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(The Daily Beast)   Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson blames Walt Disney for "pissed-off third-graders" sending him hate mail after Pluto was demoted from planet status   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 131
    More: Amusing, Neil deGrasse, Hayden Planetarium, Afghan people, self discipline, nova, Disney, Stanley McChrystal, Winter Games  
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3446 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Feb 2010 at 1:52 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-23 11:50:29 AM
Aside from messing up a lot of good mnemonics who really cares what it's classified as?
 
2010-02-23 11:53:01 AM
ghall3: Aside from messing up a lot of good mnemonics who really cares what it's classified as?

...Just Stays Until Noon, Period.

What's the BFD?
 
2010-02-23 12:09:00 PM
In case anyone ever disputes just how bad the Bush years were, just remember that the solar system LOST A F*CKING PLANET while he was at the helm.
 
2010-02-23 01:04:38 PM
i want to be in Neil deGrasse Tyson's posse
 
2010-02-23 01:27:30 PM
Tresser: i want to be in Neil deGrasse Tyson's posse

This! I love that guy.
 
2010-02-23 01:35:52 PM
Nabb1: In case anyone ever disputes just how bad the Bush years were, just remember that the solar system LOST A F*CKING PLANET while he was at the helm.

We're lucky no one decided to attack Uranus.

\or not, if you swing that way.
 
2010-02-23 01:51:58 PM
Tresser: i want to be in Neil deGrasse Tyson's posse

As long as Michio Kaku is in the posse too, I'm down.
 
2010-02-23 01:57:00 PM
Some astronomers downgraded Pluto's classification. A lot of the rest of us downgraded the classification of those astronomers.

I don't give a crap about tradition. I just still say it's a planet. I think the international definition is bad. I mean, look, if Mercury and Jupiter are both 'planets', then kicking Pluto out is just being pissy.
 
2010-02-23 01:58:30 PM
How come Goofy can talk but Pluto can't?
 
2010-02-23 02:00:31 PM
predisastered.files.wordpress.com

/Just sayin'
 
Ant
2010-02-23 02:01:00 PM
RandomAxe: Some astronomers downgraded Pluto's classification. A lot of the rest of us downgraded the classification of those astronomers.

I don't give a crap about tradition. I just still say it's a planet. I think the international definition is bad. I mean, look, if Mercury and Jupiter are both 'planets', then kicking Pluto out is just being pissy.


But if there are many objects in the Kuiper Belt that are almost as big, do we have to classify those as planets too?
 
2010-02-23 02:02:17 PM
Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: As long as Michio Kaku is in the posse too, I'm down.

Why the fark for? Kaku is a jackass. I am just so happy that his bullshiat is finally starting to be called after four decades. Too bad he's already got the idiot producers on cable buying into his inane crap.
 
2010-02-23 02:02:22 PM
Scientists are pricks. They teach you wrong information and make you learn it as facts, only to later tell you "Whoops, we were wrong, sorry about making you learn false things!"
 
2010-02-23 02:02:38 PM
RandomAxe: Some astronomers downgraded Pluto's classification. A lot of the rest of us downgraded the classification of those astronomers.

I don't give a crap about tradition. I just still say it's a planet. I think the international definition is bad. I mean, look, if Mercury and Jupiter are both 'planets', then kicking Pluto out is just being pissy.


The issue is that prior to 2006, the term "planet" didn't mean anything in particular. Things were planets because we said they were planet, which doesn't make a lot of sense from a scientific perspective. It's true they could of set the definition to include Pluto, but then we'd have a good half-dozen other objects promoted to planet status (a number that could explode into the hundreds as our knowledge of the outer solar system improves).

By classifying Pluto as a Dwarf Planet, we can actually keep the number of "planets" steady for now on.
 
2010-02-23 02:05:08 PM
Ant: But if there are many objects in the Kuiper Belt that are almost as big, do we have to classify those as planets too?

Yes. Is it really a problem?
 
