Hunt for the Small and Slow

With the recent discovery of gravitational waves, we now have a target for probing the very early universe, close to the big bang.  This is because gravitational waves can travel across the universe unimpeded, meaning those created after the big bang are still bouncing around today.  It’s like the big bang was the ringing of a giant bell, and the ringing can still be heard.  But all of our Easter eggs are not in one basket.  There is another way to probe the very early universe, one we haven’t found yet, because it involves particles that are very tiny and...

Motivation Monday: The Impossible Made Possible

There is a secret to solving any problem.  You may have learned it in school, but you didn’t know it at the time.  It’s not always explicitly stated in solutions to problems, and you may have done it by accident once or twice.  It is elusive, but seems obvious when you’re aware of it.  If you know how to use it properly, you can turn any impossible task into something doable. The secret is to break things down.  To take any problem, as impossibly huge as it is, and split it into smaller chunks, manageable steps, and workable pieces.  Doing this, any...

Motivation Monday: Recovery

The world is a hard place.  We all fall and crash into it from time to time.  Failure hurts, whether it’s your first time or your 500th. And we all feel it.  Everyone fails, no one is exempt. Even people who you consider wildly successful have failed, probably more often than you would think, or they would admit.  And because we all fail, we all need some time to pick ourselves up, dust off, and get back in the game.  Because if there is one thing that’s absolutely true, it’s that failure is only permanent if you stop trying.  So get...

The Problem With Baryons

Baryonic matter, which is everything we are made of and everything we can see in the universe, is not a lot of stuff.   I mean to a tiny Earthling, it’s a heck of a lot, but if you put it all together it only makes up about 5% of the total Mass-Energy in the Universe.  If you’ve ever seen the Millennium simulation, it highlights the fact that both baryonic and dark matter are organized into filaments of mass, with the baryonic matter at the densest points, ie the galaxies. What lies between these dense nodes and filaments are vast empty...

Motivation Monday (On Tuesday): Small Adjustments

As I move past week 8 of my new workout regiment, I find myself thinking about two things: I’m getting used to this workout, and need to spice things up I have a 10K run coming up in 10 weeks, and I have a goal time of 60 minutes. With a race and a major goal coming up, I am thinking about more specific training – to drop some weight, increase my stamina, and up my running pace.  Combine that with the need to change up my workouts, and it’s time for a new routine. Adjusting the process can be...

An Extra Leap Day

I decided to take my own personal leap day on writing about the leap day.  Partly due to being busy at work, and partly due to lack of mental faculties.  All that aside, it’s only another 1,459 days until the next leap day, so we better start preparing. A leap year occurs because the solar system seems to slightly disagree with the way we manage time.  Earth’s trip around the Sun, a year, doesn’t take exactly 365 days each lasting 24 hours.  It takes a bit longer.  A year is actually 8,765 hours, or 525,949 minutes, which is 365 days, 5...

Motivation Monday: Situation Variation

Why is it hard to keep a long term goal? Logically, if you complete 1/365th of a task every single day of a year, you will complete your goal.  When I started my year of blogging, I thought it would be easy to commit 30 minutes every day, in the morning, to writing a post, and then after a year I would have 365 posts.  How it actually happened was a few weeks of consistency, a few days of nothing, a few days of double, triple, or even quadruple posting to catch up or get ahead, and no regularity or discernible...

The Most Powerful Supernova Ever

We just saw it.  Another record breaker.  This incredible explosion of a massive dying star is the brightest supernova ever observed.  You may think you get how big this explosion was, but it was brighter than collective brightness of all the 400 Billion stars in the Milky Way. You may be asking why you can’t see it in the sky.  Well even though it is incredibly bright, it is 3.8 Billion light years away in a distant galaxy, so the discovery needed a huge telescope. It may have been powered by a rare star called a magnetar, a star with such an...

Motivation Monday: Keeping Your 2016 Resolution

With the coming of the new year, it’s time to work on all those resolutions that we just made a few days ago. Some of them may have been made after a few drinks and are just unrealistic, others were made with a vision of a great future and are optimistic. Either way, they are hard to keep. It’s easy to see the end point of a difficult task, to imagine how we will feel if we succeed, and when we do this, it’s easy to forget how difficult the road will be. We often overestimate our ability to make...