What Do You Know and When Did You Learn It?

I wonder...Times are a-changing. Few things date you like being asked by someone in school a homework question only to find out that your vast knowledge has been rendered obsolete.

My first experience with this problem occurred nearly two years ago when someone asked me what the 5 oceans ot the Earth are. I counted them out for her: “Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic… there are only 4 oceans. Is this multiple choice? There has to be something wrong here.” After pulling up Wikipedia, I discovered that there is now a Southern Ocean listed in the Oceans article. When I went to the Southern Ocean article, I learned that 28 nations from the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) decided for the world that they wanted to create a new ocean. When were they going to tell all of us who had already graduated?

The next major change came recently when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) re-defined the term “planet” and removed Pluto from the Solar System. At least I read the paper that day. Now we have 8 planets and 3 “dwarf planets.” How do the Roloffs feel about that term?

What is next? Making a mile 5,000 feet to “make it a round number” or something like that?