Cartoonist defends downgraded planet

200608230123 Cartoonist defends downgraded planetThe proposed reclassification of our solar system, with Pluto, the dogged ninth planet about to be reduced to a “pluton”, captured the attention of the internerd in recent days. If ever old geezers needed proof tat the universe was indeed spinning madly out on control and intothe shape of something new and unfamilar, it was the idea that suddenly we had 12 planets, on of them named UB 313, instead of something sensible like, say, Vulcan. We do not want our solar system falling prey to some crazy ass scheme of fame-seeking science nerds. Indeed, the new model universe inspired cartoonist Tim Kreider to write an editorial for the New York Times boldly claiming”“I ♥ Pluto” :

I informed the assembled scientists that, first of all, no way was I or anyone else about to un-memorize anything we’d already been forced to learn in elementary school. More important, I felt sure that, as former children, we all instinctively respected the principle: no do-overs.

Planets, like Supreme Court justices, are appointed for life, and you can’t blithely oust them no matter how eccentric, skewed or unqualified they may prove to be. If they could kick out Pluto, I warned, they could do it to anything, or anyone.

I admit: it’s a highly emotional issue and maybe I got carried away in the heat of debate.


We’re with Tim on this one. KEEP PLUTO NUMBER 9!

Comments

  1. Brian Spence says:

    I could be wrong, but I thought they had their big conference and decided that Pluto would stay a planet…

    Maybe I’m wrong.

  2. You are partly right Brian, they already have had their big conference, but nothing was decided. According to wikipedia, various proposals were drafted and now they are going to be voting on these proposals tomorrow. Some include keeping Pluto as a planet while others don’t. Once again, according to wikipedia, the leading proposal that currently has the most support would downgrade Pluto to a “dwarf planet” or “planetoid” or whatever they decide to call a smaller planets.

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