TMT and Hawaiian Homelands Issues, Progress, Justice, And Work to be done.

The Thirty Meter Telescope is moving forward as the state of Hawaii seeks to address real injustices...

Growing Anti Germ Theory Denialism And COVID 19, Anti-Science That Makes Flat Earthers Look Brilliant.

Disease is caused by microbes, viruses, and bacteria. In the case of cancer, it is an overgrowth...

Joe Rogan, And Other Podcasters, "Influence" Does Not Equal Expertise, Let Alone Data. Science Is Not Debate, It Is Data Lead.

Even a website by researchers who support the use of Ivermectin say you need to get vaccinated...

A Picture Of The James Webb Space Telescope, Taken With An Earthbound Telescope.

  At least one Astronomer has shared an image of the James Webb Space Telescope taken from...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Robert H Olleypicture for Chidambaram Rameshpicture for Fred Phillipspicture for Patrick Lockerbypicture for Jerry Decker
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 »

 Is what we are seeing in a science fiction TV show like Star Trek or a movie like Star Wars possible is the whole thing science fiction aka fictional science or is it a total fantasy that could never happen? The laws of physics and biology are the ones fantasy and fantasy within sci fi will most often break.  Fiction that tries to respect them is science fiction, fiction that does not is fantasy or perhaps science fantasy. There is an easy way to answer this and it comes by knowing just a few basic laws of physics.
China has a lot of people and a proportional amount of very talented people. So does India, so does the USA. We should work with China but not be worked by the CCP. The Peoples Republic of China lead by the Chinese Communist Party has taken actions which have given researchers around the world reason to be cautious about sharing information with them. This is a huge problem for all of humanity since open science has led to great global advancement. This should not be used as a reason not to work with scientist of visible Chinese or broadly Asian descent or who are in fact immigrants from China.  At the same time precautions should be taken.

Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner wrote an opinion piece so false in premises that it needs no formal logic to show the flaw only a brief Google search. He writes of the Manhattan project as some sort of a disproof of affirmative action and as an exemplar of who the best people for a job like atomic physics would be.

What would happen if we could make Jupiter many times more massive but not make it so massive that it became a star?  This is a question that in a certain ideal view of science could only be answered by an experiment.  Since we can’t add several Jupiter’s of mass Astronomers must observe the sky and see if such objects exist.  They do and they are known as Brown Dwarfs.  Objects discovered relatively recently which are the smallest objects that might fairly be called a type of star and or the largest objects that could be called a planet.   The paper “Revealing the Vertical Cloud Structure of a young low-mass Brown Dwarf, an analog to the beta-Pictoris b directly-imaged exoplanet, through Keck I/MOSFIRE spectro-photometric vari

Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars work for which her PhD advisor, and the head of the Cambridge astronomy group won the Nobel Prize.  They could’ve awarded it to three people.  She did NOT need to be left out of it to recognize those two men.  The issue is not that they did nothing, but that what she did was at least as important if not much more important.  She has since won the breakthrough prize. 

Also, the anti CRT side continues the moral panic du jour and I will discuss why the steel manned version of their argument also fails, as usual, by reductio ad absurdum.  That the “logic” behind a movement is so flawed is the hallmark of every moral panic since the Salem Witch trials.

Space agencies like NASA define astronaut based on whether someone as completed the training to be an astronaut.  NASA also recognizes Astronauts who have flown missions with a gold pin instead of a silver one.   This is standard across government space agencies.  This is the only reasonable definition of an astronaut.   By this definition anyone who must meet any degree of physical, mental, and training standards to fly is an astronaut.