Great post over at Cosmic Variance about thermodynamic equilibrium ant the improbability of a world such as ours. Quote:

If the universe is an ordinary thermodynamic system in equilibrium, there will be occasional fluctuations into low-entropy states. One of these might look like the Big Bang, and you might be tempted to conclude that such a process explains the arrow of time in our universe. But it doesn’t work, because you don’t need anything like such a huge fluctuation.

Here’s another goodie. Sample quote:

In a similar spirit, Gott and Li suggest that the universe could “create itself,” springing to life out of an endless loop of closed timelike curves. More colorfully, “an inflationary universe gives rise to baby universes, one of which turns out to be itself.”

More on cyclical universes from Physicists.