Ether? What are you talking about?
Ether (alternately spelled Aether or SPAM) is a nearly intangible medium in which all elements of the universe float gracefully, completely unlike the relationship between cake and nuts in a fruitcake. It was once thought to exist for the sole purpose of propagating light, but it is now known that light is propagated by small gnomes or trolls moving very quickly across space.
How did a nutball theory like that get started?
Ether was first discovered by 17th-century scientist Christiaan Huygens, also well-known as the inventor of the sport rolf, precursor of our modern frolf. With only disc-pole-holes and no flying disc, as the Frisbee had not yet been invented, he quickly tired of the game and turned his attention to the great physics questions of the day. (As an aside, the invention of the Frisbee in 1948 corresponds with a notable drop in the number of papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Think about it!)
The famous MMX experiment later disproved the light-propagating theory. Specifically:
x = 4195835 y = 3145727 z = x - (x/y)*y
Where x is the speed of a body being measured, y is the distance to the body, and z is the apparent position of the body to the observer. The values here are those of the original MMX experiment, and units are unimportant as they fall out in calculation. The result, assuming drag from ether, should be:
z = 0
However, according to calculations done on the rudimentary, hand-cranked Intel macroprocessors of the day, the result was in fact:
z = 256 Therefore, 256 = 0
... thus disproving the theories of light being carried in the ether medium.
So this is pretty much pointless, huh?
Almost, except that some jackass named Alexander Graham Bell finally did find a way in which to establish point-to-point communications networks over the ether. These formed the basis of today's ether-nets. Bell's first applications were reportedly to brag about the much better ping times he was getting than was his assistant, whipping boy, and eventual murderer Watson, and then to use the system to place free long-distance phone calls in defiance of the Bell Telephone & Telegraph company (no relation).
Ether in Mythology
Ether was quite popular in Greek mythology. A famous story goes as follows.
Princess Makalarianurphasmurphas (the kids were brutal in school) had wandered to the garden one day. When at the garden, she found a gnome named Elfenrod. Elfenrod waved his magical gnome wand and transported him and her to a magical realm of horny little gnomes, and they had many great times together, and finally when everyone grew bored of the princess, they threw her to the sky with a giant catapult. The greek god of catapults, Catopolus, was outraged his creation had harmed such a delicate and beautiful creature. He sent down a rain of 1,000 stars, dealing the gnomes over 1,000,000 damage and Overkilling every one of them. The stars exploded and created what is called Ether.
But of course, that's just stupid Greek mythology. The scientific/boring explanation is much more accurate.
"Ether" also refers to a chemical with the formula CH3-CH2-O-CH¾-CH3-Xe4. The chemical ether has anaesthetic properties and was used to put Schrödinger's cat out of its misery. The property is released by placing a can of it in contact with a flame.