Science and Whimsy…

Okay, I have a great deal of respect for actual science and nothing short of contempt for “junk science”, but that is not the point of the post. We watch a lot of the “Deep Space Secrets” and “How the Universe Works” on cable because my husband has always had a fascination with space and had I been better at math and science, I might have veered toward astronomy although maybe more to engineering. Anyway, notwithstanding my respect, there are moments when I do approach science with a sense of whimsy. There have been a number of episodes about probes and looks at Pluto and what fascinating things they are discovering. Oh yeah? Well you guys were the same ones who “demoted ” Pluto from being a planet and now you want to be all amazed by it. I mean, is that fair? Besides, some of us didn’t care about your pronouncement. I grew up with Pluto as a planet and by golly, I’m not going to let some revised measurement change that.

There was a cute movie several years ago, “The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain”, with a similar theme. There was a small village in Wales quite proud of their mountain. I don’t recall exactly why, but an English cartographer came to the village for some reason and patiently explained it wasn’t really a mountain because it was a certain number of feet too short. After quite a bit of back and forth and naturally the potential for romance and a collection of quirky characters, the village came up with the plan to move enough earth to achieve the required extra footage. The ensuing activities and ending were as delightful as predictable.

So, the universe will not come to harm if I choose to continue to refer to Pluto as a planet and since I’m not a scientist, I can’t even have my credentials threatened. And for the record, I’m okay with still wanting Nessie to be real.

2 thoughts on “Science and Whimsy…

  1. Hi Charlie,
    ‘The Englishman who…’ is based on a true story! The ‘mountain’ was the first mountain in Wales (coming from England), which was its claim to fame (as it was very small for a Welsh mountain) a mountain has to be 1000 feet tall, and it turned out, when they remeasured England and Wales with better cartography techniques, that it was several feet too short. But a mountain’s summit can be measured from a permanent addition, so adding enough soil was enough to get it mountain-status again.

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