Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Ruminations


Morning cows
Originally uploaded by James Jordan


I read a news article on the internet about cows today. Apparently cows have a sense of direction. MmmmHmmmm. Researchers examining satellite images of cows have discovered that our bovine friends somehow have a sense of north and south, and align their bodies accordingly. This pattern has been seen across the globe. I'm not sure why researchers were looking at cows on satellite but hey, not my business...

Naturally this got me thinking about cows. I like cows, I do. For many reasons, not the least of which are the edible reasons. Cows are nice to look at. There's just something about driving past a field of cows that causes my kids and I to exclaim, "COWS!" as if they are magical creatures we had only ever read of, but never seen in real life. They usually appear so peaceful and relaxed - not a care in the world. I like cows more from a distance than up close, though. Mainly because up close you can see their snotty noses or drooling mouths....ugh - cow slobber!! There is also the cow-pie factor, which is not a problem at a distance.

I have a bit of a fear of cows. It's not that they are malicious or anything. I suppose it comes from my childhood (like any good phobia). We used to go out to my grandparents farm and when you are quite small, a cow is a rather daunting creature. They are loud up close, and just so big. I mean really, if a cow were to knock you down and sit on you there's not much you could do about it. Or if you got between a cow and a hard place (or fence) you would be really sorry. For sure I never want to be kicked by one either. I don't recall ever being 'trapped' by a cow or having any bad cow experience (well, bad burger at Burger King..) to blame this fear on, just a problem with my imagination I suppose.

I have some of the same fears about horses as well, in spite of the fact that I worked on a ranch once upon a time. Horses, unlike cows can be, well, not malicious but mischievous. Truly. The owner's son had a horse that only wanted one rider, and that was the son. He was disobedient with everyone but Cody. One day all the horses were in use and I had to take out a ride so I wound up with Cody's horse. That horse gave me a hard time and then deliberately stepped on my foot. He stayed there a while too. Horses, like cows, are heavy, and you don't want one on any part of you. He just stood there, on my foot, while I tried not to swear or do anything to scare the little children who were waiting for their ride. I could swear he laughed too. It was painful, physically and in terms of embarrassment.

Anyway, back to the issue of cow GPS, it's good to know that the majority of cows align north and south. Keep this in mind should you ever become lost and there aren't any mossy trees to point you north, or streams to follow to civilization. Perhaps you'll be in luck and spot a group of cows. Just don't get too close.

11 comments:

Mahala said...

Sooo like.. the government is spying on cows?

Significant Snail said...

Yeah, like the government has nothing better to do?? Maybe it's a study on why aliens mutilate cows:
Why did the alien mutilate the cow?
For giving bad directions....

I think it was some researchers in Europe...I don't know if they were researching cows in particular or what...maybe they're just bovo-philes (like pedophiles for cows!!)

scaramouche jones said...

Is this animal magnetism? :)

Significant Snail said...

Yes! Udderly fascinating, isn't it?

scaramouche jones said...

Moo-ving, in fact :)

Drowsey Monkey said...

Wow. Cow GPS. Who knew? More importantly, why do we care? LOL I'm sure it's important, scientifically.

I agree with you about cows...they are a very likeable animal.

EldersisAstronomer said...

Yeah, i saw that story too. Somebody pointed out that the shadows of the cows probably point north or south depending on where the Sun is in the sky at the time the pic was taken and where the satellite is. Apparently they were seeing shadows.

check out this blog for a more rational approach...

I think it's funny that the original "researchers" jumped to the conclusion that cows were magnetic...

Gotta love the woo-woos...

eldersisastronomer said...

Ooops... forgot the blog url:

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2008/08/google_earth_shows_cows_magnetic_re.html

Significant Snail said...

so, if the shadows point north and south then the cows are actually pointing east and west!!! LOL

eldersisastronomer said...

yeah, or something like that.

cows are complex...

and you know, they didn't take into account cow tipping...

Significant Snail said...

So, just how much do you tip a cow??? 15 %??