As little as I care to associate with dogs, I have to love this:

When our planet’s magnetic field is quiet, dogs are more likely to do their business while standing along a north-south axis. Indeed, the data suggested that the animals were actively avoiding the east-west axis.

Apparently the sense which allows birds to navigate, using Earth’s magnetic field, also influences the position of Bowser and Fifi when they take a squat; during magnetic perturbation, they are less sure where to crap. (In case you were wondering, humans do harbor magnetically sensitive proteins — in our eyes, it seems — but I am not aware of specific research about human behavioral interaction with the magnetosphere. I can’t help thinking it must exist whether or not we are aware of it. We are all swimming in this EM soup.)

The original journal abstract is here, for the curious. “Frontiers in Zoology,” indeed.


11 thoughts on “Geomagnetism

    • I wonder how many species might be involved? I’ve read that one’s bed ought to be aligned with the head facing north. Now I wonder if it was supposed to be “bog” and not “bed,” and am imagining house ads aimed at New Agers showing the correct geomagnetic position of the bathroom.

      • You could be on to something–in fact, if animals line up according to the magnetic field, is it possible that 7 billion human, ignorant of that fact are lining up to poop incorrectly and having an adverse affect on the magnetic field and causing all these disturbances??

      • That’s already happening. I don’t want to know how much it costs, but you can get your house arranged by professionals who take energy and other such bullshit into consideration. They line up your furniture according to existing energy waves in your house. There was once an episode of a Quebec TV show mocking this. The “new wave” woman insisted that a coffee table be placed in such a way as to align with the natural energy in the room, despite the residents insisting that they couldn’t get in the kitchen anymore if the table was there.

        I prefer Einstein to Newton. Nerdy way of saying I prefer to maximize space over energy.

        • I am actually quite mindful of Feng Shui, which is the Chinese school of aligning living space with energy, but just about any seasoned Feng Shui consultant will tell you that rigid adherence to Feng Shui rules that make your life a chore is absurd. The point after all is harmony. I use the principles as a tiebreaker (do I want to put the picture on this wall or that one?), not as a fetish, and something must be working because a ridiculous number of people spontaneously tell me how comfortable and happy they feel in my house.

          The idea of working with electromagnetic forces in one’s surroundings isn’t bullshit but there are people who can make bullshit out of anything, and in my milieu they usually turn up as thin, nervous women with unsmiling faces who look impossible to please no matter how much they talk about Harmony and Serenity. My massage education was lightly littered with them. I’ve been doing Yoga (which is heavily involved with ideas about energetic well being) all my life but the Yoga teacher at my new gym is one of these and she’s the only one there that I can’t get far enough away from.

          • My aquariums are along the only continuous wall, which is also an outside wall (meaning they are on heavy and well held beams). My computers are along a shorter wall, from where I can turn around easily to see the aquariums. The third wall is broken by two doors, leading to the washer+dryer room and a closet, so smaller pieces of furniture (the TV and a bookshelf) are located there in between the doors. The fourth wall is almost entirely used by the patio door leading to the balcony.

            Things hanging on the walls are placed for convenience. The calendar is right over the computer, the only place where it’s useful (all my work is done there).

            That’s pretty much how I decide on furniture position and orientation. Convenience and logic.

            Your view on that sounded a lot more sane that I have seen before. Yes, in the end, you may need to something to settle between two spots which would otherwise be just as convenient.

            Yoga is not stupid. I think some of the concepts might be a little stretched out, but the basics of it are just known and logical body things. Relaxing, and build up energy. I do bow shooting in almost the same fashion.

          • I also use Feng Shui to choose between colors, ornaments, and materials for furniture, when I like several options. It’s striking how often I feel a tug towards doing something with a space that turns out to be good Feng Shui — like when I painted my bathroom red, and found out that it’s in a part of the house that’s supposed to not “like” water influences but that the remedy is to use fiery colors (rather than move the bathroom). And I never was quite happy with any arrangement of my living room furniture till I arrived at one that “rounded the corners” only to discover how universal that recommendation is.

            BTW aquariums are supposed to be especially good for the energy in your space. 🙂 If you go to Asian restaurants notice how many have fish tanks in the front. I used to see lots of this around here. Cats are supposed to suck up and thrive on the energy that flows too fast for people, as along straight staircases and corridors or from acutely angled corners. I’ll take any excuse to have cats of course.

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