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“We are a singularity that makes music out of noise because we must hurry. We make a harvest of loneliness and desiring in the blank wasteland of the cosmos.” -Jack Gilbert This past week at Starts With A Bang saw five new stories about the Universe, from our own home planet to topics about the birth of…

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” -Bernard Baruch Take a common, macroscopic object — like an apple — and imagine what’s going on inside at the level of individual particles. At a small, fundamental scale, they’re just bouncing off of one another, rapidly in motion due to the…

“Soon the earth will tilt on its axis and begin to dance to the reggae beat to the accompaniment of earthquake. And who can resist the dance of the earthquake, mon?” –Peter Tosh But it isn’t true that the Earth’s axial tilt will change, is it? Or rather, if it did, how would you know? Believe…

“Scientific ideas should be simple, explanatory, predictive. The inflationary multiverse as currently understood appears to have none of those properties.” –Paul Steinhardt, 2014 Cosmic inflation is alternately talked about by serious scientists as either the definitive beginning to our Universe, the thing that happened before and set up the Big Bang with absolute certainty, or…

“People get cranky when you burst their bubble. Over time, advances in astronomy have relentlessly reinforced the utter insignificance of Earth on a celestial scale.” –Nathan Myhrvold When new stars form from a collapsing molecular cloud, the hottest, bluest, brightest stars emit high-energy ultraviolet radiation. This evaporates, ionizes and pushes the gas outwards, creating a bubble…

“Laughs don’t come in barrels. They come from inside you as your body’s response to delight.” –Pinkie Pie Every once in a while, a constraint is placed on an artist, musician or creator that results in something more powerful than you would have ever found otherwise. Have a listen to Keller Williams‘ wonderful song, Slo…

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” -Johnny Cash This past week at Starts…

“Nothing is lost… Everything is transformed.” –Michael Ende If you take all the kinetic motion out of a system, and have all the particles that make it up perfectly at rest, somehow even overcoming intrinsic quantum effects, you’d reach absolute zero, the theoretically lowest temperature of all. But what about the other direction? Is there a…

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” –Marcus Aurelius There are four known fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the…

“When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images.” –Niels Bohr Shortly after the Big Bang, the first nuclear fusion reactions occurred in the Universe, filling it with hydrogen, helium, and little else. Billions of years…