Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto, We Hardly Knew Ye

8. (link to BoingBoing)

Going from nine to eight planets will undoubtedly affect both scientific education and the minds of future generations of mankind, which, let me tell you, are simply going to rot.

When we studied science, we had to remember NINE names. Yes, N-I-N-E. Remembering eight names? Pffh. Easy as walking on a giant piece of firm and non-slippery cake.

Armed with that extra memory cell (and all that spare time - just imagine!), I am afraid these young minds will be filled with mischief and with that something my middle school English teacher used to call "hanky-panky".

But I am grateful that Uranus has not been affected by this whole "define a planet" business. Its status, both as a planet and as a joke of sub-astronomical proportions, is safe. For now, at least.

By the way, ever heard of Venkatesh Ketakar? Me neither.

So read up and show this now-forgotten Indian stargazer some respect for accurately calculating Pluto's orbit in 1911.


GhostOfTomJoad said...

Right. As you say, first we had to learn that there are nine planets. Then, someone came along and floated that theory about a new planet being found. So, we had to get used to the tenth one, Planet X, I think. Now we're back to eight! Pluto is being demoted but what in hell happened to X?

km said...

X is the new IX, which in turn is the new X. Oh, I don't know. I thought they had also found XI and XII a few years ago.

Arun Verma said...

I remember, we used to learn the nine planets as: My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas

I guess, they'll change that to: My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nachos