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PF Member becomes famous

  1. Aug 31, 2006 #1


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    PF Member becomes famous!!

    Fellow PF member bitjumper (and my very good friend) was on MSNBC, made the headlines of the local paper (attached link) and has been contacted by numerous radio stations.

    I'm proud to say I was one of the first in on his "campaign". :smile:

    "Erik Kilk, a Hewlett-Packard software engineer, is on a mission to reinstate Pluto as a planet after last week's demotion by an international group of astronomers meeting in the Czech Republic. Kilk displayed campaign-style signs in front of his home in Cascade Park, where his neighbors have put up their campaign signs seeking voter support on more terrestrially oriented candidates and issues."

    "Take a look at the campaign signs in Erik's yard," a friend advised Bill Brent.

    "Is it a local issue," Brent asked, "or national?"

    Actually, he was told, it's kind of universal.

    Erik Kilk is campaigning for Pluto.

    The Cascade Park resident wants Pluto restored to its rightful place in the universe, as the ninth planet in our solar system.

    That's how things stood more than 30 years ago when Kilk crafted his own planetary system for a grade-school science fair, back when Pluto was the ninth foam ball from the sun.

    But things changed a week ago in the Czech Republic, when the world's astronomers gathered in Prague to weigh Pluto's qualifications for planethood and found it lacking.

    "I was reading about the decision, and I was bummed out, even though I understand it," Kilk said.

    "Pluto is such a cute little planet, and we all grew up with him. I'm a physics major and grew up with science," said Kilk, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. "I built a handmade telescope."

    Kilk lives just south of McGillivray Boulevard in a cul-de-sac peppered with campaign signs: a couple of Brian Baird placards over here, a Mike McGavick sign and a Bruce Hagensen endorsement over there.

    As he scanned all the political messages, the Hewlett-Packard engineer realized that it was time to take his campaign to the street .... or at least to a spot next to the curb.

    "Somehow, it popped into my mind. I thought it was a fun idea and funny. I got really excited on Friday and Saturday."

    And Kilk isn't the only one. His Web site www.vote[/URL] pluto.com includes a link to a British Broadcasting Corp. Web site that describes much of the scientific outrage among the global astronomy community. It is being expressed, among other ways, by bumper stickers that urge: "Honk if Pluto is still a planet."

    The Pluto campaign seems to be going grass-roots, even though technically the planet doesn't actually have that sort of organism.

    Kilk passed along an e-mail from a woman who'd seen his Web site, and she wanted him to know that "I have a 5-year-old who was hilariously distraught about Pluto not being a planet anymore. How can we get a sign?"

    Nancy Bott, one of the cul-de-sac residents with political signs in her yard, doesn't think her neighbor is mocking the process.

    "It makes me laugh," Bott said. "We can be serious about who we want in government, but it's nice to have a chuckle."

    Kilk said he is a registered voter, by the way, so he will also have an opportunity to cast a ballot on more terrestrial-based political issues.

    As far as his political leanings go, he's clearly a conservative in one area: the planetary status of Pluto.

    After all, he said, it's all about traditional values.

    On the Web

    For more information, visit
    [PLAIN]www.votepluto.com. [/URL]
    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5283956 .stm.

    [PLAIN]http://www.columbian.com/news/localNews/08312006news55291.cfm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2006 #2
    Way to go bitjumper!
  4. Aug 31, 2006 #3
    I'd cheer, but I'm in the other party. Sorry.

    :cheeky grin:

    I couldn't help but think that his first thought upon hearing was "Do you have any idea how hard it will be to get tenure now?" seeing as he was working on a 'dwarf planet', clearly less prestigious work.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  5. Aug 31, 2006 #4


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    Against Pluto??? :surprised
  6. Aug 31, 2006 #5
    I'm against all objects that didn't form from the same dust disk as the eight (heck, throw Ceres in and make it nine if ya like, so long as its by formation/origin).
  7. Aug 31, 2006 #6
    I'm in the camp that says silly pseduo-classifcations like this are meaningless wastes of times. Let people call it "planet", "dwarf planet", "giant ball of rock&methane", or whatever they feel is best, there's no loss of communication. The distinctions here are very arbitrary and have no important technical meaning, it's nothing like (for example) the distinction between hadrons and leptons, or cats and dogs. Much more like, pond vs. lake.

    Of course, if some scientist's tenure depends on pluto being called a genuine planet, then he should certainly call it that in his grant proposals.
  8. Aug 31, 2006 #7


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    :biggrin: :tongue:
  9. Aug 31, 2006 #8


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    why is this such a big deal? :confused: it really doesn't change anything
  10. Aug 31, 2006 #9


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    It's funny that a small joke became national news.
  11. Aug 31, 2006 #10


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    Good on ya, Bitjumper. I kind of liked Pluto's status as the weirdest planet in the solar system.

    Side note to Zapper: Does this mean that the Disney character is now a puppy? :uhh:
  12. Sep 1, 2006 #11


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    I think I will start an Oregon chapter of the Reinstate (Or should that be ReInPlanet??) Pluto movement!

    Pluto will always be a Planet to me, I don't care if there is a bit of debris in the orbital path. Maybe if we give it a few billion years it will finish the job.. So this is just recognition of future achievement.
  13. Sep 1, 2006 #12


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    You should have read the 7 Dwarf's response to this:


    I couldn't have said it any better. :)

  14. Sep 1, 2006 #13


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  15. Sep 1, 2006 #14


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    Oh, man... you know it's big trouble when they start brandishing those yellow papers! I'm surprised that more people weren't injured or arrested.

    Great links, Zapper.
  16. Sep 1, 2006 #15


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    After several minutes of fierce yellow-paper fighting, astronomer A cuts off both of astronomer B's arms...

    Astronomer A : Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left.

    Astronomer B : Yes I have.

    Astronomer A : *Look*!

    Astronomer B : It's just a paper cut.
  17. Sep 1, 2006 #16


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    :rofl: That's good.
  18. Sep 1, 2006 #17
    Ohh dammit, i thought this was gonna be about ME.

    Anyhow, congrats to bitjumper

  19. Sep 1, 2006 #18


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    Interestingly, I was listening to an astronomy show on the local public radio, and the host astronomer lead off with the story about Pluto and how he has been deluged by emails for or against the re-classification of Pluto. He is also surprised by the strong reaction. He did mention that one issue is the most many people know about astronomy is the names of the 9 planets, beyond the fact that the moon is earth's moon and the earth goes around the sun.

    The astronomer is one of those who favored the reclassification based on the discoveries of other small bodies out there in the KB. Given that Pluto is smaller than the earth's moon, that is moves in a highly eccentric orbit compared to planets, has a greater inclination than the other planets, and that there are many more similar objects in the KB, then Pluto has been rightly reclassified.
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