Monday, August 28, 2006

The US Congress will reinstate Pluto as a planet!

One of the great curses of modern times is that people who are old enough and wise enough to be elected to congress are hopelessly behind in science and technology. They don't get it and they make bad laws about it, and we have to live with the painful results. But this is too much! One Senator, with the key committee appointments to enable him to practically pass a law single-handed, has decided to make American astronomers force the International Astronomical Union to re-declare Pluto a planet.

”Changing our minds about Pluto aids Terrorism!” opined the senator. “Those Islam fanatics KNOW what to believe: whatever the Koran says, that's true. When they see our scientists being wishy-washy about Pluto, they won't respect our science or our technological military. They won't fear our bombs, our nerve gases, our antimissile systems. They'll just come at us!”
The senator's “incentive” is to block all federal support for anything related to astronomy until American astronomers bring the IAU to its knees on Pluto. Of all the stupid ideas ...

Important Update: The senator says we should still support the space station, so he will exempt those funds from his boycott. That means that 99.7% of federal astronomy funds will be exempted from his ban, but the other 0.3% are definitely blocked until Pluto is reinstated. (A Disney spokesperson said that Disney has not yet decided how to support the boycott.)
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