Comments of the Week

“You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all.” -Cassandra Clare Well, the cat's out of the bag. A little over a week ago, Scienceblogs announced to us writers that they no longer had the funds to keep the site operational, and so they would be shutting down. They asked us to keep quiet about this, people didn't and now you know. As of the end of this month, there will be no new articles here on Scienceblogs, and hence, no more comments of the week or synopses, or a chance to interact here. So what can you do? Well, the top thing I'd like you to do is support me on Patreon,…
“We do not realize what we have on Earth until we leave it.” -Jim Lovell Well, the Scienceblogs comments are still on the fritz, requiring me to manually un-spam them one-at-a-time, but Starts With A Bang! is still going strong with some fabulous stories based on the best knowledge we have! This next week is poised to be a doozy of a fantastic one, as Treknology is out at last (Amazon is having a sale on it today, and my copies arrive on Wednesday), so next weekend I'll have special instructions for you on how to order autographed copies from me. Also, check out Starts With A Bang on Forbes…
“It’s easier to hold onto a bad idea if you never share it, and it’s harder to defend one if you let it out.” -Victor LaValle After catching up with a big double-dose of our comments last week, Starts With A Bang! is here again with the latest! For those of you looking forward to my newest book, Treknology, it drops just one week from today! I will have special instructions on next week's comments of the week for anyone who wants me to personally ship them an autographed copy, so look for it if you want one! With that said, let's take a look back at our past week, and all the stories we've…
“I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” -Mewtwo, Pokemon (via Takeshi Shudo) After a week of commenting technical difficulties here on Scienceblogs, Starts With A Bang!'s Comments of the Week series is back with a vengeance! I'm so stoked that it's October, because Treknology, comes out in just two weeks! (And yes, if you want an autographed, signed copy shipped from me directly, there will be an opportunity for all of you.) Star Trek: Discovery is out, and we'll be having reviews every Monday after…
“There are two problems for our species' survival - nuclear war and environmental catastrophe - and we're hurtling towards them. Knowingly.” ―Noam Chomsky Well, another week of science has gone by, here at Starts With A Bang! and everywhere else in the world, and while we're down one space mission from the start of the week (Cassini), there are still lots of good things on the horizon! We're just four weeks away from the official release of Treknology, and just a single week away from the new Star Trek series, Discovery, which I'll be officially reviewing on Forbes. Our Patreon supporters are…
“In the media age, everybody was famous for 15 minutes. In the Wikipedia age, everybody can be an expert in five minutes. Special bonus: You can edit your own entry to make yourself seem even smarter.” ―Stephen Colbert It's been another fun-and-fact-filled week here at Starts With A Bang! (And did you know I have a wikipedia page? I do! And most of the facts there are even correct!) I'm planning out the next edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast, which should cover the science that the James Webb Space Telescope will reveal starting in just over a year; yes, we're just 13 months from…
“There will be days when we lose faith. Days when our allies turn against us...but the day will never come that we forsake this planet and its people.” ―Optimus Prime There was too much to simply keep it to a single article a day this week here at Starts With A Bang! The dynamic duo of Megan Watzke and Kimberly Arcand published a delightful contribution on scale, and we're gearing up for a month where we'll highlight some of the telescopes of the 2020s (and maybe beyond) that will help shape the future of astronomy. In the meantime, those of you who caught totality from the eclipse have…
“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 Well, we've been anticipating it for months (or years), but this is our very first time meeting up since the total solar eclipse here at Starts With A Bang! Did you get to see it? Was it as spectacular for you as it was for me? I'm already looking forward to 2024, but you can look forward to a podcast coming this next week from me on just how spectacular it was! (With a judicious dose of physics and astrophysics, of course.) Patreon…
“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 my way down to the path of totality in Oregon, along with millions of others hoping to catch a glimpse and enjoy the experience of a sight unlike any others on Earth. When the sunlight goes completely out, some truly wonderful things will be revealed, and I hope to see them all…
"Life is not a miracle. It is a natural phenomenon, and can be expected to appear whenever there is a planet whose conditions duplicate those of the Earth." ―Harold Urey It's been yet another fascinating week of scientific stories here at Starts With A Bang! But as of the last 48 hours, there's something I absolutely have to talk about: the "Unite The Right" hate rally in Virginia, accompanied by violence and murder. They say that in order for evil to triumph, all that you need is for good people to stand by and do nothing. When I was a kid -- small, young, weak, inexperienced -- I saw lots…
