Science Destroyed my Childhood – Justin Hanks

Science Destroyed my Childhood

Justin Hanks

All across the globe, scientists are hard at work; discovering more and more about the world around us. They’re making miraculous breakthroughs in fields such as astronomy, genetics, and medicine. But unfortunately, as these developments continue, I can’t help but notice that science is slowly destroying my childhood memories. Below is a list of cases where science has given my adolescence the middle finger.

1. Pluto Is Not A Planet

In 2006, Pluto was robbed of its planetary status by the International Astronomical Union, because it did not “dominate the neighborhood” around its orbit. With its comet-like appearance, it was officially demoted to “dwarf planet.” Those bitches. How is a dwarf PLANET not a planet? I mean, cell PHONES are still phones. I’ve got a message for the IAU: next time you touch one of my planets, I’m gonna kick Uranus.

When I was in elementary school, my teacher taught me the useful mnemonic device: “my very educated mother just served us nine pizzas.” Without Pluto, the delightful chant has been smashed to smithereens. Now I have: “my very educated mother just served us… nachos? noodles? NOTHING?” I love my mom, but she can’t be very educated if she thinks she can rip me off like that.

2. The Brontosaurus Never Existed

When I was a kid, I collected dinosaur figurines. I adored them. For hours at a time, I’d make my dino pals claw, roar, fight, attack, kill, and even tap dance. I loved to pit my favorite dinosaur, the Triceratops, against the evil Mr. Brontosaurus. Unfortunately, this memory is ruined for me, because the Brontosaurus is as real as the Tooth Fairy.

A long time ago, some dude found the remains of a dinosaur and dubbed it the Apatosaurus. Shortly after, another guy found the remains of another dinosaur and dubbed it the Brontosaurus. It was discovered that the two remains were of the same species and the second guy was an idiot. Apatosaurus took precedence, erasing Bronosaurus from existence and completely ruining the “Land Before Time” series. Damn… at least I still have my Triceratops. Oh shit.

3. Forget About Starfish

Starfish are very marketable to children. They pop up in many children’s books, cartoons, and toys. Perhaps it’s because of their name; I mean, you’ve got a basic shape and a basic animal combining to make an awesome complex creature. The name is utter brilliance. Unfortunately, marine biologists think otherwise. Since starfish aren’t really fish, they’ve been renamed “seastars.”

Setting aside the fact that “seastars” aren’t great burning orbs of gas light-years away, or that many of them don’t live in the sea, but rather in the ocean, I think this raises an interesting question: what about all the other confusing animal names? Killer whales should be called dolphins, dragon-flies should be called lame, and sand dollars should be called “not-real-currency.” And we should drop all the weird scientific names. The scientific name for a seastar is “asteroidea.” Hell, that’s what we should call Pluto.

52 Responses

  1. Liza says:

    This is me attempting to be first commenter, but I highly doubt it'll happen. I only just commented your blog a few hours ago… Geez, dude.

    "I've got a message for the IAU: next time you touch one of my planets, I'm gonna kick Uranus." NICE. πŸ˜€ I don't remember what the new mnemonic is that teachers are teaching kids these days for the planets. :L On Tumblr there's a picture of a placemat showing the solar system. Pluto… is there… Pluto is… crying. Literally; there are literally blue tears coming from Pluto's eyes. πŸ™ I wish I could find it again.



    I think these scientists who are declaring this are just pissed off because they didn't find said dinosaurs first/want to be popular or whatever the hell it is, and they are creating these stupid analyses, and it's ruining everything. I mean, seriously. I give up. I still will call Pluto a planet. I will still believe all my dinos from childhood are REAL, and I will still keep my sea creatures' names as I fuh-reaking learned them, dear Science. THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

    …And doesn't "asteroidea" sound more like a space term? Ugh, people are getting stupider by the second.

  2. justin says:

    lmfaoo justin you think of the weirdest things ever to blog about, but i always love reading your blogs.. :-] you're brilliant!

  3. Rachel H says:

    Pluto will always be a planet to me….
    Always so funny Justin. Love you!