2010-02-23 02:06:12 PM
Epiphany: Scientists are pricks. They teach you wrong information and make you learn it as facts, only to later tell you "Whoops, we were wrong, sorry about making you learn false things!"

So, like priests, rabbi, pastors, et. al.
 
Ant
2010-02-23 02:06:15 PM
Epiphany: Scientists are pricks. They teach you wrong information and make you learn it as facts, only to later tell you "Whoops, we were wrong, sorry about making you learn false things!"

Yeah, they should stick to the wrong stuff forever! Fark reality and our better understanding of it as time goes by. I want a set of "facts" that will never, ever change despite what new information may be gained.
 
2010-02-23 02:07:29 PM
Non-evil Monkey: The issue is that prior to 2006, the term "planet" didn't mean anything in particular

Why not keep it that way? Why does "planet" need to be a taxonomical term? It's not like there's a physics reason for it - the universe doesn't give a shiat what we call one rock or another.
 
2010-02-23 02:09:12 PM
yakmans_dad: How come Goofy can talk but Pluto can't?

Same reason Goofy isn't creeped out by Mickey owning a dog. Same reason Mickey wears pants with no shirt while Donald has a shirt but doesn't wear pants.
 
2010-02-23 02:10:15 PM
Non-evil Monkey: The issue is that prior to 2006, the term "planet" didn't mean anything in particular.

What, to the IAU? They're not the only people using the term. And needing to come up with a formal definition does not justify coming up with a bad one.


Things were planets because we said they were planet, which doesn't make a lot of sense from a scientific perspective.

No, the classic definition of a planet is a heavenly body that exhibits retrograde motion. The word is from the Greek for 'wanderer'. Pluto fits this definition. It's also big enough to fit other classic definitions of 'planet'. Face it, they rocked the boat because it was good publicity.


It's true they could of set the definition to include Pluto, but then we'd have a good half-dozen other objects promoted to planet status (a number that could explode into the hundreds as our knowledge of the outer solar system improves).

By classifying Pluto as a Dwarf Planet, we can actually keep the number of "planets" steady for now on.


This is an excuse but not a good one. If you have three kids and then you suddenly have another one, would you redefine the fourth kid as a pet so you wouldn't have to change the number of kids you have?
 
Ant
2010-02-23 02:10:40 PM
RandomAxe: Ant: But if there are many objects in the Kuiper Belt that are almost as big, do we have to classify those as planets too?

Yes. Is it really a problem?


Well if Pluto gets planetary status, they're all gonna want it.

What about these guys?
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2010-02-23 02:11:44 PM
Ant: Epiphany: Scientists are pricks. They teach you wrong information and make you learn it as facts, only to later tell you "Whoops, we were wrong, sorry about making you learn false things!"

Yeah, they should stick to the wrong stuff forever! Fark reality and our better understanding of it as time goes by. I want a set of "facts" that will never, ever change despite what new information may be gained.


I never said that. I said stop teaching these things as facts when you don't know if they are or not. Teach them as possibilities and I won't have a problem.
 
2010-02-23 02:11:52 PM
Who do I blame for DeGrassi High?
 
2010-02-23 02:13:14 PM
Its a silly word anyway.. it just means wandering because the things seemed to ancient greeks to move against the background of fixed (heh) stars. SO comets, asteroids and a host of other things had better be planets too I guess, or abandon it altogether.

OR we could decide to use it still and refine its definition to a sensible point, in which case pluto aint one of those, its a large rock among a belt of many other large rocks.
 
2010-02-23 02:14:40 PM
RandomAxe: This is an excuse but not a good one. If you have three kids and then you suddenly have another one, would you redefine the fourth kid as a pet so you wouldn't have to change the number of kids you have?

No, but if you have a dozen dogs that hang around your house, do you call the one that visits the most often your kid? Pluto really is a freak among the other 9 planets, and has far more in common with the small blocks of ice of the kuiper belt than it does with the other 8.

