With Regards to Neil deGrasse Tyson

Reporters have a duty to report what they find out after they verify that it has a certain degree...

Thirty Meter Telescope And Mauna Kea: One Map Proves 120 Years of Astronomy At Summit.

One map blows away the land use and desecration claim of the anti TMT protestors, the self-styled...

Thirty Meter Telescope: Observation Is Not Desecration! Astronomers Stand For Truth Not Defamation UPDATED

Native Hawaiians have legit land use grievances but those have nothing to do with the Thirty Meter...

Wrong Craig Callender: Quantum Field Theory Tells Us We Are Right About Black Hole Thermodynamics.

Z, a quantity known as the partition function in statistical thermodynamics and the generating...

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Hontas FarmerRSS Feed of this column.

Currently I am an adjunct professor at the City Colleges of Chicago and the College of DuPage . My research focuses on astrophysics from massive star formation to astroparticle physics. Born and... Read More »


A critical examination of the three main claims made by anti TMT protestors.  Here are brief rebuttals to their sacredness and sovereignty claims and lastly a scientific reason why building anywhere else on Earth is no substitute. There is no basis in law or ethics for this opposition.  It is instead more a fashionable cause, and a bandwagon to jump on.   “Kapu TMT” is their banner.

No, the Amazon does not produce 20% of the Earths oxygen.  The real value is more like 5% to 6%.  This is NOT to minimize how bad it is to have out of control wildfires.  This is to keep unscientific non-facts from being perpetuated.  I was made to write this due to a statement seen on CNN. 

First let me explain from pure physics why it is impossible for an area like the amazon to be responsible for 20% of the Earths Oxygen production.   Oxygen is released for Carbon dioxide by photosynthesis in plants, all plants, from majestic trees to slimy algae living in the ocean.    In a very abbreviated way this is what happens.

As a person of native American descent and quite a bit of native culture I know a thing or two about that world view.  Granted my family is well assimilated and mixed in as many who are descendants of some of the first Native Americans to make contact with the white man.  This gives me a fine-tuned sense of when someone is using nativness for nonsense. This is not to say that Native Hawaiians, Native Americans, or other indigenous people never have a point. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protest was one where they did, and where real practical environmental damage is a legitimate concern.   UPDATE (Science Facing Ignorance.) 

At best we can speculate about GJ 357d. The case of GJ 357d we have a scientific paper which is about a planet that is in the habitable zone of its star, is at least six point one times the mass of the Earth, based on what we see, and we do not even know its radius (Luque, et al. 2019).  Yet the news media writes and reports on it as if we knew for certain it is Earth like.   (A brief word on Jessica Yaniv follows.)

Fundamental Theoretical Physics is the driver of big science projects.  Confirming old theories and testing new theories is how science advances.  That said what do we really do when part of big science projects?  The stereotype of the theoretical physicist is of a lone genius working in front of a chalkboard, or envisioning the mathematics written in brilliant light in the air in front of them, or dreaming of the solution to a deep problem.  This does really happen.  Theoretical physics is where the lone genius stereotype comes close to being true. Even then, it has always been just as important to bounce ideas off other physicists.    

Choosing a good but memorable password is hard. Here are some tips on how you can do it.  The best practice is to have a password manager, other than your web browser, and use it.  Do not use obvious personal information as part of a password.