lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I knew it, I knew it

"Not hundreds of years, or hundreds of thousands. He had been at the bottom of the sea while the solar system captured a new planet, and lost a good third of its asteroid belt, while oceans of food yeast mutated and went bad, and mutated again, and again…At the bottom of the sea he had waited while yeast became grass and fish and now walked on two legs like a thrint.

A billion years wouldn't be long enough. Two billion might do it."
The World of Ptavvs. Larry Niven

Some one and a half billion years ago there was a telepathic race of intelligent beings who ruled the galaxy. They enslaved all intelligent life. They were the thrintun.

One thrint had a mishap that disabled his ship. He put himself and his greatest possessions into a stasis field, and his ship crashed into a solar system that the thrintun were developing. His spare suit crashed into a satellite of the eighth planet of the system's sun and knocked it out of orbit.

It became a planet, orbiting the sun at odds with the rest of the system, it's orbit taking it far inside the eighth planet's orbit, and then flinging it out again.

Life and sentience happened. Space travel began, too. Tentatively at first, but colonisation of habitable worlds became the next big thing. Of course, they knew about the strangeness of the ninth planet, they thought it might be an interloper from another star system, they thought they need to study the skies more.

No matter that Pluto has been booted out of an elitist club. They should have asked Larry Niven. He told us science fiction buffs exactly how Pluto became a planet, way back in the late Sixties.

He knew how it all happened. Ha.


Update: Chandru and I are hopelessly under-informed. Raj knows more about this.


Blogger Ravages said...

Oh yes, you may link. I see you have already done the post.


1:37 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

C- Thanks. I republished, with a link. :-)

1:54 pm  
Blogger Raj said...

Lalita, I have reliable reports that at a recent meeting of the Inter-Galactic Council, held at ZZZtvx, the scientists have decreed that Sol, a fireball at the outer fringes of the Milky way, does not qualify as a star any more........

4:56 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Raj- Quick, send a copy of the report to the IAU. We can then decree that the Milkyway is not a galaxy, at all!

5:41 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

Sheesh, Lali. A whole new classification of 'dwarf planet' and all that vexation, and you post about Niven.

I'll do a Rajesh and steal your phrase. The mind boggles.

9:23 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

@Ash. it is a free blog. Lali doesn't mind us stealing her lines.

Lali, I can't find a copy anywhere. Nothing I can afford. :(( I wannna, I wanna. Can I borrow your copy?

10:46 pm  
Anonymous nilu said...

Am sorry...i shouldn't have done that.

1:39 am  
Blogger Speech is Golden said...

i am happy schol kids have only 8 names to remember now for planets of the solar system.

hurrah! to astronomers who voted out pluto

6:18 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- Don't get me started on the 'dwarf planet' thing.

Rajesh- Sorry, I don't lend books. :-)

Nilu- Huh? Stealing my post ideas? Definitely not. But if you are claiming you had a hand in Pluto becoming a planet... *grin*

Ram- Sheesh, what about us who had to memorise nine?

9:21 am  
Blogger Priya said...

I hope they remember to correct in G's Science books! Considering the time the Indian Education system takes for such things to sink in, I won't be surprised if she still has to learn all nine!
And what's this? A "Mukherjea" trade secret? I don't lend books I've had to hear that from the other one, all my life!!

1:21 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Priya- Darling, that is the secret of how we build our libraries.

But, I do lend. When I am 100% sure that the books will be returned. So there.

1:48 pm  
Blogger Ravages said...

Yes, I am under-informed. Especially about that SPPM school. Damn!

4:04 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

C- :D Mnemosyne must be tickled pink by all these invocations.

4:50 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

I promise to return it. So can I borrow your Niven?

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about starting a campaign for renaming Xena Lalita? All readers who endorse the idea speak up now.

Secret admirer

9:42 pm  
Anonymous NILU said...

AM really sorrrrry,am a fool to hurt ..LMAO

12:53 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rajesh- Nope, you can't.

Nilu- So you admit it. *grins* Nilu, my very own Bug Eyed Monster.

Seriously, let me hasten to reassure you, you didn't hurt me. I can still post about pujo idiocy, no problem.

9:31 am  
Anonymous Nilu said...

I LOVE YOU..YOU are so sweet.

9:58 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Nilu- :D

11:23 am  
Blogger Nilu said...

wow -- people use my name to tell you they love you? that's a first...

7:59 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

:( So Nilu doesn't love me? Boo hoo

11:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So my lady has more people declaring love. And she ignores it or steps aside very skillfully.

Tell me, what will it take?

Secret admirer

10:38 pm  
Blogger the Monk said...

oh, but that was nice. really nice.

3:12 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Monk- Hi. Thanks. Keep visiting.

4:08 pm  

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