Best Of The Web
“Dark energy is without a doubt the weirdest thing in the universe. Despite being present in every corner of the cosmos and dominating its evolution, dark energy is so far outside our best existing theories of physics that we’re still trying to figure out if it’s something in the universe or just a basic property of space itself.
And it would be nice to know a bit more about it, because if you look ahead on a long enough timescale, dark energy will almost certainly destroy the universe and everything in it.
Here’s an analogy for how dark energy works. Imagine you throw a baseball up in the air. The baseball and the Earth here are standing in for galaxies moving apart from each other in our expanding universe, and your throw is the expansion set off by the Big Bang.
Now, because both the baseball and the Earth have mass, gravity wants to pull them back together, no matter how hard you throw. Even if you have an inhumanly good arm and throw the ball fast enough to escape the Earth entirely, gravity will still slow the ball down at some level. Maybe the ball will fall back down; maybe it’ll coast through space forever. But what it won’t do is suddenly speed up and shoot off into the sky, defying gravity in the truest sense of the term.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."
"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."
"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."
"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."
"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."
"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."
"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."
"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."