Archives for December, 2012

“I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are.” -Milton Berle Welcome to Messier Monday, where we pick…

“When you’re a little kid you’re a bit of everything; scientist, philosopher, artist. Sometimes it seems like growing up is giving these things up one at a time.” -Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years Like many who grew up around the same time I did, The Wonder Years was one of my favorite shows, putting on…

The Universe Beyond Our Reach

“People hear the happy story, but the truth is they could all disappear in the blink of an eye. The threats just keep coming.” -Todd Steiner It’s taken generations of scientists, examining the night sky for millennia, to comprehend the full size and scope of what’s out there in the Universe. Out beyond the planets and…

The Longest Full Moon of the Year

“Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy.” -Henri Frederic Amiel Tonight is a special night, although not for the reasons you may think.…

“We have been forced to admit for the first time in history not only the possibility of the fact of the growth and decay of the elements of matter. With radium and with uranium we do not see anything but the decay. And yet, somewhere, somehow, it is almost certain that these elements must be…

“This holiday season is about remembering that the greatest gift was not laid under a tree, but in a filthy manger.” -Unknown But it isn’t the manger you’re thinking of that I want to share with you this Messier Monday. Although Charles Messier’s catalogue of 110 deep sky objects — designed to pinpoint nebulae that…

Weekend Diversion: The Best Holiday Present

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.” -Milan Kundera It’s the holiday season, and for most of us, that means…

The Science of the Real End of The World

“I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” -Eric Roth, screenwriter Forget the prognosticators, the fortune-tellers and the mediums. Pay…

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson In the great cosmic ocean, there’s only one planet that we know — for certain — has the right conditions and history to result in intelligent life: our own. Life — or even intelligent life —…

“Men… have had the vanity to pretend that the world creation was made for them, whilst in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence.” -Camille Flammarion Welcome to the latest — and most controversial – Messier Monday, where each week, I’ll take a look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up…