Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 335 (Vol. 7, No. 34). This edition is for the week of August 21--27, 2006.
Another Weird Week
News Ratings. So I was talking to occasional PCR contributor Brandon Jones on the phone the other morning when the topic turned to the current lurid headlines dealing with the confessed killer of JonBenet Ramsey, John Mark Karr. This man is so weird, he seems perfectly capable of doing it and at the same time perfectly incapable of doing it!
But that wasn't even the point. What Brandon had observed and pointed out to me, was there were other important headlines, some dealing with significant developments in the current Middle East crisis, that were being under-reported or outright neglected due to, we supposed, the higher ratings guarantees of John Mark Karr appearances!
I am confident that the Karr case will be short-lived, especially if the DNA rules him out as a suspect. Then we can get back to the important stories of the day like celebrity babies, who's dating who.....oh yeah, and that pesky Middle East crisis.
The Last Birthday Comment, or, Can I Plead Senility? One of my 7-Eleven co-workers, one who had come to my Durango shindig but on the wrong night, pointed out to me that I had listed the event on this website as occuring on Saturday, August 13th. I remarked I thought that was unlikely, and he must've mis-read it. Besides, a look at the calendar would show the 13th as being on a Sunday this year. Well, after I got home from work I took a look and he was partially right: The day and date was mentioned on this homepage three times, but the first time I mentioned it I said Saturday. The second and third referred to Sunday, which is correct. Don't bother to go back and look now, I've already corrected it. He said he was told someone else had come by on Saturday looking for me at the Durango. So this may explain some of the low turn-out on Sunday! Still, please guys, read all the top section when I quote dates! Some of them will have to be right! Apologies for the mix-up to anyone who only read the first couple lines of that week's PCR. I appreciate any effort you made and regret any inconvenience I inadvertantly caused.
I wish to welcome George S. Roth to the PCR. George is someone I met through work and, while conversing, discovered his passion and knowledge for history and warfare, particularly of the nuclear variety. I felt his views might prove interesting considering the times we live in.
His in-depth contribution this week deals with preventing an accidental nuclear holocaust, and his postulated opponent might surprise you!
Alas, Poor Pluto... From the time I was in elementary school, there have been nine planets in our Solar System. I dare say many parents and, heck, even grandparents remember that! Due to a recent decision, however, we are officially advised to reduce that number by one. There are now eight planets. Which one got demoted?
Recently, a consortium of astronomers and planetary scientists got together to hammer out what defines a planet. This was in part to decide the fate of tiny Pluto, the last planet discovered in our Solar System in 1930, and added to textbooks, but never totally agreed upon as a "planet" by many scientists. Reason being, it's too close to being a Kuiper Belt object, one of millions floating out on the fringes of our System. Heck it's even smaller than our own moon. Long story short, over the past several weeks, these same scientists almost promoted several Kuiper Belt objects into planetary status by reclassifying them as "Plutons" (Pluto-like). This would've added anywhere between three and several hundred bodies to our star maps! Seeing this was unacceptable, it was decided to simply reclassify Pluto as an "object" or "dwarf planet" and not a planet, thereby reducing our official population by one.
Interestingly, it looks to me Pluto actually fits a couple of the new definitions of a planet: large enough for its gravity to pull it into a spherical shape, and possibly having one or more moons (like Charon). In any event, it couldn't survive the more rigorous classification methods. So, as new school science textbooks are racing into libraries, decades of history is being erased over the little planet that could!