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Here are some of our favorite pictures from last February's First Fridays!
Pluto, which used to be thought of as a lonely oddball planet at the edge of the solar system, is now known to be part of a new collection of tiny worlds circling far beyond the sun. Brown will talk about the discoveries of these worlds and how our new explosion of knowledge led, inevitably, to an undeniable conclusion: Pluto had to die.[ ]
Copernicus. Galileo. Hubble, Halley, Sagan. And now, Brown. Like the scientific luminaries before him, Mike Brown has forever changed the way we view the final frontier. Specializing in the discovery and study of bodies at the edge of the solar system, Mike Brown and his team’s discovery of Eris, which is larger than the former ninth planet, led to demotion of Pluto to “dwarf planet.” At the podium, Brown tells the fascinating true story of the demise of Pluto and a first-hand account of the modern day discoveries of our solar system.
Mike Brown is a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. In 2006, his and his team’s work rocked the world when, inspired their findings, the International Astronomical Union (the organization which oversees astronomical rules and conventions) revised the definition of a planet. The result was that Pluto was deemed too small and ousted from the official planetary list.
Brown and his team’s discoveries of several bodies of similar size to Pluto, including Eris, Quaoar and Sedna, known as “dwarf planets,” has permanently changed the way we look at our Solar System. Feature articles about Brown and his and his team’s work have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Discover, among many other major publications, and his discoveries have been covered on front pages of countless newspapers worldwide. In 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's “100 Most Influential People” as well as one of Los Angeles magazine's “Most Powerful Angelinos.” He has authored nearly 100 scientific papers, and his writing has appeared in numerous academic, scientific, and popular publications including the New York Times, Physics Today, and the World Book Science Year.
Mike Brown received his AB from Princeton in 1987 and his MA and PhD from University of California, Berkeley, in 1990 and 1994, respectively. He has won numerous awards and honors for his scholarship, including the prestigious Urey Prize for best young planetary scientist from the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Sciences; the prestigious Richard P. Feynman Award for Outstanding Teaching at Caltech; a Presidential Early Career Award; a Sloan Fellowship; and, of course, the one that started his career, an honorable mention in his fifth-grade science fair. He was also named one of Wired On-line's “Top Ten Sexiest Geeks” in 2006. Mike Brown is the subject of the children’s book, The Planet Hunter: The Story Behind What Happened to Pluto. He lives with his wife and daughter in Southern California.
In the last three years Nika Roza Danilova has gone from being an outsider experimental teenage noise-maker to a full fledged internationally celebrated electronic pop musician. It was a huge feat to accomplish, and despite her age (young), her geography (mid-western, desolate), her accelerated scholastic requirements (high school and college were completed in three years each) and her diminutive physical size (4”11, 90 lbs) she has triumphed. She has emerged as a figurehead—a self-produced, self-designed, self-taught independent woman.
Zola Jesus is not a singer; she is a musician. Zola Jesus is not a band; it is a solo project. That is not to say the people who have helped her along the way were not deeply important. Her irreplaceable live band, who’s drummer Nick Johnson lends a hand on several tracks here, and her friend Brian Foote who co-produced this album in addition to the live string players (Sean McCann, Ryan York) who contribute here were all crucial in the process. Nika however, is a woman who can command a room, any room, without needing a band, a stage, or even a microphone. Her voice is unmistakable; it cuts right to the core.
Conatus is a huge leap forward in production, instrumentation and song structure. It says it all in the definition of the title: the will to keep on, to move forward. From thumping ballads to electronic glitch, no sound goes unexplored on her new record. It is an icy exploration in refined chaos and controlled madness, an effort to break through capability and access a sonic world that crumbles as it shines.
A native of South Dakota – the sparsely inhabited north end of America’s heartland (her blog is called ‘came outta nowhere’) – EMA has a unique and at times dervish-like guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting, and a DIY recording ethos that has seen her develop a distinctive sonic signature. Her songs are somewhat neurotically assembled and essentially raw, the product of obsession by somebody who never learned the ‘right’ way to do things. Besides making music, EMA has been involved in video, performance and curating multimedia shows in West Oakland and LA.
KCRW DJs Anthony Valadez and Chuck P join us in the lounge where you can get your groove on and enjoy the dioramas of the African Mammal Hall.
Anthony Valadez is a Los Angeles based DJ/Producer and visual artist with residencies at Little Temple, Zanzibar and Federal Bar. His latest musical projects include remixes for David Bowie and Ozomatli. He has released two full length albums on indie label Recordbreakin. He is a resident DJ at Dublab.com and has a regular program on 89.9 FM KCRW and KCRW.com where he mixes future beats, soulful keys, and tomorrow's samples and sounds. (www.anthonyvaladez.com)
Chuck P spins a blend of Indie pop/rock and world music on Monday mornings (midnight to 3 am) on his latest radio home, KCRW (89.9 FM and KCRW.com). Chuck has been in radio for over 21 years, working his way up and down the West Coast — from Washington to San Diego — before settling in at the late Indie 103. Chuck is a big supporter of local music and is always on the search for his next musical epiphany.