universe is expanding

When your true love is in Slytherin and you wanna win the house cup but you still love him desperately. ♥

Happy 20th Anniversary Harry Potter! To a series that’s been with us since we were little kids, it’s amazing to see how far the universe has expanded! Here’s a throwback to our SasuSaku HP AU that we wore to Wizarding World!

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Sasuke’s Instagram || Sakura’s Instagram || FB

Between the Power Rangers movie, episode VIII, Spider-Man Homecoming, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Yu-Gi-Oh! film I feel like 2017’s nerdiest films are trying to apologize for Carrie Fisher’s death in 2016

A Little D for a Big A-hole.

When I was in eighth grade, my middle school French class took a trip to Québec City. My school was in the whitest part of whitest Connecticut and I had moved there a few years before from Atlanta. You can imagine the Izod-style culture shock I went through.

In any case, we were up in Québec City in February, for some awful reason. Probably because the prices were cheapest for hotels, I don’t know. I do remember it was cold and windy and snowed a lot.

I was a pretty geeky kid, unsurprisingly. I read Star Wars expanded universe novels during the morning reading period. I had disappeared into fantasy worlds after my brother died a few years before, just months after we moved to New England. Since my brother had died and I was a new kid, no one really knew how to be my friend. Some people were nice to me for awhile, but most ignored my existence.

One of the few people who took pity on me was the daughter of my church’s minister, who was in the same year as me. She’d invite me to eat lunch with her and her friends, even though I could tell her friends did not want me there.

Despite growing up speaking French, I was placed in introductory French – and never moved, because there was so much going on with my brother’s accident and eventual death that no one really bothered with my education. Thankfully, my French teacher was kind and would let me help lead the spoken French bits in class. This one boy liked to hang out after class and would mock me after I left, pinching his nose and doing his best “make fun of the French” accent. He liked to make my life hell in other ways, like stealing homework, tearing pages out of schoolbooks, or shoving my shoulder whenever he “bumped” me in the hallway. I had dealt with worse bullying before, so I mostly just tried to ignore him. His was never very serious, but it was constant.

In any case, I asked these girls I ate lunch with if I could room with them on this trip. I did not want to be randomly assigned somewhere. They grudgingly agreed to it.

Once we got to Québec, things changed. Our teachers told us we were allowed to explore the city in small groups and we were to use French only when interacting with shopkeepers and the like. Well, the girls I was rooming with quickly realized I was the only student in our class who actually spoke French. I helped my roommates order things at bakeries and make change and navigate around the city. Word quickly spread and by the end of the first day, several classmates came to me for phrases they could use.

On the second day of this trip, we were all supposed to meet up in this square in the old city at a particular time after being allowed to wander for a few hours. My group turned up a few minutes early and a group of boys – with my favorite harasser – was already there. The boys were clearly planning some kind of prank; there was a lot of stifled laughing and looking our way. The harasser came over to our group. He asked me how to say, “Are you my mother?”

Well, for those who don’t know:

“Es-tu ma mère?” means “Are you my mother?”

“Es-tu ma merde?” means “Are you my shit?”

Can you guess which one I told him? He had never paid attention in class, so to his ears (and the ears of our classmates), it sounded right. And no one would ever suspect quiet, mousy, geeky me of any shenanigans.

He went up to a stranger and asked her if she was his shit just as one of our teachers came around the corner. He got hauled by his ears, the teacher apologizing profusely to the woman while simultaneously scolding my harasser. Kid immediately tried to blame it on me but his protestations were immediately dismissed. The teacher did check with everyone, but no one had heard the difference in the language used so backed up my version of events.

He had detention for the rest of the trip and was not allowed to participate in any of the activities. He had to sit on the bus and write an essay.

He was far more cautious about being an a**hole to me in the future.

Nothing in this Universe happens by chance. Everything happens for a reason. The good, the bad, tragic, and ecstatic, it all happens for a reason.
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Ask Ethan: If the Universe is expanding, why aren’t we?

“If the universe is expanding at rates in excess of the speed of light, why does it not appear to affect our solar system and the planetary distances from the sun, etc.? And why would the relative distances of stars in our galaxy not appear to be increasing… or are they?”

It’s a thing of scientific beauty that we’ve not only been able to determine that the Universe is expanding, but that we’ve been able to measure the rate of expansion so incredibly well. To better than 90% uniformity, we’ve determined the expansion rate in all directions and going back billions of years, allowing us to determine what’s in the Universe, how that’s changed over time, and what its fate is. It’s one of the most remarkable achievements of modern science over the last 100 years. But even though the distant galaxies are all expanding away both from us and from one another, not everything in the Universe is expanding. Individual galaxy clusters remain bound; galaxies do not grow; planetary orbits remain constant; stars, planets, humans and even atoms remain the same size. Yet, the fabric of the Universe itself still continues to expand.

Why is this the case? Why don’t these smaller-scale objects expand along with the fabric of the Universe, while everything else does? Find out on this week’s Ask Ethan!

25 star wars asks

1. do you find force users or non-force users more interesting?

2. which character do you want to be most like?

3. which character are you actually most like?

4. what headcanon will you defend to the death?

5. what planet would you most like to visit? 

6. what planet would you most like to live on?

7. who do you hope you never meet?

8. what is one thing you would change about any movie, show, book, etc?

9. have you ever made fanart or fanfic? do you make edits or any other fan content?

10. do you think the jedi were right or wrong?

11. who is the most underrated character?

12. do you care who rey’s parents are?

13. if you could resurrect one dead character, or prevent them from dying, who would it be?

14. what is your favorite alien species?

15. who would you like to bang?

16. which movie/episode have you watched the most?

17. what is your favorite line?

