NPR reported today that scientists believe they've discovered a 10th planet out beyond Pluto, that has the additional interesting quality that it rotates on a very different plane from the rest of the known planets. Other scientists question the claim; some said there were even more planets, but they are counted as asteroids.
All this points out how much influence the business of how things are classified -- how reality is "sliced-and-diced" -- has on our perception of reality. Philosophically, Immanuel Kant latched onto this with his distinction between the thing-as-perceived, and the thing-in-itself. (But don't ask me too many questions about Kant; it was late in the academic year when we got to him, the instructor was clearly out of his depth, and a bit bored as well, and so were we seminarians, and the improving weather outside had its distracting effects...)
An example: when did the Roman Empire "fall"? Well, there are many possible answers, but the one that is best known is almost certainly invalid. Post a comment to find out why.
Well anyway, I really wanted to suggest something interesting: a "Name the Planet Contest." What should we call it. (And, does anyone know who actually gets to decide?)