Monday, January 21, 2008

What a gas!

Sweden to Study Belching Cows
Monday, January 21, 2008

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — A Swedish university has received $590,000 in research funds to measure the greenhouse gases released when cows belch.
About 20 cows will participate in the project run by the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, about 40 miles north of Stockholm, officials said Monday.
Cattle release methane, a greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming, when they digest their food. Researchers believe the level of methane released depends on the type of food they eat.

Wow, really? The gas you emit depends on what you ate? Cue the Nobel.


christie said...

Do you ever get the feeling we might get further along research-wise if we didn't spend money studying things that make you go "Duh."?

Elizabeth Prata said...

My favorite guy Benjamin Franklin wrote a great essay on the subject. There was an annual science contest at the Sorbonne to develop the most "advanced" scientific idea. Franklin said the ideas have no application or relevance in society. He said let's develop soemthing really workable, and useful, for example, we have all these large dinner parties in which we eat way too much (I been tellin you!)and we frequently suffer from gaseous explosions. It is my considered opinion, Franklin wrote, that it harms the physiology to continue holding in these gasses. But they do smell, That is bad. So I propose to develop a pill that we can ingest, whereupon the afterffects would be most pleasant should we let 'er rip. We can even choose scents, like rose, or violet. Then we can all Fart Proudly.

The Sorbonne was not amused, for he really did enter the essay as that year's scientific entry. The essay is in a book called "Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School." In the book you can also read How To Make One's Self Disagreeable, and How to Choose A Mistress, and In Defense of Illigitimate Children