NPR logo Doesn't Pluto Deserve at Least a Constellation Prize?

Doesn't Pluto Deserve at Least a Constellation Prize?

It's not been the best of times for Tom Cruise, Alaska Gov. Frank ("We're Number Three!") Murkowski, illegal aliens, the Boston Red Sox, or John Mark Karr. But it's been especially bad for Pluto, the ninth planet. First, its status as god of the underworld was taken by John Gotti. Now, some pseudo-scientists want to strip Pluto of its planet status. At first, I thought that this was just somebody's idea of a bad joke, like the naming of William Miller as the Republican candidate for vice president in 1964. I say that anything that takes away Pluto's status is just plain goofy. If Pluto is no longer a planet, then what do we do with its two moons, Quemoy and Matsu? Are they no longer moons? And does this mean that the people who come here from Pluto must be sent home, as CNN's Lou Dobbs insists?

I was very pleased to see the New York Times weigh in on this in an op-ed piece today. But that's not enough.

I spoke to one scientist, and his response was a terse "sorry." Not "very sorry," mind you. Just "sorry." And there's a big difference. "Very sorry" expresses sincere regret and remorse. That's according to Webster's Dictionary. "Sorry" is when you take one pawn from your START, place it on any space that is occupied by any opponent, and bump that opponent's pawn back to its START. That's according to Parker Brothers.

There's a big difference.