My Brush With Fame?

Those of you who’ve been reading Starts With A Bang since this last summer may have seen this article I wrote — The Math of the Fastest Human Alive — about Usain Bolt’s world record in the 100 meter dash.

Little did I know what type of interest this would generate. A few weeks after I wrote it, I found that my article was reprinted — verbatim — in the St. Petersburg Times, and then was featured in MacLean’s. And I thought that was going to be it.

And then Esquire Magazine called. I’m featured on page 133 and 134 of this month’s (April 2010) issue, and you can read the article online here.

But nothing prepared me for what I saw on ESPN today:

This is crazy and awesome at the same time, and something I never expected from just applying a little math to what looked like a very, very fast world’s record!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled astrophysics.


  1. #1 Markk
    April 9, 2010

    Going back and reading the original story I see the SPAMbots have a new method of repeating existing comments and adding their little links. Check it out and maybe get it cleaned up if you don’t want that unsightly stuff. The last three comments at least as of this comment.

  2. #2 Damon B.
    April 9, 2010

    You sir, are the man.

  3. #3 Dave w.
    April 9, 2010

    It’s about time the MSM noticed your brilliance !

  4. #4 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    oh look…a star in the Blogosphere!
    Great Blog Ethan.

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    April 9, 2010

    Will fame alter Our man Ethan? Tune in at 11 to find out! 😉

  6. #6 rick king
    April 10, 2010


  7. #7 Richard
    April 10, 2010

    Awesome, Ethan. Keep up the good work.

  8. #8 Comrade PhysioProf
    April 10, 2010

    Cool, man! Don’t forget the little people!

  9. #9 Alex
    April 11, 2010

    It is hard to see them when you’re always looking up at the stars through a telescope.

  10. #10 b_nichol
    April 12, 2010

    They like you! They really like you!

    On the other hand, it’s hardly surprising that ESPN considers Michael Johnson “the hero of the 1996 Olympic summer games”.
    After all, Canadians owned the podium (and world record) in the 100m and became the first non-US team to win the 4X100m relay in the Olympics. Guess they forgot about Donovan Bailey.

  11. #11 Abby Smith
    April 13, 2010

    PROFESSOR YOU ARE SO COOL!! Congratulations. The article is fascinating.
    I had a moment of clutching my face and squealing, “Cool,” repeatedly, until my roommate gave me a look significantly bewildered enough to warrant the explanation that my Astronomy teacher from last semester had just had an article published across popular media, and was now, effectively…well, really just as awesome as he’d been every day of class. 🙂

  12. #12 Thomas Neil Neubert
    April 14, 2010

    Very nice. I’ll be looking for you in the tabloids.
    I think your calculation proves that it is really 2042.

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