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512 comments

Pff this is ridiculous (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090005)

Everybody knows Pluto is a dog.

Re:Pff this is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090085)

This just proves that fact that politicians are freaking idiots.

Re:Pff this is ridiculous (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090515)

Consider the work they do and how much they manage to get paid for it. My definition of idiot doesn't quite capture that. "Idiot savant" comes closer.

Re:Pff this is ridiculous (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090589)

This just proves that fact that politicians are freaking idiots.

You needed further proof?

I take exception to the fucking summary though. "Always on the lookout for more votes" sounds funny but fails to take note of the fact that in Illinois only the dead vote. Is Pluto covered with graveyards that we don't know about or something?

Re:Pff this is ridiculous (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090237)

Everybody knows Pluto is a dog.

So, there's a dog in orbit out past Neptune? Is that what they mean by the Dog Star, what with Pluto being so famous?

Re:Pff this is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090299)

No you're wrong, everyone wiht knowledge of mythology knows that pluto is a god.... (you get the joke here right? God...dog? Haha.. I'm funny....)

If Illinois Says it's a Planet, It's a Planet (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090407)

Don't argue. There's already three astronomers at the bottom of Lake Michigan who "begged to differ."

It's the Chicago way.

Before people say that Illinois is stupid (-1, Troll)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090007)

It's just a definition.

There are now 8 planets in the UNIVERSE because they defined a planet as a body orbiting the sun. The definition sucks so I have no problem if states are defining a planet as something else than a small club of grey men(IAU).

Too right! (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090079)

Yeah. I vote that Illinois also changes the definition of a mile and shortens it so that their residents can get more miles to the gallon! I also vote that they cut the definition of an hour down to 30mins to shorten my working day.

Consensus and standards be damned, they're just definitions!

Re:Too right! (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090111)

Question:

is zero part of the natural numbers?

Some say it is, some say it isn't. Personally I do not care if you define it when you use it. It doesn't make ANY difference if Pluto is a planet or not since it does not change ANYTHING.

There are 8 planets in the universe right now, does that make you happy?

Re:Too right! (1, Offtopic)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090333)

Well, I see the exception of disallowing some operations with 0 or infinity in them as the biggest failure of mathematics. In mathematics, you try to remove exceptions, and simplify complex sets of rules into a simple formula.

My theory is, that they miss the temporal component, and that in fact 0 and infinity are complex numbers of (0,t) and (inf,t), where t is a sequencing variable. That way you could easily divide by zero and get out infinity, but not lose any of the information, that makes their use so problematic right now.
Because then (inf,t1) and (inf,t2) are not the same.

On, and the range between 0 and 1 has the same amount of numbers as that between 0 and infinity.

[IA(O)NAM (I am (obviously) not a mathematician). But this does not influence my being right or wrong in any way.]

Re:Too right! (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090345)

"Some say it is, some say it isn't. Personally I do not care if you define it when you use it. It doesn't make ANY difference if Pluto is a planet or not since it does not change ANYTHING."

Yeah changes nothing, apart from say, how we define what is and isn't categorised as a planet? I mean like, let's re-define the symbol "=" to be the addition operator, I mean that changes nothing right? "=" is the equality operator, does that make you happy?

When we're auditing the skies, do you not think it might be important to be able to figure out what category a space object should fall into? Are you suggesting we should categorise man made satellites as planets because you know, it doesn't matter does it?

Re:Too right! (2, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090413)

"Yeah changes nothing, apart from say, how we define what is and isn't categorised as a planet? I mean like, let's re-define the symbol "=" to be the addition operator, I mean that changes nothing right? "=" is the equality operator, does that make you happy?"

The operator = has a clear funtion and can be used all over.

You can't do (3 + planet)

sqrt(planet)

planet + (planet)' = moon

People are treating the IAU's words like they're God's own.

Re:Too right! (2, Funny)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090495)

There are 8 planets in the universe right now, does that make you happy?

In the UNIVERSE? Might as well say the Earth is flat.

Re:Too right! (2, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090151)

Yeah. I vote that Illinois also changes the definition of a mile and shortens it so that their residents can get more miles to the gallon!

Oh, I know, they could call it a kilometer. It could be that a mile is 1.6 kilometers.

Re:Too right! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090219)

Consensus and standards be damned, they're just definitions!

Yeah, cause there's so much consensus on whether Pluto is a planet right now. If anything, you should be bitching about the astronomers who decided to redefine it in the first place. There was plenty of consensus before they stepped in.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (5, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090131)

There are now 8 planets in the UNIVERSE because they defined a planet as a body orbiting the sun. The definition sucks so I have no problem if states are defining a planet as something else than a small club of grey men(IAU).

