Your Herd Will Message
You When the Time Comes

Perhaps that’s what George Orwell feared the most. Not cellphones and their invasion of your privacy. Not the ubiquity of people doing all sorts of dangerous things while text messaging. No, our money would be on you, as a farmer, receiving a SMS straight from your cows’ vaginas.
That’s right, dear reader, we don’t mean to be crass, but that’s exactly the kind of device Swiss researchers have been working on. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, this is the latest on our thrilling series about bovines, who the last you’ve heard, can make you crazy too.
Today, besides your usual pasture-variety cow attack, we have them drinking beer; stalking and killing an old man who’d thrown water at them (a no-no, apparently), and a group of individuals being openly accused of killing senior citizens in the U.K.
Before we get going, though, credit must be given to our friend Maggie Koerth-Baker, an editor at Boing Boing, who wrote a week-long series Continue reading

No Bull

Mad Cows & Angry Bovines: Are
They Trying to Tell Us Something?

If August is the month for mad dogs, April may have opened the season for crazy cows. For well before the California Mad Cow cases, we’ve been reading reports about the oh-so-benign-looking bovines, to make anyone consider switching to Veganism, and stop blaming their farts for the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In the past six months of so, we’ve seen stories about how the Colorado Forest Service is contemplating exploding a remote cabin full of cow carcasses (don’t ask yet), how to survive an angry bovine attack, and how to harness their urine to power whole farms. If you think that doesn’t sound so bad, have you ever approached an angry cow to ask them to pee on demand? We didn’t think so.
It is, of course, a consequence of our increased dependence on bovines for food, that even city dwellers know now a lot about their quirk and surprisingly volatile personalities than a few years ago. Then, expressions such as Pink Slime and Meat Glue would most likely belong to the vocabulary used in kindergarten, not at school cafeterias, or uttered by hushed elected officials.
Few would be talking about ‘gang of cows’ then, or industrial-sized cow-washing facilities, and the thought of scientists studying cow pies to determine diet quality and pasture rotation, well, that would be considered typical nonsense of city folk. Yet, it’s all part of the reality of Continue reading