Another Slice of APS April 2019, Knowing Theories Of Others.

A simple slice of life as an academic.  No chair was assigned for the session Z13 in which...

Replacing Theoretical Physicists With Computer Code? A Slice Of APS April 2019.

Theoretical physicist have no more than five good unique insights in a lifetime. Then spend years...

Presenting A Hypothesis Of Everything, And Finding Out A Giant Had A Similar Idea At The Same Time Is Great.

A hypothesis of everything, that is not what I first thought it would be, is what I will present...

The Black Hole Image Raised Us Up, Media Reactions Lowered Us Down

By oversimplifying the complex human story of how big science done by big collaborations like Event...

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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 »


Predicting the future is an inherently risky business.  However, based on available data there are a few things we can say will or likely will happen in 2019. Ranging from astronomy to physics and technology here are my three predictions.  These are based on available and linked information and my learned analysis.

Neil deGrasse Tyson PhD invoked the fact he had a PhD and Tchiya Amet El Maat  did not have a PhD  to imply that he is necessarily more credible than her.   Furthermore, he used her beliefs against her.   His explanation was pure argumentum ad verecundiam, appeal to authority a logical fallacy and that it protected him for so long is part of this story.  A conclusion reached from a flawed premise, that he is an authoritative scientist and therefore he must be correct, is itself flawed.     He is not the only one scientist, or nonscientist, who makes that mistake. In the words of Richard Feynman a scientist is just as dumb as the next guy when working outside his/her field.

These allegations are NOT a conspiracy to “get a left wing man” or punish Neil D Tyson for his stance of climate change.  Allow me to fill in the blank of how this story got to press.   Many media outlets have thought it worth mentioning that Patheos, which focuses on spirituality host the blog of David G McAfee pursued these allegations.

Fox and National Geographic are investigating the allegations made against Neil DeGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct reported on by David G McAfee. In an AP story, which does not mention the rape allegation, that she had no idea there were any allegations at all.   If one uses Google, and sets the search parameters for certain dates one can prove that MANY MANY SOURCES had written about Tchiya Amet’s allegation.   I will not use any …. card but it is very very interesting that this only gets coverage when the right kind of victim arises.   

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, accused of rape, accused of groping, accused of sexual misconduct …. (UPDATE: He has made a formal statement on this on his facebook page ).

More Mars landing attempts have failed than on any other planet or moon due to one fundamental physical property of Mars. That property is the atmosphere. This is the reality NASA will face Monday November 26th 2018 and every time they land on Mars. The Martian atmosphere is just thick enough to burn up a space craft but too thin to slow it down for a soft landing. For landing a space craft it is the opposite of a Goldilocks zone. Let us compare Mars to the planets and moons we have landed on to see why that is the case.