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.

“We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposed to rob us of their companionship.” -James Harvey Robinson The Universe seems to be full of contradictions. On one hand, everywhere we look — in all directions and at all locations —…

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus This Sunday marks the Winter Solstice: the darkest, longest evening of the year for all the Earth’s northern hemisphere denizens. Sure, you probably know all about Earth’s axial tilt and how the southern hemisphere experiences the summer…

Quantum Immortality (Synopsis)

They say that a cat has nine lives, mostly because of their uncanny ability to find themselves in — and escape from — frequently perilous situations. Perhaps, of all the animals that he could have chosen, that’s why Schrödinger made his famous thought experiment about the most diminutive of felines. But there’s an incredible outcome that…

We all have our own interpretation of what “the scientific method” is, but there’s always at least one thing that they all have in common: the ultimate arbiter of whether a theory or idea is valid depends on the evidence that comes back from physically observable phenomena. But not everyone necessarily agrees with this in the way…

The Big Bang for Children (Synopsis)

“To begin, begin.” -William Wordsworth Is the Big Bang the greatest scientific achievement of the 20th century? I — along with many others — would argue that it is. It’s something that even young children are curious about! Perhaps it’s in our nature to wonder about where we come from? Yet despite the fact that it’s been…

Memory Monday: Our Universe Changes (Synopsis)

“Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” -Carl Sagan 34 years ago, Carl Sagan became the first person to present —…

“If there are things you don’t like in the world you grew up in, make your own life different.” -Dave Thomas That’s great advice, and is the same advice that the iconic Grandmaster Flash not only pushed in his legendary song, The Message, but also lived. The music style he helped developed had a tremendous impact…

Comments of the Week #39: From Genesis to Fate

Kid: “Mortal Kombat, on Sega Genesis, is the best video game ever.” Billy Madison: “I disagree, it’s a very good game, but I think Donkey Kong is the best game ever.” Kid: “Donkey Kong sucks.” Billy Madison: “You know something? YOU SUCK!” -Billy Madison, 1995 Every week brings with it something new, but this is…

“Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness.” -Stephen King This story seems to come up every few months. Someone detects a possibly unexpected signal somewhere in the sky — normally correlated to the centers of…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” -Robert Frost Sure, it’s…