International Astronomers Union = Whiners

This week the International Astronomers Union (aka whiners of the universe) will descend on Prague to decide once and for all if Pluto will still be a planet or will be relegated to sub-planetary status. Why this is still a concern has much to do with the IAU's inability to agree on what constitutes a planet. If Pluto is indeed a planet, then there's 14 planets that will have to be added to the books. THINK OF THE PAPERWORK! On the other hand, if Pluto isn't a planet, then we'll have to re-learn new rubricks for memorizing the planets. (My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas). It's fitting that pizzas will be removed from the rubrick, as the IAU probably couldn't decide on pizza toppings without several conferences, three working groups and twenty two doctoral theses. When the president of the working group defining what is a planet, and what isn't a planet proposes that Pluto keep its present classification for historical reasons, and that nothing else be named a planet, you know you're dealing with some high-class debate. I mean, really, is it that hard to figure out what is a planet and what isn't? And when 2003 UB313 was christened Xena, the IAU threw a fit, and immediately declared that it's proper name is 2003 UB313. Now how is that supposed to work into a rubrick? "My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas 2003UB313"? That's not even enough for a phone number and area code for the pizza place from which our energetic mother ordered nine pizzas. Perhaps that was the model year of the vehicle she used to pick it up, and the name of the form (in the United Kingdom) from whence she declared that she was going out to get said pizzas? OK, perhaps that's a little silly. Whatever is decided, I'm sure it's not the end of it by a long shot. At least the astronomical community will get some papers out of it.

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