Space geeks far and wide have embraced scatological humor this
week. The occasion? The planetary
science decadal survey’s recommendation that a flagship mission to the 7th
planet should be NASA’s top priority this decade. That is the 13-ringed sideways
ice giant sitting 20 times our distance from the sun. You know, Uranus. A
planet about which we know so little. Publications like Wired, The Atlantic and
The Verge felt empowered to make infantile puns and jocular references. I will
spare your highbrow sensitivities the inuendo, besides, you’ve probably already
been exposed. It’s bad enough that the Greek god of heaven’s name is so easily mispronounced,
add the word “probe” and it’s nearly impossible to avoid the unintended double
entendre. That’s why today I’m steering clear of the topic, choosing instead to
focus on a more palatable subject: trash. Did you know my trash is recyclable?
Well, the trash itself may not be, but the receptacle is. The big black bin is
emblazoned with the iconic triangular symbol. Ironically, the big green recyclable
bin sitting next to it does not appear to be made from recyclable materials. This
means that whichever bin ends its useful life the soonest will make its final
journey inside the other. Convenient! You know what’s also convenient? Donuts.
They are a practical treat. And, if you get a baker’s dozen, they remind me of
the thirteen rings around… well, you know!