You can say that it's "just a definition", but I don't see where it's the place of a legislature to make scientific definitions to scientists. Legislatures supposedly have better things to do. If they don't, they should recess until that changes.

The IAU definition of a planet is more extensive than that. Also, while I haven't read the IAU text, I doubt their definition means that there are only eight planets in the universe. The only thing I don't like about their definition is that their use of "dwarf" in "dwarf planet" basically means "not a planet", and I think that's inconsistent and improper use of the word.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (-1, Troll)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090205)

"You can say that it's "just a definition", but I don't see where it's the place of a legislature to make scientific definitions to scientists."

Moot. The IAU claims to define it for everyboy on the entire world. If I claim that Pluto is a planet what would happen? People would say that it isn't anymore. Most people don't know how or why, they will just say that Pluto isn't a planet anymore. With that the IAU has decided to undemocratically decide that Pluto is not a planet and I personally refuse to acknowledge that.

If an elected group of people decide that Pluto is a planet(which changes absolutely NOTHING), who are a bunch of snobbish scients to deny that?

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090291)

"If an elected group of people decide that pi equals 3, who are a bunch of snobbish mathematicians to deny that?"

See how fucking retarded that sounds?

Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power lost.

Aaaah, now it becomes obvious why you're promoting ignorance so heavily. My guess is you base too much of your identity in being "smarter" than others.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (-1, Troll)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090357)

""If an elected group of people decide that pi equals 3, who are a bunch of snobbish mathematicians to deny that?" "

Pi is a letter from the Greek alphabet, and is not inherently coupled to the ratio of a circle and it's diameter. If you would want to call the ratio of a cicle to it's diameter beta it doesn't change anything.

Fact is, the ratio of a circle to it's diameter is larger than 3(you can prove this mathematically) and this is not open to definition(lest you want to redefine circle and diameter or even number) but inherently coupling pi and a circle is foolish and shows what kind of effect a definition can have.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090383)

There is a huge difference. There is a rationale for the value of Pi. Claiming it as a different value is plain wrong.

The meaning of a word like planet is arbitrary. It means what the consensus says it means. There is no right or wrong answer.

The non-problem that the IAU was trying to solve is that though some things are clearly planets (e.g. Jupiter, the Earth) some things are clearly not (Most asteroids, moons etc.) there are some bodies that are in a grey area. So what? Most nouns are not perfectly unambiguously defined in all circumstances defined.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090435)

You'd better tell the Greeks that they can't use their letter anymore, since some group of mathematicians decided that it's actually a number. Also, tell the mathematicians to find a different symbol to use for productions and projections. Heaven forbid physicists disrupt the natural order with their heretical "pi mesons".

Or maybe we can accept that symbols can have multiple definitions.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (3, Insightful)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090587)

who are a bunch of snobbish scients to deny that?

They are, uh, the appropriate scientific institution. They're also, you know, informed?
Say what you like about the IAU defintion, but its a scientific definition made by scientists.

When the powers that be start defining things they aren't properly informed on, in a manner different to the rest of the world, things get pointlessly confused.
If an elected group of people were to decide that within their durestriction, the speed of light in vacuum is 2 * 10^8 m/s, this changes nothing about the state of the world, but is liable to cause significant issues for physicists working in their durestriction, and particularly for cross-durestriction collaborations.

When the 17th Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures defined the speed of light as 299,792,458 m/s in 1983, they were not doing so as elected representatives of the people of Earth, they were doing so as the appropriate scientific institution. This definition clearly didn't change reality in any way, what it did do was give a global definition such that individuals wouldn't use their own favoured definitions and cause inconsistancies when the same calculation is performed by different parties.

Definition of planet, speed of light, I see no real difference here. It doesn't matter how right the definition is, as long as we agree to use it. Consider for instance the average mass of a planet in our solar system. With a standard global definition, this value is simple to agree upon. Without one, you need caveats. If you have caveats for every definition known to man, achieving any consensus quickly becomes a ridiculous process.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (4, Informative)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090255)

"The IAU definition of a planet is more extensive than that."

A celestial body that is (a) in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (5, Informative)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090505)

Nice selective quoting there. You missed a bit: "states that in the Solar System a planet is" .. so this definition doesn't apply outside the solar system, it doesn't say that things outwith the solar system cannot be planets.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090163)

Well it depends on how you define SUN
Our Sun is a star called Sol We call it the Sun because it is what we are in orbit around. If we were in orbit around an other star we would call that Star the Sun.

