30 July 2005

10th Planet in the Sol System

Astronomers in the US announced the discovery (or rather confirmation of) a 10th planet in our solar system. Its current (and uninspired) name is 2003 UB313, though this will likely change. It is no wonder it took so long to find a planetoid this size, it is 3x the distance of Pluto.

For any of my readers, you might remember my post in Febuary about what exactly would constitute an actual 'planet' vs a planetoid or 'object'.
It seems by todays announcement that the bar has been set on something Pluto sized or larger, as Sedna, Quaoar, and others half Plutos size are not recognized as actual 'planets'.

Theres a good articles on this at theBBC, Yahoo!, and you can see an image of it (and an artists depiction) here .

Lets see if the classification of what exactly makes a planet can now finally be reviewed in light of this discovery. And keep your eyes peeled, there are bound to be more discoveries like this one that will crop up in the next 15 years.

11 July 2005

Internationalization of Standards

Though I've been doing this for years due to the simplicity in writing and visualizing, the US seems to finally be slowly using periods (.) instead of dashes (-) in phone numbers. 1-800-666-6666 will soon be seen by the superior 1.800.666.6666
Its about fucking time. I probably adopted the habit of doing it while in Europe my first time, and it just makes more sense.

Hey, heres an idea...why doesn't the US adopt the International system for dates as well. In most of the world, dates are represented by the day, then month, then year: 10.28.2005. The US is still stuck in this archaic system where we (for some unknown and idiotic reason) put the month first, then day, then year (28/10/2005). And toss the slashes too, use periods for this too.

And while we're at it, maybe it's about time that we in the USA adopt the freakin metric system! who the fuck can calculate how many inches are in 5.64 miles? its easy to figure out how many centimeters are in 5.64 kilometers, its 564,000 (just move the damn decimal place).

In any case, Yahoo! covered this ere.

03 July 2005


A bit of sadistic humor in politics today, as the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea (by Poland) celebrated its 750 year anniversary. Why is this odd you ask? Well, it was founded by Germanic Tuetonic knights, and had a German polulation for 700 years. That is, until the end of WWII, when the Soviet Red army ethnically cleansed 3 million Germans out of the area (then, and always known as Koenigsberg, part of East Prussia).

To the victor go the spoils? Perhaps, but its a bit ironic that the anniversary is being celebrated by those ultra nationals who moved into the area once the Germans were forced to leave. Again, after a 700 year history. Funny how some people can be driven from their ancestral homeland without anyone raising objections, while other peoples which much smaller populations set off a firestorm of world disapproval when they are put thru the same gauntlet.