on Jan. 19.
Former Muddy Waters sideman Bob Margolin leads the VizzTone showcase at Beale’s Rum Boogie on Jan. 19. (Photo: Special to the Free Press)
VizzTone’s Blues Party on Beale

Immediately following the IBC semifinals, Rum Boogie Café, 182 Beale St.

Led by Muddy Waters’ guitarist Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, this showcase will feature VizzTone and BratGirlMedia artists. All proceeds to benefit Generation Blues.

Saturday, Jan. 20

International Blue Challenge Finals

Noon, Orpheum Theatre, 203 S. Main St.

The doors to the Orpheum Theatre will open at 11:30 a.m. for seating for the 34th Annual International Blues Challenge finals. Pre-purchased premium seating will be reserved in the center front of the Orchestra. The finals will begin promptly at noon. IBC pass or finals ticket required for entry.

Generation Blues Play-It-Forward Fundraiser

Immediately following the IBC finals, Hard Rock Café, 126 Beale St.

The music continues once the finals are over with the Andy T Band and surprise guests. All donations ($10 suggested) benefit Generation Blues.

2018 International Blues Challenge

The event runs Tuesday, Jan. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 20 at various venues on and around Beale Street.

The Blues Foundation is selling a $100 pass that covers all events. Single-day wristbands are available for $10 for Tuesday and Wednesday events. Thursday and Friday wristbands are $15. Tickets to the Saturday finals at the Orpheum are $55.

To purchase, go to blues.org or call 901-527-2583. For a full list of acts, venues and more information, go to blues.org.


Salt, brine mixture can cause serious damage if not cleaned off

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The roads are covered in salt and brine ahead of more snow expected late Monday into Tuesday. It is also coating many cars across the Midstate.

When you are driving on wet roads that have been treated with salt and brine, it sprays nearly the entire undercarriage of your car or truck. If that mixture is not cleaned off, it can cause some serious damage.

At the White Bridge Auto Wash, folks are getting the gunk cleaned off their rides.

“I’ve seen videos of what can happen, and I just got this car last month,” Nashville resident Austin Frisch said.

“The brine (TDOT is) using today is more effective melting the snow, but it’s actually harsher on the cars. It’s magnesium chloride,” said Paul Budslick, owner of White Bridge Auto Wash. “Also, the salt itself is abrasive. It rubs against your car and it’s most likely going to cause scratches on your car.”

At Midas, automotive technician Justin Boldus showed just what happens under a car when the salt and brine does not get cleaned off.

“You’ll get a lot of buildup underneath the wheel wells,” Boldus said. “A lot of times, the brake lines are the first things to go. Some of them are rubber coated, but if they’re not rubber coated and that rust starts eating on them, it’ll start cracking and leaking brake fluid.”

Boldus pointed out areas on a car’s suspension that can take a hit.

“Under the car, it stays wet so long and that salt gets packed in there,” he said. “That takes a very long time to dry out.”

As for paint, salt has to go through the coating, through the e-coating, through the primer, and into the bare metal before it can have an effect.

Just to be safe, car care experts say the best thing to do is just go get your car washed. If nothing else, at least the undercarriage.

“The rust really starts on the inside and works its way out. A lot of it you can’t see until it’s too late,” Boldus said.


No One Has Set Eyes on This in 150 Years. You Can

‘Super blue blood moon’ eclipse coming Jan. 31
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2018 6:33 AM CST

(NEWSER) – Look up at the sky on Jan. 31 and you may witness a sight unseen for 150 years. For the first time since 1866, a total lunar eclipse will occur with the blue moon, or second full moon of the month, which—like the one visible on New Year’s Day—will also be a supermoon. Got all that? When the moon is at or near the closest point to Earth in its orbit (aka, a supermoon), it appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter than full moons that occur at the farthest point in the moon’s orbit, though the moon will lose brightness as it enters Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. Because of the way Earth’s atmosphere bends light, the eclipsed moon will take on a reddish hue, something often referred to as a blood moon, making this rare celestial event “a super blue blood moon eclipse,” according to the Miami Herald. The next blue moon eclipse won’t occur until 2028.

The eclipse will last for 3.5 hours, with the total eclipse stretching for 77 minutes, reports Sky & Telescope. Those along the Pacific Rim from Alaska and northwestern Canada to central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia will get the best view of totality during the middle of the night. However, partial phases of the eclipse should be visible under a clear sky in central North America, western Asia, India, the Middle East and eastern Europe, per Space.com. North American viewers should look up as the moon sets on the morning of Jan. 31, while those on the opposite side of the world should see a partial eclipse as the moon rises. Not in an ideal viewing area? The Virtual Telescope plans to livestream the total eclipse from Australia, which you can watch here, per Quartz.