Saturday, 30 August 2008

Cows Have a Built in Compass!

In yesterdays post, just for the fun of it, we made a ridiculous correlation between Orienteering and the use of GPS technology. Orienteering happens purely for the sport of it, and is about people who enjoy applying an intellectual challenge in an outdoor environment, whereas a GPS device is for those who simply seek convenience.

The intention really was to highlight the stark contrast between the old ways and the new. Cowboys, Indians and Voortrekkers did not have their Garmin handy and one feels that those involved in such activity, are dedicated to preserving a heritage. “We also do it for the beers” says an inside source from the RAC Orienteering club in Randburg, but that’s a storey for another day.

On a related note, (with a stretch of the imagination at best) The Star newspaper this week ran a fascinating storey about how science has proven that cows have a built in compass. No Bull! A study of Google Earth satellite images have revealed that herds of cattle regardless of global location tend to face in the north-south direction of Earth's magnetic line. Orienteering Tip 101:

Should you find yourself disorientated, in an open field, map blown away becauase your in Cape Town, the stars cannot be seen because it’s broad daylight, and coincidently, there isn’t a tree around for miles with moss growing on it, but there is a herd of cows happily grazing in a meadow, don’t lose hope, all is not lost......

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