18. what is your favorite star wars book or comic?

19. what’s your opinion on legends/expanded universe?

20. what do you hope will happen in future movies?

21. if you could switch any character’s gender, who would it be and why?

22. favorite droid?

23. what’s your favorite star wars musical piece or theme?

24. how do you pronounce twi’lek?

25. which character do you have a love/hate relationship with?

mynormalusernamewasalreadytaken  asked:

Do you know when "canon," like as a concept, became like a standard nerd thing?

The amazing thing about the term “canon” is that it didn’t bubble up from the undifferentiated mass of fandom (who actually knows who came up with memes?). We know exactly and specifically where the word comes from when used in this context: an essay written by a Sherlock Holmes fan in 1911, who compared the wild and crazy veneration that fanatical Holmes fans have for the original stories, to holy writ. Another name for the books assembled in the Bible was the canon, as opposed to other books that, for various reasons, were left out of the Bible and “didn’t count.” In other words, the term was originally used ironically and in a self-deprecating way to talk about the almost religious intensity of Holmes fans. 

Part of the reason the term canon caught on was because, even in the 1910s, the public was so mad for Sherlock Holmes that there were all kinds of illegal imitators and non-Conan Doyle authors and knockoffs, and yes, there were even amateur works that were distributed by mail (what today we’d call “fanfiction,” some of which even survives today), so a crucial distinction began to arise between the stuff that was “official” and the stuff that wasn’t. So, here we have the three things that we need to even have the concept of canon as we define it: 1) a group dedicated enough to actually care, who can communicate, 2) a necessary distinction between “official” and not, particularly due to the presence of amateur works (what today we’d call fanfiction), 3) a long term property that could sustain that devotion. 

Now, of the three, which do you think was the one that was absent from a lot of science fiction fandom’s first few decades? It’s actually 3. Canon only matters if it’s something other than just a single story, which the business model of the pulps discouraged. Like TV in the 1960s, every story had to be compartmentalized and serial storytelling was mostly discouraged.

One fandom, big from the 1930s to the 1960s was E.E. Smith’s space opera Lensman series. The Lensman stories were so popular that it received 5 sequels, all of which were planned from the outset. Some Lensman fanfiction from the 1940s is actually still available for reading. Part of the reason the Lensman stories were so popular is that it described a consistent world with consistent attributes: Inertialess Drives, aliens like Chickladorians, Vegians, Rigellians, pressor beams, space axes, Valerian Space Marines, superdreadnoughts, “the Hell Hole in Space,” the works. It was way easier to get sucked into this than it was with the usual “one and done.”  Take for example, this amateur guide to the Lensman series, with art by Betty Jo Trimble.

Canon “policy” as we know it today, as a part of a corporate strategy, started with Star Trek: the Next Generation. Before that, there was no “multimedia property” big enough to necessitate it; Star Wars just didn’t care, which is why pre-Zahn “expanded universe” stories like the Marvel comics were so bonkers. There was no reason to believe that the Trek novels, including good ones by John M. Ford and Diane Duane, were anything else than totally official. Roddenberry, though, was deeply angry about losing control of the film series, and due to his illness (hidden from the public at the time), his canon policy was enforced by his overly zealous attorney. In Star Trek canon, for a long time, the only thing that counted was what was on screen. And not even that…the Star Trek animated series, for several decades, was decanonized. (It wasn’t until Deep Space 9 that animated references crept back in, and today, it’s as canon as everything else).

I don’t want to scare anyone, and this is hearsay, but I’ve heard from three people who were there that Next Generation writers, at least as long as Roddenberry and his attorney were around, were encouraged to not think of the original series as canon at all. References to Spock and even an episode that had an appearance by the Gorn were rewritten.

The Star Trek canon policy was so harsh and unexpected that rules were invented deliberately to kick out popular reference sources, like the rule that starships could only have even numbered nacelles, which meant much of the Franz Joseph guides, published in the millions and praised by Roddenberry and others as official, were vindictively decanonized. 

Star Wars canon is interesting because it was entirely created by the West End Roleplaying Game. It was the only major Star Wars product printed in the Star Wars Dark Age, the 5-6 years between 1986-1991 when all toy lines and comics were canceled and the fandom was effectively in a coma or dead. The Roleplaying Game was the first place that information was collected from diverse sources like the comics and novels. Every single Star Wars novelist read the West End game because it was the only time all this information was in one place. 

Marvel Comics canon is a very interesting example because it was a harbinger of things to come: superhero comics were one of the earliest places in geek culture where the “inmates started to run the asylum”…that is to say, fans produced the comics, guys like Roy Thomas (creator of the Vision and Ultron) who started off as a fanzine writer. Because of the back and forth in letters pages, there was an emphasis on everyone keeping it all together that didn’t exist at DC, which at last count, had 5 (!) totally contradictory versions of Atlantis. 

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Ask Ethan: Can The Universe Ever Expand Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

“In the first millionths of a second of the Big Bang did the universe not expand faster than the speed of light?”

You know it as the most fundamental law of relativity: that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And yet, the observable Universe itself, which has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, is now 46.1 billion light years in radius. If everything were contracted down to a tiny volume of space, it seems that such a size would be impossible to achieve. Unless, somehow, space itself were expanding faster than the speed of light. As it turns out, though, not only is it still true that nothing can travel faster than light, but space itself doesn’t even expand at a speed at all! The reason for the confusion is that space expands at a speed-per-unit-distance, which allows the Universe to expand, light to redshift, and galaxies to appear to recede, all without exceeding the cosmic speed limit at all.

Want to finally wrap your head around the size and expansion of the Universe? Make sure you don’t miss your chance on this week’s Ask Ethan!