Join 3,411 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You can take our Pluto when you pry it from our cold, dead hands
September 11, 2006 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Who will condemn the "mean-spirited" International Astronomical Union for their demotion of Pluto from the planetary roster, causing "psychological harm among some... who question their place in the universe and worry about the instability of universal constants"? The California State Assembly, that's who!
posted by starkeffect (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
it's lucky California doesn't have any more serious problems to deal with.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 5:28 PM on September 11, 2006


In fact, the resolution says so:
WHEREAS, The California Legislature, in the closing days of the
2005-06 session, has been considering few matters important to the
future of California, and the status of Pluto takes precedence and is
worthy of this body's immediate attention; now, therefore, be it blah blah blah
posted by MikeKD at 5:34 PM on September 11, 2006


Did you read the whole thing riotgrrl69?

WHEREAS, The California Legislature, in the closing days of the
2005-06 session, has been considering few matters important to the
future of California, and the status of Pluto takes precedence and is
worthy of this body's immediate attention

posted by vacapinta at 5:35 PM on September 11, 2006


This is my favorite part though...


WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of
text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects
obsolete, and represents a substantial unfunded mandate that must be
paid by dwindling Proposition 98 education funds, thereby harming
California's children and widening its budget deficits;

posted by vacapinta at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2006


The best part:

WHEREAS, The downgrading of Pluto reduces the number of planets available for legislative leaders to hide redistricting legislation and other inconvenient political reform measures;

That's beautiful. They should also have declared Pluto to be the Official Planet, Dwarf Planet, Kuiper Object, or Similar Solar-Orbiting Spherical Body of California.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:46 PM on September 11, 2006


[redistricting ]
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:49 PM on September 11, 2006


WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet is a hasty,
ill-considered scientific heresy similar to questioning the
Copernican theory, drawing maps of a round world, and proving the existence of the time and space continuum;


That's crazy talk.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:49 PM on September 11, 2006


The bill was meant as satire of fellow legislators. Take a look at this news profile of Keith Richman for some background.
posted by Creosote at 5:54 PM on September 11, 2006


Unfunded mandate, heh.

WHEREAS, The mean-spirited International Astronomical Union decided on August 24, 2006, to disrespect Pluto by stripping Pluto of its planetary status and reclassifying it as a lowly dwarf planet;

Being a dwarf planet is not lowly. And I don't how anyone can see this as mean-spirited. It's a classification issue, not a slight against Pluto. The language sounds like a joke.

on preview: heh, it was a joke.
posted by effwerd at 6:01 PM on September 11, 2006


In other words, tomatoes are not really vegetables; they're legumes.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:45 PM on September 11, 2006


Very nicely done.
posted by gramschmidt at 6:47 PM on September 11, 2006


The World Science FIction Society (WSFS) spent three days arguing this, ending up with a very short version, basically "Resolved: WSFS deplores the demotion of Pluto from the rank of the planet."

I wasn't at the business meeting myself, but I know most of those who go. So, I sent one of them this, saying that if WSFS is going to do such silliness, this is how you do it.

His response? "Splendid! You're right, they did a much better job."
posted by eriko at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2006


Unfunded mandate. Lol.
posted by delmoi at 7:44 PM on September 11, 2006


Who are these Californians who "worry about the instability of universal constants?" I want to meet them.
posted by salvia at 8:44 PM on September 11, 2006


In the 1970s, a Texas state legislator tricked his colleagues into endorsing a resolution praising the Boston Strangler for "his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology." This is just another historical example of a legislator who got exasperated with his peers wasting time on meaningless nonbinding resolutions.
posted by jonp72 at 9:14 AM on September 12, 2006


It's things like this that remind me why I'm not moving back to California any time soon.
posted by exogenous at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2006


exogenous writes "It's things like this that remind me why I'm not moving back to California any time soon."

No taste for politicians with a sense of humour?

"Politicians must be dour!!"
posted by Bugbread at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2006


I, too, thought this was a bunch of stupid politicians wasting everyone's time, but then I actually followed the link. This is classic comedy, people. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:21 AM on September 12, 2006


It's things like this that remind me why I'm not moving back to California any time soon.

exogenous is president of the IAU, AICMFP.

Dirty no-good Pluto-hater
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:41 AM on September 12, 2006


It's things like this that remind me why I'm not moving back to California any time soon.

Even after the joke has been explained, some people still don't get it.

Or do you not like states where a sense of humor is on display?
posted by languagehat at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2006


Who says I was being serious myself? Harrumph.
posted by exogenous at 2:03 PM on September 12, 2006


Damn—caught by the old triple-reverse deadpan-humor whammy!
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on September 12, 2006


Plus, you know, I always thought Pluto was a lame excuse for a planet, all out there with that weirdo orbit. No wonder Californians like it.
/troll
posted by exogenous at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2006


I'm torn abot this. On the one hand, it makes a lot of sense not to classify Pluto as a planet, even taking into account how arbitrary the whole thing is anyway. But on the other hand, I don't really want to see my state get eaten by Cthulhu.
posted by moss at 3:41 PM on September 12, 2006


California was eaten by Cthulhu decades ago. I was living there at the time; I remember it well.
posted by languagehat at 5:00 PM on September 12, 2006


I’m happy that California wants to put its fiscal and geological crisis aside for the Pluto debate. Rejoice then those who love discord! On September 14, Xena, another dwarf planet, was aptly named Eris, the Greek goddess of discord. Eris’ moon is named Dysnomia, the demon goddess of lawlessness and the daughter of Eris. Eris is larger than Pluto and slightly less reddish-yellow than Pluto. Eris’ orbit is sometimes much closer to Earth than Pluto--although never closer than Neptune. I pity those Californians who – with the loss of status of Pluto -- question their place in the universe and worry about the instability of universal constants. But astronomers have their own angst. There’s discord among academic IAU members who claim an evil cabal of just 46 of several hundred committee members made the de-planetizing decision. People complain that we’ve lost a planet but look on the bright side: we’ll now to learn as many as 12 new dwarf planet. [Does this mean there are now eight dwarfs to Cinderella?]
posted by rotoman at 8:34 AM on September 15, 2006


« Older MC Plus+...  |  What News Corp doesn't want yo... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments