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Sci-Tech

QVC stars confused about whether the moon is a planet

Technically Incorrect: In a piece of must-see television, designer Isaac Mizrahi and presenter Shawn Killinger break off from clothes to debate astronomy.

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Isaac Mizrahi: "The moon is a planet, darling." QVC/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


I have only ever watched QVC when I've pressed the wrong numbers on my remote.

However, I understand that it's a vibrant arena of commerce, akin to a market square that never closes and where everyone is frightfully dressed.

A couple of days ago, however, a whole new aspect descended on the channel when designer Isaac Mizrahi and QVC host Shawn Killinger debated astronomy.

You might imagine they were selling dainty sweatshirts with Copernicus embroidered on the front. You'd be close.

In fact, they were presenting the sort of finery that might have been created by Jackson Pollock, should he have attempted painting in a straitjacket.

Suddenly the design reminded Killinger of her days as an astronaut. Or something.

"It almost looks like what the Earth looks like when you're up a zillion miles away from the planet Moon," she said (at around 7:25 in the embedded video).

She corrected herself, insisting it was just "the moon." Too late. For Mizrahi immediately began to mock her for suggesting the moon was a planet.

"Isn't the moon a star?" she countered.

"No, the moon is a planet, darling," explained Mizrahi. Should you be unfamiliar with the use of the word "darling" among designers, one of its meanings is "you silly, silly little girl."

"The sun is a star. Is the moon really a planet?" questioned Killinger.

Despite knowing that the moon is a planet, Mizrahi wasn't sure whether the sun is a star or not.

Killinger was still being berated by Mizrahi. Of course the moon is a planet, he insisted.

While viewers were forced to stare in close-up at a monstrous piece of pink clothing, producers off-camera adjudicated in the only way producers know how: they Googled it.

They found that the moon is not a star, but a natural satellite. Oddly, some might consider it, well, a moon.

Mizrahi still wasn't convinced. "Things live on it," he insisted. This, therefore, makes it a planet.

Some will imagine that this footage isn't the most significant. However, perhaps it presents an accurate picture of how often normal people think about science and how much they know.

This may be upsetting to some scientists. It might also give them confidence that they are, indeed, superior beings.

Next week on QVC: Giorgio Armani discusses the science of how his Speedos stay up.

(Via Time)