Sunday, August 20, 2006

Stubbornly rubber-stamping

The International Astronomical Union has voted in favor of the broad definition of “planet,” so we’ve got 12 now and they’re threatening us with more to come. That’s what happens when you let a union make these decisions: inventing mnemonics for 20 or 30 planets, teaching schoolchildren how to pronounce Quaoar, Varuna, Ixion, etc, it’s like guaranteed employment for the “I’ve got a really big telescope” crowd.

Quaoar, indeed.

I’m serious: Charon is not a planet, it’s just not.

Speaking of jumped-up satellites with delusions of grandeur, Joe Lieberman called today for Rumsfeld to resign. The Lamont campaign says this won’t disguise his “many years of stubbornly rubber-stamping Bush’s failed policies”. Stubbornly rubber-stamping?

Snipers, mysteriously undeterred by the ban on automobiles, have fired on a Shiite pilgrimage in Baghdad, which if the photo illustrating the BBC story about this is correct, is one of those pilgrimages with flagellation. It must be very annoying when you’re flagellating yourself and people start shooting at you.

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