My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. I found this effective mnemonic at the-solar-system.net. It helped me remember the order of the planets which I felt important to get right this weekend. Inspired by the Mars landing, I visited the Chabot Space & Science Center today and watched an interesting episode of Nova.

About half way through the television program, I wondered… are there any women who work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory? Of the dozens of engineers who appeared on screen, I spotted two — one on the parachute team and one software engineer. I suppose a few brief appearances are better than none. Perhaps my son didn’t notice, more excited by his toy replica of the Viking lander than the testimony of boring grown-ups, but I believe that such experiences have a subconscious effect. I had hoped that our generation would be offering more gendered balanced role models by 2004.

On a lighter note, something else I learned today: do you know why Mickey Mouse went to outer space? to see Pluto, of course.

What do you think?