Sunday, February 06, 2011

Eris Continues To Cheese Off the Astronomers

This entry is not about this book.
You should probably just ignore the fact that I posted the cover art.

This is not a review of the book pictured above -- NOT THAT I DON'T WANT YOU TO READ IT! -- but a comment or two on an article in the 2/4/2011 issue of The Week. (Page 44.) The article, called "Death Of A Planet," is by Mike Brown, the discoverer of Eris. It's a snippet of his book, How I Killed Pluto And Why It Had It Coming, copyrighted to the author 2010 by a division of Random House called Spiegel & Grau. OK, here goes:

>> I notice that Brown is still calling the happy little ball of mayhem "Xena." I like the name "Eris" a lot better of course, but I can't really complain. Xena the Warrior Princess is just Eris in a leather bustier. A LITTLE FETISH WEAR NEVER HURT ANYONE. (At least, it never hurt anyone who didn't pay good money for the privilege.) Please remember that Eris, the twin sister of Ares the war god, is wont to stroll the battlefields with her brother, TASTING THE CONFUSION. It's natural to picture Lucy Lawless playing Eris in this gory scene, as she already plays Xena on TV.

>> I just want to say ONE MORE TIME that "Lucy Lawless" is a spectacular name for someone touching the tail of Eris. DON'T FORGET YOUR OVEN MITTS, LUCY.

>> Brown stumbled across Eris 6 years ago now, and clearly she's STILL causing the scientific community and other space buffs to sob into their pillows at night. Brown sums it up by saying "suddenly there was controversy." WELL, YEAH. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? He even mentions "surly astronomers itching for a fight. "

>> Brown mentions the existence of a "once-secret planet definition committee." If you ever doubted it, I think this goes to shows that THERE'S A SECRET SOCIETY FOR EVERYTHING THESE DAYS.

>> Brown also mentions that if anyone asks him where Xena is, he can "point an outstretched finger to somewhere in space and locate it, with an error of about a hand's width." HOW COOL IS THAT?

>> I HARDLY NEED TO POINT OUT that the only fitting publisher for this book is the exact one he got: Random House. It's enough to make you suspect that there's a Divine Order of some sort. Chuckle.


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4:16 PM  

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