Category Archives: Physics

What makes Back to the Future so Beloved?

It’s the late night of October 21, 2015, the day that Marty McFly visits the “future” in Back to the Future Part II. It’s being celebrated and laughed about in all corners of the internet, mixing nostalgia for a beloved trilogy of films with amusement at the inaccuracies of its predictions. I think it’s causing some reflection upon the state of society and technology today compared to our expectations.

No, nothing hovers, but you do have WiFi on your cell phone. I’d say we’re good.

But what makes these films (notably the first two) such touchstones in our culture? Why are they so endlessly memorable and entertaining?

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QuantumJumping

Quantum Jumping, or Bullshit Overload

I stumbled upon the website Quantum Jumping from an ad for wooey pseudoscience that just seemed… too out there. But oh how I underestimate scammers! I was struck by the techniques used to trick readers into buying into the product and story, and then felt like tearing down some of the nonsense I was reading. Come join me for a hearty laugh, a face palm, and a clenched fist.

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Constellation Fornax, Hubble EXtreme Deep Field

The Age of the Universe: Who Cares?

Image: Constellation Fornax, Hubble EXtreme Deep Field

A coworker of mine asked me a question the other day that is simultaneously so simple, yet so difficult to answer succinctly. We’ve talked about some scientific facts, and he expressed his apathy concerning the age of the universe, among some other religiously-controversial topics. He hasn’t done the research to understand how old the universe or Earth is, and doesn’t plan to, because he doesn’t see why it’s important.

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