Sci-Fi Writers Take Note: There Are Way More Stars Than We Thought

A while ago I read a fascinating news release from JPL about a sounding rocket experiment that measures the light between galaxies. The conclusion: “While we have previously observed cases where stars are flung from galaxies in a tidal stream, our new measurement implies this process is widespread.”

In other words, there are way, way more stars out there than we thought, drifting in-between the galaxies.

From the article: “The light looks too bright and too blue to be coming from the first generation of galaxies,” said James Bock, principal investigator of the CIBER project from Caltech and JPL. “The simplest explanation, which best explains the measurements, is that many stars have been ripped from their galactic birthplace, and that the stripped stars emit on average about as much light as the galaxies themselves.” [My emphasis.]

So for every galaxy of stars out there, there’s another galaxy worth of stars drifting around between the galaxies. To me that means there’s twice as many stars as we thought in the Universe, which also means there’s twice as many chances for habitable worlds.

It also means that in your star trekking speculative fiction, really advanced galactic civilizations could more conceivably make their way to other galaxies, as it’s not a big huge empty stretch between — according to the article, it’s more like a halo of stars between, and perhaps even bridging, the spaces between galaxies.

It’s fascinating to me to think of civilizations developing among these isolated, far flung stars, and now mathematically speaking, the chances of other civilizations existing have essentially doubled.

Okay, I’ve planted the seed in your imaginations. Let them run wild!

Here’s a link to the article: The Universe is Brighter Than We Thought »

Randomness is not what we think it is

I’m writing a series of realistic fantasy books and one of the characters is the god of chaos. Because of this character, I’ve been studying chaos theory in order to write the character with some intelligence, and I’ve been led to an amazing fact:

We all spring out of complete and total randomness.

Everything that is us and our world, and even our thoughts, are the product of complete and total randomness.

If you can wrap your head around this, you begin to understand that we have a general misconception of what “random” truely is. Apple Computers had to come to this conclusion, oddly, because when they first had a “random” setting on their early iPods people complained that it couldn’t possibly be random because it kept grouping songs together. They had to tweak their “random” algorithm to not be truly random so that it actually seemed random.

What we consider a rational, coherent universe is, at its very heart, complete and total random chaos … and yet, out of it springs order and, dare I say, meaning!

I find this utterly fascinating.

If the Universe is aware, what is it looking at?


I’ve been fascinated with the question, “What is reality?” since I was a teenager. I think I missed my calling in life, perhaps I should have been a philosophy major instead of a communications major. But then again, I have such a goofball sense of humor, no one would have taken me seriously – and philosophy seems to be oh so serious. Better to make light of the question while examining it than bog it down and make it dull. But let me break it down to a simple chain of logic based on what we know from science:

Action at a distance, which is the mind-boggling concept that particles get “entangled” and, what you do to one will affect its entangled partner — no matter how far the distance — implies that the two are actually connected even if they’re on the opposite sides of the Universe. How? It would have to be via dimensions we can’t perceive, and what we think of as two entangled particles are actually sections of the same particle. The two are a single object, but we can’t see the whole object because it actually has more than three dimensions. My conclusion: there are definitely more dimensions than what we perceive.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal shows us, without any room for doubt, that particles are affected by observation. Matter itself knows when you’re looking at it, and it behaves differently. My conclusion: awareness is built into matter.

These are just two pieces of a vast puzzle, but they’re enough to hint to me (and remember I’m a communications major with a wild imagination, not a scientist) that the Universe is both bigger and more complicated than you’d expect, and it is also self-aware. But not self aware as in how you and I are self aware, but in a bigger, grander, more complex way.

But get this: you and I are part of this Universe. We are not separate from it, we are part of it. We are the Universe and we are aware of ourselves. Hence, even from this perspective, the Universe is in fact aware of itself.

So if the Universe is aware, what is it doing? What is it interested in? If all it does is cosmic navel gazing, what is it watching?

We have strong hints right in front of us. The Universe seems to love beauty. It seems to love conflict. It seems to love drama.

It seems to love a good story.

Look through a powerful telescope and there are stories everywhere. Stories of birth, struggle, death, and rebirth. Stories of power, of gluttony, of conflict, and also harmony and beauty.

Stories of how chaos transforms into order – all by itself.

And all this is at extreme macro levels. Who knows what amazing stories unfold every second at every level in the entire cosmos – just look at all the drama, conflict, and beauty right here on our own little world.

And we see it all, and it interests us – and remember, we are part of the Universe looking at itself. What we see, the Universe sees, and what interests us also interests the Universe.

My New Favorite Speaker

My new favorite tech toy! This speaker by GGMM has so many features it rivals Batman’s utility belt.

Featured music by Shpongle. Featured streaming radio is SomaFM. Featured podcast is Nerdist.

My Tribute to the Late, Great Philip K. Dick

Phil the Android meets the Dark Haired Girl

If you are into reading Philip K. Dick stories, this is for you. (Click the link.)

My Star Wars Video

I made this for my day job back when the last Star Wars movie came out. Being that Rogue One is being released today, I thought it might be a good time to showcase this here:

The Alexa Family Just Got A Cousin

FABRIQ of Canada was nice enough to send me a couple of their new little rechargeable WiFi/Bluetooth speakers featuring Amazon’s Alexa built in, which puts them in direct completion with Amazon’s own products. But these have a standout feature which actually boosts them above and beyond, and that’s the fact that they will link up with each other.

One thing I’ve discovered since putting this video together is that, at least on Mac systems, the groups of synced FABRIQ speakers show up as an option for sound output, somewhat like Apple Airplay speakers.

I am liking them so far!