7th February, 2014

On one thing most physicists agree. If the amount of dark energy in our universe were only a little bit different than what it actually is, then life could never have emerged. A little larger, and the universe would have accelerated so rapidly that matter in the young universe could never have pulled itself together to form stars and hence complex atoms made in stars. And, going into negative values of dark energy, a little smaller and the universe would have decelerated so rapidly that it would have recollapsed before there was time to form even the simplest atoms… .

We are an accident. From the cosmic lottery hat containing zillions of universes, we happened to draw a universe that allowed life. But then again, if we had not drawn such a ticket, we would not be here to ponder the odds.

— Physicist and writer extraordinaire Alan Lightman, the very first person to receive dual appointments in science and the humanities at MIT, on dark energy, the multiverse, and why we exist – superb, mind-bending read. (via explore-blog)

(Source: )

(via The Antidote)

6th February, 2014

“What I feel I can do is help people become aware of how pervasive and extensive the arts are, how they affect each one of us in our daily lives—what kind of [buildings] we live in, what kind of clothes we wear, what we see with our eyes. We are often blind to the beautiful things around us. What I’m mostly concerned about is how often we’re blind to our own talent. I think that within each human being there is a creative spirit, and some of us have been fortunate enough to have good teachers and parents who’ve brought this out and encouraged it, but others haven’t.”

Joan Mondale

…author and former Second Lady… [she] died on Monday in Minneapolis at the age of 83.

(via thesmithian)

(via The Smithian)