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A planet! - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
A planet!
Okay, I'm possibly the last person on Earth (who's interested in space, anyway) to see this, but hey... they took a picture of a planet around another sun! Yippee!


Still, we can't very well have a conversation about "2M1207 and its planet." It doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, you know? So, a poll:

What should we name the star and planet

Fred and George
Luke and Leia
Merlin and Arthur
Apollo and Prometheus
Ra and Ptah
Planet/Star: OTP
Anything that goes well with the surname "Black."
Something phonetic from the numeric name, like Twem. And the planet can be named Star Trek style--Alpha Twem.
Why change it? You can't beat 2M1207 for catchiness!
Other (suggest in comments)

I should be writing about 9/11. It is very much on my mind, and I don't think we should normalize the day, or turn into another opportunity for mattress sales. Something important happened, and we should remember it, in as much emotional detail as we can. But the culture is being very aggressive about normalizing it, not thinking about it, etc. I've barely heard a peep. History fades so quickly in the contemporary world.

And at any rate... new planet! With a picture! My space exploration crazed brain is way too psyched.

(EDITED because, eep, whose/who's? Ack.)
24 comments or Leave a comment
ashtur From: ashtur Date: September 11th, 2004 10:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Akakin (star) and Luke (planet)
liwy From: liwy Date: September 11th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)
whose interested in space, anyway

You've been infected, it seems.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 11th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
narnian_dreamer From: narnian_dreamer Date: September 11th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
That is so cool! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
lync From: lync Date: September 11th, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for posting this. I haven't kept up with a lot of Astronomy stuff lately and that makes me very sad. So yay! :D
fiatincantatum From: fiatincantatum Date: September 11th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Daedalus & Icarus
riibu From: riibu Date: September 11th, 2004 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for posting this. I'm rather interested in astronomy myself... :)
rabidsamfan From: rabidsamfan Date: September 11th, 2004 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm with you on the do something/do nothing feeling. It's really strange that the library has this big celebration of Boston's charter day going on downtown.

I feel kind of sorry for everyone whose birthday falls on the eleventh of September.

In a way I'm relieved that there aren't a lot of public memorial activities going on, though. They'd just be skewed into political statements and that would make me sick to my stomach as well as sick at heart.

The planet is really nifty. Thanks for mentioning it.

vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 11th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Cornelius Fudge is smarter than a lot of us. None of us had a clue while the war was secret - no secret societies, no nothing, despite quite a few terrorist attacks - and then, after the Fountain of Magical Brethren smashed before our eyes, we acted, sure, but now... We should wait until attacked before going to war. Even Neville Chamberlain figured things out when Hitler attacked Poland. And so many of us are so stupid as to follow the herd on this matter. 9/11 doesn't just need commemoration - it literally needs to be remembered. Despite being below all initial expectations, the 1,000 casualties in Iraq are too high a price for most Americans. We've forgotten that there are things worth dying for, forgotten the very threat to our well-being...

How on earth can the West make it out of this??
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 11th, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
How on earth can the West make it out of this??

I don't know. I sometimes think we've all decided to commit collective suicide from the depths of post-colonial guilt-tripping. Woe is me, the world is meaningless, I'll go drown myself so I can be in Atlantis again. Or in the sleeping giant metaphor, we keep hitting snooze when the alarm goes off, even when we know it's time to get up. The giant woke up--briefly--swatted around in a kind of haphazard way, and is now saying, "Lemme get back to sleep, okay?"

1,000 is less than a third of the number who died in New York in one day, and we've been there for over a year now.

I can understand it. I'm a status quo girl myself--I don't like to have my life interrupted, and would much prefer to continue doing what I'm doing--talking books, watching movies, all that pursuing happiness stuff. Being attacked makes that impossible, so the sooner things are back to September 10, the better. But, you know, hint--this isn't a fight we started. We can't just say, "Oh, I don't feel like it, can we do this another day, Mr. bin Laden?" because our inclination is actually to say, "Oh, good G-d, do we have to do this? Let him rave. Ignore him. He'll go away."

I'm afraid my 9/11 feelings came out when I was modding a thread today, in which Americans were castigated as being prudes and people expressed wishes that we could all be Europeans... it was way off topic as well as being an ethnic slur, but like an idiot, I engaged it rather than just saying, "Note from the forum ghost: Knock it off, now."
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 11th, 2004 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Oh, it's not less than a third; my mistake. It was "only" two thousand seven hundred something.)
vytresna From: vytresna Date: September 11th, 2004 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, and allegedly less than the number of people who get struck by lightning twice. Dubious numbers aside, lightning isn't seeking for your blood. War isn't something you measure by your likelihood to die from it, anyway. It's not only about your own skin. It's about peace, it's about living without death hanging over your head, it could be about freedom itself... Why don't people get this? Why the rampant cowardice? That doesn't matter, though, does it... how to rid ourselves of it before the nukes hit?
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 11th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally agree.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: September 12th, 2004 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Lord yes, you put it perfectly. One additional factor; it makes me crazy to hear the post hoc ergo propter hoc bit about how we're just "creating terrorists" and therefore it's actually our fault, etc etc etc. If you look back over the last decade, it looks like they were there all along, just less obtrusive in our eyes (by ours I mean America + western Europe). For example, when I was living in Russia (1999/2000) the Chechen thing was still grinding on; during the course of my time there there were several small bombs in underpasses and two apartment buildings blown up in Moscow. To this day, none of these have been solved - a big trouble there is that the Russian government is not exactly forthcoming with its information and has not always been above setting people up. A complication was the fact that while men got stopped frequently on the street for passport checks/suspicious activity, women sailed along virtually undisturbed (not that I disliked being able to move around easily). We foreigners joked that one day Moscow would be terrorized by a serial killer or something and that the police would never figure it out, because she was female. If we had put together the pieces of the puzzle that were in the paper every day, we might have been able to extrapolate to the situations with female suicide bombers which have taken place recently. All this, pre-9/11, pre-Bush.

