**Warning: this blog post contains no “Uranus” or Mickey Mouse’s dog jokes whatsoever, and some sharp, pointy sarcasm – proceed with caution

It is with a heavy heart brought upon by a jaded mood of late that leads me to make one dire speculation, and I’ll just dispense with any setup and go ahead and say it: The International Astronomical Union is in bed financially with the publishers of school textbooks.

There. Whew! Like Pamela Anderson after the replacement of a faulty implant, it sure does feel good to get that off my chest.

By now you’ve probably heard that the scientists at the International Astronomical Union have encroached on unfamiliar territory. No, they didn’t kiss a girl, but rather they got together and decided that something we’ve been taught for 76 years is, in fact, wrong.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Pluto, a planet since 1930, got the boot because it didn’t meet the new rules, which say a planet not only must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, but must ”clear the neighborhood around its orbit.” That disqualifies Pluto, whose oblong orbit overlaps Neptune’s, downsizing the solar system.

When you think about it, if Pluto falls off the planet list under the new rules, then Michael Moore will have to be added.

Pluto will now be known by almost everybody but me as a “dwarf planet.” Political Correctness obviously hasn’t infiltrated the field of astrophysics, or they’d know that this should be referred to as a “little planet.” What’s next, a “midget sun”? Some sensitivity training is in order for the slide-rulers.

It’s the “new rules” that got me. How often will astronomers be allowed to change the rules? Giving astrophysicists autonomy over the heavens can only spell disaster, not to mention culminate in ensuring that when we colonize space, nobody gets laid.

Why not just assign the new definition to all subsequent discoveries and leave Pluto alone? This is known by the practical and/or people watching somebody being wheeled into the chapel to marry Anna Nicole Smith as getting “grandfathered in.” Why? Because there’s a fortune to be made in “new edition” textbooks.

When I was in my late teens and early 20′s and going to college, each semester would bring with it a “new edition” of every textbook, the prices of which were apparently set by OPEC. I’d flip through the “old” version and the “new” version, and there would be one or two altered paragraphs out of 600 pages.

Seriously, people bitch about gas prices, and the textbook people stay under the radar? Rise up, parents! Forget about Billy’s beer bong that you found under his bunk bed in the dorm, the space people have obviously gotten together with the publishing people to pull off the scam of the century!

“Technically Doug, the ‘century’ is only five years old, since the new millen…”

“Shut up, Melvin!”

I’m still recognizing Pluto as a regular planet, and boycotting any “new” textbook. They can have my planet Pluto when they pry it from my cold dead telescope.

Nice try, fellas, but we’re on to you.


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