Friday, October 27, 2006

Small world made smaller

"Pluto is dead," said a guy at Caltech. By astronomers' vote, it's no longer a planet, but a dwarf planet. And, we suppose, Mickey's pet is now a dwarf dog, making eight dwarves in the Disney firmament, which doesn't seem right. I just like the phrase "Pluto demoted," which appeared in headlines across the nation after the astronomers' referendum.
Man, do I know how that little planet feels. After a quarter of a century as a columnist filling blank space at the furthest reaches of American journalism (the joke theme-park towns of Orlando and San Francisco), I was essentially fired. Well, I managed to get a buy-out, which in journalism is like being paid to get in one of the Titanic's lifeboats.
So no bitterness, not all the time anyway. I was given the opportunity to enjoy retirement before 60 — and write about it as a dwarf columnist.
That's what a blogger is, right?

1 comment:

Laurel Kornfeld said...

Pluto isn't dead, in spite of what Mike Brown likes to say. By now, you likely know that its demotion was highly controversial, done by four percent of the IAU, most of whom are not planetary scientists. Many planetary scientists don't belong to the IAU. Within days of the decision, over 300 astronomers signed a petition decrying the demotion as sloppy and adding they will not use it. The IAU definition also makes no sense in stating that a dwarf planet is not a planet at all. There is a movement in the works to reverse this decision, either through having the IAU revisit it or through the founding of a rival organization by planetary scientists. Pluto is a planet, and when New Horizons, our unmanned probe on its way to exploring Pluto, sends back pictures and data in 2015, its planetary status will be confirmed.