A possible answer to the mass problem mentioned at the end of Ethan’s article is as follows. A Thorne-Zytkow object is a red giant star that contains a neutron star even before it goes supernova. Such an object used to be a purely theoretical object, but it recent years convincing evidence for an actual T-Z object has been published in a scientific journal and reported in the science media. See: http://www.caltech.edu/news/kip-thorne-discusses-first-discovery-thorne-ytkow-object-43149 and http://www.nature.com/news/bizarre-star-could-host-a-neutron-star-in-its-core-1.14478 . In the case of a T-Z object, one does not need an 8 solar mass star to “form” the neutron star because it is already there from the start.
Discrete Scale Relativity makes the rather bold prediction that this type of object is not a rarity, but is commonplace and could explain several astrophysical conundrums like powerful gamma ray jets associated with supernova, stellar magnetic cycles, and the starting “seed crystals” for star formation.
Time for new ideas?