  4. Debbie/Mom says:

    Too funny! Haha. My childhood memories are all bogus too….basically everything that I was taught is wrong: Red meat is not good for you, smoking cigarettes is not a harmless pass time, and Richard Nixon was not a great man! So….I feel ya. The dinosaur thing is sad.

  5. Holly says:

    Science ruins everything, and this is coming from a future scientist haha!!

    I hate how scientists keep telling us that we can't eat certain foods because it will ultimately lead to our deaths. Who cares, I like food too much!!

  6. Jenny says:

    You'd think that scientists would have better things to do with their time than demoting planets, but apparently not -__- I had no idea about the starfish & brontosaurus thing though. Seastar? Really? smh

  7. THuyy says:

    I mean, I remember when it first came out that Pluto wasn't a planet anymore, that was big news and it crushed my elementary child heart, but the last two I've NEVER heard of. And I can't believe it.
    I have probably seen all the Land Before Time movies over 10 times each and learning this has just…ugh.
    And hell, they better not try and say that Cera the triceratops from LBT wasn't real either. God dammit scientists!

    oh hey, btw I'm back! (: Remember mee?

  8. Krystal says:

    Such sad changes scientists do. πŸ˜› I didn't know about the last one though. I don't think I'll ever get used to calling starfish a "seastar." It sounds very odd, haha.

    Regarding your comment, I was just solely focusing on young boys such as those bullies from the video for that specific entry even though I know anyone of any kind of gender engage in bullying activities.

  9. Meaghan says:

    But… it'll take forever for me to pay it off! I bet my grandkids will have to help me once I'm gone. πŸ™
    I MISS YOU TOOOOOOOO! πŸ™‚ We need to talk more. On Twitter or something. Or here. Or Skype, I added you on there. But I rarely go on lol.

    LOL, I didn't care that Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. I didn't care much for it… & I never learned that mnemonic.

    WAIT WHAT. That dinosaur's not real? I haven't heard of this yet… are you just tricking me?
    I've never seen Land Before Time. πŸ˜›

    Again, I think you're tricking me with this "seastar" stuff. I will forever call it starfish, no matter what those evil scientists say.

    SCIENTISTS ARE LAME. 'Nuff said.
    Except for the ones that are finding the cure to cancer & such.

  10. Cat says:

    haha, that's a good list! I definitely remember all those things from my childhood. It's sad that they've changed. I remember I was in disbelief when I heard that Pluto was no longer a planet.

    I still call them starfish. I mean, does it really matter if the name is misleading? There are a lot of stuff like that! Seastars just sounds silly =/

  11. nyuu says:

    I'm all for Science! πŸ™‚ But I do agree with the issue with Pluto. Pluto will ALWAYS be a planet in my heart, I don't care what they say! Pluto is a planet!!!

    This post made me miss my childhood cartoon shows =(

  12. Deanna says:

    Nice blog post. You are very smart! I didn't know half of the things you just blogged about. Now I feel like I have to go back to school.

  13. Erica says:

    Science is great at making us all feel like everything we ever learned in school wasn't worth the time, huh?

  14. Meaghan says:

    Well, at least you return comments! If I didn't blog for a while, I would lose interest in returning comments. People would still think I was inactive, even if I added new stuff to my site.

    Thanks! πŸ™‚ Purple's my favorite too. My hair's purple!

    Happy 4th of July to you too! πŸ™‚ DID YOU DO FIREWORKS?

  15. Jessica says:

    Gah, we learn so much when we're little, only to have time take it all away! Science is too good for its own good, constantly evolving, figuring things out, changing things. I much preferred it when Pluto WAS a planet. I mean, what, exactly, made them believe it was a planet to begin with? It's always been the exact same adorable little ball of whatever. IT COULD STILL BE A PLANET!!!

  16. Roma says:

    hey thanks for the comment. i wanted to try something different for the rihanna layout and i like how it turned out. cool blog

  17. Meaghan says:

    I could be tweeting all day erryday, but I could be inactive with blogging, adding content, etc… basically anything to do with my site haha.

