1020: Orion Nebula
Title text: Also on the agenda: what's with his hips?
The Orion nebula is a diffuse nebula situated south of the three stars that compose Orion's Belt in the Orion constellation. In terms of the comic, it is the middle "star" in the sword/dong of Orion. Dong is an American slang word for penis. The star appears fuzzy to sharp-eyed observers, and the nebulosity is obvious through binoculars or a small telescope.
When the speaker says "We are no strangers to controversy" he is probably referring to Pluto's demotion from planet to a dwarf planet, or plutoid, or whatever it's called these days. It could also be a reference to Rick Astley's song "Never gonna give you up", the original line is "We're no strangers to love".
The title text is a quip about how small and off-kilter the hips are in Orion the constellation compared to the rest of its body.
- [Cueball stands behind a lectern decorated with the indicators of the International Astronomical Union.]
- Cueball: Welcome to IAU Symposium #279.
- Cueball: We are no strangers to controversy, and we will not shy away from the tough issues. Which brings us to the subject at hand.
- [An anatomically uncensored projection of the Constellation Orion appears before the speaker.]
- Cueball: It's time to talk about the fact that Orion clearly has a dong.
- Attendee in crowd #1: It's hard to miss.
- Attendee #2: We could keep telling people it's a sword.
- Attendee #3: C'mon, no one's buying that anymore.