9491 THOOFT - - CONSTITUTION and Bylaws

To be approved by the local population on the Day of their Independence

Article 1
9491 Thooft has a territorial zone of 137,036 km in all directions, counted from the inertial center of mass.

Article 2
All aliens embarking on 9491 Thooft must be in the possession of:
a visitor visa (V-1) if they stay there for a period shorter than a 9491 Thooft year.
an immigration visa (I-1) for those who wish to take permanent residence.
A fly-by visa (F-1) is required for manned and unmanned spacecraft that wish to enter the territorial zone.

Article 3
The amount of bureaucratic hassle required for obtaining any of the visa above shall be at all times less than one half of what foreign postdocs and their families must endure when they wish to take a temporary appointment in the Netherlands. This emphatically includes the town of Utrecht.
All bureaucratic regulations issued to apply to the inhabitants or visitors of 9491 Thooft will be only effectuated when and where they serve a reasonable purpose. General rules cannot be instituted without exceptions, for all cases where they can be shown to be counterproductive and harmful.
If, in a government agency, anyone has to wait in line for more than 15 minutes, the official in question is obliged to humbly apologise, and explain the reason for the delay.

Article 4
Since the I.A.U. was unable to place an apostrophe in the name of 9491 Thooft, any other uses of apostrophes on 9491 Thooft or within its territorial zone will be outlawed. No keyboards that have an apostrophe key will be allowed on the asteroid.

Clarification: Not only the apostrophe, also the space between t and Hooft has been removed in the name, and the capitalization has been altered. However, since the spaces before and after the name are still present, and since the t was capitalized, we do accept keyboards with space bars and with the facility to capitalize letters. Another misunderstanding is to be corrected: If your name is D'Arcy, or O'Connor, or #&'! '96, you are still quite welcome to visit the asteroid, but during the visit, and on your visa, these names will be spelled as: Darcy, Oconnor and #&!96. Needless to say, the previous sentence in the clarification will not be shown in the versions of the Constitution used on the asteroid.

Article 5
All industry on 9491 Thooft shall make use of either metric units or Planck units, with exception of the time units described in Article 12. In particular, miles, inches and gallons are outlawed. The use of esu, emu or Gaussian units is forbidden. The metric tensor shall be given the (-+++) sign convention.

Article 6
All libraries and university buildings on 9491 Thooft shall be open day and night, regardless the duration of days and nights on 9491 Thooft.

Article 7
Although the shape of 9491 Thooft is at present unknown, any comparison with obscene figures or unhealthy food products shall be punished.

Article 8
Those who are caught littering on 9491 Thooft shall not be fined, but condemned to cleaning the region of the crime from any litter, to the satisfaction of the local authorities.

Article 9
Tax forms on 9491 Thooft shall never be longer than one page. A page is here defined as a piece of text containing no more than 600 words. A word is defined to contain no more than 12 letters, a letter being one of at most 127 different symbols.

Clarification: these detailed specifications were demanded by at least one attentive reader who, justifyably, does not trust any burocrats, even the ones on 9491 Thooft. The 127 symbols include lower case, upper case, numerals, periods, commas, hyphens, etc., but of course the apostrophe is excluded.

Article 10
While scientists on 9491 Thooft will continue the search for unified theories of the Universe, unification of the Asteroid Belt will also strongly be encouraged. 9491 Thooft will seek ways to join a possible United Belt of Asteroids, however not at the expense of its own cultural and linguistic heritage, or at the expense of its Constitution.

Article 11
Privileges such as the admission to a University shall be decided upon exclusively on the basis of demonstrated competence, not on the basis of race, sex, religion, information directly derived from someone's genome, or any kind of lottery system.

Article 12
Years and days are counted in accordance with the orbital and rotation periods. The day of the discovery by C. J. van Houten and I. van Houten-Groeneveld (on Palomar Schmidt plates taken by T. Gehrels), being March 25, 1971 in Earth notation, will be the Day 0 of the Year 0.

Clarification: We do not repeat the crazy mistake of the Christians, who started with day 1 of the year 1. The names of our national heros will of course be spelled as C.J. Vanhouten and I. Vanhouten-groeneveld. One 9491 Thooft year lasts 1203.5927 Earth days, or 3.295 Earth years (possibility of future corrections not being excluded)

Article 13
No weapons of any kind are allowed on or below the surface of 9491 Thooft, or inside its territorial zone. A weapon is defined to be any object constructed with the purpose of killing or harming people. This article applies to all kinds of weapons.

This articles covers hand guns as well as mass destruction weapons, regardless whether they are aimed at inhabitants of the asteroid or at any other member of the human race. One of the consequences of this article is that no violence can be applied in enforcing the Law, since Law Enforcement Officers will not be exempt of this regulation. The law is enforced by debate and persuasion only, and the penalty for violators will be exposure and contempt. They will be continuously advised to leave. Judges may sentence a perpetrator to wear clearly visible and irremovable ear tags.

Article 14
9491 Thooft has  freedom of religion.  This implies that insults concerning the religious beliefs of a person, a group or a sect are not allowed.  However, there is a fundamental limit to this freedom. It is not allowed to adore or preach violence towards humans or other possible intelligent life forms. If a religion is based on one or more sacred scriptures which contain pages advocating violence against non believers, ex believers or adherents of different beliefs, those pages will not be recognized as being sacred.

Therefore, insults directly aimed at such pages are allowed. This limitation was forgotten by those primitive Western civilizations of the 21st century on Planet Earth, an oversight that has caused unnecessary confusion among their populations.

The first draft of this Constitution was conceived April 17 of the Year 2000 (old Earth notation). Work on its perfection is still in progress. Suggestions for further Articles are welcome.
Please mail these to Gerard 't Hooft
The above regulations have been consulted by visitors to this web page.

Pictures of our home:
(Courtesy Carl Koppeschaar)



One of our neighbors: Le Petit Prince, living on Planet B 612.


 Convicted felons on 9491 Thooft.







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Last revised: 18/08/08.