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“Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.” -John Wesley There’s nothing quite like a fire on a temperate summer’s night, as John Fahey will play for you in his rendition of a Mississippi Fred McDowell classic, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning. But I bet you never thought of…

“We converse as we live by repeating, by combining and recombining a few elements over and over again just as nature does when of elementary particles it builds a world.” -William H. Gass Only here, when you repeat, combine and recombine your letters and words, the thoughts, questions and comments you submit are as completely…

Happy Perfect Number Day (Synopsis)

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” -Beyoncé As human beings, we may be far from perfect. Even our mathematical celebrations, like Pi Day, are mere approximations. But there are a few mathematical quantities out there that really are perfect. And today, June 28th, I’d like to share with you…

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.” -Johannes Kepler, 1601 It’s easy to think of some things as eternal, even though nothing truly is. The Sun is long lived, and it has another 7 billion years (or so) to go before it runs out…

“Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.” -James Jeans When you think of carbon, you very likely think of materials from diamonds to nanotubes to graphite to all organic matter, which — as far as we know — requires carbon as a central building block. But 98.9% of…

“They had discovered one could grow as hungry for light as for food.” -Stephen King Black holes are an endlessly fascinating topic to learn and speculate about. We’ve talked about the largest ones in the Universe, but have you ever wondered about the other side of that coin: what about the smallest? As it turns out,…

“When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.” -William Shakespeare When I started Messier Monday nearly two years ago, I wanted to…

“I call myself the Amusement Park. That’s because I’m funny and scary at the same time.” -Terry Crews There’s something to be said for the power of unique talents, or for combining a set of rare skills in a unique way. This weekend, have a listen to Murder By Death‘s interesting song, You Are the Last…

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald The moment of Solstice has passed, and we’ve officially entered Summer (in the north) here at Starts…

“The brighter you are, the more you have to learn.” -Don Herold There’s a big difference between the Summer Sun and the Winter Sun, and I’m not talking about anything to do with the Sun itself. No, I’m talking about what you feel here on Earth due to the Sun’s rays! There’s no doubt that…