Archives for June, 2012

“Art has never been a popularity contest.” -James Levine Sometimes, you might feel like you’ve heard it all, seen it all, and that nothing’s original anymore. But I beg to differ. Just because great things have come before doesn’t mean that there aren’t great things happening right now. While it might “only” be a cover…

“Building one space station for everyone was and is insane: we should have built a dozen.” -Larry Niven Here on the solid ground of the Earth, the Sun and Moon rise and set on a daily basis. During the hours where the Sun is invisible, blocked by the solid Earth, the stars twirl overhead in…

What is this all about?

“You don’t use science to show that you’re right, you use science to become right.” -Randall of xkcd In January of 2008, I began writing this blog, Starts With A Bang, both for myself and for all of you, because we all have something in common. The same planet, the same heavens, the same laws of nature and the…

Alllllllmost there…

Good luck, clear skies and great viewing for everyone out there trying to see the Venus Transit! Update 1: Watch the event live here, or watch the embedded NASA video stream, below: Live video from your Android device on Ustream Update 2: here are the results of my Transit “expedition”, where I didn’t get any…

The Cosmic Story of Carbon-14

“Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.” -James Jeans Here on Earth, every living thing is based around four fundamental, elemental building blocks of life: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and, perhaps most importantly, carbon. From diamonds to nanotubes to DNA, carbon is indispensable for constructing practically all of the most intricate…

“If a ‘religion’ is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel taught us that mathematics is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.” -John Barrow Image is from the front cover of the most important medieval picture bible to survive.…

How long does a Solar Eclipse last?

“The moon shuts off the beams of the sun as it passes across it, and darkens so much of the earth as the breadth of the blue-eyed moon amounts to.” -Empedocles, ~450 B.C. Less than two weeks ago, I saw my first annular eclipse, with some spectacular results at the moment of maximum eclipse. This…