Gathered from the SN&R blogs

Anything is better than Uranus

The planets Neptune and Uranus have no names in the Hebrew language. Who knew?

It’s not entirely clear to me why Uranus (discovered in 1781) and Neptune (1846) have escaped the attention of the language for so long. What’s important is that the Hebrew Language Academy is holding a vote on the Internet to give the planets proper names.

The choices include Oron (small light) and Shahak (sky) for Uranus, and Rahav or Tarshish (both words associated with the sea) for Neptune. You can vote online ( if you can read Hebrew. I can’t, which is too bad for me, because I’d love to help name a planet. But I suppose this process will be a success without me. After all, anything is better than Uranus.

Pluto, which was recently stripped of its planetary status, will remain Hebrew-nameless. So eff you, Pluto.

Also, I was glad to learn the names of the already Hebraically appellated planets. These curious wandering lights were all discovered in ancient times, before some people got lazy about naming celestial bodies.

The five planets closest to the Earth, in Hebrew, are: Hama (Mercury), Noga (Venus), Maadim (Mars), Tsedek (Jupiter) and Shabtai (Saturn). I’m just going to use these names from now on. You know, when I talk to people about the planets.

I also found out by Googling that the Hebrew word for Earth is Eretz. But then I saw that adama means “earth,” too. As a Battlestar Galactica fan, I guess I should have known that. Next they’ll tell me BSG has some kind of Bible tie-in.


Who would Jesus extort?

You’d just love to hear what Jesus would think of threats, intimidation and extortion, wouldn’t you? I mean, after all, this is the guy who made the whole point about separation of church and state, loooong before Thomas Jefferson came along.

But his so-called followers—at least, the ones wearing the priestly garb—apparently think nothing of using strong-arm tactics to prevent civil equality for gays and lesbians. The Washington Post is reporting that the Catholic diocese in the District of Columbia is threatening to shut down all its social-services programs if the city council approves a measure that would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. After all, the poor, sick and disenfranchised can’t be helped if it means we aren’t allowed to discriminate against the gayz.

Jeebus. I mean, Jesus, what would you do?

—Kel’s Hot Flash