My approach is much simpler: pluto is one of the 9 planets because we've gotten comfy with them. We'll call it a planet because we always did, not because it satisfies some specific set of numerical tests that make it a planet. What harm does it do to have the "9 planets"? I'm actually disappointed that, if we're going to redefine planets, we didn't give half the Galillean bodies the nod. Kids should know more about Titan, Europa and Io than they should know about Mercury.
 
Ant
2010-02-23 02:15:11 PM
Kyosuke: Nabb1: In case anyone ever disputes just how bad the Bush years were, just remember that the solar system LOST A F*CKING PLANET while he was at the helm.

We're lucky no one decided to attack Uranus.

\or not, if you swing that way.


Uranus is a gaseous place
 
2010-02-23 02:20:38 PM
Ant: Well if Pluto gets planetary status, they're all gonna want it.

I don't see how this breaks my legs.

Actually, I never had a problem with the traditional British classification 'minor planet', and I wouldn't have cared much if Pluto had been demoted to that status, especially since we'd largely stopped using it for, say, big asteroids like Ceres. But 'plutoid' and 'plutino' and such . . . ugh.
 
2010-02-23 02:22:16 PM
This: No, but if you have a dozen dogs that hang around your house, do you call the one that visits the most often your kid?

I don't really think that follows.


Pluto really is a freak among the other 9 planets, and has far more in common with the small blocks of ice of the kuiper belt than it does with the other 8.

But like I said, it also has far more in common with Mercury than Mercury has in common with Jupiter.
 
2010-02-23 02:24:26 PM
I blame the 2 Skinnee Js
 
2010-02-23 02:30:46 PM
Ant: RandomAxe: Ant: But if there are many objects in the Kuiper Belt that are almost as big, do we have to classify those as planets too?

Yes. Is it really a problem?

Well if Pluto gets planetary status, they're all gonna want it.

What about these guys?


There goes the neighborhood.
 
2010-02-23 02:37:21 PM
Epiphany: Ant: Epiphany: Scientists are pricks. They teach you wrong information and make you learn it as facts, only to later tell you "Whoops, we were wrong, sorry about making you learn false things!"

Yeah, they should stick to the wrong stuff forever! Fark reality and our better understanding of it as time goes by. I want a set of "facts" that will never, ever change despite what new information may be gained.

I never said that. I said stop teaching these things as facts when you don't know if they are or not. Teach them as possibilities and I won't have a problem.


It's written in every text book that I've ever seen that we had identified a certain number of planets. Never have I seen a textbook that said "there are no other planets in our solar system other than these". With the info we had at the time, we there were nine known planets. The definition of a planet was vague. They cleared it up.

Now, students will try to memorize a planet list from their books as a fact (memorization being a TERRIBLE way to approach science of any type) and then will complain later when things change - or are more precisely defined - that their cleverly memorized lists are all "crap", and science is stupid. Stop trying to just memorize and move on.

As to the Pluto issue, people need to understand that the issue isn't between having eight planets or nine. It's between having eight and 13+. People's strong feelings toward Pluto's classification as a planet is an emotional attachment only, and people don't like change. If you classify Pluto as a planet, then you have many more to learn. Having it listed as a planet because people like it that way is unscientific, irrational, and go to show how anti-intellectual many groups in modern civilization are becoming.

Let's reclassify the T-Rex as a mammal because it feels wrong to call it a dinosaur. Let's call a tomato a grain because grandpa says it is, and he had no clue what a tomato was. It's absurd. As science becomes more precise and we learn more about the world around us, our language and definitions for describing it have to change. The Earth isn't flat. We don't use the Ptolemaic model for the solar system any longer. We don't classify Africans as livestock. Deal with it. Move on.
 
2010-02-23 02:37:22 PM
That guy was a guest on the Daily Show. He was hilarious. On purpose.
 
2010-02-23 02:37:41 PM
Three kinds of planets:

Terrestrial (rocky) planets
Giant (gas) planets
Dwarf (ice) planets

We have 5 of the first (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres)
4 of the second (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)
and 4 of the third (Pluto, Makemake, Haumea, Eris).

