On Monday’s Tonight show, Jay Leno interviewed the man he said was the smartest guest he’d ever had. (Given he normally interviews starlets, TV actors and politicians, that wouldn’t be hard.)
But in this case, the guest was Neil DeGrasse Tyson who holds a PhD in astrophysics from Columbia. Maybe not a rocket scientist in the literal sense, but in the figurative sense.
Tyson has served on presidential commissions — including the NASA Advisory Council, writes popular and scientific articles, and is director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC. He was also named the “Sexiest Astrophysicist” by People magazine in 2000.
As is often the case, Dr. Tyson was there to flog his latest book, in this case The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet. In recalling his own role in fueling the controversy (and Pluto’s demotion to planetoid) he mentioned that there was a Facebook group entitled “When I was your age, Pluto was a planet”:
This is a group dedicated to the kids who were taught that Pluto was the 9th planet from the sun!!!!I checked it out the next morning, and I’m proud to say I’m now member 1,546,518 — the first group I’ve joined since joining Facebook over the weekend. The group doesn’t seem to do anything other than collect members, but I imagine it’s not the only group like that on Facebook.
Pluto, we salute you. (February 18, 1930 - August 24, 2006)