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.

“Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.” -Alexandra Adornetto The dream of futuristic…

“North Korea has taught a great lesson to all the countries in the world, especially the rogue countries of dictatorships or whatever: if you don’t want to be invaded by America, get some nuclear weapons.” -Michael Moore Last year, North Korea claimed to have obtained the technology to create a nuclear fusion bomb: the most…

“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.” -Stanisław Lem One of the questions that’s fascinated humanity since we first began looking up at the night sky is…

“Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions in nature… their sources have only recently been localized by observations of associated afterglows in X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, delayed in that order.” -Richard Matzner, on the dictionary entry for Gamma Ray Burst It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s been under two years…

“All that is now All that is gone All that’s to come and everything under the sun is in tune but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” -Pink Floyd No matter how well-prepared you were for your first total solar eclipse, no amount of reading or photograph-searching could do the experience justice. There were…

“A candidate is not going to suddenly change once they get into office. Just the opposite, in fact. Because the minute that individual takes that oath, they are under the hottest, harshest light there is. And there is no way to hide who they really are.” -Michelle Obama The most massive stars in the Universe…

“It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ―Galadriel, LOTR, J.R.R. Tolkien The scientific stories we’ve covered this week have been out-of-this-world here at Starts With A Bang! But the greatest show is still to come. Right now, I’m on…

“Maybe that is our mistake: maybe there are no particle positions and velocities, but only waves. It is just that we try to fit the waves to our preconceived ideas of positions and velocities. The resulting mismatch is the cause of the apparent unpredictability.” -Stephen Hawking So, you’ve got a black hole in the Universe,…

“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” -R. D. Laing This coming Monday, tens of millions of people will gather to watch the total solar eclipse that will go coast-to-coast across the continental United States. Total…

“We [are] a species endowed with hope and perseverance, at least a little intelligence, substantial generosity and a palpable zest to make contact with the cosmos.” -Carl Sagan When the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft were launched, they contained a message emblazoned on them: a map of 14 pulsars, showing the location of Earth relative to…