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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Google Earth Shows [most] Cows Point North

Cnet News article (extract) :-

"Turns out cows may have internal compasses much like birds and bees do for orienting themselves to magnetic north.

"Using satellite images on Google Earth, German scientists were able to see that all over the planet, cows stand with their bodies pointing to magnetic north.

"Studying photographs of 8,510 cattle in 308 herds from around the world, zoologists Sabine Begall and Hynek Burda of the University of Duisburg-Essen and their colleagues found that two out of every three animals in the pictures were oriented in a direction roughly pointing to magnetic north.
"The resolution of the images was not sufficient to tell which ends of the cows were pointing north, however.

"...but because the photos on Google Earth are so widespread and taken in generally good weather, it appears that cows have a "default setting" of north-south orientation when local conditions don't override it."

link to Cnet news article
link to CNN video track

Comments :-
by Jeff - August 26, 2008 2:18 PM PDT
Maybe they should come to TX and see them pointing E-W, SE-NW, NE-SW and every other position in between. I live in the country and have cows all around me, they seem to point in all directions all the time.
by Riquez - August 26, 2008 3:16 PM PDT
"two out of every three animals in the pictures were oriented in a direction roughly pointing to magnetic north. The resolution of the images was not sufficient to tell which ends of the cows were pointing north, however."
Hold on a minute. So out of 3 cows, one is facing north, one south & one east.
& who's to say the cow pointing north wasn't in mid turn to face west.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Light the Way - Discover Your Purpose

The girls in the prison reformatory were all gathered together in the cafeteria. Today was special, for a lady known to them only as the “Teacher” was to pay them a visit, which for them was a break from the predictability of their monotonous routine. They were promised that the Teacher would “Light the Way” for them, sharing with them what they needed to do differently in order to turn their lives around. This could be just the recipe we need, they thought to themselves; in order to avoid the confusion they felt regarding what to do next in their lives.

The discussion began with the Teacher announcing, “You are your own light—Even if you don’t see yourself in that light.” She paused briefly, then continued, “This is the message that I came to share with you today. Do you understand, or perhaps you have questions?”

Everyone in the audience looked at each other thinking, “Yeah, so, what’s your point?” Finally, someone stood up and asked, “What are you talking about? We were told you would help us understand what to do and where to go with our lives when we leave here. But I don’t see how what you’ve said is going to accomplish that.”

The Teacher responded, “Have any of you ever considered that you are the cure for your own problems? You continue to create problems in your life, and then wait for someone to correct you, or punish you. It hasn’t seemed to occur to you that correcting or avoiding these problems is your puzzle to solve—not your teachers, parents, or friends. Maturity is the wondrous realization that it is your job to fix your life. The one who is ultimately responsible and accountable for your life is you.”

Another person stood to ask, “How the heck, are we supposed to do that? If we were capable of that we wouldn’t be here in the first place.”

“Precisely,” responded the Teacher. “This is a wake-up-call, a psychological alarm, an opportunity to change your life. But, before anything new can happen—you have to be aware of, and then believe, that you are able to change things. You are just as capable as everyone else.”

A person in the back of the room stood, “So what is this light you spoke of, and how exactly does it change us?”

“Excellent question,” the Teacher responded. “So then, the question of what is the light comes down to this—it is accessing your own personal wisdom. This may be accomplished through many different processes used individually or collectively. You can begin by paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This generates an awareness of who you are and how you operate. You’ll begin to differentiate between your own personality and that of another. You can adopt the attitude that you will learn the lessons presented through life experiences, and that with reflection [or hindsight], your life begins to have context within all of your experiences. You begin to understand the mechanics of your behavior, your thoughts, and your feelings. This reflection will generate new insights which will change you at the core of your being. Then you will be in a position to discover your purpose in life—which is where personal happiness and fulfillment meet.”

Everyone in the audience looked at each other with a smile of relief—for now they understood what the Teacher meant by: “You are your own light—Even if you can’t see yourself in that light (in that way).”

V.P. Mosser

©2001-2008 V.P. Mosser
You're welcome to use this article in your Ezine or website as long as you include this blurb.
Successful entrepreneur, V.P. Mosser is the creator of the Learn the Lessons Series, the Life's Journey publication and numerous thought-provoking articles. To learn more and receive free chapters or issues, visit http://www.learnthelessons.com

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Solar System Appears to be Unique in the Galaxy

click the galaxy picture for a larger image

A new study has shown that the configuration of our Solar System appears to be unique in the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have found that other solar systems are dangerous places to be with large gas giant planets orbiting close to their suns, and planets in eccentric orbits being thrown into the sun or out into deep space.

The discovery may have implications for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
It may limit the number of relatively safe solar systems available for the establishment of life.

As well as the unique configuration, our solar system lies in the relatively safe outer reaches of one of the galaxy's arms, and the Earth is at the ideal distance from the Sun where water can exist in its liquid state.

[extract below]
Computer simulations put Solar System in its place
Posted: August 8, 2008
link to 'Astronomy Now' article

Traditional theories of Solar System formation assume our neighbourhood to be pretty run of the mill, but in a new study using data from 300 exoplanets discovered orbiting other stars, our planetary haven turns out to be one of a kind.

Before the discovery of the first exoplanets, our own Solar System's planets were the only ones known to us, so astronomers had no reason to think it unusual. But thanks to powerful computer simulations based on the data acquired from 300 exoplanets discovered over the last 15 years, theoretical astronomers from Northwestern University have been able to understand planetary system formation in a much broader sense, and have made the alarming discovery that planets being thrown mercilessly into the Sun or jettisoned into deep space could have been the destiny of our Solar System had its initial conditions been just a slightly bit different.

"Now we know that other planetary systems don't look like the Solar System at all," says Frederic Rasio. "The shapes of the exoplanets' orbits are elongated, not nice and circular. Planets are not where we expect them to be. Many giant planets similar to Jupiter, known as 'hot Jupiters,' are so close to the star they have orbits of mere days. Clearly we needed to start fresh in explaining planetary formation and this greater variety of planets we now see."
(Windows users - you can download the images to your PC if you right-click on them and select 'Save Picture As' (or 'Save Image As'). I believe Apple Mac users can use CTRL + click on the images.)