Archives for February, 2014

Ask Ethan #26: Burn, baby, burn!

“Man loves company – even if it is only that of a small burning candle.” -Georg C. Lichtenberg It’s the end of the week here at Starts With A Bang, and so it’s time for still another Ask Ethan! This is — for those of you wondering — the final Ask Ethan we’ll have here on…

What is Color? (Synopsis)

“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” -Alan Alda Alan Alda recently challenged scientists to explain this simple question to 11-year-olds in less than 300 words. Could you do it?…

“If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.” -Lee Trevino It’s one of the most beautiful (and terrifying) sights in the world. But what causes it? If the Earth is about to spew volcanic ash, smoke,…

Top 5 facts about Imaginary Math (Synopsis)

“There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.” -Friedrich Nietzsche You know that the square root of -1 is “i”, an imaginary number. But did you know any of these? For classical (Newtonian) mechanics, as well as electromagnetism, it’s sufficient to use real mathematics…

“Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!” -Harry Truman, to a music critic who panned his daughter’s singing When you think about the Messier objects in the night sky, you hope for skies like the…

Weekend Diversion: Building Down (Synopsis)

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” -David Allan Coe As the population of cities continues to grow, real estate runs out fast. But one innovative solution may be the wave of the future: building down! Have a…

Ask Ethan #25: Where would you go, now?

“They will see us waving from such great heights ‘Come down now,’ they’ll say. But everything looks perfect from far away ‘Come down now.’ But we’ll stay.” -The Postal Service Welcome back to another Ask Ethan! You keep sending in your questions and suggestions, and each week, I’ll pick one of my favorites to answer…

“If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” -Les Brown On the one hand, you’ve got gravitation, the most powerful force in the Universe, trying to attract all the matter in it together. If it had its way, not only…

“If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens… Where Is Everybody?” -Stephen Webb If stars, planets, and biological processes are so common in the Universe, then where is everyone? Here on Earth, we take for granted how easy it was for life to form. Our world has been around for some four-and-a-half billion years, and the oldest…

Did it all start with a bang? (Synopsis)

“Both the solutions must be rejected, and as these are the only statical solutions of the equations… the true solution represented in nature must be a dynamical solution.” -Willem de Sitter First off, welcome, everyone! As you well know, the main Starts With A Bang blog has moved to Medium, something that’s received mixed reviews from…