This week’s video: A physicist climbs many mountains over the course of his career.

Every day between now and when it closes, we’re going to be featuring one super cool item that you can bid on in this year’s Moth Ball Auction! Today, change your view of the universe over lunch with Professor Brian Greene.

Discuss string theory with New York Times bestselling author Brian Greene over lunch at Hangawi in New York City.

String theory could provide us with a unified theory of all forces and all matter. Unfortunately it is also rather tricky for mere mortals to understand. Fear not, because help is at hand! Brian Greene, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University, has been recognized with a Peabody Award and many other prizes for his successful popularization of science. 

We’ll ask you for the CliffsNotes later!

Bidding is open until May 16th!

[Original photo by wylieconlon on Flickr]

How does money impact your life?

As a scientist, other people’s money funds my research on how viruses evolve to infect new hosts. Thanks guys!

How does money impact your life?

As a scientist, other people’s money funds my research on how viruses evolve to infect new hosts. Thanks guys!

What’s the biggest shock you’ve ever given someone else?

450 volts in the Milgram Obedience Experiment.

What’s the biggest shock you’ve ever given someone else?

450 volts in the Milgram Obedience Experiment.

Imagine a world where books self-destruct immediately after reading, and re-appear a little different each time. This is the world of storytelling. Each story is a one-time event. Not because of how you tell it, but because of who you tell it to. If no one listens, the story does not exist. Not in a ”If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” philosophical way. It really does not exist. Similar to a conversation that never happened when it was between you and yourself. This is storytelling’s Achilles heel.
Tell us about a profound interaction with an animal.

Our pet guinea pig that my mom brought home from school suddenly lost all its fur. Turned out she got it from the science lab. Sad pig.

Tell us about a profound interaction with an animal.

Our pet guinea pig that my mom brought home from school suddenly lost all its fur. Turned out she got it from the science lab. Sad pig.


There was a time in my research when I was obsessed with this idea. I was fixated on the implications -  that you could leave the Earth and travel in a straight line to a distant galaxy on the edge of the observable universe and realize it was the Milky Way that you left behind you and that the planet you landed on was the Earth.

- Janna Levin

There was a time in my research when I was obsessed with this idea. I was fixated on the implications -  that you could leave the Earth and travel in a straight line to a distant galaxy on the edge of the observable universe and realize it was the Milky Way that you left behind you and that the planet you landed on was the Earth.

- Janna Levin

Even our friends are full of doubt. Our good friend, the musician Sean Hayes, is writing lyrics like “Let’s just play this one out until it explodes into a thousand tiny pieces. What’s your story, universe? You are melodies, you are numbers, you are shapes, you are rhythms.”

Warren and I hear this and we’re pretty sure it’s about us. 

 - Janna Levin

This week’s podcast: An astrophysicist discovers wild parallels in her research and romantic life.

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"Maybe in the future, we could have the ability to develop brain machine interfaces which are based on human thought, on human intention, on human imagery, on human memory, or even on human dreams."

The video that launched a thousand misleading articles, from Moran Cerf on our YouTube channel.