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.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” -Muhammad Ali After a week of travel here at Starts With A Bang — where we appeared at Balticon 50 and had a fantastic time — it’s time to catch up on all the news that the Universe had to offer. That includes…

“Until the 1990s, there were few reliable observations about movement at the scale of the entire universe, which is the only scale dark energy effects. So dark energy could not be seen until we could measure things very, very far away.” -Adam Riess Just thirty years ago, scientists argued over the value of the Hubble…

“What’s really exciting is what comes next. I think we’re opening a window on the universe — a window of gravitational wave astronomy.” -Dave Reitze On September 14, 2015, LIGO directly detected gravitational waves for the first time, from the inspiral-and-merger of two quite massive black holes. Despite the fact that no electromagnetic radiation signal…

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” –David Attenborough If the Earth didn’t have any global warming at all, our planet’s mean temperature would be 255 K, or about -1º Fahrenheit: the mean temperature of the Antarctic continent. As it stands…

“The bedrock nature of space and time and the unification of cosmos and quantum are surely among science’s great ‘open frontiers.’ These are parts of the intellectual map where we’re still groping for the truth – where, in the fashion of ancient cartographers, we must still inscribe ‘here be dragons.’” -Martin Rees Inside the nuclear…

“We have known since the 1800s that carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. The right amount keeps the climate conducive to human life.” -James Hansen Thanks to our position in space, the energy output of the Sun, and the right atmospheric conditions on Earth, we have temperatures conducive to liquid water on our planet.…

“The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the ‘evolution’ of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.” -William James When stars like our Sun run out of fuel, they…

“A long time ago people believed that the world is flat and the moon is made of green cheese. Some still do, to this day. The man on the moon is looking down and laughing.” -Vera Nazarian When people make claims that are patently untrue — like the Earth is flat — perhaps your knee-jerk…

Why Does E=mc^2? (Synopsis)

“Science is global. Einstein’s equation, E=mc^2, has to reach everywhere. Science is a beautiful gift to humanity, we should not distort it.” -A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Over 100 years ago, Einstein shook up the physics world with a number of groundbreaking discoveries: special relativity, brownian motion, the photoelectric effect, and his most famous equation, E = mc^2.…

“[The black hole] teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as ‘sacred,’ as immutable, are anything but.” -John Wheeler Dark matter is one of the biggest mysteries in…