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The Sciences

Dark Energy: It Stinx But It Rocks!

Cosmic VarianceBy Risa WechslerOctober 31, 2007 9:44 AM


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As mentioned yesterday, I just gave a public lecture about dark energy. I think the lecture went well. As Jamie said in the comments below, it was literally earthshaking.


Seriously, it seems I have learned out to control the movements of the earth's crust. I had just finished a rather long leadup about what the universe is made of (from the pre-Socratics through to R&B bands) to introducing dark energy, had just mentioned the 1998 supernovae results on the accelerating universe, and showed my personal favorite graphic about dark energy, which I think I found several years ago in a google search --- and read the label of this lovely substance. Right after the words came out of my mouth, "Dark Energy, it Stinx, but it Rocks!", the earth started shaking. Yes, indeed, there was a 5.6 magnitude earthquake, just about 25 miles from where I was speaking, right in the middle of my talk. Right at the punchline. A bit of chaos ensued (doesn't dark energy always have that effect on people?) but eventually I reigned them all back in with a witty remark and carried on. Really, I swear I planned that. Can't wait for the video. UPDATE: the video is now available! The excitement occurs during minute 34. "Dark Energy: a discovery so revolutionary, that it shook the earth."

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