Astronauts talk to Las Vegas conventioneers from space

Updated April 26, 2017 - 6:14 pm

The giant NAB convention is winding down and closes Thursday on a high note with Mix Master Mike spinning in the virtual, augmented-reality pavilion with drones flying upward to demonstrate their capabilities in the blur of lines between entertainment and broadcast with live-event content becoming ever-more immersive.

Earlier today, Expedition 51 Space Commander Peggy Whitson and astronaut Jack Fischer hosted the first-ever 4K live-video audio stream from 250 miles above Earth from The International Space Station to NAB delegates. They demonstrated the advanced technology and promoted space science and filmmaking.

The five crewmembers also conducted vision checks during eye exams as French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy joined the crewmates as veteran cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin offloaded cargo from the new Soyuz crew ship.

Delegates here at our Las Vegas Convention Center came to a standstill as the crystal-clear video came in from outer space during their Las Vegas panel discussion. To describe it as “emotional and incredible” would still be an understatement.

SHANIA’S NEW SINGLE

Country pop superstar singer Shania Twain has revealed the writing process that went into her new track “Life’s About to Get Good” that she will debut this weekend at The Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.

Former Caesars Palace resident star Shania, who lives in The Bahamas, said, “I was at home looking out at the ocean, and I said to myself, ‘Here I am stuck in this past of negativity, but it’s so beautiful out.’

“I’m not in the mood to write a feeling-sorry-for-myself song. … You can’t have the good without the bad, and that’s what the song ended up being about.” The single is from her new album to be released this fall, her first in 15 years.

Shania added: “I wrote all of the songs, so there’s a continuity there, I think, emotionally. It’s been a lot of hard work but the most fun hard work I’ve ever done. I’ve had to learn a lot about independence on this album.”

RETURN OF RISE

For a fourth year, The Rise Lantern Festival will return to Nevada, this year from Oct. 6-7 35 miles outside Las Vegas at Moapa River Reservation. Tickets for the two-day festival are now on sale and on pace to sell out as it has in previous years.

The Rise Lantern Festival is a celebratory event where lanterns are simultaneously released to the sky representing participants’ hopes, dreams and wishes, creating a breathtaking and unforgettable experience.

Festivalgoers are encouraged to partake in igniting of the sky with the release of more than 20,000 lanterns. Rise was the first lantern festival of its kind to take place in the United States and debuted in 2014 near Las Vegas. Each year since, more than 10,000 guests have joined together to lift their spirits with the release of thousands of biodegradable paper lanterns.

ELLA’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

Tuesday marked the 100th birthday of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, who died in June 1996 after a 60-year career. The First Lady of Jazz who was known for her interpretations of the Duke Ellington Songbook was a regular Las Vegas performer and in June 1974 appeared for a series of concerts with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie at Caesars.

PEKING DUCK + DOVER SOLE

Twice this week, I’ve been fortunate enough to dive back into earlier memories during exquisite meals right here on the Strip. When I was in Macau, I never thought I’d eat a better, tastier Peking duck, but I was wrong because the one served at the luxurious restaurant Phoenix at Lucky Dragon is just as great if not actually superior.

Thanks to reigning Miss Nevada USA Bailey Gumm for introducing me to it. You’ll find my interview with Bailey in Sunday’s ENT of The RJ and here. One night later, I ordered English Dover Sole at Old Homestead in Caesars, and I swear that it is the best in Las Vegas. Thanks to Michael Boychuck of Color salon for that taste treat.

STAR SURVELLANCE

Howie Dorough of Axis at Planet Hollywood headliners The Backstreet Boys drove five exhilarating laps around Speed Vegas’ 1.5-mile Formula One-inspired track in a Ferrari 458 Italia. He reached a top speed of 131 mph.

The Plain White T’s put down their guitars long enough to play at Topgolf at MGM Grand on Tuesday night, and when they weren’t hitting the little white balls, they enjoyed sliders and Silver Dollar s’mores.

And more than 20,000 rock fans turned out for the debut two-day Las Rageous rock and metal music festival at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center with 20 bands including Godsmack, Anthrax, Breaking Benjamin and Avenged Sevenfold.

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