It bothers me when scientists change the stories they tell, especially about things that I learned as a child. Things that I thought were pretty much fixed in stone get turned around without my knowledge and then I get corrected by a ten year old. I wasn’t happy when they messed with the traditional nine planets and dropped Pluto from the lineup or when they decided there never was an animal known as a brontosaurus. I used to collect the plastic dinosaurs that came in cereal boxes and Bronte was my favorite. Now I find out he was a fiction.
They did it to me again when I found out this week that Earth has two moons.
Cruithne is an asteroid about three miles wide, locked in Earth’s orbit in a 1:1 relationship. I'm no scientist but that sounds like a moon to me. Cruithne will spend another 5,000 years in its current orbit and then it just might move into a true orbit around Earth to become a second moon. That would be something to see.
You might be wondering where I find this odd type of trivia so I'll share my new secret passion. When not writing (or editing, lately) I've been catching episodes of QI or Quite Interesting from BBC TV on Youtube. Host Stephen Fry is a bit dry and pedantic but Alan Davies is hilarious. Watching him work to get Stephen’s goat is worth every lost minute of my writing time. Every once in awhile they drop a stunner on me like Cruithne and I have to go google it up.
Another funny thing about the show is that is shows how different British humor is from American. We’ve gotten away from silliness like the Three Stooges but the Brits are still hanging int there, loving nonsensical humor like Monte Python. Their point is it doesn't have to make sense. The rules of QI explain it better than I can: “Most of the questions asked are extremely obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given. To compensate, points are awarded not only for right answers but also for interesting ones, regardless of whether they are right or even relate to the original question. Conversely, points are deducted from a panelist who gives answers which are not only wrong but pathetically obvious.”
That sounds like pure Brit. You gotta love it.