August 8, 2006

Digital Planet

Digital Planet - Fifteen years after the arrival of the web, users explain how it has transformed their lives - while children tell us what it is like to be part of the technology-literate generation.

Speaking of planets..

Definition of a planet creates a world of controversy
A committee has proposed a new definition of the word "planet" that would expand the family of planets from 9 to 12.

And a few days later...

It looks like there are 2 factions and they just keep fighting back and forth over definitions. they are back at degrading Pluto back from being a main planet! Pluto faces being sent to minor leagues

And then...the final word -
It’s official. Planet Pluto is no more

I am tired of reading about the Fall of Pluto.. and scientists behaving like kids (and naming dwarf planets) and kids thinking they are scientists (school kids vote: keep pluto a planet!) and of people in general getting their planetary panties in a bunch over how they need to modify the various mnemonics, including my favorite (only because it is the most logical one*) one: "My very excellent mother just showed us nine planets"

* I never needed mnemonics to remember stuff like this or for anything else for that matter.. though, with age, who knows, some day, I may need memory improvement tools like these... though I am glad to read that there is "mounting evidence suggests that diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia can be prevented (by diet & lifestyle choices) and are not the natural result of the ageing process," and that the answers to graceful aging are not all in the genes. Though ofcourse, if you believ this guy, we'll all live healthy untill we turn 5000 years old... (we'll all destroy the planet much before that but thats a whole other philosophical argument for another day...)

Related Link:
Interview with the International Astronomical Union (IAU)'s new President, Catherine Cesarsky (previously ESO Director-General) on Pluto's demotion. (also read the Inaugural address from the new IAU President.)

And finally a kind of related news snippet about geologists getting their arhaic panties in a bunch over the new 'Pluton' definition. The article mentions an unbelievable story of the outgoing IAU President, Owen Gingerich, saying that he thought 'pluton' wasn't a real word because Miscrosoft Word dictionary didn't have it!! Kinda unbelievable ... didn't know Gates had such a stronghold on our common sense too!

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