“My girl, my girl, don’t you lie to me, tell me where did you sleep last night? In the pines, in the pines, where the Sun don’t ever shine, I’ll shiver the whole night through.” –Leadbelly, among many other variations It’s already been a couple of months since I wrote about Global Warming, and was … Read moreIf You Believe That Blankets Keep You Warm…
“Some of them act badly because they’ve had a hard life, or have been mistreated…but, like people, some of them are just jerks. Stop that, Mr. Simpson.” –The Simpsons Sometimes, it’s good to just take a step back and enjoy something that’s easy. There’s a lot in this world to think about, worry about, learn … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Animals Being Dicks
“A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don’t get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.” –Benoit Mandelbrot It isn’t just the clouds that appear smooth, but aren’t if you zoom in close. In fact, it isn’t just the … Read moreHow Smooth is the Universe?
“Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized.” –Benjamin Haydon You might look up at the night sky, at the vast canopy of stars we can see, and ask, exactly, what we’re seeing? Thousands upon thousands of stars, of course, even with just your naked eye. These stars come in all sorts … Read moreThe Universe is Biased!
“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” –Ben Okri Let me take you back 20 years, to the early 1990s. Back then, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator was right here in the United States: Fermilab’s … Read moreAre we watching NASA Astrophysics commit suicide?
“The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.” –Milton Friedman Dark matter is one of the most important components of the Universe today. And yet in the public’s eye, almost no one accepts it the way, say, the Big Bang is accepted. But it should be, and … Read moreWhat Dark Matter’s Alternatives Must Do
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” –Winston Churchill It’s often said that you can’t get something from nothing. And while this may be true for most practical applications of your life, it isn’t true for our physical Universe. And I … Read moreThe Physics of Nothing; The Philosophy of Everything
“Anyone who has spent any time in space will love it for the rest of their lives. I achieved my childhood dream of the sky.” –Valentina Tereshkova We all have our heroes. Many of them meet with tragedy, and get eulogized in song. This week, I present to you a wonderful, bluegrass cover by Keller … Read moreWeekend Diversion: The Dreams of a Hero
“…it is reasonable to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star.” –Arthur Eddington, 1926 (For Mike H., who wanted to know.) The Sun — like nearly all stars — burns bright through its nuclear reactions, sending light, heat and energy out … Read moreHow the Sun works, from the inside out
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” –Henry Ford Back in 2003, a twin pair of rovers — Spirit and Opportunity — were launched from Earth to Mars. For no good reason at all, Opportunity has long been my favorite of the two. Opportunity landed in January of 2004 in … Read moreThe Lifetime of an Opportunity