Thursday, August 24, 2006


First, the good news.

Women may buy the morning-after pill without a prescription -- but only with proof they're 18 or older, federal health officials ruled Thursday, capping a contentious three-year effort to ease access to the emergency contraceptive.

Yes, it's still not available to the girls who arguably need it most (high school girls whose parents would go apeshit bananas with a pregnancy scare), but at least it's available to women 18 and over. Small steps will get us closer to sales for girls under 18, so I'll take it for now.

Now, the bad news.
After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is -- and isn't -- a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.

Pluto was my favorite planet. Mainly because it was the "pizza" in the My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas in the mnemonic device that got me through elementary school science class. I also associated it with the Mickey Mouse's dog, and I also loved the fact that gravity is so weak on Pluto that I'd weigh next to nothing. Shut it, I'm vain, I know. So now I need a new planet to love. I guess I'll go with Saturn because of the cool rings, but Uranus is a close second because it sounds like "your anus." Shut it, I'm immature, I know.

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