Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Pluto Files

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, and constant media presence, had a hand in the controversial decision to take away Pluto's status as a planet (it is now classified as a dwarf planet).  Late last year DeGrasse Tyson published a book called The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planetin which he discusses that decision and the backlash it engendered, including hate mail from third graders all across America.

As demonstrated in this video, which came to my attention via GalleyCat, DeGrasse Tyson has also drawn heat from some heavy-hitting media figures as well, including Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  The video promotes a PBS special airing tonight, also called The Pluto Files.  For Pluto fans it promises to be simultaneously entertaining and infuriating.

My own rant on the subject, To Boldly Go...To Pluto, somehow wasn't included in the documentary.  I'm sure if you asked the producers they'd claim it was some sort of unfortunate bureaucratic oversight (that's after they stopped saying, "What? Who?"), but clearly it was just too hot for them to handle.  Anyway, I'm happy to share it with you now.

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