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.

“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…

“Once you accept that we’re all imperfect, it’s the most liberating thing in the world. Then you can go around making mistakes and saying the wrong thing and tripping over on the street and all that and not feel worried.” -Paloma Faith Yet it’s the imperfections in the Universe that truly enable the most interesting…

“The total number of people who understand relativistic time, even after eighty years since the advent of special relativity, is still much smaller than the number of people who believe in horoscopes.” –Yuval Ne’eman It’s been 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang for us, and when we look out at a distant object in…

“Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang.” –Alan Guth If we trace the evolution of our Universe back in time, we can arrive at a time before there were organic molecules, rocky planets,…

“‘Star Trek’ says that it has not all happened, it has not all been discovered, that tomorrow can be as challenging and adventurous as any time man has ever lived.” –Gene Roddenberry Today would have been the 95th birthday of Gene Roddenberry, the mind that brought us the Universe of Star Trek. In addition to…

Gravity’s Oldest Puzzles (Synopsis)

Every time you follow the motion of a spacecraft, moon, planet or other object through the Solar System, you’re putting the theory of gravity to the test. On one hand, there’s a robust set of predictions for what the behavioral motion of these bodies ought to be, while on the other there’s what we actually observe.…

“This method of viewing the heavens seems to throw them into a new kind of light. They are now seen to resemble a luxuriant garden, which contains the greatest variety of productions, in different flourishing beds; and one advantage we may reap from it is, that we can, as it were, extend the range of…

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” –R. Buckminster Fuller If you want to improve yourself in any area of life, it’s going to take hard work to get you there. Have a…