The more formal defination of a Planet is the following.

1. It Orbits around a Sun.
2. Its shape is Spherical
3. It is large enough to have or can attract and clear up other objects in its orbit.

#3 is the problem with Pluto with its orbit crossing Neptune once the time gets right and Neptune gets to close it will just Suck up Pluto and not the other way around. So even it Pluto was the size of the earth if it was where Pluto is now it wouldn't be considered a planet.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090305)

The sun is what we orbit around. A star is what the Sun is one of.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090309)

"Our Sun is a star called Sol We call it the Sun because it is what we are in orbit around. If we were in orbit around an other star we would call that Star the Sun."

And if my anut had a moustache, she would be my uncle.

The Sun is a clearly defined object with a name(Sun or Sol for people who like to switch to Latin for no apparent reason) otherwise the definition would refer to A sun not THE Sun.

I don't get how much people are trying to wiggle themselves out of the hole created by the IAU while still defending it.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (-1, Troll)

vdammer (796081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090513)

Why are you capitalising words like "star," "orbits," and "spherical?" Those aren't proper nouns. Stop pretending they are.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (2, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090523)

3. It is large enough to have or can attract and clear up other objects in its orbit.

#3 is the problem with Pluto with its orbit crossing Neptune once the time gets right and Neptune gets to close it will just Suck up Pluto and not the other way around.

I would imagine that most of the planets will one day end up either being enveloped by the sun or by Jupiter. I agree that it is ridiculous that Illinois would "declare" Pluto a planet, but the IAU was the first to be ridiculous by arbitrarily drawing a line in the sand as to what a planet was and then declaring that what everyone had said was a planet for the last 80 years is now not one.

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (1, Informative)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090367)

There are now 8 planets in the UNIVERSE because they defined a planet as a body orbiting the sun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_definition_of_planet [wikipedia.org] This definition states that a body in our solar system is a planet if ... yadda yadda yadda.
The definition doesn't say that things outwith our solar system are not planets, it simply doesn't say anything about them, either way.

And while there seems to be *majority* scientific consensus on the status of pluto, most objections seem to be based on the fact that its people's "favourite" planet because its named after a disney character...

Re:Before people say that Illinois is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090483)

Where's the -1 Universe Is Not Just Our Solar System mod?

Indiana Pi Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090015)

Hehe, makes me think of the Indiana Pi Bill.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill

This just in (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090017)

Slashdot declares Illinois retarded

Re:This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090159)

Let's give Illinois to Canada.

Politicians wonder... (5, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090023)

Why no one trusts them to get things done anymore... We're in the biggest financial crisis in years and they spent the time to declare Pluto a planet. It means nothing, is non binding, and shows a huge disconnect between the political scene and the general populace.

Re:Politicians wonder... (5, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090209)

Frankly, the more time they spend doing silly crap like this, the less time the spend screwing something important up. It's too bad it wastes tax dollars to do it, though...

Re:Politicians wonder... (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090245)

Frankly, the more time they spend doing silly crap like this, the less time the spend screwing something important up. It's too bad it wastes tax dollars to do it, though...

Would you rather that they go after hookers on craigslist?

Re:Politicians wonder... (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090265)

But -- they did it for the children! We wouldn't want children to become confused with Pluto being listed as a planet in their old, out-of-date text books while the general consensus in the scientific community is that Pluto is a big snowball. Declare legislatively that Pluto is a planet and -- poof -- there you go! No more confused children!

Yo mama is so fat... (0, Offtopic)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090025)

Yo mama is so fat...Illinois declared her a planet
New joke meme?

Re:Yo mama is so fat... (5, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090171)

Yo mama is so fat...Illinois declared her a planet
Yo mama is so ugly, astronomers who look at her think they're looking at Jupiter's moon IO
Yo mama is so old, her boyfriends CARBON-date her
Yo mama is so old and fat, her stomach is actually fusing helium with neon to produce magnesium just before she turns into a neutron star!
Yo mama is so ugly, that when computer scientists look at her, they are immediately reminded of Edsger Dijkstra's letter "Go To Statement Considered Harmful" because they don't want to "Go To" her.

Ok, that last one got me severely beaten up on the playground when I was a kid, but the rest are funny and hardly trollish.

Re:Yo mama is so fat... (2, Funny)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090423)

Thank you for turning emotionally scarring events in your life into /. humor. We can hardly wait to see what you will post when the topic is sex. ;)

Have you been there? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090049)

they thought they were doling out justice, but they got confused because Pluto is just ice.

