Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard, died yesterday from bone cancer. I actually thought the guy was already dead, but I used to watch his show at like 6am every day before middle school (that or Transformers and sometimes Captain Planet) and a bunch before that. Apparently it ran from 1983 until 1990 and reruns aired until 2000. Anyway, thanks Mr. Wizard! Without you I'd never have seen a vacuum cleaner suck grape juice through a straw up to the 7th floor of some building, or learned how to make a match box land on its side when you drop it... and something about friction. Okay so I don't remember all of what the show taught, but I remember enjoying it, and that's what counts, I think. Adeiu, good sir! Thanks for dropping the science.
For most of his childhood, Choisser thought he was normal. He just assumed that nobody saw faces. But slowly, it dawned on him that he was different. Other people recognized their mothers on the street. He did not. During the 1970s, as a small-town lawyer in the Illinois Ozarks, he struggled to convince clients that he was competent even though he couldn't find them in court. He never greeted the judges when he passed them on the street – everyone looked similarly blank to him – and he developed a reputation for arrogance.
None of this stuff really matters though, because to be a planet the new requirements are:
- Orbits around the Sun
- Has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape
- Has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
So, that's all for Pluto! Downgraded to a 'dwarf planet', how humiliating. But still, it was a planet for 76 years, which is a pretty good run. So in memory of Pluto, I've switched the in orbit background picture from Jupiter to Pluto. We still love ya, little guy!