Many of you will not agree with me, but I think this is one of Ethan Siegel ‘s best articles ever. He covers so many important concepts in one short article. The binding-energy-per-nucleon flatness is something I never realized before, it it explains so well why everything isn’t just iron. Also, the idea that the silicon-fusion phase is so short (mere hours before supernova after a million-year buildup!) is mind-blowing.