Everything is Obviously Perfect in New Mexico When …

|

State legislators decide to vote on whether or not to overrule the International Astronomical Union's recent downgrade of Pluto. As Wired reports: 

Seven months after a conclave of scientists downgraded the distant heavenly body to a "dwarf planet," a state representative in New Mexico aims to give the snubbed world back some of its respect. State lawmakers will vote Tuesday on a bill that proposes "as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet."

Why? Because the legislators think that the IAU dissed Pluto's discoverer (and New Mexico native) Clyde Tombaugh. Does this mean that public school text books sold in New Mexico will have to be changed?

Whole article is here

NEXT: Diplomatic Impunity

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I wish legislatures would confine themselves to silly stuff like this all the time.

  2. Actually, this is one place where we should teach the controversy, because this sort of controversy brilliantly illustrates a point that Richard Feynman made: The difference between knowing the name of something and actually knowing something about it. What matters is that our solar system has 4 medium-sized rocky bodies with certain common characteristics, an asteroid belt, 4 gas giants, and then a collection of distant rocky objects. The names that we give them are irrelevant compared to understanding their characteristics.

  3. thoreau: I was away from my computer most of the day so I didn’t post much on the GW thread today. Could I ask you to post the links to your articles on free market responses to global warming so that other H&R readers can see them?

  4. there is a rider on this bill that reads:

    …and Mexicans, while crossing our open border under New Mexicos excellant night skies, shall be called,”unfairly undocumented hard working people who do the ugly jobs amerikanos wont do.”

  5. Where are the evangelicals to denounce the bill as granting religious favor on paganism?

    And would anyone else be psyched if someone tucked some Lovecraftian mythoid language in that bill?

  6. Ron-

    Here’s the one where I asked Jim’s commenters to offer sane energy policies:

    http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2007/02/25/6008

    I’ll post it in the GW thread as well.

  7. How do we vote to declare that New Mexico isn’t a state?

  8. We never did settle the question of how far up each state’s jurisdiction extends; if Pluto can momentarily pass through New Mexico’s jurisdiction, is it possible that, at any given moment, a billion galaxies are in RI’s jurisdiction?

  9. There’s this, there’s that whole Barry Bonds steroids scandal that prompted a congressional hearing, and yet somehow arguing for the legalization of a substance that would mean billions saved in enforcement and more taken out of black market circulation is only because we’re goofball potheads with screwed up priorities.

  10. In any case, the IAU dropped the ball big time on this. It seems a bit uppity for them to claim sole authority over the meaning of a word that had been in use centuries before the IAU existed. The smart move would have been to leave “planet” alone, perhaps declaring it to be a vague term unfit for serious scientific discussion, and define a new term for use by the scientific community when they wish to speak more precisely.

  11. ” Does this mean that public school text books sold in New Mexico will have to be changed?”

    Only if they are sold at night or to be taught from at night when Pluto is overhead.

  12. How do we vote to declare that New Mexico isn’t a state?

    Only if it means we don’t have to pay federal income tax any more 🙂

  13. Good for New Mexico, taking on those Euro-weanie Pluto-hating bastards!

    Not only did they take Pluto from us, they also renamed Xena to Eris, because apparently fictional characters are only acceptable if they were invented by old dead Europeans.

    On top of that, these so-called “scientists” failed to specify the meaning of “satellite” in their definition of “dwarf planet,” so Charon’s status is totally up in the air.

    Didn’t they say they were doing all this to prevent confusion?

  14. I’m happy to see that the planetary status of Pluto is the most important libertarian issue in New Mexico politics this year.

    Uh, they just banned cockfighting.Of course all the Statist pussies at Reason are just fine with that, after all it only affects rednecks and brown people.

  15. I’m happy to see that the planetary status of Pluto is the most important libertarian issue in New Mexico politics this year.

    Uh, they just banned cockfighting.Of course all the Statist pussies at Reason are just fine with that, after all it only affects rednecks and brown people.

  16. Well if it posted at 10:37 why did it not show up at 10:40?

  17. .. well, the fucking assholes just voted to ban smoking throughout the state, and that asshole Richardson just signed it .. there’s no end to NM’s meddling with things they shouldn’t ..

    .. getting close to time to move ..

    .. Disgusted Hobbit

  18. On top of that, these so-called “scientists” failed to specify the meaning of “satellite” in their definition of “dwarf planet,” so Charon’s status is totally up in the air.

    Actually, I think that status was left in a vacume.

    Has Noam Chomsky and his band of Plutonians weighed in on this?

  19. The Andromeda galaxy passed over my house last night. The implications of that are staggering.

  20. The Andromeda galaxy passed over my house last night. The implications of that are staggering.

    We need to get you to Wildfire post haste! Don’t stop drinking the Sterno!

  21. We need to get you to Wildfire post haste!

    601

  22. Is such mockery fitting for the Lord High Emperor of Andromeda? Well, between 11:15:08 and 11:15:11 p.m. EDT, anyway.

  23. If a charter jet full of supermodels ever flies over my apartment, can I have jurisdiction over them?

  24. Stevo Darkly,

    If a charter jet full of supermodels ever flies over my apartment, can I have jurisdiction over them?

    Might be tough in Santa Monica, since they are banned there , but anyplace else should be fair game.

  25. Can we still smoke cigarettes on Pluto?

  26. I don’t get it. Tombaugh was born in Illinois and is most closely associated with the great state of Kansas.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.