Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cow Magnets



So my friend Howard posted a links to a couple of interesting stories about cows this week. Funny, he usually focuses on politics, but I'm thinking there's not much going on in politics this week. Either that or his FIOS is busted again.

First, it seems that more and more these days cows are being fed things like potato chips and M&Ms, because farmers can get deals from the factories that make junk food to purchase leftovers on the cheap. Mmmm...now imagine slathering that cow with butter. There's your Good Morning Burger right there!

Second, there's a story about how a study was done by people with extra time on their hands, and it turns out a vast majority of cows stand facing magnetic north. I have a theory as to why.

I just finished reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Critics were overwhelmingly positive about this book, but frankly I thought it was a fabulously written mediocre story. The author did an absolutely incredible job building the setting for the story in tremendously vivid, intentionally rambling detail, but while half of me loved that side of the book the other half was extremely annoyed at how little actually HAPPENED in the story in close to 600 pages. Up to the very end he has you on the edge of your seat waiting for the big reveal, and afterward you say, "that's it?" In case you are into this sort of thing and plan on reading it I won't stop you, but I will make mention of something I first learned about while reading this story.

Cow Magnets.

It seems that since cows graze in the grass (when they aren't chowing down on Pringles and M&M's), they tend to pick up pieces of metal such as barbed wire bits, nuts and bolts, and the like. Farmers feed 3-inch cylindrical magnets to the cow, and the magnet picks up the chaff that the cow swallows, keeping the nails and such from causing something fittingly called "hardware disease". Huh. Hardware disease. Anyone who's seen the mess of buckets under my workbench knows I have a little bit of that myself.

My point being, whatcha got yerself her is a bona fide cow compass. If I had a chunk of magnetized iron in my 4th bonivial meta-colon I'd probably face due north too.

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