Category Archives: Country Living

Scientists in a tizzy over cows lining up in pastures.

As we drive into town, we have noticed that cows seem to align themselves in different ways in different pastures. Some of you with real cow experience may be able to add some sense to this highly technical discussion by people who have probably never seen a cow close up.

Magnetic cow findings cause row among Google Earth researchers

1-cow

November 15, 2011 by Bob Yirka weblog 

(PhysOrg.com) — Sometimes, scientists hard at work in their field, come across findings that they cannot explain, and instead of simply writing a paper describing what they’ve seen, they instead choose to write a paper describing what they think their observations have shown. Case in point, back in 2008, a group of guys with Biology and wildlife backgrounds were apparently sitting around looking at pictures taken by Google Earth, when they noticed that there seemed to be a pattern in the way some cows in a pasture aligned themselves. After looking at more pictures, a larger pattern began to emerge. Oddly enough, the cows seemed to be aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field lines. The group, led by Hynek Burda wrote up a paper describing what they’d found and had it published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Later, the team did additional research and found that no such kinds of lining up occurred around power lines which they thought might disrupt the cow’s ability to sense magnetic fields.

When the paper came out, it was followed by a bit of media noise, some of which poked a little bit of fun at the whole idea. Others responded that cows lining up is nothing new, they do it to get the best angle on the sun to help keep warm, or to avoid a cold wind. But to do it based on the Earth’s magnetic field, seemed, well, a little out there.

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The fire is burning in our wood stove again

  We have been holding off lighting the stove in a futile effort to hang on to the warm weather. In the last few days, the house has gotten cold and damp enough to make us realize that winter is … Continue reading

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Preparing for winter and a down economy

It's time to tear our attention away from the antics of our unprofessional and inept administration and concentrate on preparing for a long cold winter.   While the leader of the free world concentrates on one of the few things … Continue reading

Posted in Country Living, Global Warming?, Preparing for Global Cooling, Trends to watch | Leave a comment

NRV Livibility Initiative poses interesting challenges

Yesterday's kickoff meeting for the NRV Livibility Initiative brought together people with a wide range of interests and hopes for vastly different outcomes as far as the future of life in the New River Valley. The meeting started with small … Continue reading

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