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“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” -John F. Kennedy No one likes being denied an opportunity — or told they shouldn’t do something they want to — solely because of the way they are. That’s especially true when it comes to something that’s…

“Fundamental physics is like an art more or less. It’s completely non-practical, and you can’t use it for anything. But it’s about the universe and how the world came into being. It’s very remote from your daily life and mine, and yet it defines us as human beings.” -Yuri Milner In one of the boldest…

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.” -Jean-Luc Picard The cosmic story common to all of us — where we came from, how we got here and where we’re headed into the future — is both amazing and daunting. But when we’re first exposed…

“It’s ironic: in order to observe the Sun, you need to go kilometers underground.” -Art McDonald Imagine you finally thought you understood how the Sun worked: how light elements fused into heavier ones, emitting energy in the process. And when you finally completed your calculations, you got nuclear physics results that matched what you observed…

“There was a long history of speculation that in quantum gravity, unlike Einstein’s classical theory, it might be possible for the topology of spacetime to change.” -Edward Witten Quantum gravity is one of the holy grails of physics, and showing that gravitation is an inherently quantum force would be a tremendous step towards validating our…

“That’s all regular matter, just five percent. A quarter is “dark matter,” which is invisible and detectable only by gravitational pull, and a whopping 70 percent of the universe is made up of “dark energy,” described as a cosmic antigravity, as yet totally unknowable. It’s basically all mystery out there – all of it, with…

“This then, I thought, as I looked round about me, is the representation of history. It requires a falsification of perspective. We, the survivors, see everything from above, see everything at once, and still we do not know how it was.” -W.G. Sebald In the 1600s, the earliest telescopes saw that Saturn had “ears,” while…

“I guess I have a short attention span! I’m interested in new worlds, new universes, new challenges. I always said the only reason to make a film is not for the result but for what you learn for the next one.” -Alfonso Cuarón April has gotten off to a great start here at Starts With A Bang,…

“An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.” -Elon Musk The possibility of getting hit by a wayward asteroid or comet is a…

“The older people that one admires seem to be fearless. They go right out into the world. It’s astounding. Maybe they can’t see or they can’t hear, but they walk out into the street and take life as it comes. They’re models of courage, in a strange way.” –James Hillman The scientific enterprise has uncovered…