Archives for August, 2013

“I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won’t contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That’s what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.” -Orson Welles It’s like that for…

“Being told about the effects of climate change is an appeal to our reason and to our desire to bring about change. But to see that Africans are the hardest hit by climate change, even though they generate almost no greenhouse gas, is a glaring injustice, which also triggers anger and outrage over those who…

“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.” -Orison Swett Marden If you had never heard of global warming before, how would you figure out whether it’s real or not? And if it is real, how would you figure out what humanity’s role in it is? To answer this, I’ve decided to…

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” -David Attenborough It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on this blog about global warming, climate change, or most Earth-based environmental topics in general. After all, I’m a physicist — an astrophysicist…

“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” -Khalil Gibran It’s time again for another Messier Monday! The Messier Catalogue was the original comprehensive and accurate catalogue of fixed, deep-sky objects visible to any dedicated (northern hemisphere) skywatcher with even the most primitive of astronomical equipment. Over the centuries,…

“I’m happy to report that everybody whose face I’ve wanted to punch on Earth has already been punched.” -Greg Kinnear Well, it’s finally happened. After the javascript music player I’d been using to share music with you was discontinued, I finally found a new one here. There’s no better way to test it out than…

The Most Distant Galaxy in the Universe

“People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” -Oscar Wilde…

How do we see through our own galaxy?

“I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.” -Johann Lambert When we look out at the Universe, our view is pretty consistently dominated by the…

Why does Particle Physics matter?

“[S]cience is not a consumption good to be expanded in good times and restricted in bad times. The doing of science as well as the supporting of science is an expression of faith in the future. It would have been possible to have told Newton and Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein, Bohr and Heisenberg that, given…

“We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows.” -Robert Frost It’s time again for another Messier Monday! To kick off each week, we’ve been taking a look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier catalogue. Compiled in the 18th Century to…