Ask Ethan

Category archives for Ask Ethan

“Don’t get involved in partial problems, but always take flight to where there is a free view over the whole single great problem, even if this view is still not a clear one.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein You know how bad light pollution is for astronomy, and how hard we try to escape it. We search for…

“Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.”  -Dan Quayle It wasn’t that long ago that I myself was a student, and of course over the past decade-and-a-half I’ve been very heavily involved in education — both formally and informally — at a huge variety of levels. And over time, education methods…

“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 × 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.”…

“While friendship itself has an air of eternity about it, seeming to transcend all natural limits, there is hardly any emotion so utterly at the mercy of time.” -Robert Hugh Benson If you were headed out into the Universe — spaceship and sci-fi technology and all — it simply wouldn’t make sense to keep on…

“The conclusions, the bizarre conclusions, emerge as though with the greatest of ease: the reasoning is unbreakable. It looks as though he had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.” -C.P. Snow, on Einstein’s 1905 work…

“What makes us love… is when we learn all these fantastic stories. Feeding the imagination is what makes a subject come alive.” -Daniel Tammet Is the largest object in our galaxy — our central black hole — poised to devour a massive gas cloud? As far as supermassive black holes go, the one at the center of our galaxy…

“They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead.”  -J.R.R. Tolkien Someday, the Sun will expand, engulfing Mercury and Venus, and then some. Will we survive? It’s an exciting week, as our long-running Ask Ethan series debuts over at Medium! You can still send in your questions and suggestions here, and…

Ask Ethan #26: Burn, baby, burn!

“Man loves company – even if it is only that of a small burning candle.” -Georg C. Lichtenberg It’s the end of the week here at Starts With A Bang, and so it’s time for still another Ask Ethan! This is — for those of you wondering — the final Ask Ethan we’ll have here on…

Ask Ethan #25: Where would you go, now?

“They will see us waving from such great heights ‘Come down now,’ they’ll say. But everything looks perfect from far away ‘Come down now.’ But we’ll stay.” -The Postal Service Welcome back to another Ask Ethan! You keep sending in your questions and suggestions, and each week, I’ll pick one of my favorites to answer…

Ask Ethan #24: Cheating Time and Space

“For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.” -Lao Tzu You know the deal: it’s the end of the week, so it’s time for another Ask Ethan! You’ve continued to send in your questions-and-suggestions, much to my delight, and I’m pleased to tell you that this week’s question…