science

Trying to examine all of the reasons for the universe to exist

“When I was very young, my spiritual awareness was limited to a foggy sense of the presence of ‘something bigger’ than me and my personal life. During grammar school years, I was intent on trying to discover this elusive something. I was convinced that ‘it’ was the primary source of life and of everything in the world. I hoped to end my spiritual confusion by understand this ‘source’ and clarify the meaning of my life. My method for trying to understand this fundamental essence was to examine intellectually all the reasons I could think of for the universe to exist and to try to envision what had ‘existed’ before the universe came into being.”

(A quote from the book, Zen at Work, which I found in a used book store yesterday.)

When I was young, I’d lay in bed at night, imagine traveling to the end of the universe, and then I’d remember thinking, “It can’t end, it must keep going, right? How can the universe come to an ‘end’ unless it’s a balloon, in which case there is still something outside of the balloon.”

NASA’s Curiosity Rover “spots clouds shaped by gravity waves”

From this story on sciencemag.org:

“NASA’s Curiosity rover usually keeps its instruments firmly focused on Mars’s ground, zapping grit with its laser or drilling cores in bedrock. But every few days, the SUV-sized robot, like any good dreamer, shifts its sights upward to the clouds. Well into its fifth year, the rover has now shot more than 500 movies of the clouds above it, including the first ground-based view of martian clouds shaped by gravity waves ...”

(See the story for more information, and some animations which unfortunately just keep endlessly repeating.)

People who will talk about the universe alvin July 20, 2016 - 10:14am

Two years ago my family took a vacation together. We spent thousands of dollars doing all sorts of different things, but in the end, my favorite part was sitting on a couch one evening in Santa Fe with my niece and watching cooking shows. In small part this was because my sisters were angry with each other, and it was nice to get away from that tension and just relax with a nice person who had no agenda.

When I saw this image last night it reminded me not of the negatives of that vacation, but of the positives of spending time with people who have no agendas other than the wonder of the universe, and of how I’d like to spend the time I have here on Earth.