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Exeat: Day 155/84: British Telecom Day + Pluto .... with Les and and Jacquie of Bournemouth

Need to keep BT in perspective. Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and became our solar system's 9th planet for 76 years. It was given the name of the ancient Greek ruler of the underworld, Pluto, by an 11-year-old girl called Venetia Burney. Because Pluto is very far from us - on average it is about 4 billion miles from Earth - little was known about this dwarf planet. It has a diameter of about 2250 kilometers (1400 miles), which is about two-thirds the size of Earth's Moon. Pluto's orbit is highly eccentric in that its orbit around the Sun is not perfectly circular and the distance between it and the Sun varies over time. It takes some 250 Earth years to orbit once around the Sun and about 6.5 Earth days to make a full rotation around its axis. However, NASA flew past no more than 1800 miles away making sensational images of the planet and its 5 moons - the largest Charon, is so big that it and Pluto orbit each other like a double planet. In Greek mythology and Roman mythology Charon is a psychopomp, the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the River Styx that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.

Demotion to Dwarf Planet. A planet is defined as a celestial body that "orbits around the Sun, has a nearly round shape and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006 because it does not meet the third criteria to be a full-sized planet. It is not the dominant object on its orbit around the Sun - other bodies can be found in the region around its neighbourhood. There seems to be no formal appeal process for Plutonians but if they ever reach Earth remember they're from the underworld and they've the services of the Ferryman!

August 24th is also Ukraine Independence Day. That's the date that, as an independent member of the UN, it formally withdrew from the USSR to which it had adhered since 1921. It had earlier declared independence in June 1917 after the war upheavals of the Russian revolution. It was for many years closely allied with Russia but gradually sought links with the EU. Attempts by the then President to reverse these trends led to an uprising in Kiev that saw the end of pro-Russian politics. Since then Russia has seen fit to back secessionists in those areas of Ukraine that were pro-Russian and indeed invaded and retained the Crimea which President Kruschev of the USSR had ceded to Ukraine in 1956.

Full stops and Boredom; have we a problem? Jane Shilling is still keeping me up to speed with the latest research on boredom. Evidently it peaks in youth and old age from 55 onwards … during the pandemic we were of course all advised to make sure we put 'new structure' into our lives to replace that we had lost! Full stops however is an issue I'm told arising from the loss of most punctuation in texting such that if you DO end a message with a full stop it must be seen as aggressive - that's what I was always told about the use of CAPS and even worse bold … so no full stop here
So why does BT get a mention today? Well, it took me an hour on their 0800 line today to get a response to the re-timing of a technician's visit in Weymouth. He wants/ needs to come to upgrade us and install a new router … the appreciation of need for which arose from an inertia selling letter they sent announcing that unless we opted out, they'd increase our landline charges by £52 pa to enable us to make unlimited UK calls. Now from Weymouth that's clearly not a benefit we need so we sought to contact BT [took 38 minutes] to opt for the 700 minutes maximum option instead at no extra cost. The visit from BT's technician is scheduled for September 10th which has a silver lining - Les and Jacquie are in residence in Bournemouth that week so will be able to travel over to meet us then. Bonus. Well done BT. P.S. We virtually never phone Canada because Bryan and Anne both have 1000 minutes each month for international calls in their packages.

Published Date: August 24th 2020


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