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...

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


The Illinois Education Association is a state level component of the National Education Association. As one of the largest teachers unions in the country it may represent your college professors and your college teachers. The actions of unions in the past are why we have a 5 day work week, 8 hour work day, a lunch break, a minimum wage and a lot of other things we now take for granted.

See the update at the bottom of this page

Defense Distributed it’s 3 D gun printing plans are still available on the web if you know where to look. This archive is not secret. I will not say the name of because everyone should know its name. Everyone should know that everything they put on the web has been archived going back to The beginning of most website by this organization. Furthermore, files put on the Internet In the form of torrents are distributed across many peers in a cloud of computers all around the internet in tiny pieces. The torrent file just puts those pieces together.

Sex Reassignment Surgery in Transgender women is a misunderstood, maligned, and mysterious procedure.  Thursday I  will have this procedure sometimes called  Gender Confirmation Surgery.  I will blog about it, tweet about it, and Vlog about it on Youtube.  This will be a look at what this procedure is really like.  UPDATED with a link to my RealSelf review which will include images of the surgical result at bottom of page. Gender Confirmation Surgery as it is now called in very PC circles is one of the mysterious procedures of transgender life.  Do they chop it offOf course not!

Crunchyroll, Funimation and others have perpetuated the miseducation, and knowingly or unknowingly promoted anti LGBT bigotry in a generation of geeks in the western world.  Once people are miseducated it is really hard to reeducate them in the right way.  Companies like Crunchyroll and Funimation have misrepresented the culture of Japan in relation to Transgender people.  Anime, you may ask, why should this form of media matter to senior scientist… because a lot of your junior researchers and students are or have been fans of it.  Along with Sci Fi and Fantasy Anime is one of the big three genre’s of fiction that appeal to the modern geek.  Sadly it is teaching a l

With the discovery of a dozen new tiny moons of Jupiter that planet now has upwards of 79 moons. Are all-natural satellites of a planet moons?  Not really, not unless they are similar to our Moon in objective physical properties.   Many of these moons are like Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, in terms of their gross physical properties. These are bodies which are in fact captured asteroids or very asteroid like.  Some formed with Jupiter and orbit in the same direction that it rotates, prograde.  Some orbit against the direction of Jupiters orbit retrograde orbit.

Assuming that alien life has to be like life on Earth is the safest way to scientifically search for evidence of it.  A recent paper on the arXiv by a research team from Oxford is likely to cause headaches for SETI.  In short it shouldn't since the Oxford team has made a basic error in the midst of a masterful application of statistical analysis.  When searching for the truly unknown one must assume as little as possible.   In theoretical physics the hall mark of a good theory is one in which the most testable implications follow from the fewest assumptions and adjustable parameters.   Such is true of most areas of science.  So too must this be true of astrobiology and searches for intelligent life.