Ethan was born in New York City as the son of a Jewish postal worker. He did his undergrad at Northwestern, taught public school in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, before moving to Florida, where he got his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of Florida. After that, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin, ate too much cheese, and also met his life partner, Jamie. After working in astrophysics research at the University of Arizona and starting the world-renowned science blog, Starts With A Bang, he moved from the hellish desert to rain-soaked Portland in 2008. Since then, he's been a professor at the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, grown a nationally renowned beard and mustache, got invited to join a circus and probably drank more beer than a healthy person should. He currently works as the head curator at Trapit, and can't wait to tell you a little bit more about the Universe.

“In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.” -Quentin Crisp The Universe is expanding. The farther away a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be receding from us. The…

“…and the Sun has perished out of heaven, and an evil mist hovers over all.” -Homer’s Odyssey The great american eclipse is coming, and you’re in luck! This astronomical sight is unlike anything else that occurs on Earth (or any rocky planet in the Solar System), and there are three incredible stories that it teaches…

“Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are – rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,’ which require global solidarity.” -Ban Ki-moon Earlier this week, the executive editor of the Heartland Institute published a declaration that he was a climate change skeptic, and…

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson The enterprise of science is one of the most misunderstood in all of society. Some view it as its own religion; others view it as a political ideology gussied up in smart-sounding clothes; still others view it…

“Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.” –Ismail Haniyeh Have you ever seen some beautiful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring pictures of the Universe, with what appears to be a too-good-to-be-true view? While there…

Quick Note For The Weekend

“I have never gone out of fashion. And do you know why? Because I never sought it. When you don’t seek it, it’s always with you.” -Bonnie Tyler Well folks, it’s summer, and that means a lot of things for a lot of people, including for me! So, some fun announcements: My new book, Treknology,…

“Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.” -Francois de La Rochefoucauld So, you’d like to ruin the fabric of your space, would you? Similar to tying a knot in it, stitching it up with some poorly-run shenanigans, running a two-dimensional membrane through it (like a hole in a sponge), etc., it’s…

“If I had to describe myself to an alien I’d say I was bigger than the average human, enjoy a drink or two with a good meal and have a bigger head than most. I’d also say I’m really handsome — especially if they were a female alien.” -Dwayne Johnson The Earth, to the best of our…

“Lord of Light! Come to us in our darkness. We offer you these false gods. Take them and cast your light upon us. For the night is dark and full of terrors.” -Melisandre, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice Imagine a world where you know that winter is coming, but you don’t…

“We really expect the mission to be transformational. This is the capstone of the original visits to the planets. It takes us 4 billion miles away and 4 billion years back in time.” -Alan Stern When the Hubble Space Telescope discovered additional moons of Pluto, beyond Charon, it was speculated that New Horizons might find…