Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims A Legacy Hijacked By The Oppressive Puritans.

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Gravitational Waves In 3D, Thoughts On Visualization Of A Fundamentally Different Astronomical Messenger.

One of the strongest results that Astronomy can produce is an image, a picture of a distant natural...

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MicroBooNE did not find the sterile neutrino which it was designed to instead it found the absence...

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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 »


New Shepard will carry Jeff Bezos over the Karman Line 100 km or higher into the internationally recognized boundary of space. The Virgin Galactic Spaceship 2 was a beautiful, innovative, and inspired Scaled Composites design from the mind of the legendary Burt Rutan. The kind of aeronautical engineer, no, the kind of problem solver we just do not get in this very computer heavy age.

New Shepard on the other hand has a very functional aesthetic

A new angle of attack on the teaching of so-called critical race theory is that it is racist against Asians because some writings on it say that they are “White Adjacent.” Since CRT is supposedly racist against White people it is then therefore also racist against them.

Virgin Galactic has been working on Spaceship 2 for over a decade. It is a descendant of the Scaled composites Spaceship 1, a design by the legendary Burt Rutan which won the Ansari X prize in the early 2000’s. It will be carried to a height of 50,000 feet above mean sea level, then released for launch. This approach has many advantages over a launch from the ground as it requires a much smaller rocket booster and makes the climb out of Earth’s gravity well gentler. It will then change shape into a form that Rutan called “feathered” and return like a badminton shuttle cock. The blunted side of it facing the atmosphere. It will change shape again and glide to the runway much as the space shuttle did.

Critical Race Theory is a reasonable curriculum according to a new business item from the representative assembly of the National Education Association. Some are taking this to mean teaching real academic CRT in like kindergarten or 6th grade.  This is not an unreasonable mistake, but it is likely based on a fundamental misunderstanding.  The NEA also represents college professors in addition to K-12 teachers. Furthermore, the things that people are worried about, “teaching White kids to hate themselves”.  That is not what anyone is saying should be done at all.

Through two observations that match theoretical expectations for a Black Hole neutron star merger humanity can now place limits on how often these occur.  About once per month within a one billion light year radius of the Earth Black Holes and Neutron Stars merge.  We do not seem to see any from any from inside our own galaxy.  If we did the signals would be stronger.

Universities trying to teach a curriculum full of performative equity and inclusion are failing their students. Something which will cost Black and Brown people in the long run.  The way to teach about the intellectual diversity of humanity and to include all humanity is to just give an honest global accounting of it. That would include real diversity and equity.