Sunday, August 27, 2006

Did We Just Lose Ourselves A Planet?

Yesterday I heard that the “Planet” has been pulled out of Pluto. I’m wondering if this is the first time that’s ever happened? Has there ever been a time in history when a group of scientists, astronomers, monkeys, whatever, got together and one of them said, “Hey, I’m not sure I like the idea of Mars being a planet. My 6-year-old son keeps asking me why there’s a big candy bar floating about in space and more importantly, where can he get himself a ticket to go there? Let’s just declare Mars to be an asteroid instead. No one knows the names of the asteroids.”

Maybe at some other time, religious clerics [and these guys were big in the Middle Ages] decided to demote Venus because it sounded uncomfortably similar to a certain male body part. I’m sure such Planet Disposal Meetings must have been a lot of fun:

Monkey 1 (M1): I think we should get rid of something today.
Monkey 2 (M2): What?
M1: Uranus.
M2: No way! My ass remains just where it is.
M1: Venus then?
M2: Huh? I need that too, for removal of bodily waste fluids and procreative activities.

I’m interested in things that affect me in some way or the other. I think this is a natural tendency. For example, if I heard that the government has decided to grant $1000 a month to everyone whose name and surname have the same number of letters in them, then I’d be mighty interested. But I’m not sure how Pluto’s being a planet or not is going to affect 99% of the Earth’s population. Let’s look at those who might possibly be affected:

1. Someone who’s booked a ticket to Planet Pluto for 2030. He’d obviously be disappointed about Pluto’s demotion, since what initially promised to be a cool trip to the farthermost planet is now just a REALLY expensive ride to some rock in space.

2. Astrologers. I’m sure this episode must have affected astrology in some way. If you stop to think about it, then it really shouldn’t -- a solid body floating about in space has the same effect [which might well be zero] on people on Earth, whether one refers to it as a “planet” or not. However, the term “thinking astrologer” is an oxymoron.

How do these people decide when they want to bump off a planet? I’m sure there must be a reason more sophisticated than “after three-quarters of a century we’ve realized this thing’s a little too small for the term”. I’m sure the lower size limit for planetary status can’t have suddenly changed overnight. And if it did, I’m worried that the trend might continue. Mercury will go next, and the Earth’s fourth in line. After that we’ll all be living on a mere rock in the middle of space. NOW I’m truly concerned.


_ð!®†ß¤¥ said...

Dude, how about reading up on the definition of a planet.. And then looking up the size, weight of Pluto, and the eccentricity of its orbit.. And knowing the fact that Pluto and Charon, its moon, have its Center of gravity outside Pluto; they rotate around each other, unlike a satellite around the planet.. Before making such a chimp-ass post?

Dreamvendor said...


M1: Uranus.
M2: No way! My ass remains just where it is.

Man, that had me in splits... LOL

Arnold said...

th3 fac3smash3r - Your point is?

dreamvendor - Thanks, but it's actually an old joke!

Mihir Shah said...

good stuff dude.....

quite funny!!

Anonymous said...

omg I died laughing!
you are hilarious!