Although they can measure in different ways I wouldn't act like such a jackass unless you've actually been to the planet.

Also who cares what it's called. I see it as refreshing that they're at least not trying to deny its existence like the ID crowd do with evolution.

Re:Have you been there? (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090137)

I've been there it sucks. I was hoping to get some decent snowboarding in but there wasn't any powder and the ice was just shredded into pieces more like rocks than ice if you ask me. In the end we just gave up and went to Titan where the conditions are always reliable.

Now you might see it at refreshing that politicians think they can legislate on scientific issues but this is really just a less idiotic case of people legislating PI to be 3. Those folks didn't deny the existence of PI but they did think that the legislature could control its definition.

Re:Have you been there? (1, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090379)

This is nothing like say PI is 3. One state declaring it a planet has no effect on the rest of the world or even the people in the state.

Before you get so strung up on "politicians think they can legislate on scientific issues" I'd just like to remind you it was a bunch on elitist assholes in the first place that declared it wasn't in fact a planet anymore.

Re:Have you been there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090581)

Why are you so arrogant? Some would say it takes MORE faith (belief in something NOT provable) to believe evolution than it takes to believe ID.

Back on topic, Illinois politicians are idiots.

I declare Illinois (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090061)

and I declare Illinois a corn field.

Re:I declare Illinois (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090311)

Don't forget about soybeans!

Re:I declare Illinois (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090601)

Don't forget about soybeans!

Yeah... they are effin golden!

Any link to creationism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090083)

Want good science education, come to Illinois, the state that bans "evolution" and teaches creationism.

Seems as though it is [ox.ac.uk] .

Clearly, Illinois is not a place to get yourself educated.

Pi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090095)

No, no, it is! If you just redo the calculations with pi = 3, it all works out!

Illinois is a world all it's own... (1)

blcamp (211756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090109)

Check the track record of leaders. Less than squeaky-clean past governors and other politicians with criminal records (mostly corruption-related)... what's that place called... Crook County?

I was personally shaken down in Champaign just this past week. (I'll spell it out some other time, when pending legal action I am taking is concluded.)

I went out of my way not to drink any of the water in Illinois, so as not to become personally corrupted by whatever may be in it.

Woody Allen (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090135)

Reminds me of story by Woddy Allen where two university professors had an argument about whether the bell marked the ending of a lesson or the beginning of a new one.

Re:Woody Allen (2, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090207)

Easy to solve, does the first lesson in the morning start with a bell ? Does the last one in the evening end with a bell ? And if it's like Europe where church bells ring every hour (including the damn night), all bets are off.

From the Illinois legislature press conference: (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090141)

Press: "When will we send a man to our new planet Pluto?

Illinois legislature: "As soon as Rod Blagojevich has his bags packed."

Re:From the Illinois legislature press conference: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090213)

Illinois legislature: Unfortunately, Bush is from Texas, so he cant come along...

Pluto is a planet and its a question of words (1, Insightful)

tomrud (471930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090157)

I agree with the need of a scientific definitions and the definition they came up with when they tried to define the word "planet" was good.

Only one problem. The word "planet" was already in use by the general public and the meaning of the world "planet" is: One of the celestial objects that used to be called "planet".

Now the astronomers came up with a good classification of objects, but they also needed to come up with new words fitting their classifications. Otherwise they are just saying "We have redefined one of the words you are using, just obey us".

In summary, the astronomers doesn't own the word "planet", the general public do.

Re:Pluto is a planet and its a question of words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090343)

well, if pluto is a planet, then so are Haumea [wikipedia.org] , Makemake [wikipedia.org] , and Eris [wikipedia.org] .

and it's precisely because of these things that someone had to say "well, these things shouldn't really be planets, and Pluto is more like them than it is like anything else..."

In other news... (5, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090181)

In other news, a giant robotic Neil deGrasse Tyson was seen bursting through the walls of the Illinois Capitol Building, saying, "Pluto is a Plutoid. You have 30 seconds to comply."

Attention, people of Illinois (3, Funny)

teslar (706653) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090233)

People of Illinois,

we have duly noted your recent reconsideration of Pluto and its classification. We appreciate this sign of good-will and will take it into account in our upcoming invasion of Earth.
Although I can make no promises at this point, I am able to inform you that sparing your lives is currently viewed favourably amongst our population.

Yours sincerely,
Gral Rex,
Minister of Earth Affairs, Government of Pluto

p.s. to the rest of mankind: You are all still toast.

