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.

“I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” -Mewtwo, Pokemon (via Takeshi Shudo) After a week of commenting technical difficulties here on Scienceblogs, Starts With A Bang!‘s Comments of the Week series is back with a vengeance! I’m…

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” -Yousuf Karsh Every time you shine light through a lens or reflect it off of a mirror, no matter how good it is, a portion of your light gets lost. Today’s largest, most powerful telescopes don’t even…

“Suddenly whole new programs open up, things you can do that you could never do before. It’d be great scientifically, it’d be great for the nation, for educators, for students, and it’d be just great for the public at large.” -Garth Illingworth Looking farther and farther into the distant Universe is the equivalent of looking…

“I know of no other scientist, no other theoretical physicist alive who has a clearer focus on whether our theories and ideas are relevant to the real world. And that’s always what he’s after.” -Neil Turok, on Paul Steinhardt The inflationary Universe is one of the most revolutionary new ways of looking at the cosmos…

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard Feynman For over a century after the publication of General Relativity, it was uncertain whether gravitational waves were real or not. It…

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return.” -Carl Sagan Here…

“It’s always seemed like a big mystery how nature, seemingly so effortlessly, manages to produce so much that seems to us so complex. Well, I think we found its secret. It’s just sampling what’s out there in the computational universe.” -Stephen Wolfram In the mid-20th century, computers allowed us to explore a brand new idea:…

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures.” -Gene Roddenberry The first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are now behind us, and while I expected it to be darker and more of a continuous story than a series of self-contained…

The System Is… Having Problems

I know you normally look forward to the weekend as a chance for our comments of the week, but I see that a great many of you have been commenting/posting and have been encountering problems. Specifically, the problem that the system appears to eat your comments. The time I would normally spend writing our Comments…

“Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge Here on Earth, water can easily exist in all three phases…