    I'm too lazy to add a tweet box! D:

    Oh, was yesterday your day off? What's your job, if you don't mind me asking? πŸ™‚
    LOL. They started doing fireworks like, a week before yesterday. They sounded like gunshots. -__-

    But purple's an awesome color! πŸ™
    Awh, Mum's worried for you. That's cute doe. :3
    My portfolio is boring. It's black lol.

  18. melle lee says:

    This is funny yet true.. I can't believe too when they've said that Pluto is not a planet.. And about the Brontosaurus, I've just heard about it like just now.. after i've read it.. πŸ™ the starfish stinks though.. someone placed a dead one on one of my bags when i went to beach like 2 months ago.. and waaah to to asteroidea.. This is what I hate about science.. but they change facts for the better

  19. Meaghan says:

    Shweet. πŸ™‚
    Hurray for purple! I don't have a lot of purple clothing. I just like it on my hair & nails lol.

    I don't have an online portfolio. I have an old school binder portfolio haha.

    My day was all right… I might be getting a job soon! It'll be my first. πŸ™‚ It's at a store called Blooming Beauty which sells mostly hair supply. There's a rack in the back for nailpolish & lipstick/lipgloss. They also have an in store hair salon in the back too! πŸ™‚

    I have no idea… she's only active on Tumblr now. πŸ™

  20. Meaghan says:

    I told you I have purple hair like… 2 comments ago! Tsk, for not paying attention. I have pics on my IG. πŸ™‚
    YOU DON'T HAVE A SMARTPHONE!? What is this, the stone age? Lol jokes. A lot of people I know don't have one. I hope you don't have those old brick Nokia phones.

    Eh, what would I even put on an online folio?

    Not sure yet. I just got the application today, but I talked to the manager & no one else is even applying so yeah. πŸ™‚ My mom said no more dying my hair. πŸ™

  21. Chazz says:

    hello Justin! thank you for visiting and reading my blog. My action research is on Dictation:How Far It Can Help the 2nd Language Learners. LOLLL.. no brontosaurus, no pluto and no starfish!! life is no fun anymore XD I love your layout and how I can change the colour to my favourite colours ^^

  22. Elle says:

    I LOVED this! A lot! (Oh and I also get a kick out of typing white text on a black background, makes me feel retro)

    Love Elle xo

  23. George says:

    Funny yet true ,very nice post

  24. Stephanie says:

    I always thought that seastars and starfish were an interchangeable name. To me, it doesn't matter if common names are inexact as long as the scientific name is. Common names for lots and lots of things are inexact.

    Contrary to what some people in the comment thread are saying, I honestly think that the scientists are just doing their honest work, and as a whole, they're not trying to destroy people's childhoods. Pluto was always quite suspiciously small to be a planet. But, oh well. Gustov Holst's "The Planets" is now complete once again!

    I say, if the brontosaurus was the same as the apatosaurus, then let's just let the apatosaurus have two names! Like "starfish" and "seastar". I think that the name brontosaurus will stick for a very long time, even though it's no longer the official name.

    However, the guy who killed Pluto is a professor at my school. And most people at my school think that if Pluto isn't really a planet, then it shouldn't be. But the guy who killed Pluto is really proud of it and is a complete douchebag, even though announcing that Pluto is no longer a planet may have been the right thing to do. I think that he's one of the exceptions because there are definitely lots of high profile professors at my school that aren't douchy. There's a picture book about how Pluto was killed too called "The Planet Hunter: The Story Behind What Happened to Pluto".

  25. Meaghan says:

    Lol my Dad had one of those… he also had one of the first flip phones for work. The screen wasn't even colored yet lol. It was all green & black.
    You should upgrade to a smartphone when your 2 year contract is up!

    You were thinking bright purple? I can't do that since I can't bleach my hair anymore. My hairdresser said it's bad to dye my hair lighter colors since my hair's so damaged. πŸ™ But it looks & feels fine.

    I don't even know where I would start though. I think I'll stick with my old school binder one lol. I'll probably make an online one in the near future.