(I think by now Sedna should be in the dwarf category.)

Seems simple to me.
 
2010-02-23 02:37:42 PM
If you want to call Pluto a planet, why don't you? You can call it a roll top desk, or a glue louse's tears or the small scrim of wax that sticks to the inside of a candle holder or the sale of rusty bobby pins from an old lady's estate or the sudden drop of air pressure when 2 hand-driers stop at the same time.

Just don't call me late for dinner.
 
2010-02-23 02:42:13 PM
Pluto is a punk-ass biatch of a planetoid and doesn't deserve to be counted in the big leagues with the other 8 real planets.

Don't like it, RandomAxe? Go write a tearful letter to the IAU. I'm sure they'll take your butthurt under advisement.
 
2010-02-23 02:44:34 PM
MOTHER
VERY
THOUGHTFULLY
MADE
A
JELLY
SANDWICH
UNDER
NO
...
 
2010-02-23 02:47:29 PM
Copernicus blamed Disney for the flack he received for his theory, too. It is a time honored tradition among astronomers.
 
2010-02-23 02:47:36 PM
The_Time_Master: MOTHER
VERY
THOUGHTFULLY
MADE
A
JOLLY
SANDWICH
USING
NUTELLA


So hard to come up with new mnemonics.
 
2010-02-23 02:48:07 PM
The_Time_Master: MOTHER
VERY
THOUGHTFULLY
MADE
A
JELLY
SANDWICH
UNDER
NO
...


Tearth?
 
2010-02-23 02:48:44 PM
Nabb1: In case anyone ever disputes just how bad the Bush years were, just remember that the solar system LOST A F*CKING PLANET while he was at the helm.

Dude, I see you post a lot and recognize you when you do, but officially welcome to my favorites list for that. I lol'd.
 
2010-02-23 02:51:27 PM
Teach the controversy!
 
2010-02-23 02:52:19 PM
yakmans_dad: How come Goofy can talk but Pluto can't?

How come Donald Duck doesn't wear pants but wears a shirt while Mickey wears pants but no shirt?
 
2010-02-23 02:57:55 PM
Bacontastesgood: Why the fark for?

Because he can figure skate. Duh.
 
2010-02-23 02:58:58 PM
Tresser: The_Time_Master: MOTHER
VERY
THOUGHTFULLY
MADE
A
JELLY
SANDWICH
UNDER
NO
...

Tearth?


My guess would be either Terra.
 
2010-02-23 02:59:35 PM
...or something else?

/d'oh!
 
2010-02-23 03:05:39 PM
palelizard: yakmans_dad: How come Goofy can talk but Pluto can't?

Same reason Goofy isn't creeped out by Mickey owning a dog. Same reason Mickey wears pants with no shirt while Donald has a shirt but doesn't wear pants.



Mickey Mouse's dog is gay???

/anyone remember that?
 
2010-02-23 03:08:16 PM
Khellendros: We don't use the Ptolemaic model for the solar system any longer. We don't classify Africans as livestock. Deal with it. Move on.

So it's ok to be wrong as long as you say "Well I was wrong before, but now I'm right!" bullshiat. Scientists need to get over themselves and admit to the fact that all their theories could be bullshiat, and plenty have been proven to be bullshiat, but they just keep changing the game.
 
2010-02-23 03:11:29 PM
Damn, this is simple. Just define "planet" as an object with a mass and size no smaller than Pluto, which is sperical under its own gravity, and orbits a star and is not luminous as a star is itself.

Pluto stays planet, other objects will become planets, and the world no longer farking cares.
 
2010-02-23 03:11:52 PM
beer4breakfast: yakmans_dad: How come Goofy can talk but Pluto can't?

How come Donald Duck doesn't wear pants but wears a shirt while Mickey wears pants but no shirt?


Well, when you have a big ol' duck dick like Don it is hard to find pants that fit.
 
2010-02-23 03:12:13 PM
Tresser: Tearth?

Teegeeack (new window).
 
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