When I was your age, Pluto was a planet and ice skating took place on real ice

This weekend Boo and I headed to the UWS to meet up with our friend Rebecca and go ice skating at the Natural History Museum.

Or so we thought.

Turns out what we were going eco-friendly ice substitute skating.  No, I didn’t make that up.  And yes, apparently there is something greener than FROZEN WATER on which to skate.  Go figure. 

Before we were able to go home and look up what, exactly, synthetic ice was (and for the record it is an artificial ice surface with the correct density and make-up to allow an ice-skating blade to glide smoothly. It requires no refrigeration to maintain and is also recyclable, making it highly sustainable.”) we figured that they must just add some chemical that keeps the ice frozen, or something equally chem class related and we figured we’d give it a shot.

So we geared up:


Those blue plastic skates are totally hot, aren’t they?

We didn’t want to risk pulling anything so we made sure to stretch it out before we hit the “ice.”


And then we hit it.

Well…we mostly hit it.  For the first few laps, we all looked like Boo here:


In case you weren’t clear about what that look was it was the “hm…this ‘ice’ doesn’t seem too trustworthy.  This wall, on the other hand, does” look.

But after a few wobbly laps, and a pause while Boo got his blades sharpened and had some scary run-ins with Moms On Ice, we got the hang of it.  We figured it out and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.  Then of course someone would start the arms flailing and all faith in our skating abilities would be lost.

While we were looping around, obsessing about how when we were kids, they used REAL ICE and wondering when they decided that there could be something better for the environment that its own natural resources, we stopped–right in front of the planetarium.


Does anything look different about this?  Oh, that’s right.  Pluto is officially gone.  It finally got the boot from the planetarium too.  It’s weird to think that you could get demoted from being a planet.  I mean, look how small Neptune and Uranus are (hahahaha…I just Uranus was small…hahaha I am NEVER going to grow up…hahaha….Uranus…) and they still get to be planets.  You’ve got to piss someone off pretty badly to lose your planet status.  And now we hear that they’ve found some new replacement planet?  Is this true?  Is this a rumor? Say it ain’t so!

And so Boo, Rebecca and I took a final lap.  We had to end the day after we realized we’d spent the last 5 minutes saying things like “back in my day, Pluto was a planet!” and “when I was kid they used REAL ICE to skate on, not this plasticized crap!”  We were surprised at ourselves.  We’d spent almost an entire hour on the “ice” and no one had fallen, tripped or harmed themselves in any way.  And then…


Apparently the synthesized stuff hurts way less than real ice.  But I feel like its jigsaw assembly (can you see where the rink was put together?) is where the real problem lies.

Although the fact that we are old and uncoordinated could be to blame as well.

It’s hard to say.


22 thoughts on “When I was your age, Pluto was a planet and ice skating took place on real ice

  1. wow, it really just pops together like foam flooring for kiddies? that’s nuts. i’m anti anything sustainable so if i were you i’d go spray it with a hose one night… that’ll teach ’em

  2. I refuse to believe that stuff is the same as proper ice!

    And the snow on your page scared me for a moment… I thought my eyes were failing me as well as the “Back in my day…” talk. :p

  3. More green than frozen water? Wow. I wasnt sure that was possible…scientists…they are so smart.

    The snow on your page goes perfectly with this post.

  4. Fake ice?!!!!! OK so it sounded a bit dumb but then you showed us the jigsaw like assembly?! Not cool!
    And as for Pluto, I am still heartbroken.

  5. Pluto IS still a planet, in spite of the controversial IAU vote and the individual decision by Neil deGrasse Tyson at the American Museum of Natural History to remove it from the display of planets. Many other planetaria across the country still do include Pluto in their displays and have no plans to change this.

    Pluto IS a planet because unlike most objects in the Kuiper Belt, it has attained hydrostatic equilibrium, meaning it has enough self-gravity to have pulled itself into a round shape. When an object is large enough for this to happen, it becomes differentiated with core, mantle, and crust, just like Earth and the larger planets, and develops the same geological processes as the larger planets, processes that inert asteroids and most KBOs do not have.

    Not distinguishing between shapeless asteroids and objects whose composition clearly makes them planets is a disservice and is sloppy science.

    As of now, there are three other KBOs that meet this criterion and therefore should be classified as planets—Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. Only one KBO has been found to be larger than Pluto, and that is Eris.

