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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 »

The Washington Post reports on massive cuts across the world of European science.  The impact on young scientist will be devastating as their research is placed on hold.  All 12 accelerators at CERN will be mothballed for at least a year.  The European Space Agency will face deep budget cuts as well.

The people who will not be deeply effected by this are the tenured professors.  One year off will just be a year with pay for them.   The people I worry about, the people who will be most effected by this, their graduate students. 
When thinking of M theory and how it's popularized so much is said about it's wild and wonderful predictions.  However their is not much said about how to think of the M branes themselves.  I was at the beach today and thought as I was looking at the water of M theory.  
The surface tension is much like an Mtheory Brane.  The little waves and ripples in the surface are analogous to the ripples on lake Michigan.  

I thought about cutting the video up , dubbing in cleaner audio but really is this that serious?  Enjoy

 Simmulating aspects of the big bang in a particle accelerator through the coulomb explosion of a sufficiently dense bundle of fundamental particles could be practical and informative. 

Suppose a team of particle physicist figure out a way to get a bunch of protons in an accelerator up to a energy density of 0.1 or 0.2 of the Planck density.  Then observed the coulomb explosion of this bundle of particles.  Less than a second after the big bang the whole universe would have been a soup of elementary particles at those kind of densities.  What would happen.  I don't know but it might be interesting to find out.  
Science 2.0 is Openness and transparency.  Those buzz words mean open* access to both reading and publishing and sharing ones opinion on what is published.  Transparency means a process where any editorial decisions that are made are based on known written criteria which are the minimum to keep a science 2.0 website/journal free of spam and pornography.  The only question is how open and how transparent?  In my opinion the answer is that science 2.0 has to be open to everyone who is interested in practicing science.  There should be no initial litmus test based on educational attainment, employment status, reputation, or any other such traditional criteria.  

Before I go on examples of websites that look like science 2.0 but are not quite there yet. 
If you thought their publications were freaky get a load of how they look after a ton of plastic surgery. You may remember them from the Bogdanov affair many years ago.  They published papers in scientific journals that are very widely regarded as being bunk.  Some have even reached to call them outright fraudulent. 
Igor and Grichka Bogdanov
In my family it seems that we all have some degree of Autism.  I personally am convinced that Autism is genetically linked, and varies in intensity.  From the hardly effected at all high functioning person with Aspergers syndrome, to those who will need care for life.  In my family we have a wide spread of that spectrum.  In particular, my sister who was diagnosed with Autism and treated in elementary school as if that always meant low function. 
My sister was diagnosed with Autism at the age of about 6.  She seemed normal then regressed in certain ways.  The public school system where we live is/was kind of backwards about special needs/exceptional children.