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 first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” -Richard Feynman Like many suggestive signals in the past, the 750 GeV bump in the diphoton channel has turned out to be a mere phantasm: an unlikely statistical fluctuation that simply disappeared as more data was collected.…

“Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes When isolated stars like our Sun reach the end of their lives, they’re expected to blow off their outer layers…

“…even if we don’t understand each other, that’s not a reason to reject each other. There are two sides to any argument. Is there one point of view that has all the answers? Give it some thought.” -Alder, from Pokémon It’s been a fantastic week here at Starts With A Bang, with stories ranging from the beginning of…

“They say the universe is expanding. That should help with the traffic.” -Steven Wright Look out at a nearby object in our Universe, and you’ll find that the amount of time you look back (in years) is pretty much exactly equal to the object’s distance (in light years). But look far away, and these two…

“I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.” -Newt Gingrich When an issue comes up, and it can be decided based on facts — on data, on evidence, on things you can measure and quantify — is it ever okay to decide that issue based on your feelings…

“My dad took me out to see a meteor shower when I was a little kid, and it was scary for me because he woke me up in the middle of the night. My heart was beating; I didn’t know what he wanted to do. He wouldn’t tell me, and he put me in the…

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.” -Carl Jung If you divide the matter we know into progressively smaller and smaller components, you’d find that atomic nuclei, made of protons and neutrons, compose the overwhelming majority of the…

“This suggests a lack of Cepheids in the inner 2.5 kpc region of the Galactic disc except the [Nuclear Stellar Disc].” –N. Matsunaga et al. If you want to find where all the young stars in a galaxy are, you look for the densest regions of gas and dust: the locations where new stars and star…

“He ate and drank the precious Words, his Spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, nor that his frame was Dust.” -Emily Dickinson When we look at spiral galaxies, we think of grand arms, star-forming regions and dust lanes lining our perspective. But unlike face-on galaxies, where everything looks the same,…

“Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.” -Mattie Stepanek It’s been a fantastic week here at Starts With A Bang, where we’ve covered even more ground than normal! First off, for those of you not following me on SoundCloud, we’ve got a new science podcast out, on the last star in the…