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The Sciences

Illinois plutocrats are frakkin' goofy

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMarch 6, 2009 7:07 AM

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The government of Illinois, an an obvious attempt to distract America from Blagojevich's hair, has declared that Pluto is a planet.

RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois' night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared "Pluto Day" in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.

Thank heavens -- so to speak -- Pluto doesn't pass over any other states. That could propagate a Constitutional crisis. So what would drive the government of a state to go out of its way to do such a ridiculous thing?

WHEREAS, Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto, was born on a farm near the Illinois community of Streator

Oh, right, misplaced local pride. They obviously didn't planet that way. They should have nixed the whole idea. But OK then, surely they wouldn't say anything else that brazenly dumb in the resolution, right?

WHEREAS, Dr. Tombaugh is so far the only Illinoisan and only American to ever discover a planet; and

Uh, Illinois legislators. Psssst! Americans have discovered hundreds of planets. Their confusion is obvious; they thought they were doling out justice, but they got confused because Pluto is just ice. That's OK though, Illinois congresscritters. I'm sure there's nothing else for you to do with all your spare time. But y'know, I hear those pesky Hoosiers next door want to make π equal to 3! Hurry! You can still beat them to it! [Update: Speaking of dumb state legislature resolutions...]

Tip o' the dew shield to Larry Klaes.

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