Archives for August, 2010

“The whole fabric of the space-time continuum is not merely curved, it is in fact totally bent.” -Douglas Adams As many of you know, if you take a whole bunch of mass, and you’ve got nothing going on except gravity, it’s going to gravitationally collapse. And if atoms, nuclei, pressure, and nuclear reactions don’t (or…

Weekend Diversion: Time to Speak Up.

They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me…

How much stuff is in the Universe?

“The most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible.” -Albert Einstein The observable Universe is huge. Incredibly, mind-bogglingly huge. When we look out, in any direction, we see galaxies upon galaxies upon galaxies, stretching for billions and billion of light years. This one picture, taken of a region of sky just one-tenth…

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have.…

What is the Speed of Gravity?

“The only problem with the speed of light, is it gets here too early in the morning.” -Danny Nevrath One of the most common questions I get asked is whether gravity is instantaneous, or whether there’s a speed limit to how fast the force of gravity can travel. It’s a good question! After all, we…

“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” -James Lovell, Astronaut: Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and Apollo 13 A few weeks ago you had your chance…

“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” -Noam Chomsky You might remember when the Solar System had nine planets, but as unbelievable as it sounds, for a very long time we only had six. Why? Because only the…

She Blinded Me With… A Nova?

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen. -Baz…

Weekend Diversion: Saving All The Love

“For human love–the beings that change or die; Die–change–forget: to care so is a curse, Yet cursed we’ll be rather than not care thus.” -Mathilde Blind Every once in a while, a new artist comes along that surprises me in some fashion, and with Joe Firstman, it’s his sincerity and earnestness. Have a listen to…

Happy Friday the 13th from Hubble!

“A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night.” -J. M. Barrie But off in space, a whopping 320 million light years…