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NASA Opens ISS to Tourist, Roscosmos Did It First. A Long Time Ago!

NASA welcoming private space flight participants is not new and it is misleading to call these...

General Relativity at 100. A Primer For People Who Know Algebra.

General Relativity (GR) is 100 years old and today.   Many writings will try to simplify...

When Black Holes and Neutron Stars Collide, These Are The Possible Results.

A quark star is a hypothesized type of object more dense than a Neutron star but not dense enough...

Gravitational Wave Astronomy In Space, Public Talks of LISA Con #4.

Gravitational wave astronomy in space, that is the goal of the LISA Collaboration.  LISA stands...

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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 »

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Pluto does not meet the definition of a planet but as we will see that does not diminish it.  Far from a random and uninteresting chunk of ice, with little local gravitational influence on it’s neighborhood, it is an example of binary planetoids with tantalizing features. 

UPDATE

Most models of quantum gravity propose or predict that at very short distances space is a frothing foam where distance and time intervals themselves fluctuate rapidly.  These models predict that if light can travel long distances there will be a cumulative effect due to photons from a source gaining slightly different phases.  The precise nature of the effect, the underlying mechanisms would vary but otherwise they would be probed by the same observation of quasars, the most distant short wavelength light we can observe.
Windows 10 build 10122 marks the arrival of something like a first beta Build of Windows 10.  (Build 10130 has a bit more polish, new icons, but has the same issues as 10122.) As such, one can now start to ask the question how will my favorite games fare under Windows 10?  Back when Windows 8 came out many people from corporate IT to Gamers said "We'll wait for Windows 9".  Microsoft has skipped to 10 and kept the live tiles and touch friendly aspects of the interface it was fashionable to hate about Windows 8 and 8.1.
Google Maps searches for the words "Nigger House" will bring up a map pin pointing the white house and the underground railroad museum in Chicago.  Searches for racial and ethnic slurs on other groups produce MORE questionable results.   In fact the most targeted group is your generic "white" American.

Google says sorry over racist Google Maps White House search results. Searches using a racist slur return results pinpointing the White House in Washington DC (UK Guardian). 
On April 11th 2015 I delivered a presentation on the subject of Quantum Gravity in which I questioned the basic assumption that quantum is more fundamental than relativity.  Relativization is the name for the approach I propose.  In a nutshell let us try treating relativity as the more fundamental set of principles and make quantum field theory obey those.  The talk was well received.    There is still lots of work do on this and a lifetime to do it in, but the approach is now firmly not "crackpot".  Indeed as the money plot from my presentation shows this approach gets a very nice result for the behavior of black holes. 

The talk:
Recently two Transgender women were shot to death because they made a wrong turn and did not listen to or possibly did not understand the commands of the guards at the gate of the NSA.*  That was unfortunate.  The tragedy is in a day and age where the non PC complain that people are too PC and the PC proclaim that they are sensitive major media continue to identify those two as "men dressed as women".  With the notable exception of Reuters, all other media did not even mention the chance they were trans.