Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading these articles, and hopefully you will discover some strange and fascinating things here.
Why did I create this blog?
I believe that science is not appreciated as much as it should be, largely because it is often misunderstood. Science is a topic that many people seem to believe is only for “brainiacs,” or it’s too stuffy, academic and boring. I believe that if people had science concepts explained to them in a way that is more engaging and not so dry or academic, they would find that it is a fun and exciting subject.
I hope to provide explanations of science topics like relativity, nanotechnology and quantum physics in a way that people can easily comprehend, and make it an enjoyable experience rather than a chore. Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
What you will find here
Basically, I write about whatever science topics I like. I have an interest in far out topics related to the cosmos, space exploration and radical new technologies. I like to ponder the nature of reality and learn what scientists are discovering about the hard-to-answer questions: What are the origins of life, the universe and everything? How does it all work?
At this site you will find a wide variety of science categories to explore, including physics, astronomy, technology, medical science, earth science and more.
You might be wondering about my credentials — or you might not — but since this is an “about” page I should probably put this in here. I’m not a science professor, but I did major in computer science (degree as yet unfinished) and I’m a big fan of both science fact and science fiction. I’ve always been told I communicate complex ideas in a way that is easy to understand. I’ve done a little bit of teaching, but only on a part-time basis.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a great scientist or inventor. My childhood heroes were Einstein, Thomas Edison and Carl Sagan. One of my best childhood memories was watching Cosmos with Carl Sagan. When that show came out, most people didn’t realize how vast the universe was. He’s famous for describing how our galaxy has billions of stars, and there are billions of galaxies in the universe.
So what happened, you might ask — why didn’t I become a scientist? That’s a good question. I think I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do the kind of scientific research that I wanted. I believed that if I didn’t get into a top school like MIT I would end up in a boring job developing the next artificially-flavored chewing gum.
So what did I do? I initially (before my foray into computer science) went into music studies at Northwestern University. I was always encouraged to pursue a music career because that’s what both of my parents did. I was actually quite promising as a young up-and-coming cellist, and I had great ambitions, but I eventually got to a certain age where I had to get a “real job” and the music stuff got pushed into the background.
Not having been fortunate enough to have parents that were financially well-off enough to help me to survive while I pursued a music career, I found myself looking for whatever odd low-paying jobs I could get. Basically, I’ve done just about every type of menial labor job ever conceived by mankind.
Eventually I realized I needed to get some real direction in my life and pursue a career that doesn’t involve saying “Would you like fries with that?”. That’s when I went back to school and changed my major to computer science. Will I ever finish my CS degree? Who knows. At present I am more concerned with entrepreneurial pursuits. In addition to science and music, I have always pictured myself at the head of a thriving business of my own making. Never has it been so easy, and inexpensive, to start a business.
I started freelance writing a couple years ago and have done a lot of “ghost blogging” for companies that needed to outsource the writing of their business website blogs. I am also a self-taught web developer and have done some freelancing in that field, and I have created my own ecommerce websites — none of them highly lucrative yet, but I’m still working on that.
My science heroes
What’s so great about Einstein? The name Einstein is synonymous with genius. When people compliment a person’s intellect they will often say “that guy is an Einstein.” But what did he do that made people revere him so much? For one thing, he wrote the most famous equation in history. It’s so famous that you most likely know it, even if science is not one of your best subjects. In fact, if you don’t know Einstein’s famous equation, I don’t even want to state it here, because you need to go to a search engine right now and look it up.
Einstein’s two famous papers on relativity really shook up the world. His first paper, the one that explains his “special relativity” theory, introduced the idea of the potential energy inside the atom. This is what led to a new age of civilization known as “the nuclear age,” where the power of nuclear fission supplies a large portion of energy to the world. Also, nuclear fusion power is arguably the most important aspect of international relations. Any country without nuclear weapons is not taken anywhere near as seriously in the global arena as those that do have them.
Of course, Einstein had nothing to do with the development of nuclear weapons — he actually helped prevent World War II from becoming a nuclear war. In a famous letter sent to President Roosevelt in 1939, written by Leo Szilard and signed by Einstein, the president was warned of the German plot to build a “uranium bomb” that would be powerful enough to eradicate an entire city in one shot. Imagine what would have happened if the Nazis developed the bomb before the U.S.?
His second paper was even more amazing. The main focus of his General Relativity theory was to explain how gravity works. He basically picked up where Isaac Newton left off. Newton, the inventor of calculus and physics, was famous for discovering the concept of gravity and describing how it acts upon objects in the universe, but he admitted that he didn’t understand what gravity actually was. Einstein’s general relativity paper gave an amazing description of what gravity actually was and how it worked. In so doing, he just happened to also discover the concept of the space-time continuum. Not too shabby.
Einstein is often said to be possibly the world’s first science celebrity. He spent many years lecturing to audiences of all walks of life in an effort to bring a greater appreciation of science to the general public. He was one of the first prominent science “popularizers”.
Carl Sagan is known for his television show, Cosmos, and his best-selling books. One of them, Contact, was actually made into a movie starring Jodie Foster. I think the main reason for his fame was not due to his scientific achievements — although they were quite important — but the very memorable words he has said and written.
He is famous for saying “We are all star stuff.” In his TV show he explained how our entire solar system originated from previous stars that exploded in supernovae. Every particle in our bodies was once part of a star.
My favorite quote from Carl Sagan (which is currently displayed in the footer of this website) was a response to a question from a young man that couldn’t understand Sagan’s agnostic viewpoint toward religion. The man asked how life could have meaning without God. Mr. Sagan replied “We find meaning in our lives by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” Wow!
Carl Sagan is a role model for other science popularizers today that you have probably seen many times on YouTube or on television — people such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku.
So that’s my story and those are my childhood heroes. I am currently the only writer at this blog, but if you would like to contribute a guest blog, email me (see the contact page) or mention it in the comment section of one of my blog posts.