Moaning in the Myniverse

Doing what in the wha…?

So, you know how the multiple dimensions available in the quantum realm open the door to multiverses, right? Didn’t you see Antman and The Wasp? The quantum realm – you know, the land of the itty-itty-itty-bitty?

Continue reading “Moaning in the Myniverse”

Sit Down, Robin Hood

Over on Twitter I found something that may be the biggest deal of your lifetime. It could also be junk science, so don’t quit your day job yet.

Caveats first: this event occurred in quantum physics, which is seriously the science of the strange. The event that happened involved just two subatomic particles, of which there are billions in just your finger. The event falls apart when even a third particle is involved.

Continue reading “Sit Down, Robin Hood”

The End of the World

It could all be whipped away from us in the very blink of an eye, this trusty old world of ours. I might not even be able to finish this post because the dumb old world ending thing might happen fir… st. If you’re a fan of Dr. Who, it almost happens every week.

On a totally different subject, my wife and I were talking about absolute cold… well, I was babbled about it and she was very nice… absolute cold. So cold that all of the heat is drawn out of the molecules, down to the quarks and their cousins falling to infinitesimally small particles of nothing, but not falling because there is no energy. No energy, no heat, but absolute cold. Maybe that’s the end of the world.

Or, maybe it happened today, when my daughter told me that maybe I should reconsider my book – you have a good idea, there, but maybe you should write it this way. Excuse me? Excuse me? Excuuuuuuuuse me? You’re my kid. You’re supposed to think it’s better than Gone with the Wind, for crying out loud. Maybe it would be better if…?

It’s not the end of the world, but, you’re a writer, you know how it feels.

This afternoon was supposed to be a nice editing session, powering through the last quarter of the book, reworking working sentences into elegant, beautiful descriptions of the human condition.

He pulled the trigger. The pistol exploded in fire and smoke. The pirate swore and ran for the ladder. Lah dee dah dee dah.

Maybe she’s right. Maybe I should sit down and write a book like J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King.   Yes, perhaps I’ll try that. Maybe I’ll just write version seven of this stupid book off as a whim, one that’s lasted a good six years, and do something else. I hear that wallpaper’s easy to hang. Taco Bell’s hiring.

It’s not the end of the world. But some simple conversations can cool your heart until the quarks cease their tiny orbits.

Now, I’m not complaining. I am sharing this with you, dear writer, because the day may come when a loved one delivers to you the blow that ends your world, your entire universe.

But you know that you’re good – you just have to hold onto that, because you ARE good, dear writer. And tomorrow the sun will come up and the absolute zero in your heart will thaw, and your muons will start their crazy dance, and life will go on.

And you’ll think about what you’ve been told, and you’ll put it into the salad bar of your mind, right next to the windmills, and continue your work.

See? It wasn’t the end of the world.

Back on Examiner Again

Back on Examiner!
Back on Examiner!

Writing online for certain publishers is always a great rush. I enjoy watching the number spiral up at whenever there’s a chance to post an exoplanet piece. And getting published at is always a delight.

Examiner does a great job of making you feel like a part of their writing team. You get the job title of “Examiner” for whatever city you live in – I am the Santa Barbara NASA Examiner. At $.12 in earnings, the title hasn’t quite justified the expense of business cards, but it is nice to have one. Here’s the latest of my pieces published by them, the first in three years!:

The world for writers has changed, and will remain so just as long as the Internet stays free. When access to the world wide web is taxed, this wonderful opportunity to share your thoughts with the world will be lost.

On a slightly different note, the folks doing all that exoplanetary research have made an outstanding discovery: an Earth-sized, rocky-core planet orbiting another sun. You can find more about it here:


The Exoplanet Mystery Continues


The readership puzzle surrounding exoplanets, those planets that orbit stars other than our own, continues to deepen.

My articles with the word “exoplanet” in their title have an immediate and extensive readership compared to those that do not, even though the article search terms are the same.

Readership numbers at Science Ray, my science article publisher, leap through the roof when an exoplanet piece publishes: my daily readership shot from 150 to 2,200 with this latest piece. The numbers are slowly declining as the piece ages, but the boost in the daily average remains mystifying.

I feel like Butch Cassidy: Who are these guys?

An Exoplanetary I Told You So


The Kepler space telescope recently discovered a planet orbiting not one, but TWO suns. This new exoplanet may not be a very nice place,  but conceptually,  it could be a fascinating place.

Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine may be in a binary system, which explains why there are two suns in the sky as he woefully ponders his future over the swelling John Williams score in that scene that every guy knows by heart: “the future awaits”.

The “I told you so” comes because I wrote a screenplay a long, long time ago about the beings on a planet that orbited a binary system. Their circumstances were not as wild as those on Keper 413-b, where the seasons change with a frightening unpredictability and speed, but there was one clincher: every few thousand years the icy planet’s orbit took it between the two suns, changing it from an ice ball to a fireball. The resident beings had been modified from simple lizardlike animals into highly intelligent, sensitive beings by consciousless meddling humans. Where before they simply dealt with the stunning climatic change at an atavistic level, now they had to face it with sentience. It was a good story, but a crummy screenplay.

Still, you can ignore the prescience, can you? The farther we explore the universe of exoplanets, the more we will find that our wildest fantasies  could actually be memories!

The Curious Case of Exoplanets

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

I have discovered a phenomenon about expolanets that is quite beyond logical explanation. There exists a homogenous body of readers, anonymous and unknowable, that absolutely devours information on them.

Who Are They?

Here’s what we know about them: they are older than thirty years. They are men. They are of average income. They have bachelors degrees for the most part, with a small smattering of graduate degrees. Most curiously: they read about exoplanets from their homes.

In the world of other topics, most online readership of other kinds of articles occurs during the day, from work, which is where working people are during the day. Either these gentlemen don’t work, although it’s hard to explain the average income and college degrees, or they read at night.  Are they single? Are there that many single men focused on exoplanets that can’t read at work?

Some Numbers

In the last nine months, I have written and published 16 articles on planetary science. One of the articles was about the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The rest were about exoplanetary discoveries. Between them, the 16 articles generated over 83,500 reads. The Titan article picked up just 66, while the rest went to exoplanets.

At first my thought was that the publisher of the exoplanetary articles did a better job than the Titan publisher: but they are the same company.

My readership numbers gently decline until I publish another article: then they leap through the roof. Older articles leap up in readership right along with the new one. This is a captive audience.

Who Are They?

My audience is focused like a laser on exoplanets, and won’t read anything else. My wife thinks they may be aliens from those exoplanets, looking to see what we’ve learned.  If I were Alex DeGrasse or Stephen Hawking I would think about it, but I’m not.

Is there something larger going on with the search for exoplanets? I’ve often wondered why we would search so hard for planets that might harbor life when we have no hope of getting there.

It ends like a ’50’s science fiction move. We have no hope of going there…or do we?