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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The 11 planets of the solar system, did I just say 11?

I did not go to my Physiology class today even if it wasn't cancelled. I just felt tired and lazy and it's almost MARCH BREAK, so who cares? The Freddy Beach just had a snowstorm yesterday so people are busy cleaning the 30 centimeters pile of snow. It's quite alot but not as much as what I had experienced during Christmas. Instead of going to class, I headed to the awesome HIL Library to do some time killing. If I had gone to class, I would have also waited a significant amount of minutes while waiting for my professor to stop and drive down to my volunteer program at the aboriginal's gradeschool. Since I'm lazy, I'd rather stay at the library.

As I was browsing over the internet, not exactly google, I stumbled to this article at Yahoo! but it was actually borrowed from the site of the Machinist. It had a title saying "A new way to memorize names of 11 planets." I was entirely expelled by the sound of the title. I didn't even know that there were already 11 planets wandering around the solar system. Questions were running in my head and I quickly clicked the links with no apparent hesitation. The news became so odd to me since when I was in elementary i only knew 9. Also, a few years ago, they wanted to decrease it to 8 by getting pluto out of the way. And now, these stupid people just told me that there are already 11, eleven fu*king planets? What the hell! Who just decided to have 11 planets? What exactly happened to pluto? What are the new planets? Ideas rattled in my head and I'm so unfortunate to just know the 9 planets.

If you didn't know that there are now 11 planets, you're not alone! This is the blog from Machinist Salon and click here for the article. If you're lazy as me, just scroll down!

Mnemonic for 11 planets sure beats "Roy G. Biv," "Homes"

Maryn Smith, a 10-year-old fourth-grader at Riverview Elementary School in Great Falls, Mont., knows that there are 11 planets in the solar system. In order of increasing distance from the sun, they are, of course, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris.

The trouble is, you and millions of Americans just like you don't know any of this.

You vaguely remember Venus because that's where ladies come from, and Mars because of the rock that looks like a face. And you've got no idea -- none, nada -- about Ceres and Eris, two of the solar system's dwarf planets, along with Pluto, which word conjures in your mind a picture of Mickey's dog.

So how to school you on space? This was Maryn's quest.

Inspired by a contest put on by the National Geographic Society, her class set about coming up with a mnemonic for the solar system's 11 planets. You know, like "Roy G. Biv" for the colors of the rainbow -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet -- or, for the Great Lakes, "Homes" (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).

Maryn won the contest with her thoroughly excellent phrase:

My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants.

Mnemonics work when they're memorable. And Maryn's, which she says was inspired by "Aladdin," sure is. The magic carpet! Those palace elephants! How can you forget?

According to Maryn's local paper, other entries from her class included:

My Very Extraordinary Mother Carrie Just Served Us Nine Pizzas Each.


My Very Extraordinary Mother Can Jog Superly Under Nasty Particular Elves.

It's clear why those don't work: How would you remember that the mom's named Carrie? And "superly"? And what's the deal with elves being "particular"? It makes no sense! Not like the magic carpet and nine palace elephants, which is totally logical and right.

Maryn's mnemonic will be published in a forthcoming National Geographic book, "11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System."

According to the Associated Press -- and this part is totally true -- it will also be recorded into a song by Lisa Loeb.

"My Very Exciting Magic Carpet..." could be Loeb's biggest hit -- her only hit! -- since "Stay."

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