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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto not a planet? As if!

The International Astronomical Union has revised their guidelines on what constitutes a planet or not, and in doing so has stripped Pluto of membership in the category of planets.

In response, the rest of the international world tells the International Astronomical Union to get stuffed.

Pluto's expected response can be found here.

One member of the union, the California Institute of Technology's Michael Brown, claimed that giving Pluto and similar objects "planetary status" would "take the magic out of the solar system." Of course, this is the fellow who has unsuccessfully been trying to get the name "Xena" officially approved for the celestial body he discovered (which has the current sexy nom de plume of "UB313"). So, he's probably just disappointed that his master plan to attract the attentions of Lucy Lawless has utterly failed.

In addition, several astronomers denigrated Pluto by referring to it as a "Mickey Mouse planet," which is not only a mixed metaphor, but a very old joke.

Therefore, I hereby declare open for voting the following motion:

The International Astronomical Union is not a real collection of scientists, who would never foster such confusion by playing politics over a careful and measured categorization that has been settled for almost a century and neatly incorporated by the Disney company. Instead, we declare that the International Astronomical Union is and always shall be unto time immemorial a boring collection of snivelling little geeks who are taking out their difficult childhoods, their fragile constitutions, their inability to get into Med School, and their nearly complete failure with the opposite sex (or the same sex, in the case of gay astronomers) on poor, defenseless Pluto.

I throw open the voting to my colleagues here on the DOUI and to any of our readers who are of a scientific bent. (Is Mr. Derbyshire reading?) I will tabulate the results and report later.

Vote now by e-mailing me at earlfando@yahoo.com!

In the meantime, let the politicking begin!

Down with the International Astronomical Union!!!
Preserve Pluto's Planetary Position!!!
The IAU stands for Intentionally Assinine Upstarts!!!!
Send the IAU to Pluto for a closer look!!

Etc. etc. Stew, could you manage some t-shirts?

Update: Stew and Nuffy chime in.

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