Just Wondering (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090239)

Being a planet is a valuable thing. So, how much did it cost Pluto?

Politicians need to stay out of Science! (2, Insightful)

Logic Worshiper (1480539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090247)

You can't legislate a fact. The Catholic church couldn't make the world flat, no matter how hard they tried. This is no different.

Re:Politicians need to stay out of Science! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090469)

The Catholic church tried to make the world flat?

No wonder why they couldn't, I think even with our current technology it would be very hard to counteract the gravitational potential.

But seriously, you're talking out of your ass. The church never did such a thing. Check your references before you post.

If you remember the famous Galileo affair, the contending system was the ptolemaic one, that put a very spherical earth at the centre of the universe. Before that, I've never seen a document stating their opinion on the matter.

time to move to Illinois (1)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090269)

They've obviously solved all the other problems in the state if have time to spend on this. I've never been there but it must be a great place to live.

Must have been a slow day in Springfield... (0, Redundant)

DarkTitan_X (905442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090275)

I'm glad that amidst a major financial crisis, Illinois has nothing better to do than declare Pluto a planet. This is government in action here, folks.

Now quit dilly-dallying and start taking care of the real issues.

I know, I know, good luck with that.

The sad Partof all this.. (1)

jfandre (530404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090301)

is that the voters don't understand that even if it's just a resolution, passing stuff like this is costing them valuable tax dollars.

There is a good reason for this ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090315)

If Pluto isn't a planet, it will cost a bunch of money to replace all the fifty year old science texts.

If Pluto is a planet, they can keep using the fifty year old science texts.

What, you think I'm kidding! You obviously aren't a teacher.

Re:There is a good reason for this ... (4, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090549)

But don't publishers try to sell "new editions" to the districts every six months, or is that only a college problem?

Re:There is a good reason for this ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090555)

There's an easy solution to that, just use 100 year old science texts, Pluto won't be in them at all.

Four Inner Planets, Four Outer Planets (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090341)

My grandfather taught me when I was 8 that there are four inner (solid) planets, and four outer (gaseous) planets, separated by the asteroid belt. Anything else is not a planet, and Pluto certainly should not be.

But oh, if Illinois says it's true then it must be!

Stop the Press! (1)

Valen0 (325388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090373)

I can see the revised textbooks now:

"Pluto is the second largest dwarf planet* in the Solar System's Kuiper Belt.

* Except in the State of Illinois."

One wonders. . . (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090417)

Wow. With Colorado [slashdot.org] declaring IE 6 safer than Firefox, and now this, one wonders what Florida and Texas will cough up for today's news cycle. I'm THIS close to actually being entertained!

-FL

yay for politicians... (1)

operand (15312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090429)

Until Pluto can save the Economy, talking about whether it's a planet or not during these times is the last thing Illinois or the federal government needs discuss.

Governments can regulate on social matters (2, Interesting)

ggraham412 (1492023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090461)

One could make the argument that the concept of "nine planets" is ingrained in popular culture. The scientific reasons why Pluto is not a planet are fairly technical, and scientists who try to explain this come off a bit like the annoying guy at a cocktail party who corrects your pronunciation. The natural inclination is to put that guy back in his place. It is a little ridiculous and unnecessary; when kicking out Pluto, the IAU could have at the same time declared that there are nine "historical planets" and left the technical discourse to people who are actually interested in that.

They missed something. (5, Insightful)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090477)

The law is written thusly: "that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status"

Because Illinois is a northerly state... does Pluto ever actually pass "overhead"? Ever? Pluto's orbital inclination to the sun is about 11 degrees at maximum. The latitude of Illinois is much higher than that, at about 36 degrees. So Pluto may never pass through their air space, even if the borders of Illinois are extended upwards to infinity.

But since Pluto can never truly be "overhead", does that mean the law never actually goes into effect?

Comments? Suggestions?

Mistagged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090491)

How come this isn't tagged suddenoutbreakofcommonsense? Pluto is a planet.

I Declare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27090535)

BANKRUPTCY!!!

Never gonna happen (2, Insightful)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 5 years ago | (#27090607)

This resolution will never kick in, will it? The text says:

RESOLVED [...] that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois' night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status....

But Pluto will never be directly overhead in Illinois. The state is too far from the equator to ever get pointed straight at the ecliptic. Or does the tilt of Earth's axis and the inclination of Pluto's orbit really put it overhead of Illinois once in a while? Any astronomy nerds care to calculate when that will happen?

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