August 16, 2006

Our changing solar system

Posted in News, Science at 8:43 pm by The Lizard Queen

It looks like our solar system may soon officially contain twelve planets. Man, and after all that work I put into memorizing a mnemonic for the planets: Mary visits every Monday and just stays until noon, period. (Though I did enjoy the mnemonic one of the posters at the above link suggested: “Moving vans endanger many cats journeying slowly upwards near pest-controlled universities.”)

(Hat tip to PZ Myers)

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1 Comment »

  1. DavidD said,

    I like my mnemonic: “Mercury, Venus, Earth, …” It’s more easily adapted to change.

    I bet you there’s no family so big that a parent needs a mnemonic to remember his or her children, if the parent wants to. You just have to interact with something enough to remember them. Of course if some teacher wants to test students on something they barely know, I guess that’s different. Why do they want to do that?

    I considered it a major milestone to learn that in giving a presentation one can rely on the slogan, “If it’s an important detail, you’ll remember it.” After all, who can forget feisty Xena and her strange battlecry, Pluto’s companion Charon, or the tragedy of Ceres, either torn to pieces by Jupiter or never even being able to pull herself together in the first place because of him. Numbers are harder, but there is a legendary Indian mathematician who knew every integer he saw, instantly knowing its factors and other associations. Ah 343, how well I know the 7’s in you, and the chemical element those numbers represent. So someone can name things numerically and you can still get to know them directly. And my phone number in Albuquerque in 1965 was 505-298-0954. Isn’t memory an interesting thing?


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