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    Re: A new way to check for magnetic variation or even align your compass?
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2014 Jan 2, 14:01 -0800

    From the article summary (MF=magnetic field):
    "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. "

    The dogs are bothered by a CHANGING magnetic field. If repeatable (and not an early April Fools joke or other hoax!), it would be an interesting possibility. Changing magnetic fields, as we all know generate electric currents. Perhaps dogs become irritated by such fields generating slight currents in their tissues and disturbing their normal behavior. I suppose we could conduct a controlled experiment and mess with the magnetic fields around dogs in the laboratory and see if that messes with their messes.

    Meanwhile, let us suppose, for the sake of argument :), that sudden changes in the Earth's magnetic field are global phenomena which occur nearly simultaneously. I suggest further that we could walk our dogs at various points around the globe including on the decks of our various ocean-going craft, and with a compass we could note whether they conduct their affairs in alignment or at some perturbed angle relative to magnetic north. Simultaneously we would measure the local apparent time by observing the Sun's altitude with a quadrant or similar instrument. Then observers in different parts of the world could later compile their records. The periods of disturbed dog business would all have occurred at specific times relative to any assigned Prime Meridian. These periods of perturbed scat could be correlated among multiple observers. Comparing the differences of observed local time at known times of "global perturbation of scatology" (or g.p.s. for reference in polite society), we would then be able to determine our longitude at the proportionate rate of 15 degrees of difference per hour difference in local time. The problem of the longitude is thusly solved by the powder of sympathy. Poop on all the deniers!

    -FER

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