SF Tidbits for 8/26/06

2 thoughts on “SF Tidbits for 8/26/06”

  1. Why Pluto had to go.

    Yeah, right, and Brontosaurus is now Apatosaurus.

    Look, I am as much in favor of scientific and technical precision in terminology as the next guy, but scientists should learn something from lawyers: a terminology that confuses more than it clarifies has failed in its function. In law, we have both what is called a Rule of Adverse possession (which states that if a squatter is in open, notorious, unchallenged and continuous possession for 20 years, he gets title) and a thing called the Grandfather Clause ( which allows that rights under the previous statute cannot be lost when the statute is amended). In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    While there is nothing wrong with a definition of ‘minor planets’ that identifies smaller and eccentric bodies like Sedna or Ceres, Pluto has been a planet since 1930.

    Now, if the international conference of scientists with too much time on their hands wanted to rename the body from Pluto, to, say, YUGGOTH, that would be cool.

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