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Yet another coffee break! Distant iceball Pluto rescued by US state senator …


Mark Steyn, invincible Canadian humourist, writes that in Illinois,

Like some sort of rulers of the universe, state lawmakers are considering restoring little Pluto’s planetary status, casting aside the scientific community’s 2006 decision downgrading the distant ice ball.

An Illinois Senate committee on Thursday unanimously supported planet Pluto and declaring March 13 “Pluto Day…” The push for a state decree on Pluto comes from state Sen. Gary Dahl, a Republican whose downstate district includes Streator, birthplace of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh. Dahl told colleagues Pluto is important to the local community, which considers the vote to downgrade Pluto to “dwarf” planet was unfair…

Maybe they could vote to downgrade Blago to dwarf planet instead.

More from Betsy Newmark here:

OH, yes. I’m sure that state Senator Dahl has truly helped his constituents with this resolution. It’s a platform that I’m sure will send him to the stratosphere in politics. Just what we need – more politicians who think that they can solve every question by political resolutions.

In case you want to know what I think? I think it is nice to know that there is no serious recession in Illinois. Or crime, or unattended health care needs. Can they package that and export it? We all await with keen interest, bated breath, and bankers’ drafts.

In practice, what is and is not regarded as a planet seems to have been decided in the past by convention and not by an absolutely strict standard. I suspect that the discoveries of Sedna and Quaoar must have spurred some rethinking about dear old Pluto. Nine was a nice number, but …

And do remember, this post WAS titled “yet another coffee break.” But it was just too good.

Back soon with serious posts.


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