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.

When it comes to the Universe, physicists say things like: it originated in a Big Bang, it’s isotropic (or the same in all directions), and it’s homogeneous (the same everywhere), save for the effects of cosmic evolution. In every direction we look, we see galaxies expanding away from us, with the expansion rate increasing the…

“It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy’s edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create ‘one world.’ Instead of one world,…

“When he came home, I could see a change. He was quieter and he was a man and a hero to me. I watched him and listened to him. I’d never had an opportunity to do a superhero, and when that came, [that voice] just came right out of me and I sounded like Optimus.”…

“To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science.” -Isaac Newton And the advances continue, not just here at Starts With A Bang but everywhere humans are engaged in the practice of gathering knowledge about the world and Universe itself. This past week, we covered:…

“Thus it seems Einstein was doubly wrong when he said, God does not play dice. Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.” –Stephen Hawking You’ve no doubt heard that Stephen Hawking is claiming that the black hole information paradox has now been…

“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand…

Earlier this week, Stephen Hawking shook up the world when he announced that he had uncovered the solution to the black hole information paradox at a conference in Stockholm. When particles fall into (or create) a black hole, information is encoded on the black hole’s surface, but when the black hole decays into radiation, that information…

“The slow philosophy is not about doing everything in tortoise mode. It’s less about the speed and more about investing the right amount of time and attention in the problem so you solve it.” –Carl Honore If you wanted to know how fast you were moving through space, you’d need to measure it all: the…

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.” –Victor Hugo When stars are born of a certain mass — between about 10 and 40 times the mass of the Sun — they can evolve into yellow supergiants when they burn through the hydrogen in…

“the way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out of the heart” –Charles Bukowski When it comes to destructive forces that are also mesmerizing and impossible to look away from, it’s hard to compete…