Friday, 25 August 2006

Now how will students learn the planets?

Link: Wichita Eagle
WASHINGTON - "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas." That and variations on it are the way millions of people learned to remember the names of the planets in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. The problem is that an international convention of astronomers decreed Thursday that tiny Pluto no longer meets the definition of a planet.
What a way to spoil a good mnemonic. Now how will students learn the planets?
Some possibilities:
_My Very Extravagant Mother Just Sent Us Nachos.
_My Very Elderly Mother Just Sits Up Nights.
_Major Volcanoes Erupt, Making Jolts, Shaking, Unsteadying Nerves.
_Make Very Extraordinary Meals of Jell-O, Strawberries and Unsalted Nuts.
_Mary's Violet Eyes Make Jack Stare Until Noticed.
_My Very Exotic Mistress Just Showed Up Nude (perhaps this one is for college lads).
The planetary change also spells trouble for science museums.
The National Air and Space Museum, for example, has a popular song called "The Family of the Sun," set to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell," that children love and which helps them learn the planets.
Spokesman Mike Marcus said a decision on rewriting it has not been made yet.