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Blog

Still a planet in Illinois

By Hamish Johnston

The US is famous for its quirky local laws and the state of Illinois is no exception. In the town of Zion, it is apparently Illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals.

Now lawmakers in that state have turned their attentions to the status of Pluto, which was discovered in 1930 by Illinoisian Clyde Tombaugh — but then downgraded to “dwarf planet” status by the International Astronomical Union in 2006.

So the next time you’re in the Land of Lincoln, don’t refer to the ninth planet as a dwarf or you could be singing the blues in the Joliet Correctional Center for running afoul of the following…

“RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.

You can read the entire resolution here

I think the Senate’s next task should be to declare a better name for its citizens than Illinoisians — something along the lines of “Buckeyes” or “Hoosiers”.

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2 comments

  1. Planets are not created by degrees of government, they are pronounced by laws of physics.
    Maybe the Senate think they can also declare thus: “that plasma was not discovered in Illinois, that henceforth, wherever and whenever necessary, that plasma is not a phase of matter”.

  2. Finally getting it right again. We can at least get the solar system straight, if not the economy or the governor (Rod Blagojevich)!
    From the land of Lincoln (and, still, of Fahrenheit, where 100˚F is hot and 0˚F is cold, and where “a pint’s a pound, the world around”), I am
    Yours truly,
    Gregg Swackhamer

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