Is it hot in here . . .


. . .  or is it just me?


Apropos of dolls, the Hand Mirror has a post on the transformation of Dora the Explorer and an earlier one here.

I’ve read posts on Barbie’s birthday somewhere too but can’t find them now. Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you have one.

Just wondering . . .


 . . . why shops which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week need locks?

Power mooves


Scientists have followed last year’s discovery that cattle and deer tend to orient themselves north to south when grazing, with another which shows that high voltage power lines  can put them out of alignment.

When the power lines run east-west, that is the way grazing cattle tend to line up, researchers led by Hynek Burda and Sabine Begall of the faculty of biology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They also found that cows and deer grazing under northeast-southwest or northwest-southeast power lines faced in random directions.

. . . The new study adds weight to the animals responding to magnetic effects, since power lines also produce a magnetic field. And the effect was most noticeable close to the power lines, declining as the magnetic field of the electric lines was reduced by distance.

Wind and weather can also affect which ways cows choose to face, but without such factors about two-thirds of them tended to align north-south when away from power lines.

Dairy sheds are often built near overhead lines because it makes connecting to the power cheaper. I wonder if this means aligning the shed so the cows stand the way they tend to orient would  have an influence, making them more or less happy and productive?

From Time to Mine


The publishers of Time are offering subscribers a customised magazine catering for their personal interests.

Time Inc. is experimenting with a customized magazine that combines reader-selected sections from eight publications as it tries to mimic in printed form the personalized news feeds that have become popular on the Internet.

Called mine the five-issue, 10-week experiment also aligns readers with the branding message that its sole advertising partner, Toyota Motor Corp., has for its new Lexus 2010 RX sport utility vehicle: It’s as customizable as the magazine carrying its ads.

Most newspapers and magazines are losing subscribers who are turning to the internet rather than the printed page for information and entertainment. This innovative approach which targets readers’ particular interests might win some back.

It’s free and you can sign up here – but only if you live in the USA.

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