The Big Bang, by Simon Singh

a book review by
Okay this is essentially a 'universe for dummies' book, but when it comes to physics I am quite a dummy so this book fascinated me. I often wonder about the nature of the universe but not enough to stare in a telescope every night for 12 hours and talk to people who wear pocket protectors, blue sans-a-belt pants, white tube socks, and have greasy hair and nerd glasses. I have a lot of geek in me, but not that much nerd. Enter this book.

 Apparently all the matter in the universe was originally condensed into a space less than the size of a head of a pin. And even though the universe is the biggest thing we know about, it's emptier than a swimming pool with a single drop of water in it.

 You, me, and everything in the universe besides helium and nitrogen are made in stars. So when people tell you someone is a star, you can reply that we are all technically stars. A more appropriate but less sexy way to put it is that we are all made of nuclear waste.

Simon Singh, true genius at everything but haircuts.

You all heard about the Hubble telescope right? Well Hubble was a guy too. He found out the universe was bigger than just our galaxy. And he was a American from Missouri with a fake English accent who used to be invited to Hollywood parties. Einstein himself changed his opinions thanks to Hubble's observations.

In the 1950's the Pope even got involved and said the Big Bang was scientific proof of the existence of God, and then his advisers told him to keep quiet because it was just a theory. Ironic, of course, because it was after all, a Pope who condemned Galileo to death for saying that the Earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around like the Pope wanted it to.

Not interested? Well then you probably have a date tonight.

But when your loved one mentions how beautiful the stars shine, you won't be able to ruin the moment and tell them why they shine like they do.