“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear.” ―Gene Roddenberry Well, it happened, everyone! I flew out to the official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, and the people I met there and the events and panels I attended (and participated in) were largely fabulous! Best of all, I got to line up a number of future podcasts about science, Star Trek, and everything in between, so stay tuned in…
“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.” -Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore, and Rick Berman After being away for last weekend, it's time to take a look back at the past two weeks on Starts With A Bang! There's been no shortage of stories, of news, or of scientific matters of interest, so let's see what we've got: Is it foolishness to dream of…
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” -Isaac Asimov Just like every week, we've had a slew of new stories to share with you here on Starts With A Bang! It's been great fun to put these stories together, to share a new corner of the Universe with you, and to explore what's going on at the frontiers of science together. Want to take a look at everything that' happened, in case you missed anything? Let's take a look: How close are we to a theory of everything? (for Ask Ethan), Jupiter's Great Red Spot gets its first-…
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” -Abraham Lincoln As you've come to expect, it's been another fantastic week of science here on Starts With A Bang!? There's a chance I'll be in Las Vegas next month for the official Star Trek convention, and in addition to all we're doing, there's a chance that there will be a new YouTube video series coming out that features me and the fusion of sci-fi/fantasy with science. Sounds fun? You bet it does! Also, for those of you in and around Portland, OR, join me at 2 PM at the Oregon Historical Society today to catch my…
“Sometimes the silences, the gaps, tell us more than anything else.” -Peter Ackroyd Did you know that there's even more going on than before here at Starts With A Bang!? Yes, we have our articles at Forbes; yes, we have our Podcasts on Soundcloud; yes, we have our first book out and our second available for preorder. But we also have had a recent appearance on Portland's NBC affiliate to talk about the eclipse, I've also been doing podcasts to promote Treknology and will be recording another interview this afternoon, and I've been researching and speaking with scientists and engineers…
“Already in my original paper I stressed the circumstance that I was unable to give a logical reason for the exclusion principle or to deduce it from more general assumptions. I had always the feeling, and I still have it today, that this is a deficiency.” -Wolfgang Pauli There's never a shortage of scientific topics to explore and take interest in here at Starts With A Bang! While we have our usual slew of articles, controversies, opinions and more this week, I'm also so pleased to share a new podcast with you! This month, thanks to our Patreon supporters, we took on a very bold topic, the…
“Many people today agree that we need to reduce violence in our society. If we are truly serious about this, we must deal with the roots of violence, particularly those that exist within each of us. We need to embrace 'inner disarmament,' reducing our own emotions of suspicion, hatred and hostility toward our brothers and sisters.” -Dalai Lama XIV From subatomic scales to very human ones to the largest conceivable ones in the cosmos, we do our best to cover the entire Universe here at Starts With A Bang! There's always so much to discuss that we're never going to lack for potential topics,…
“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” -Ray Goforth We've really investigated some amazing scientific stories this week here at Starts With A Bang! There's always so much to consider, think about and enjoy, and I'm already looking ahead to what's on the plate for this week: a new podcast to put together, progress on designing and constructing our timeline-of-the-Universe poster, and putting the final touches on my upcoming book, Treknology! In fact, I had an…
“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.” -Marquis de Lafayette There's so much science to talk about in any given week here at Starts With A Bang! It's sometimes hard to choose, but one particular topic stole the show this past week: black holes. Sure, we took on other things, too, but we didn't even talk all that much about the biggest discovery of all: LIGO's direct detection of a third pair of merging black holes! If you had doubts after one, and they were allayed after two, then three should hammer home that these are real, robust and common. There are a lot of nuances to…
“The ability to listen and learn is key to mastering the art of communication. If you don't use your verbal skills and networking, it will disappear rapidly.” -Rick Pitino It’s been a week full of amazing and controversial stories about the Universe here at Starts With A Bang! Did you catch the fantastic live event on Wednesday at Peddler Brewing Company in Seattle: Astronomy on Tap, starring me and the incredible Sarah Tuttle? If not, you can catch it now! If you're in a multimedia mood, you're in luck, because the newest (and twentieth!) Starts With A Bang podcast is now live: on the Fate…