Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cowfart Backpacks

No, it's not a name for a band. It's a highly scientific testing apparatus. Used by scientists.

I'm a little confused, because this article discusses how scientists are measuring cow emissions, and while the picture says "strapping plastic bags to backs of cows," the article says that the backpacks are hung from roof of corral (making it sound like they are hung there AFTER they are strapped to the cows, but whatever).

Apparently, the average cow produces 800-1,000 litres of "emissions" (if you're using sciencespeak, but we can just call them "farts" here), including methane gas. People have been complaining about this contributing to global warming, since the methane is apparently very effective at trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide traps heat.

But what do you do with a plastic sack full of cow farts? It sounds like they're just going to throw it away, ignoring the massive potential for prankery. The article states that scientists are considering altering the diets of the cows to produce less methane, but clearly none of them watched Beyond Thunderdome. If anything, we need MORE methane, not less, if we're going to take a shot at running Bartertown.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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