    The IAU definition makes no linguistic sense, as it states that dwarf planets are not planets at all. That’s like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear. Second, it defines objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were placed in Pluto’s orbit, by the IAU definition, it would not be a planet. That is because the further away an object is from its parent star, the more difficulty it will have in clearing its orbit.

    Significantly, this definition was adopted by only four percent of the IAU, most of whom are not planetary scientists. No absentee voting was allowed. It was done so in a highly controversial process that violated the IAU’s own bylaws, and it was immediately opposed by a petition of 300 professional astronomers saying they will not use the new definition, which they described accurately as “sloppy.” Also significant is the fact that many planetary scientists are not IAU members and therefore had no say in this matter at all.

    Many believe we should keep the term planet broad to encompass any non-self-luminous spheroidal object orbiting a star.
    We can distinguish different types of planets with subcategories such as terrestrial planets, gas giants, ice giants, dwarf planets, super Earths, hot Jupiters, etc.

    We should be broadening, not narrowing our concept of planet as more objects are being discovered in this and other solar systems.
    In a 2000 paper, Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Hal Levison distinguish two types of planets—the gravitationally dominant ones and the smaller ones that are not gravitationally dominant. However, they never say that objects in the latter category are not planets.

    I attended the Great Planet Debate, which actually took place in August 2008, and there was a strong consensus there that a broader, more encompassing planet definition is needed. I encourage anyone interested to listen to and view the conference proceedings at http://gpd.jhuapl.edu/ You can also read more about this issue on my blog at http://laurele.livejournal.com

    Instead of mourning, you can advocate for Pluto’s reinstatement by contacting the IAU and asking that they revisit this issue. Contact information can be found at http://www.dwarfplanetsrplanets2.com

  6. NSJ: Well, now I know what my plans for the weekend are.

    Astharis: It’s a total mind trip when you’re expecting real ice too!

    Matt: It IS fitting, isn’t it?

    Mermanda: Poor Pluto indeed :(

    dmb5_libra: Total bullocks!

    Apollo: You and Ari should totally check it out.

    Kez: Isn’t it so weird?!

    Lujee: You’d have schooled us all on the rink then!

    Laurel: uh…….ok?

  7. Wow Laurel is officially OOC.

    Now I want to get some fake ice and confuse people with it… bring it in a sauna with me and make everyone watch it not melt.

  8. I had a comment, but it was thwarted by Laurel’s intense, and somewhat frightening, knowledge and opinions concerning the afore mentioned Pluto-whatever the heck it is.

    Fake ice..arrggh.

    That’s all I got now.

  9. Sorry, didn’t mean to frighten anyone or throw a damper on a lighthearted post. Unlike Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Rose Center, I don’t have a say in what gets put up there, so I have to get use the Internet instead. There is a grassroots movement to reinstate Pluto; anyone interested can check the sites I listed for more information.Obviously, I feel strongly that the demotion was wrong, and I’ve been writing about this for the last two years. If my writing is too annoying, you can do what I’m sure a lot of other people do and just ignore it. :)

  10. Are they going to readjust that elementary school song we all learned (at least I did) to remember the planets?… Uranus, Nepture, (silence), these are the planets that go around the Earth (or however it went. I never paid attention unless it involves snack time or girls)

  11. Ken: Hm, that may be the first time anyone’s learned anything *real* on this blog….

    Ben: It’s beyond weird. Trust me.

    Meg: Thanks! Blue is clearly my color. Especially that lovely plastic shade…ooh baby!

    Maxie: That’s actually an excellent use. What’s the use of a fake product if you can’t freak people out with it?

    Heather: I’ll second that arrggh.

    Laurel: Didn’t mean to offend. It’s all in good fun. It’s just that we’re not usually serious over here–it takes some getting used to.

    MinD: Someone was an English major! You do have one of those degrees, don’t you?

    Andy: I think they’ll have too. Crap, altering MORE childhood memories. Someone stop the madness!!!

  12. I’m impressed by Laurel’s knowledge…not so impressed by my plastic skating stills. However, if they made skates for skating on plastic..well then we’d be set! Wait…isn’t that what rollerblades were?

  13. Andy: They’re not going to readjust any songs if I or any others in the “Pluto resistance” have any say about it, and as you can see, I make sure to have a say. Also, the planets revolve around the Sun, not the Earth.

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