VIVE LA PLUTO!!

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Mornin’ all.

Has your favorite brand of sunscreen ever just stopped working for you?

Last year, I had no problems with it. This weekend, we had a fun trip to a local dam and an afternoon of pickning fun with friends and family. Sunscreen was applied, reapplied. The older I get the more sensitive to the sun my skin has become. I don’t usually get a sunburn, but if I don’t put on sunscreen, I’ll itch. And itch. And itch all night long. So I’m not one of those “oh, yeah, I kinda waved the bottle around me before I went outside” sunscreen users. No half-assing it, that’s what I’m saying. I put that shit on thick.

After the long, fun day, we packed up and I was about halfway home by the time it dawned on me that I was decidedly uncomfortable. Couldn’t do anything in the car, especially since I was driving. Fortunately, the hydraulic suspension system we have decided to blow a line in the engine and spray hydraulic fluid all over to give me a billowing, smoky distraction to take my mind off the burning. Thanks, Car! Always lookin’ out for me.

So we get home. Unload, get the kiddies wrangled to change out of their damp, sandy swim trunks, and then it’s my turn to get a look at myself in the bathroom mirror.

Is “borscht” a skin tone?

Ugh, folks. UGH.

No outdoors for Bethie for the next few days. I guess that leaves me with a few “to do” choices:

1. Play my video game.

2. Clean.

3. Make an art.

The problem with the video game is that I rage quit yesterday afternoon, but accidentally did so after it auto-saved in a really, really bad spot. I’m surrounded by aliens, all of which are way stronger than my character, and I’ve got shit for ammo, a depressing fact I discovered when I picked the controller back up a little later. It’s going to take patience to get my character out of there, and I just don’t know how much of that I’ve got.

I *could* clean. I suppose. But… um… well, there’s… *brain robots scramble madly through files to come up with a viable excuse* Oh, wait! I know! Okay, so I mentioned the hydraulic line blew on the wagon. While the car is technically drivable, with no hydraulic suspension, the rear end is solidly locked WAY up high, making the car bounce all over the road when I try to drive it.

“Uh, Bethie? What does any of that have to do with cleaning?”

Well, if I start to clean, I just won’t stop and I’ll need to take trips to the dump, which I can’t do in the broken wagon. Darn.

“But, you could mop and shit…”

THE CAR IS BROKEN. I simply cannot clean. Oh well, nothing to be done for it.

That leaves art. I’ve got a painting project to wrap up with the youngest pup. We made paper mache birds to hang in his room, an owl and an eagle. We’ve just got to finish up the detail painting and hang them. That’s a good one to work on for the morning. It’ll get me pumped up to do some different kind of artwork.

I picked up a bunch of posters from the free pile at the junk shop across the way yesterday. I like to take an ugly or boring print and add to it to make it fun and interesting, and there was a box of about a dozen huge, high quality prints, mostly from museums. Score! I can totally deface those puppies. That sounds like fun.

Oh, and I forgot the most important “to do” on this morning’s list: Wait for the New Horizon’s up close Pluto shots to finally come in.

I’m not kidding. I will be refreshing NASA all day until I see some Pluto glamor shots.

“Um…why?”

Why? WHY!!?? Are you…have you…don’t you…. !!??WHY??!!

For the first time in human history, we are going to get a close shot of the furthest planet in our solar system.

“Bethie, Pluto is not a planet.”

WRONG. They demoted it to a “dwarf planet”, keyword “planet.” So even the idiots that demoted Pluto recognized that a large body that has three moons is most definitely a planet. Also, the closer New Horizons gets, the more NASA and their ilk are being proven wrong. What they thought they knew about Pluto is bullshit.

1. Pluto’s moons are actual moons, not simply asteroids floating nearby. The five small moons DO orbit in a regular pattern, meaning that Pluto has enough mass and spin to create the gravity needed to pull and keep objects in an orbit.

2. Pluto has not only polar ice caps, like any self respecting planet (albeit, methane and nitrogen ice), but an intricate surface, with possible mountains, cliffs, and canyons. Previously, it was assumed that Pluto was no more than a large asteroid that got locked into orbit. Now it seems that Pluto has developed the features we associate with an actual planet. Frozen liquid. Perhaps some sort of internal activity which would lead to the formation of mountains, the cracking into canyons…or flowing water to create these features. Which it shouldn’t have. Logic dictates that it can’t, not so far from the sun. And yet, there are some truly intriguing findings. A real beard stroker.

3. Pluto is larger than NASA thought. Pluto is right on the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt, a hodgepodge of celestial junk milling about on the fringes of our solar system. The logic behind Plutos demotion was that there were other bodies in that belt, specifically Eris, that could be larger. Up close, personal measurements have proven that Pluto IS the largest object in the Kuiper Belt (to date…I mean, the Kuiper belt is HUGE, and there may be some hulking behemoths in there somewhere).

The closer we’ve gotten, the more info we’ve gathered, shattering assumptions about Pluto. And now, New Horizons will get just 7,750 miles away. I know it sounds like a lot. But folks, New Horizons has putt-putted for nine and a half YEARS to get there. It’s already covered almost 3 BILLION miles. 7,750 is nothing.

Okay, let’s put it this way. The moon is 238,900 miles away from us. Think of how much we can see with the naked eye on a clear night, how many details. Now, zoom that image in 30 times. Blow the visible moon up 30 times larger in the night sky. Imagine the details we could see then! Why, we’d be able to see the secret alien landing strip at that point.

It’s happening at 7:50 a.m., my time. And I cannot wait.

What am I really hoping for?

Well, the writer in me really, REALLY wants to see some native critter waving at us, though I’m fairly certain that won’t happen. I’d like to see details of the remains of a true environment. Scars on the land from water, or dormant volcanoes that prove there was once a nuclear heart to the now-icy beast. I want to see something that will re-open the conversation about Pluto.

They’ve already seen so much that there WILL be a push to reinstate it as a full fledged member of our solar system, but I think it’s going to take more than what they’ve discovered so far to give the argument any really substance. Sure, I could start an internet petition. I’m betting it would get tons of signatures. Scientists don’t tend to care about internet petitions.

“Bethie, why do you care so much? It’s a dwarf planet because it is a dwarf.”

Because what the hell is size when the body is spherical, has an orbit around our star, has moons which, in turn, orbit around it, has polar ice caps, has the same geological markings of the other planets in our solar system…

The ONLY reason they demoted Pluto was because it was small. But that does not mean it’s not a functional member of our solar system. If it looks like a planet, and acts like a planet, and has the same magnetism as a planet, then it’s fucking planet.

“But if we say that, then we’ll have to start including other large bodies, like Eris.”

Maybe. And what would be so bad about that? If further investigation into Eris proves that it, too, has the same planetary markers we’ve established as a baseline for our other planets, then why not add it to the list?

When we demoted Pluto, we took a step back. We demoted it based solely on one factor, and that’s just bad science. Hopefully we’ll see something great when those pics come in. Hopefully Pluto will once again get the respect it deserves.

VIVE LA PLUTO!

Thus concludes a nerdy Musing for Tuesday, July 14, 2015. I’m off to get more aloe lotion while I wait for history. You know, I wouldn’t have gotten this sunburn on Pluto…

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