Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Pluto, Plutocracy and Plutonium


Pluto was the god of the underworld. He was also the god of wealth. That is why we have plutocracy (government by the wealthy), plutocrats and plutomania. This last word either means a frenzied pursuit of money, or the delusional belief that you are already rich. I veer between the two.

Plutonium is not rich, it is so named merely because it is Neptunium's neighbour in the periodic table just as Pluto is Neptune's neighbour in space. Pluto the dog of Disney is named after the planet, or at least he got the name only a few months after the planet, so there must have been some connection.

Finally, Operation Pluto was part of the D-Day landings and stood for Pipelines Under The Ocean.

And with that, this series on planets drifts off into the Kuiper Belt like some lachrymose extra from 2001: A Nine-Year-Old Space Odyssey.

The Inky Fool begs for a loan


P.S. A philoplutary is a lover of money


P.P.S. Anyone considering leaving a comment about how Pluto isn't a planet no more, can take that thought, cover it in brambles, and stick it where the sun only shines very, very faintly.

10 comments:

  1. Pluto is also a "Sailor Senshi" and a very attractive one, at that. Here is a link to a picture in which Penelope Cruz (who is neither Sailor nor Senshi) is dressed in the same dress as Meioh Setsuna, the cartoon character otherwise known as Sailor Pluto: http://www.cineblog.it/post/19481/penelope-cruz-e-una-guerriera-sailor

    Setsuna's family name "Meioh" is Japanese for the planet "Pluto." Her astrological sign is Scorpio, which is ruled over by Pluto. Pluto is usually associated with the term 'Transformation' and when Setsuna transforms, she becomes Sailor Pluto.

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  2. Great planetary series! I'm so glad you included pluto :-)

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  3. An accordion-wielding band from Brooklyn called One Ring Zero has released a new album titled Planets with a song for each planet, including one for little Pluto. They played the Pluto song live on a radio show recently:
    http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/2010/sep/03/one-ring-zeros-planets/

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  4. Really enjoyed this series on our solar system! Thanks for including pluto, he's a personal favourite :-)

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  5. Sorry, but Plutocrat and Plutomania both have another meaning as well. A Plutocrat is a supporter of the planet Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto, said "I'm not a Republican or a Democrat; I'm a Plutocrat," and he didn't mean someone who favors rule by the wealthy. Plutomania is like Beatlemania; it refers to total adoration for the planet Pluto.

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  6. I wonder what permissions from the Disney corporation you had to obtain in order to use the image of Pluto? I understand that Disney's lawyers have a robust reputation as jealous defenders of the corporation's intellectual property interests.

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  7. As I recall, it was on Wikipedia.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. In Latin, the name Pluto means the wealthy one, but not because he had gold or money, but because he owned all the souls of men in the afterlife.

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  10. I remember at the time being against reducing Pluto's status to just "Space Rock", for said reduction seemed too sad. Therefore I was with those in favor creating a new and appropiate category: the "Planette". The idea however never caught on. Alas.

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