Collapse of the universe “imminent”?

Physicists have proposed a mechanism for “cosmological collapse” that predicts that the universe will soon stop expanding and collapse in on itself, obliterating all matter as we know it. Their calculations suggest that the collapse is “imminent”—on the order of a few tens of billions of years or so—which may not keep most people up at night, but for the physicists it’s still much too soon.

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Today’s culture

And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

‘The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.’

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1834

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Why Spring Gets About 30 Seconds Shorter Every Year

Prepare for a spring that is about 30 seconds shorter than last year’s, which was 30 seconds shorter than the one before. The changing length of the season is related to the tilt of the Earth’s axis, LiveScience reports. In fact, spring and winter get shorter, while summer and autumn get correspondingly longer.

The summer solstice occurs when the northern hemisphere is most tilted toward the sun. Spring ends at the summer solstice, and because of precession, the point along the Earth’s orbit where the planet reaches the summer solstice shifts slightly. Next year, the planet will reach the point in its orbit of the solstice slightly earlier.

The shortening-spring trend won’t last forever: Around the year 8680, the season will be at its shortest, at 88.5 days. After that, spring will start getting longer again.

I can barely wait…

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Tweet of the Day

After a 13-year break, “The X-Files” is officially returning to television as a six-episode event series on Fox.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are reprising their iconic roles as paranormal phenomena-investigating FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the network announced Tuesday. Creator/executive producer Chris Carter will also return to helm the reboot.

Production is set to begin this summer with a premiere date yet to be announced.

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