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Hontas FarmerRSS Feed of this column.

Currently I am an adjunct professor at the College of DuPage. My research focuses on astrophysics from massive star formation to astroparticle physics. Born and raised in Chicagoland I have lived... Read More »


Flat earthers are a thing in 2020.  Here is a simple do at home proof it is round given a large enough area of apparently flat land. Take a tripod like one would use for a camera and mount a laser pointer on it.  Lasers have the feature of being very well collimated, so their light does not die out in the same way as that from an ordinary light.   Point it at a paper target, attached to a car, and mark where the light falls.  It can help to point a camera at the paper target and record as this happens.

Peace Officers should mostly replace police officers, but a police force of some kind is needed. Police would only be called in once a situation has proven, after a sustained non violent effort by peace officers, to require force.  Peace officers should be thoroughly civilian, never in the military, or at least out of the military for a long period of time 7-10 years minimum.   Police officers should be an armed, trained, militarized last resort. Anyone who thinks that a force of last resort is not required is living in a fantasy.  The problem with policing could be summarized as force being the first resort too often.

Defund the police or even abolish the police is a politically ignorant statement especially because when asked they who say it describe extensive reforms.  Those words mean no money, and no police.  Just like abolishing slavery didn’t mean make slavery a little different but still have slavery it means no more slavery! Just use the word reform if that is what you meanWe can start by amending the constitution of the United States to empower the federal government to police the police.

Black people are no angels but when we are not being angelic, we still should have rights.  All people should have the same rights when under the power of law enforcement that they do when they are free.  No rights are without bounds, obviously someone in custody has rights that are greatly curtailed yet those rights still exist in some limited form.  I propose we amend the constitution of the United States of America to make it clear that the police have a duty to protect the lives of people under their power.

When a SpaceX crewed Dragon launches atop a Falcon 9 carrying the first astronauts launched from American soil by the United States, they will be making history, setting NASA on a trajectory for the Moon and beyond.  For a long time, private companies being able to put humans into orbit has been a dream.  Since 2001 A Space Odyssey, made before the Apollo program landed people on the Moon, sci fi envisioned it being possible to take a Pan Am flight on a Space Shuttle like vehicle up to a space station. One with airliner seating no less.   Then to connect to a flight to the Moon. 

How to scientifically answer questions like wear a mask or not?  Anyone and everyone can think scientifically.  It is thinking systematically and critically about the information and considering the ethics of your choice given that information. It is also being open to new information which can change your mind. The key is knowing that public science is a process of independently assessing information gleaned from reliable sources.  The hard part is being open to that information even if it goes against our own biases or preferences. Lastly thinking ethically about your choices. Could what you do adversely affect someone else?