“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” –William Arthur Ward Here at my college, as well as at all those colleges and Universities on the semester system, the academic year … Read moreAdvice for Teachers as the Academic Year Ends
“Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” –e. e. cummings Sometimes, you just need to take stock of what we know, and appreciate how far we’ve come. A hundred years ago, we thought the Universe consisted of the stars and nebulae in our Milky Way. We thought Newton’s Law of … Read moreThe History of Pretty Much Everything
“Science for me is very close to art. Scientific discovery is an irrational act. It’s an intuition which turns out to be reality at the end of it — and I see no difference between a scientist developing a marvelous discovery and an artist making a painting.” –Carlo Rubbia, famous and infamous Nobel Prize-winning physicist … Read moreHiggs at the LHC: Rumors and Getting it Right
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” –Kurt Cobain Back in the early 1990s, not only a new sound, but also a new attitude emerged in Rock ‘n’ Roll. One that was dark and heavy, one that expressed the frustration and malaise of youth, and one that — perhaps … Read moreWeekend Diversion: For us to Remember, for the Kids to Discover
“We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” –Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut This Earth Day, I think — for anyone interested in space, astronomy, or the Universe — gives us perhaps the best opportunity to look back on our planet as we … Read moreHappy Earth Day, 2011 Edition!
“You may hate gravity, but gravity doesn’t care.” –Clayton Christensen What’s the deal with gravity, dark matter, and this whole “lensing” business anyway? You’ve probably heard that energy — most commonly mass — bends light. And perhaps you’ve seen an image or two like this one to illustrate that. Above is the great galaxy cluster … Read moreHow Gravitational Lensing Shows Us Dark Matter!
“The lessons of science should be experimental also. The sight of a planet through a telescope is worth all the course on astronomy; the shock of the electric spark in the elbow outvalues all theories; the taste of the nitrous oxide, the firing of an artificial volcano, are better than volumes of chemistry.” –Ralph Waldo … Read moreTelescope! Give me sight beyond sight!
“The loss of the night sky is most troubling for children. Whole generations of kids in cities and suburbs are growing up seldom if ever having seen the milky way and what a sky full of thousands of stars look like.” –Timothy Ferris While Dave Chappelle will tell you that everything looks better in slow … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Time Lapse and a Dark Sky
“All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature.” –Rudolf Steiner For millenia, humans have looked to the heavens for answers about the cosmos. And one of the main reasons I write what I do for … Read moreThe Secrets of the Universe!
“I could have gone on flying through space forever.” –Yuri Gagarin It was April 12th, 1961, or fifty years ago today, that Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to leave Earth — the ground, the atmosphere, the stratosphere — and to soar into outer space. What was unimaginable just half-a-century ago has become an … Read moreCelebrating 50 years of humans in space!