July 29, 1985 |
--Bad-mouthing General Motors in "the dimple of the universe"--as William Jennings Bryan once dubbed Spring Hill, Tenn.--gets about the same reaction as whistling "Yankee Doodle" would on Robert E. Lee's birthday. "If a man don't want the plant, he should leave," lifelong resident John Lee told a GM critic over lunch at the Cedar Inn cafe. The tiny town of Spring Hill, population 1,200, has emerged the winner in an intense bidding war by three dozen states for GM's $3.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2000 |
Holes are really something. We think there's nothing to them, but without holes, coffee wouldn't drip, bread wouldn't rise, baths wouldn't bubble, soda wouldn't fizz. We wouldn't have lace, cameras or parking meters, vases, beer or bottles to put it in. A house without holes wouldn't have windows, chimneys, electric outlets, plumbing. Bodies wouldn't have eyes or ears. Clothes wouldn't button. There wouldn't be basketball, bowling or golf.
January 9, 1998 |
The "big bang" will not be followed by the "big crunch," say five teams of astronomers who used different techniques to gather evidence on the future of the universe. Ruth Daly, a Princeton University astronomer, said, "It is quite clear now that the universe will expand forever." The astronomy teams, in effect, were trying to determine if there is enough matter in the universe to force it to one day stop its current expansion and start collapsing inward.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1996 |
In the continuing debate over the age of the universe, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed earlier measurements suggesting that the universe may be--paradoxically--younger than its oldest stars. A team led by Wendy Freedman of Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena pegged the age of the cosmos at somewhere between 11 billion and 14 billion years.
September 30, 2006 |
Round may be the preferred shape of baseballs, bubbles and Cocoa Puffs. The universe, however, may favor the ellipsoid. Italian scientists using data gathered by NASA's WMAP probe say evidence points to the universe having a shape somewhat akin to an egg, rather than the expected round kernel of puffed cereal. This, say the authors of a paper published this week in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters, would explain some curious anomalies over the heavens' expanse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 1996 |
Quasars, distant and mysterious objects that have intrigued astronomers for 30 years, can be used to calculate the age of the earliest galaxies and, thus, of the universe, according to European astronomers. They report in Nature that they have finally solved the puzzle of whether the most distant quasars really are the most distant--or whether there are some more hiding behind dust. There aren't.
April 1, 2002 |
There's been a certain amount of snickering in astronomy circles lately over the "color of the universe" brouhaha. In case you missed it, in January, astronomers from Johns Hopkins University announced that the universe was turquoise. In February, they found a bug in their code, and now they say it's closer to beige ("cosmic latte" is the current favored name). "Why just the color?" one astronomer cracked. "Why not its texture? How does it feel?" Is it sticky or smooth? Sad or gay?
January 8, 2007 |
Google has already planted its flag on Earth, the moon and Mars. The universe could be next. The Internet search company has struck a partnership with scientists building a huge sky-scanning telescope, with hopes of helping the public gain access to digital footage of asteroids, supernovas and distant galaxies. "Frankly, I could see the day when they would be our sort of window to the general public," said Donald Sweeney, manager of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST.
July 2, 1986 |
"I wouldn't hire a contractor to build a new bathroom without finding out how much it would cost and how long it would take," Martin Harwit explained during a visit to Caltech in June. "So why should we astronomers go about exploring the universe without knowing how many new phenomena are left to find, how much it is going to cost and how long it will take us to finish the job."
June 10, 2002
A few weeks ago, I received a voicemail message that put a smile on my face a light-year long. The words tumbling out of the machine could barely contain my friend's excitement; he sounded, in fact, a lot like a child who had just got home from school and couldn't wait to tell you that butterflies come from caterpillars or that worms can grow their heads back after you cut them off. Except that my friend is 90 years old, today, and Walter wasn't calling about worms.