    Most likely. I even talked to the manager a little before she gave me the application. I hope I get it though.. because I have no work experience. I do have volunteer experience (I volunteered at the hospital as a receptionist & a sub cashier in the giftshop for a year. I interned at the same hospital alongside nurses).

    UGH I KNOW. My Mom hates when I spend money on "useless" things. For her, that means hairdye & makeup. MY TWO LOVES. πŸ™

  26. Meaghan says:

    Then get one! I have the Droid Pro, but I want an iPhone! My contract doesn't end until 2013 though, so I might make my Mum switch with me! Hers is ending soon.

    My Mum did lol. She works at the hospital where I volunteered & interned at. She got me in & I loved it. That's when I really decided to become a nurse. πŸ™‚ an OR nurse though. I got to see surgeries & other procedures as an intern. It was amaaaazing.

    I used to have a bunch of those! I have more Yu-Gi-Oh cards though… I'm selling those when I'm 40 haha.

    Why are you commenting me back at work!? You're supposed to be working! Tsk.

  27. Nancy says:

    Science is awesome, but with them discovering new things, they're basically proving themselves wrong from the past. But aren't you going into the wonderful field of computer science? :o!

    Scientists are hating on Pluto because it's small. Hence that's why they call it a DWARF planet. Or they're just not satisfied with the "planet"'s performance. If your elementary school teacher taught you the mnemonic device of the planets, I think I had a crappy education in elementary school :/.

    The movie, the Lane Before Time is still a pretty awesome movie regardless if the Brontosaurus is fake or not. Remember, without the second man's mistake, there wouldn't be that awesome character in the movie!

    Not everything makes sense in life, but we should let a little imagination come into play in our life.. Whether it's logical and real or not.

    Everyone was walking around with all of the free stuff, so I felt like everyone else- walking around with free stuff :P.

  28. Meaghan says:

    Do dating apps even work? Lol, you're probably better off on the actual website. But nevermind since you have a boyfriend! πŸ˜€

    Was it hard to get into nursing school? Because at my state college right now, I'm in their pre-nursing program. I'm not sure if I would continue to go into their nursing program, or transfer out to a school with a more well known program.

    Damn it. πŸ™ Maybe when I'm 25? I have all the rares!
    Are you gonna sell your cards?

    Lol, does your boss mind if you take a 10 minute break before you're off work? At the place that I'm hopefully working at, they don't have a computer with internet! πŸ™ I'll be so bored lol.

  29. Meaghan says:

    The cop that took the fireworks didn't say a word. He was very mean looking. The cop that was driving was nice & said something like, "You guys can't shoot fireworks up in the air." He smiled lol, that's the only reason why I thought he was nice. But they never once said they would be taking our fireworks. πŸ™

    Ohhh… true. Have you ever tried one? I just don't think dating websites work. :| I see all those commercials for & eharmony… they're all so cheesy & not real life enough.

    I hate how competitive nursing programs are. I got into pre-nursing easily,, but I'm not sure how the nursing program will be like. πŸ™
    Hands on work is the best! I got to do that as an intern. πŸ™‚

    I guess so. But I'll have no use the my cards when I'm older. I'll probably pass them down to my kids.
    Do you only have the original Pokemon? Or did you combine with the newer ones?

    It's only your first week!? Do you have an office? πŸ™‚
    I don't like soda. BUT I LIKE THE SNACKS AND COFFEE AND HAPPINESSSSS. Makes my mouth water.

  30. Zoe says:

    "I'm gonna kick Uranus" That made me laugh xD
    What?! Brontosaurus isn't actually a dinosaur? What is this?! When this annoying kid at primary used to ask me what type of dinosaur I'd like to be, I'd say Brontosaurus coz they didn't kill other dinosaurs and no one killed them..

