My Very Earnest Man

Apparently the International Astronomical Union is soon to vote on a proposed definition of the term “planet” to solve the is-Pluto-or-isn’t-it problem—one that includes not just Pluto but Ceres (the largest asteroid), Pluto’s moon Charon, the recently discovered 2003 UB313 (unofficially called “Xena”), and whatever else we find out there in years to come... probably many, many more. [Via Graham’s LJ, which I can’t leave comments on because I don’t have an account. I suppose I could always sign up, but then I’d feel this moral pressure to start posting about my deepest feelings and how my mood is (frowny-face) petulant. Don’t want to, don’t WANT to.]

A commenter at Bad Astronomy Blog left an open challenge to come up with a new mnemonic to remember all the names in the correct order. You know I’d never be able to leave that one alone.

Assuming Pluto is closer than Charon (although sometimes it isn’t), here’s an environmental message three years too late:

Most vehicles emit malignant carbon; journeys should usually not proceed, circa 2003.

A less date-bound version of the above, using the “UB313” part:

More velocity equals more carbon; just standing uses none. Please consider unmovingness.

Or a mnemonic about mnemonics—a metamnemonic:

Mississippi? Very easy. Massachusetts? Can just spell using nous. Philippines? Can’t understand.

What if Xena becomes the official name?

Musical venues emit magical, coruscating, jewel-like sounds, unless negligent players consider xylophones.

Of course, there’s always the chance of a backlash:

My very earnest man, just show us nine planets.

And how about biting the bullet and adopting a definition that ditches Pluto:

Making vigorous emendations means jettisoning some useful notions.

16 August 2006 · Whatever

My very endearing mother certainly just shot up near prison cell 2003.

See the link therein for other scientifically useful menomics.

Added by Lab Lemming on 17 August 2006.

Nice one!

Added by Rory on 17 August 2006.

Sitting on the fence...

My very easy method: currently just stand under nine planets, counting uninclusively.

Added by K on 18 August 2006.

I’m standing under one right now... from the vantage point of where I was born, anyway.

Added by Rory on 19 August 2006.

In a dramatic turnaround, they’ve gone with eight:

Added by Rory on 24 August 2006.

I was just about to send you a link about that.

Added by K on 25 August 2006.

Added by K on 25 August 2006.

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