The Widdershins

Saturday Light Fare

Posted on: January 25, 2014

winter skaters

Good Saturday to you Widdershins.  Well we apparently just went through Polar Vortex #2 and according to the local weather “gawds”, round 3 will knock on the door next week.  Here in Bama we had one night of single digits, a night around 10° and a couple of nights in the teens. Tonight (Friday) we’ll be a balmy twenty-something.

Nola and parts of SELA got a rare “gift” in that they had snow flurries and then switched over to sleet and then the fun began when most of the elevated roads and bridges starting getting ice and black ice on them.  The situation even caused the Crescent City Connection to be closed for awhile, thereby stopping travel between the east and west banks of New Orleans.   The situation led to any number of situations like this one:

Icy twin spans nola

Black ice on the twin-spans I-10

They really don’t know how to drive on stuff like this and one item I read stated that there had been over two hundred accidents across the state due to road conditions.

When the stars are aligned just right…

or rather when Fido is aligned N/S with the magnetic field, that’s when he or she will decide to do their business.  Their poop business that is.

It seems that some scientists with the University of Life Sciences in Prague, having nothing better to do, asked themselves “why is it that dogs will sniff and sniff and sniff and circle around and then finally decide to poop?”  So they decided to investigate and find out why.  I am totally serious here.  I mean, they even have diagrams and all!



Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magnetoreception and identify further functions of magnetosensation apart from navigation. With this in mind we searched for signs of magnetic alignment in dogs. We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. After complete sampling, we sorted the data according to the geomagnetic conditions prevailing during the respective sampling periods. Relative declination and intensity changes of the MF during the respective dog walks were calculated from daily magnetograms. Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analyzed and tested by means of circular statistics.


Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North–South axis under calm MF conditions. This directional behavior was abolished under unstable MF. The best predictor of the behavioral switch was the rate of change in declination, i.e., polar orientation of the MF.

Going by that last paragraph, I guess that when all is going well in the Magnetic Field world, our pooches can kinda line up on a north/south line. These scientists were really getting into their investigations, even going so far as to see if this magnetic stuff held true when the dogs were peeing!  (things must be very slow in Prague)

We found no differences in alignment of females and males during defecation and of females during urination, which might be related to a similar posture the animals are adopting during defecation (in all dogs) and urination (in females). Urinating males have a slightly different preference to orient their body axis than urinating females (cf. Figure 3); this could be caused by leg lifting during urination in males. Indications of different directional tendencies depending on which leg (left or right) is lifted are currently under study.  😯  All recordings were made outside on open fields, and routes of walks were routinely changed to exclude or limit pseudoreplications which would arise when dogs are defecating or urinating at just a few places within their kennel or house yard.

I have a mental image of scientists in white lab coats going around Prague, looking for dogs about to pee or poop and then getting out a compass!  I really don’t want to go there.  And I’m willing to bet that if they weren’t snarled at, snapped at or anything of the sort, they probably got more than one look like this:

Death by atomic wedgie?

Yes, I am serious.  Seems that Brad Lee Davis of the Oklahoma City area was hoisting a few brewskis with his step-father Denver St. Clair on Dec. 21st.  They were at the step-father’s residence when ole Denver decided to make a few disparaging remarks about Brad’s mom, Denver’s wife.  That didn’t sit too well with Brad and things went downhill from there.

Police arrested Davis on Tuesday. The affidavit said he “grabbed St. Clair’s underwear and gave him an ‘atomic wedgie.’ Davis allegedly pulled the elastic waistband of St. Clair’s underwear over his head and around his neck.”

Oklahoma Medical Examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the cause of death was asphyxiation and blunt force trauma.


Investigators said St. Clair’s elastic waistband was stretched over his head and that it left ligature marks around his neck. Blood splatter was also found in the kitchen, the living room and on the living room ceiling.

(sigh)  These things always seem to happen around the holidays.  Moral of the story:  Around the holidays, drink at home…alone.

Some assorted youtube videos and a pic

Okay, no way in hell I’m getting on this thing.  Well first of all I couldn’t climb all of those stairs!

This one is somehow tied into a movie that’s about to be released or is already out.

Preying Mantis:  “I’m just hangin’ around, watching the traffic and looking for another insect to prey on.”

This one reminded me of something Prolix said about the media and their ideas of what is and isn’t important.  Here is Mrs. Alan Greenspan interviewing former Congresswoman Jane Harman about the NSA when she has to interrupt Harman for some important “breaking news”.     🙄

I hope Mrs. Greenspan never gets an important interview again after that.

This last one is just pure fun:  animals chasing laser lights.  Or is it MSNBC correspondents chasing down the latest rumors and stories on “the Beeb”?  I like the pengies the best!

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have for today.


4 Responses to "Saturday Light Fare"

LOL!! I should have left it with comments turned off! 😆

Well, just so you know, I always read and enjoy the Light Fare. But I normally lurk. I like lurking. 😀

Maybe everyone is trying to stay warm? It’s been this way for days now.

quixote@2: LOL! Thank you so much! Sometimes I wonder if my sense of the odd or funny or unusual is “off” or am I too warped for everyone else. 😉 Glad you enjoy my Saturday efforts. 🙂

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