The Far Side of the Solar System

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A few years ago, my wife found The Far Side Gallery 3 on sale at the local Goodwill. She wisely decided to buy it. Within the month, she also found The Far Side Gallery 1. I think this was back in early 2008.

Anyway, I just have to mention that these are just about the funniest comics I have ever read. For a few years in the late 1990s, my wife and I subscribed to the newspaper, and I always turned to the comics section. Turns out, that’s a big waste of time, since there really aren’t any funny comics. I mean, Peanuts was cute and sometimes it made me laugh. And (verrry rarely) I would get a laugh out of Ziggy. But most of that other garbage was just that. I couldn’t figure out how the comic creators had managed to get themselves published in major newspapers considering how un-comedic their ‘comics’ were.

Oh well. The only thing we use newspaper for now is to line the floor under the litter box.

Anyway, today I received The Far Side Gallery 4 and Gallery 5 in the mail via Amazon. Apart from Dilbert and Peanuts, the Far Side is the only comic strip worth reading. And, evidently, owning.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Today I gave my second speech in the Toastmasters’ Club.

The format was a little different this time. Instead of the usual one hour meeting during the lunch hour, we held a two hour speech-a-thon at the end of the day. There were eleven assigned speeches, and mine was tenth in line.

The title of my speech was “What Happened to Pluto?” I covered three main points:

1) How did Pluto change during the first 80 years after we discovered it?

2) What unusual characteristics does Pluto have?

3) What, exactly, does the word “planet” mean, and why doesn’t Pluto qualify?

For the first item, I gave a brief history of Pluto and how our increasing knowledge of that world meant a gradual decrease in its known mass. For the second item, I explained Pluto’s weird orbit and how similar in size it is to Charon. For the third item, I discussed the IAU’s 2006 “clarification” of the word “planet” and why that spelled downsizing for Pluto.

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