    What are sand dollars? I always hear American tourists at the beach here talking about them and never known what they are :/

  31. Jamie says:

    Hey Justin! Sorry I've been so absent lately, and haven't returned your comment! I'm still a live though! I got a free trip to Vegas, simply due to the fact my landlords daughter invited me to go with her and hang out with her and to get me out of the house. Also, "B", and I broke up. It wasn't really working out. Long story short, he had friends and family on Facebook that are related to his ex (or supposed ex) and well; from there red flags just kept popping up. He was still seeing her as a best friend, and just flat out told me since I tagged him in pictures I decided to break up with him which wasn't even true. But anyway, "B"'s an arse just like "J" was/is. So now my landlords daughter and I are helping each other out, and getting closer as sisters almost. Since my depression took a spin for, since the breakup with "B", (two weeks into the relationship), my nerves were acting up and everything of the sort making my diabetes going out of whack due to two people stressing me the hell out. So my friend who actually cares, and is a good guy he told me stay away from those who stresses you as it will make your diabetes go haywire, and on top of that he wants me to take walks every morning afternoon and evening just 15 minutes around the corner and back. Which I can easily do! But the free trip to Vegas, was fun, didn't get to see any friends though, but that's okay. I made a new one over there. Hmm, on your post it seems a little silly, but than again that's your style. Which I like. I didn't know that seastars are great burning orbs of gas burning light years That's hilarious!! That's something Spongebob would say! Honestly!!

  32. Christa says:

    All these new "discoveries" honestly makes me feel outdated. Half the time I just tune it out and go one with what was originally said – I mean we've gone how long with what they originally said and the world didn't end.

  33. Jen says:

    Gosh. Haha, Good thing you posted something about the Brontosaurus. πŸ˜› I was still skeptical about the existence of it, I'm not sure whether or not it is true. πŸ˜› Anyway, those new discoveries really are confusing. πŸ˜›

  34. Lisa says:

    What, the brontosaurus never existed? This is quite upsetting news. It was nice living in blissful ignorance.

  35. Meaghan says:

    Ewh, that whole "bathsalts" incident. You know they did an autopsy & it wasn't bathsalts? They said it was weed….

    Oh. I thought they never worked. But I never tried. I don't think I ever will.
    Trueeeee. Never thought of that. LOL, that will forever be stuck in my mind: "we're all whores anyway," hahahaha.

    Oh yuck… aren't the holographic thingies only for special cards? D:
    OH. Random, but… did you ever see the Pokemon episode where Brock opened his eyes!?

    Tell me if I'm imagining your cubicle wrong. Is it like the movies? LOL.

    No plaaans! πŸ™ I did spend a majority of last week playing Monopoly though… Oh and I finally turned in my application to Blooming Beauty yesterday! I'm nervous. The manager wasn't there yesterday so one of the workers took my application & asked me a bunch of questions… It sucks that I have no job experience. & I'm 17. You have to be 18 to work there, but when I talked to the manager, she said it was fine as long as I'm out of high school.
    I hope I get the job though. I need it. πŸ™ Because I'm broke AF.

  36. Meaghan says:

    Hehe yeah. Of course I'm right! πŸ™‚ I read it on Yahoo!'s scrolly thing on their homepage.
    You should do an edit on your blog & add that one in! Except skip out on the gruesome image.

    Really? -__- I only saw it once. And it was on Youtube. LOL the bend and snap!

    I always leave comments during this time because I woke up at like… 12. And it's summer time. School doesn't start until September for me. I might have to start waking up earlier if I get that job!

    Lol thanks! *fingers crossed*
    No. πŸ™ The first time we played, I was doing pretty good. Then after that, it all went downhill. I lost so bad. So I became the banker lol.

  37. Colette says:

    Hahaha! As a scientist this made me laugh. I never thought that the change in events or names for exmaple could ruin somebody's memories of things…But that's what science is: it changes all the time. If it didn't we wouldn't live in a world where technology exists and we probably would still be thinking that the world is flat. And just because the names have been changed, or that Pluto is not recognized as being planet anymore, doesn't mean that you cannot share your memories with the younger generations who will grow knowing that Pluto isn't a planet. You can be one of those adults that strats a story with a "When I was your age…" hahaha

  38. Charlton says:

    LOL… you made me re-think of my own childhood and what science has corrupted over the years…. i so love this article…

  39. Chynna says:

    1. When I found out Pluto wasn't a planet anymore, I started planning my open letter to IAU. It still isn't finished and contains quite a few expletives.

