Wednesday, August 16, 2006



I Feel Betrayed

They've been lying to us for years. All this time, I've been living comfortably in my own little cocoon in which there were merely nine planets. Now I wake up this morning to discover that everything I've ever believed is a lie and there are really twelve planets in our solar system.

Imagine the outrage and disgrace I must feel to learn that my beloved elementary school teachers were deliberately lying to me. Going completely out of the their way to make me think that nine was a special number, when in reality it should ahve been twelve.

What am I going to do? I suddenly have three more planets to learn. In a way it's good that this happened now, rather than twenty years ago. I'm not sure I would have been able to scramble and find three more tiny styrofoam balls for my solar system dioramas.

Oh no! Are they going to refilm the scene in "The Devil Wears Prada" movie where Andi puts finishing touches on the twins' science project? I bet they didn't expect the pop culture references in that movie to be obsolete in a mere few weeks.

And it looks like at some time in the future we might discover they're still lying to us. According to a draft resolution of the International Astronomical Union, puny little Pluto is going to remain a planet for now --they've been debating for years whether it was really a planet at all -- but who knows what will happen a few years down the line. I mean, if they can just snap their fingers and instantaneously force a change of billions of science textbooks by declaring Ceres, Charon, and "Xena" (come on, the Warrior Princess?!?) to be planets, then who's to say they won't demote Pluto? I mean, Ceres had been a planet in the 1800's before it was demoted.

If the resolution is approved, the twelve planets in our solar system listed in order of their proximity to the sun would be Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon, and the provisionally named 2003 UB313.

Wait a minute...2003 UB313? I thought they were calling it Xena. Well, it turns out that's just the nickname that its discover gave it until the IAU can come up with a new name.

Maybe they'll have a contest, like the National Zoo had to name my fave little baby panda, Tai Shan. Just think of all the cool names people could come up with.

Oh wait. Ooops, yeah. I'm not supposed to be excited about this. I'm supposed to be indignant and defiant. After all, they've been lying to us to our faces for years.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:04 AM :: 12 comments

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