What is the relationship between ufology and science? “You get an ology, you’re a scientist”. So said the character “Beattie” in the famous 1980s British Telecom TV advertisement. That said, the scientific community clearly doesn’t recognize ufology as a legitimate part of science, standing in its own right alongside subjects such as biology or psychology. Some ufologists are scientists and some scientists are favorably disposed towards ufology, but generally speaking the scientific community regards ufology as a hobby, if indeed it pays the subject any attention at all. Does any of this matter and what, if anything, can be done to change this state of affairs?
How the Universe Got Its Spots is a quirky and inventive earthly travelogue and journey across the cosmos. Levin introduces the reader with ease to her central thesis – the cosmos, although quite large, may not actually be infinite at all…just really big. How big is big? Therein lays this intriguing and unorthodox question asked by a truly gifted thinker.
Cosmologist Janna Levin started this work as a series of letters to her mother as she wrote about her workaday life as an upcoming scientist and explaining her inquiries into the origins of the Universe. In the end it became a diary of sorts that reminds the reader of an old time travelogue. Romance, jet lag and buying cereal and cleaning supplies at the local grocery seem as important as the issues of geometry, topological algebra and Einstein.
This is a fantastic book on the science of the cosmos for everyone. Janna Levin is not only very brilliant, but a great storyteller who can explain the complex cerebral world she inhabits without talking down to the lay person as if they were dumb. If you are looking to increase your science literacy, but find yourself overwhelmed by some of the other popular titles in the field, How the Universe Got Its Spots is a great place to start.
A new chapter in space flight began on 1950 July with the launch of the first rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida: the Bumper V-2. Shown above, the Bumper V-2 was an ambitious two-stage rocket program that topped a V-2 missile base with a WAC Corporal rocket. The upper stage was able to reach then-record altitudes of almost 400 kilometers, higher than even modern Space Shuttles fly today.