Friday, August 25, 2006

Demoting a Perfectly Good Planet...

I have causes. Yes, I do. In college with my long hippie hair and short skirts I had firey speeches on campus about the Vietnam War. I plunked out tunes on my guitar (not very well, I might add) but made my point.

I have marched for establishing rules and regulations for gun control...drilling in the Arctic (against!)...and wrote letters against selling the Indiana toll road. (lost again!)

But this one is over the line. My telescope and I are rebelling.

While I have been dutifully doing my jobs organizing my school year...planning all my theatre events...the world has gone awry.

In Prague this week 424 astronomers have debated for days (?) on whether or not Pluto is a planet. They voted this week and demoted it. Pluto demoted? Rise up and speak folks of the world.

For one thing, the 424 astronomers represent only 5% of the world's astronomers. What do the other 95% have to say? Their decision was to place Pluto as a dwarf planet by the new definition, part of the sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space.

I represent other objects that occupty the same region of space. Will I be next? Will I be demoted? Will you? Where will it end?

1930. The year Pluto was discovered. Oh, be still my heart, what other events happened then? Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane and the first cow to be milked. First frozen foods. Hostess twinkies were invented. First night game in baseball. The Shadow aired on radio stations. Construction began on the Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building. Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood were born.

Think of all the changes? Think of all the textbooks and toys and science fair projects? What about the sale of all of those really small Styrofoam balls (used for Pluto) that will sit quiet and lonely on craft shop shelves.

They (the other 95% astronomers who didn't show for the debate or the vote) say this will be challenged.

What can you do? Write to your local astronomer...beg, plead..come on, we are talking about Pluto here. Quietly she sits in space oblivious to all of this hullabaloo.

Remain silent if you will. As for me...Pluto will remain a planet..the loveliest of all on children's artwork...the smallest planet hanging from the ceiling in the science room.

I vote Pluto remains.

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.