UnNews:Tenth planet identified as 10th least cared-about topic in nation

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PARIS - Officials at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Paris expressed disappointment yesterday when they learned that the discovery of a tenth planet ranks 10th on a nationally compiled list of the 20 least cared-about news topics in America.

2003 UB313, the as-yet unnamed body, is larger than Pluto and has its own moon. The discovery of the planet had sparked a lively academic debate on the definition of a planet, but has yet to resonate with most Americans.

"I just don't get it," complained astronomer David Rabinowitz, co-discoverer of 2003 UB313. "Back in the fifties and sixties, people were fascinated that there was some mysterious 'Planet X' lurking out in deep space. It was in Bugs Bunny cartoons, for Christsakes. And now the thing is staring us in the face, and no one gives a damn."

Rabinowitz's anger was prompted by a Gallup poll which sought to identify the 20 least popular news items of the past year. The disovery of 2003 UB313 ranked 10th, which makes it less cared-about than Tom Delay's indictment (14th) and the recent Kashmir earthquake (17th).

Pop culture analysts have offered a variety of reasons as to why 2003 UB313 is so ignored. "I think that space has lost some of its romance in the last few decades," said People Magazine editor Emily Fromm. "It's either that, or the fact that the name '2003 UB313' looks a little too boring for the average American to take interest in."

Citizens interviewed tended to agree with this point. "2003 you be what-now?" asked bank teller Morgan Lerner. "Is that some new Congressional law or something? C-SPAN is so boring, I just don't bother paying attention to politics." Other guesses as to the identity of the term: an SPF rating, a shoe size, an indie movie, and a slang term.

"UB-313? Wasn't that the sub movie? Yeah, Bill Paxton was pretty good in that," reported clueless citizen Marc Greenham. "I think it came out a bit earlier than 2003, though."

Some news items that scored as being even less popular than 2003 UB313: the election of Germany's first female Chancellor, the drilling of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and the evil race of mole people that are steadily taking over northern Missouri.