And Now, The News…

It’s been one of those weeks. You turn your back for five minutes and suddenly there are another three planets. Or there could be. Astronomers have tabled a plan to redefine what constitutes a planet, which means that people like myself who can never remember what order the current planets go in now have to remember Ceres (which is an asteroid), Charon (Pluto’s moon) and the unforgettable 2003 UB313. Rumours that they plan to rename Uranus remain unsubstantiated.

Of course, that could just be a cover-up. Because, in a move that’s sure to get the ‘Apollo 11 Was A Big Fat Lie’ crowd quivering with conspiratorial anticipation, NASA are trying to find the original film of the moon landings. Reputed to be far clearer than the images we’re all familiar with, the film is believed to be somewhere in NASA’s archives in Maryland. This won’t shut up the conspiracy theorists, oh no, this is just NASA buying themselves enough time to fake some funky new pictures to perpetuate the cover-up. Just you watch. That said, tinfoil hats aside, can you believe that they don’t know where the tapes are? I mean, okay, I could understand them not being kept in a cupboard in Mr. NASA’s office, but this just reminds me of Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s thousand identical boxes. It’s a crime against history, and hopefully once they’re found, they’ll be made available online somehow. In the meantime, just direct your friendly neighbourhood conspiracy dude to the Bad Astronomy website…

Talking of history, one of the 20th Century’s injustices is finally being redressed. 300 British soldiers, executed for ‘cowardice’ have received a posthumous pardon. Obviously, this sort of thing is always too late, but if it’s a comfort to the few remaining friends and relatives, then some justice has been done. A public acknowledgement that terrible mistakes were made is a step in the right direction, and even though there are arguments for and against this sort of thing, in this case I think they made the right call. Watching the Remembrance Day parade every November just highlights how few veterens of WWI (and WWII for that matter) remain, and maybe anything that makes their lives a bit easier helps mitigate the scars on Europe’s conscience…

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