The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

August 13, 2006

PLUTO: PLANET OR PRETENDER?

IS THIS A PLANET?

RESISTING THE INCREDIBLE TEMPTATION TO WRITE YET ANOTHER POST ABOUT DUBYA AND HIS P.R. CAMPAIGN ABOUT WHO WON AND LOST THE WAR IN LEBANON, I OFFER THIS UP FOR CONSIDERATION.
...A QUESTION THAT'S A LOT EASIER TO CONTEMPLATE AND SOMETHING MUCH CLOSER TO HOME, SOMETHING THAT HOPEFULLY WE ALL CAN FEEL FREE TO HAVE OUR OWN UNBIASED OPINIONS ABOUT...
PLUTO!
IF YOU CAN, DARE TO CONTEMPLATE SOMETHING FAR, FAR AWAY FROM YOUR MORTGAGE, YOUR CONNIVING BOSS, AMERICAN IDOL, YOUR RELATIONSHIP TROUBLES...AND LOOK SKYWARD.

You won't be able to see it, but you know it's there. It's Pluto, the farthest away of the planets recognized by astronomists as part of our solar system.

The outcast of outcasts on a cosmic scale...and now, apparently, possibly about to become the latest victim of Earth's navel-gazers.

Here's an edited version of the story, which you might have read or heard about already:

Experts' vote could mean demotion for Pluto
Astronomy group to offer definition in 'planet' debate

By Jim Erickson, Rocky Mountain News August 12, 2006
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is streaking at 43,500 mph toward a 2015 rendezvous with Pluto. When it arrives, will it encounter the solar system's ninth planet or a demoted celestial has-been?
Nearly 3,000 astronomers and planetary scientists from around the globe will gather in Prague, Czech Republic, next week to answer that question by voting on an official definition of "planet."
For decades, schoolchildren have learned that nine planets circle the sun. But that number could drop to eight or soar to dozens, depending on the new International Astronomical Union definition.
News leaks about the planet definition began to spout late this week, as the authors prepared to present a draft resolution to the IAU's executive committee Sunday in Prague. The IAU is the official arbiter of all issues related to astronomical nomenclature.
In a story that aired Thursday, unnamed sources told National Public Radio the proposed definition would include Pluto in a new class of small planets. A source also told the Rocky Mountain News on Thursday that a member of the seven-person definition panel said Pluto will remain a planet.
'Just not big enough'
The need for a bulletproof definition gained urgency last year after the discovery of 2003 UB313 - nicknamed Xena - an icy object in the solar system's outer fringes.
Hubble Space Telescope photos show Xena has a diameter of 1,490 miles, give or take 60 miles. Pluto is 1,422 miles across.
If Xena rivals Pluto in size, shouldn't it be classified as a planet? The leader of the discovery team, Caltech's Michael Brown, thought so; he dubbed Xena "the 10th planet."
But others consider Xena, Pluto and their kin as little more than cosmic debris.
Xena and Pluto reside in a band of icy, sun-orbiting bodies beyond Neptune, called the Kuiper Belt. More than 1,000 so-called Kuiper Belt Objects have been discovered since 1992.
One expert's solar system would contain eight planets. Pluto, the faint, far-off iceball discovered by U.S. astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, would not make the cut. Same for the rest of the Kuiper Belt and all the asteroids, rocky bodies that orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

My question: Should anybody care about this issue, really? Pluto's going to keep being Pluto, whether a bunch of tall forehead astronomers continue to define it as a planet for our purposes or not.

But what if you took the obvious intellect and expertise of all these astronomers and combined it with the best minds from all other fields across the planet we're on, Earth, and applied that brilliance to the issues we actually are facing right now on our own planet?

What if, instead of Bush and Blair and religiously-dominated sects in the Middle East making decisions that affect us all, we had astronomers and physicists and authors and playwrights and bloggers to call upon?

What if we said, yeah, OK, we'll have democratic elections that could result in slippery politicians like Bush, Blair, Canada's Stephen Harper and other nimrods get elected to "lead" their countries.

But that on disputes and issues that could affect the entire planet, such as wars and nuclear weapons and WMDs, the likes of Dubya, and his big business cronies, etc., would be sent away to the North Pole for a while.

And some new global think tank would be brought in, staffed by an appointed or annointed unbiased membership of the best minds on earth from every field imaginable, two per country, to vote on what to do.

Like a United Nations with people with brains and feelings and concern for the common good through common sense and no political, religious or business bent.

No polls, no campaigning, no press releases, no captive news media with its own agenda to present. Just the brightest minds on the planet, the untainted creme de la creme, Earth's best beings, enforcing just law.

I know it sounds outlandish. The question is, could it work? Or do you think the current chaos is just fine? And about Bush: maybe we could just send him on an exploratory trip to Pluto...

19 comments:

  1. ** Should anybody care about this issue, really? Pluto's going to keep being Pluto, whether a bunch of tall forehead astronomers continue to define it as a planet for our purposes or not.

    ROFL! I agree...we have far more imp issues on Earth to worry abt. Why cant ppl use their heads, money,energy and time on matters that we need solutions for?

    Blair n Bush can take a hike to Pluto and we sure can fund that.

    Keshi.

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  2. it's a planet .. comon .. one can't strip away it's title .. even though there are moons bigger than pluto .. but it has been a part of our solar system .. and we love pluto .. and all planets love pluto :) .. so pluto is a planet and not a dead astroid type object.

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  3. Keshi:

    Yeah, their brains appear to be frozen anyway...I'd pay $5 to send 'em on their way.

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  4. Hey Nabeel, thanks for visiting...

    I'm wit you. We've all grown up knowing Pluto as a planet, so why spoil the party?

