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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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Every Branch of the service has ranks and uniforms which reflect their  history, mission, and culture. A potential space force would not be any different in this regard.  Consider the lineage it would have being mainly influenced by the US Air Force, the US Navy, and NASA.   Each has a rank structure of some kind.    It may be wise to establish a “space force” as a corps not within the Air Force... but within NASA, much as NOAA and NPHS have had for a long time.   Here is my take on how this could or should look.    If you question the need for a Space Force watch this 60 minutes video from 2015.

Space contains a wealth of mineral resources so abundant that it would make money as we now think of it obsolete.  We rely on space borne assets for  very ordinary every day things and will come to rely on them even more. The common sense of this, unlike other (separating families) things (G7 Russia) President Trump does (Covfefe) should be self evident.

Deep ancestry by DNA is not as straight forward as a paternity test.  Simplistic assumptions can lead to grave misunderstandings which are not helped by how DNA test are marketed.  I had my DNA tested by Ancestry.com and I am waiting for results from National Geographic’s Genographic Project 2.0.  Using the raw data from Ancestry.com and open source tools found at gedmatch.com I found some perplexing results for those who are not scientifically trained. 
UPDATED below with my National Geographic Geno 2.0 information and a really odd result.   

UPDATED Further below I show my new Ancestry.com result as of september 24 2018. Don't exchange leiderhosen for a kilt based on this stuff.   
 
Building blocks of life are not life or even really close, but they are hopeful signs.  NASA has announced that the Curiosity rover has found signs of the building blocks of life, as we know it, on Mars.   

These building blocks are common throughout the cosmos.  Even in interstellar clouds.  To have life, as we know it, requires liquid water.  Remember the signs of liquid water found on Mars back in 2011? Since then it has been convincingly argued that they may have just be flows of fine sand grains without water being involved at all.  Further study continues.  

Transgender activism must not prevent people from using their common everyday senses to tell who is who within reason.   We now live in a world where someone can insist that they are a transgender woman with their ID changed.  Yet insist that if any image of them is used it should be a very, rather, unflattering one for any woman.    Clearly self ID in the absence of concrete and substantial measures to live the life of the identified gender is meaningless.  At the same time a biological definition isn't fool proof either. 

Ben Shapiro and others often cite a UCLA study which claimed that 45% of transwomen try to commit suicide to “prove” that transgender people are mentally ill and that we should not reinforce their “delusion”.   A big problem with their line of reasoning is that  they generalize a single survey based on a self-selected convenience sample to a whole population.  One could dismiss that as some kind of pseudo intellectual argument based on feelings and facts don’t care about feelings.