Today, on the CNN home page, I saw that Pluto had lost its status as a planet. It had been coming, the news proclaimed. There was controversy even back in 1930 when it was first discovered. Its downfall was its orbit, which isn't regular or somesuch--as if any planet has regular orbits every single second of the day. Poor Pluto was way out in noweheresville, cold and forsaken and alone.

My first thought upon reading this was who the hell cares?!?!! I mean, give me a break astronomers or whoever got on their high horse to declare once and for all that there are eight planets in the solar system, not nine. Oh, no, after telling countless schoolchildren that there are nine planets--after My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles--now all of a sudden it's Oops, we made a mistake. Old technology, see. Back in 1930 we didn't know any better and any old mass in the sky was a planet. Sorry about that. Oh, by the way, we're going to make Earth's moon a planet as well, just to keep things straight. A dwarf planet, so we'll add in a couple of asteroids as well just to make things nice and easy to remember.

Who gave these people the right to demote a planet? Aren't there more important things going on in the world than deciding whether or not Pluto makes the grade? What about global warming? Isn't that a bit more important?

Just think of all the books that will now be out of date because a bunch of astronomers--pardon me, the International Astronomical Union--decided that they didn't have anything better to do than kick poor Pluto out into the cold, dark reaches of space.

Sorry, Pluto. But you're not alone--the asteroid Ceres once was a planet too.


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