    2. THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS BRONTOSAURUS'?! Wait, where was I when this happened? (Probably eating or on Tumblr) Pssht, I refuse to recognise this Apatosaurus. πŸ™

    3. Seastars? *laughs nefariously* Bitch, please.

    Your post has amused me and put a smile on my face. Thank you πŸ™‚

  40. Zotwot says:

    I still feel sorry for Pluto not being a planet any more. Even though it wasn't a planet for thousands of years I still feel it deserves better. Poor Pluto.

  41. Angelica says:

    How will things be when we are old? Will young people laugh at the things we took for granted as real science back in the 1900s and early 00s? Like we laugh at previous generations who thought the earth was flat and the centre of the universe?

  42. Sakura says:

    Wow. Starfishes are named as seastars instead? Oh my. I still prefer to call it starfish!

  43. Christine says:

    I look forward to your posts all the time! This was absolutely hilarious. I remember when they decided that Pluto was no longer a planet. I was in my second year of college and was giving a big WTF to my physics professor who tried so hard to explain the reasoning to a young English major who hated science to begin with, and now hated it even more for the reasons you have stated above. He told me if it meant that much to me I should get another tattoo. Thanks professor!

  44. THuyy says:

    My mom signed up for something on the Kohls website and they sent the 10$ off coupon! (:

    My dad's whole family is from Paris! They all live there, too. lol So they all should speak French. I speak none, unfortunately. So can you at least understand a lot of French? And be able to kinda reply?

    Bahaha it was fun! And our dog had.. fun, I guess, too! (Not really, he hates water! D:)

  45. Courtney says:

    I knew about Pluto (also very upset about that) but I didn't know about the other 2 things you mentioned…. don't you sometimes (or most of the time) wish we could all go back to the 90s and stay there? I mean, besides all the science stuff, everything else was better too! I mean, take TV shows for instance! How I miss the 90s to much…

  46. Dorine says:

    I totally didn't know about all these stuff you mentioned. The Pluto one, a little. I wasn't exposed to it very much but I knew just a little through the news. πŸ™‚

    You make me laugh, Justin. You are one truly amazing blogger. πŸ˜€

  47. Kim says:

    You know, I didn't know that starfish were renamed into seastars. I still want to call them starfish. lol.

    I think the one that always bothered me the most was that pluto is no longer a planet. IT WAS MY FAVORITE PLANET! I guess they'll have to say "My very excited mother served us noodles" now. haha.

  48. Lissa says:

    Lol. now you mention it… I never really thought about it before, but you're completely right! Things change so much when we get older -_-;

  49. Tiffany says:

    "The Brontosaurus Never Existed"

    Welp. Adulthood = ruined.

  50. Jamie says:

    I remember being absolutely and utterly heartbroken when Pluto lost it's planet status. There for awhile there were all kinds of cool novelty tshirts online that were like "When I was your age…Pluto was a planet." It's just absolutely crazy to think about.

    As far as the dinosaurs go, I was never really into the playing with toy dino's but I do remember "Brontosaurus" being one of the few dinosaur names I actually new about simply to impress my band of seven year old boyfriends at the time. ha (:

  51. B. says:

    This post made me laugh out loud and become sad all at once. You're so right! How are we supposed to know what's fact or fiction when everything we were taught keeps ending up not being real?! We are screwed for life. Pluto is planet…I don't care what 21st Century scientists think.

  52. JinxedMoose says:

    So when we say Pluto's a dwarf planet we're literally calling Pluto a shorty? A midget? I don't see us calling MERCURY a dwarf planet. But guys, if (IF) Pluto WASN'T a dwarf planet would you still root for him?

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My name is Justin, and this website is devoted to my many hobbies. From writing and web development to theater and cosplay, I'm always up to something. I haven’t been myself ever since I was born.

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