Pluto Power

Everyone once in a while, there is a story that just makes me angry. This is one of those.
bq.Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday. The International Astronomical Union, dramatically reversing course just a week after floating the idea of reaffirming Pluto’s planethood and adding three new planets to Earth’s neighborhood, downgraded the ninth rock from the sun in historic new galactic guidelines. – “William J. Kole(Dinky Pluto Loses Its Status as Planet)”: Some of us are not going to take this lying down. If we allow this self-appointed group of space cadets to do this, who knows there they will stop? Fortunately, the outcry is growing.
bq.It’s an awful definition; it’s sloppy science and it would never pass peer review – for two reasons. Firstly, it is impossible and contrived to put a dividing line between dwarf planets and planets. It’s as if we declared people not people for some arbitrary reason, like ‘they tend to live in groups’. Secondly, the actual definition is even worse, because it’s inconsistent. – “Alan Stern(Pluto vote hijacked in revolt)”: And the battle has just begun.
bq.I believe the IAU’s vote could conceivably stifle the imagination of those of us who still wonder at the glories of our solar system, and who reach for the stars. And I hope that in 2009, when the IAU meets again in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they will reconsider the vote that they have taken today in Prague. – “Michael A. Burstein(Pluto’s Demotion: My Initial Response)”: So “join the movement(Pluto is a Planet!)”: and “show your support(Pluto T-Shirts and Gifts)”: I can tell you that my library is not going to be rushing to buy “any new astronomy books(Textbook publishers grapple with Pluto demotion)”: for now.

By Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997.

Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident.

Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida.

He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995.

However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999.

In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.