ciphergoth: (Default)

According to the latest news it looks like Pluto may be denied planet status after all. Rah!

One of these things is not like the others:

ciphergoth: (skycow)
Check out this list of solar system object by mass.

The Sun is by far the most massive object in the solar system, making up over 98% of the mass of the entire system. After that come the planets, starting of course with Jupiter, and finishing with Mercury. Then there's seven of the larger satellites: Ganymede, Titan, Calliso, Io, the Moon, Europa, and Triton. After that comes the newly-discovered trans-Neptunian object, 2003 UB 313, better known as "Xena".

After all that, you get Pluto. Less than one-twentyfifth of the mass of the next-smallest official planet, Mercury. Its orbit is so weird it crosses the orbit of Neptune for years at a time, and it's not in the ecliptic plane. Its likely composition: a big lump of cold rock.

It only barged its way into the planetary club because the presence of its moon Charon caused astronomers to believe that Pluto was much larger than it turned out to be. In fact Charon is practically as big as it is, with the result that rather than one orbiting the other, it makes more sense to describe it as a binary system, with both orbiting a single point in space, faces locked towards each other.

If Pluto is allowed to stay in the club, we'll have to allow in all sorts of dull riff-raff - not only Xena, but Ceres, Charon, and possibly others like Quaoar and Sedna. No-one will be able to remember the names of all the planets.

I implore the IAU to strip Pluto of planet status as soon as possible. It should count itself lucky that we allow it to stay in the solar system at all.
ciphergoth: (skycow)
I strongly suspect that they didn't allow the critics in to review "Snakes on a Plane" because it doesn't deliver. People say that the genius of the title is that you immediately know whether or not you want to go and see it. Only the thing is, they weren't planning on making a movie with that title. They made "Pacific Flight 118" and then tried to turn it into "Snakes on a Plane" at the last minute. Unless some unknown hand of comic genius is on the tiller - and that's not impossible, of course - the chances are they won't have succeeded in turning a lame thriller into the comedy blockbuster the title promises. The studios are afraid that the critics will warn people: the title, and the hype, is better than the movie.

I mention this because two people today have independently proposed a different theory: that they did not allow the critics in because it's not for critics.

Note also the top 20 movies on IMDb if they had been named in the same absurdist manner as Snakes on a Plane:
  1. Honor in the Mafia
  2. Escape from a Jail
  3. Revenge in the Mafia
  4. Destruction of a Ring
  5. Warriors in a Village
  6. Jews on a Train
  7. ...

(note that the order of movies may have changed since this list was compiled)


ciphergoth: (Default)
Paul Crowley

December 2018

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