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.

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.” -Louis Pasteur Well, it’s been another doozy of a week here on Starts With A Bang, and we’ve run the gamut from the far future to the smallest theoretical scales, from Hubble to the highest energies. If you missed…

“Never erase your past. It shapes who you are today and will help you to be the person you’ll be tomorrow.” –Ziad K. Abdelnour But even moreso than the fact that we’re shaped by our past, the Universe itself — geometrically — is shaped by its history and composition. You might imagine all sorts of…

“Energy is liberated matter, matter is energy waiting to happen.” –Bill Bryson When it comes to the Universe, you might think that energy really is only limited by rarity: get enough particles accelerated by enough supermassive, super-energetic sources, and it’s only a matter of time (and flux) before you get one that reaches any arbitrary energy…

“I just think too many nice things have happened in string theory for it to be all wrong. Humans do not understand it very well, but I just don’t believe there is a big cosmic conspiracy that created this incredible thing that has nothing to do with the real world.” –Ed Witten So the cat…

“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” –Robert Southey You might think that, when it comes to finding the most distant objects in the Universe, all we need is a good telescope, to leave the shutter open, and wait. As…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” –Joseph Campbell Imagine you just stared into darkness, collecting every photon of light that came by. What would you wind up seeing? The Hubble Space Telescope has done this many times, creating the…

“When I was a kid, my world was five streets long. I never got away, except in books. I lived a thousand lives through books.” –George R.R. Martin If you aren’t enthralled by Game of Thrones (or for you bibliophiles, A Song of Fire and Ice), have I ever got an introduction for you. First,…

“The heart can get really cold if all you’ve known is winter.” -Benjamin Alire Sáenz If you didn’t read everything this week on Starts With A Bang, it’s hard to blame you. Each week, on practically a daily basis, we’ve got new pieces coming at you, sharing the wonders of the Universe in our own unique…

“A single tiny light creates a space where darkness cannot exist. The light vanquishes the darkness. Try as it might, the darkness cannot conquer the light.” –Donald L. Hicks While it might seem like there are an endless supply of stars in the Universe, the process that powers each and every one requires fuel to…

“What a shot by Happy Gilmore! <aside> Who the hell is Happy Gilmore?” –Announcer, from Happy Gilmore After some intense physics earlier this week, it’s time to get on to the important stuff: the physics of taking a running start and trying to beat the daylights out of a golf ball. Sure, it’s the fun stuff…