Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eggheads Without Keepers

Some group of worthies calling themselves the "International Astronomical Union," meeting this week in Prague, have decided not to call Planet Pluto a planet, leaving dear old Sol System with eight planets instead of nine.
This follows a proposal last week by this organization's executive committee (the chairman of which is, of course, a Harvard professor), to redefine planets another way -- and instead add three planets: the asteroid Ceres, something called UB-313 and Charon -- a moon of Pluto, which would make Pluto and Charon a linked "double planet."
Conferences like this are graphic evidence of what happens when members of the Human Calculator set are allowed to run loose without minders. Still, you gotta wonder what ails the astronomers ? I mean they're in Prague, hard by the world headquarters of ale. Why can't the assembled rocket scientists just enjoy the fine Czech pilsner beers; walk along the Charles Bridge; tour Hradcany Castle; people-watch and issue the usual boring conference papers written by computers to be read by robots ? But noooooo. They have to play Mickey Mouse with the cosmos, and take away the Disney Dog's planet.
And what kind of name is UB-313 for a "planet" anyway ? Isn't UB-313 some chemical that's in sunblock ? If we HAVE to have a numbered planet, why not call it LV-426 instead ? Because, of course, the silly eggheads have no imagination, and want to un-planet Pluto.
Hmmm, time to convene the First Ever El Jefe Astronomical Summit. (FEEJAS). To be held, with lots of beer, in Beautiful Downtown Ciudad El Jefe. After a plethora of seminars, and tax-deductable meetings in big hotels (all with signs saying "Welcome, Egghead Conference !"); earnest scientific discussions at good restaurants and bars; plus some serious people-watching (possibly opposite sex, but don't tell SWMBO !) -- we can go back to the usual nine planets, and the aforementioned wacko eggheads can publish stuffy papers about How Wrong it All Is.
UPDATE: After some Watercooler Consultations, (a veritable office loya jirga), El Jefe has decided to announce the formation of the "Pluto Planetary Liberation Front" (P.P.L.F.), with, of course, El Jefe as its "Plutocratus Maximus." The objective of the PPLF is, of course, the "re-planetization" of Pluto by jihad. Our slogan and rallying-cry shall be: "God is Great, Pluto is our leader !" Our symbol is, of course, the Disney Dog Pluto, in a burqa, carrying an AK-47.


louielouie said...

ub-313 was also called Xena, yeah, lucy lawless got a planet, by the bozo that discovered her, er ah, it.
as for the conference .......... will there be czechvar?

the "un-planet pluto" comment was pretty good. i will repeat it without regard of/to copyright.

Candidly Caroline said...

First, it was the dethroning of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now, Pluto is gone.

What about that nice styrofoam solar system I made back in school?

louielouie said...

you're going to put pluto in a burqa?
you'll give him a complex!!!!!
just put him in one of those arafat raghead thingys the pallystinians wear.

from what i can see, i like NASA's attitude toward it all. from the website of the new horizons project, launched on louielouie's birthday comes this:

New Horizons Continuing on to Pluto, Planet or Not

Poor New Horizons. When it launched in January 2006 it was with all the prestige of the first spacecraft to study Pluto, the last unvisited planet in the solar system. That changed seven months later, when astronomers decided that Pluto was not a planet. For the time being, New Horizons is at least the first mission to a dwarf planet