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  5. Well, we can't change the universe, solar system or whatever is out there...after all, it will change itself.

    But lordy, lordy, we will change presidents....as Bush's time is almost up and he can't do a dang thing about it.

    *shouts and sings praised to the sky*

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  6. My Goodness, when I started reading the article I thought that it was about Dubya blowing Pluto up (Armaggedon-like). I'm relieved he's confining himself to Planet Earth, Middle East section.

    My vote is: Pluto has always been a planet and should stay as one. Besides, it may not be as big as the other planets but it has a right to be here.

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  7. Gentle and kind greetings to you, my bloggalisciously good teasing friend. (And hopes you won’t mind my not so shy requests.)

    I make presence known to you here, and now, with a humble plea for your help … and time for horsin’ aroun’

    Please look here and see that I have called you out.

    ‘Tis for the favour of your talent and skill I call on to help make a wish -- wish #28 -- come true.

    (And if there be others, you wish to make so … to be sure, I shan’t say “No.”)

    With blessings and thanks, ever yours
    ~Lady

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  8. Aha! I say it’s a conspiracy organised by the astrologers of the world!
    Since they fairly recently discovered a tenth planet out of the blue- astrologers have been hard pressed to explain how that “hidden” tenth planet has affected their predictions for the last thousand or so years! So what better way to fix it than to say it was always there, and that Pluto doesn’t count!

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  9. What is Pluto?

    Come now. We all know the answer to that one. And when you called to mind playwrights as stead for politicos, I think you called it best ...

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" ~W. Shakespeare (did I really have to say?)

    Remember the old philosophy class excercise? "Which is more important to the cat? Mathmatics, Science, or Art?"

    The hell with linear thinking politicos who are only able to look at things for the way they become numbers added into their pockets ...

    It's art, creativity, and broad-minded thinking that will be our salvation. What ever it ends up being named.

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  10. Awaiting:

    See Carmenzta's comment below yours...you never know what Bush might do in the time he has left.

    Maybe as some sort of twisted lasting legacy to in some warped way counter his time as the worst U.S. president of all time, he'll send a cold-resistant oil drilling crew to Pluto and find black gold there, Texas Tea, thus guaranteeing his family riches forever and securing the American energy supply.

    Unfortunately, he won't have calculated the enormous cost of building a pipeline to Earth.

    Carm:

    Don't doubt it's possible Bush has the FBI (Fucking Bomb Indiscriminately) figuring out how to blow Pluto out of the galaxy, based on some far right religious doctrine.

    My vote, for the record, is with you.

    Lady:

    You are assuming much by thinking I might be able to remember to do anything other than wake up on Aug. 28.

    Watch for my special docuBlog on the male brain, coming whenever I can recall I wanted to post it.

    Now, about your response to this intergalactically idiotic excuse for a post:

    You are the only visitor to actually respond to the innane idea I threw out near the end.

    Playwrights and other artsy types are the creative critters of humanity, the less than linear, as you say.

    My proposal would have been to couple them with the physicists, the ultimate nerdo intellectuals, and combine all that super intelligence into a mass collective with balance that would lead to a truly human solution to everything.

    How much have I been drinkin' or tootin'?

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  11. PLUTO is a dog and
    XENA is an amazonian warrior.
    You are right about finding more important issues to discuss but here we go again...let's spend 14 billion dollars lauching a can into space instead of educating and feeding millions of expendable earthlings.
    My guess is that Pluto will retain its stature because otherwise all of the planetariums and textbooks would have to be changed.

    btw. The USA is spending $327 BILLION on servicing its debt this year...so in the great scheme of things......does anything make sense anymore????????

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  12. Homogenized Milk:

    You da man with those two startling factual reminders that truly define the term:

    Airhead.

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  13. W/in W/out~
    You slay me. Harr-deeharr-harr arrgghhhh

    So? A post to come on the male brain? And this as partial excuse for you not remembering to visit on the 28th?

    Hmmm .. Will your brain blog remind folks that what makes a boy is the dangling y .. the mutated tail .. you know .. the potential x chromosome that mutates into a y, leaving you a boy ... oy!

    bah ...

    It would seem that scratchy contact lenses and non-homogenized (?) soymilk instead of Bushmills straight up does not make for a very creative or interesting late night Lady ...

    As to me be the only one to make comment on your so called innane toss offs? Could be that I'm the only brave enough to admit that it's only the innane that comes close to sane!

    Cheers
    ~Lady

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  14. LW: Don't want to slay you, otherwise this whole countdown to 40 is kinda wasted, doncha think?

    The male brain post will of course come with diagrams and graphs to show how a male brain actually works, when it does work.

    And yes, it will be a partial or full excuse if, in fact, I forget to post on Aug. 28.

    I know what the scientists say about the dangling chromosome theory making the boy.

    The only dangling thing that makes a boy a boy is the thing that dangles between his legs and floats in the bath tub.

    Go have a Bushmills, now. And I hope the goodbye-hello thing has you more mellow.

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  15. There must be Pluto, else where would we get our Plutonium? :) (And how do you expect me to concentrate on long, thoughtful posts when you keep bombarding me with music I actually want to listen to?)

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  16. Andrea:

    Bingo. Such simple logic, but it's perfect. Case closed. On to another topic...

    The post WAS too long.

    So OK, make a request for the song you'd least like to hear/see: Perry Como?

    Or most like? Art for Art's Sake by 10CC?

    Sorry, getting tired...

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  17. perhaps some sandwiches too.

    Keshi.

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  18. Those things float?

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  19. Carmenzta:

    You've got two boys! Of course they float! Well, they would if they weren't attached.

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