Oh, and one more thing. I vividly remember a segment of the evening news dedicated to broadcasting a tape released by a Chechen militants' group. They had kidnapped a Russian soldier; one bound soldier versus about twenty guys. Guess what - they beheaded him on the tape. My stomach has never been the same since then. It can't have gotten much play outside of Russia, though, because when similar-minded fanatics began using the same method more recently, it suddenly became America's fault for, you know, provoking them. It isn't. It's something they've been doing since at least the Clinton administration.

Sorry if I sound a little bitter; I'm tired and also feeling a bit raw right now. I hate to have my life disturbed too; when my brother was doing his tour in Iraq, I was terrified, and will be again when he goes to Afghanistan. Currently I'm worried about my second brother, "somewhere in the Middle East" doing something so friggin' secret we can't even know what country he's in, or whether he's at sea or on land. To hear the constant barrage of "It's ultimately our fault" makes my soul wither.
riah_chan From: riah_chan Date: September 11th, 2004 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so very much agree with what you are saying... when the U.S. first went to Iraq, I told my husband that I didn't want him in the military at all and that if the draft ever came up, I wanted him to find some way out of it (there may or may not still be a law that exempts him for a technicality.) I can only say the reason for this was because we were newly married and I was selfish. Now we've discussed him enlisting in the Air Force if there ever was a need and we are both very okay with that. But that was only after I realized what a hypicrit I was being wanting to be protected but not wanting to have our family contribute to the protecting.

mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: September 11th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I should be writing about 9/11. It is very much on my mind, and I don't think we should normalize the day, or turn into another opportunity for mattress sales. Something important happened, and we should remember it, in as much emotional detail as we can. But the culture is being very aggressive about normalizing it, not thinking about it, etc. I've barely heard a peep. History fades so quickly in the contemporary world.

It's very important to remember. Last month my children and I listened to a radio special about Normandy and we discussed how we can't forget those people who showed incredible bravery in the face of evil. I think it might still be too fresh and too painful for people to remember in a "memorializing" way - most of us will remember every detail of that day for the rest of our lives. My husband had caught a very early flight from New Jersey to Pittsburgh that morning and was safely home by the time the first plane hit the first tower, but I remember just hugging him and not letting go -- it felt very "close" to me.

I don't know if you've already seen this illustration/reaction to 9/11, but I think it's moving and inspiring. (I hope the link works properly)

mrs_who From: mrs_who Date: September 11th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

trying that link again

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 11th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: trying that link again

Gah. That's gorgeous. Thank you.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: September 11th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the icon. And thank you for the link.

I've been wondering if I should post in my LJ about 9/11, but honestly, I don't want to go the treacly or overblown route even by accident, so I've let others do the talking for me. Funny how I can rave on, articulately, for hours about Tonks or Hufflepuffs or writing or cats or...but not about some of the more important things. (Though I would argue that cats are important.)
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: September 11th, 2004 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, you're not the last person to hear about the planet. That would be me (the one who wants to be an astronaut when she grows up...)

*jumps up and down and feels very very excited* Do you think they'll give space science more funding now?

Well, they won't, but we can dream...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2004 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that would be lovely. Alas, there's no one racing to get there ahead of us, so we don't have the space race money that came about in the sixties. Sigh.

I'd be really happy for a manned mission to Mars. I so want a human footprint up there. Maybe we should take up a collection and send it to NASA...
From: fu_deleterius Date: September 12th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like tacos!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 12th, 2004 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
As always, good to know. Hi, fu.
werewolf_song From: werewolf_song Date: September 12th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Arukenimon and Mummymon?

As for 9/11, I believe that normalization is exactly what should happen. Will torturing ourselves every year bring back a single man, woman, or child? Would you want the people you love to devote themselves to tearing open their wounds and rubbing salt into them periodically instead of living their lives and remembering you for your life as opposed to your death?

No one has forgotten. Everyone knows it was a terrible tragedy that few others come close to. However, this past Saturday only has to be a terrible tragedy if we make it one. Doing so will serve two purposes: (1) Make us miserable; (2) keep us afraid.
24 comments or Leave a comment