Saturday, 28 March 2009

A question of snowballs


Perusing this week's copy of the New Scientist, I was pleased to note that this excellent magazine is finally turning its attention to some more relevant issues. 

I mean, who really cares about whether Large Hadrons are being successfully Collided and making Bosons which may or may not belong to a Mr Higgs ? 

No, it has taken an eleven year old human reader, one Alix Buttermore, to pose the question that concerns so many of us who live in colder climates. She asks why her small dog - see picture on left - gathers hard, icy "snowballs"on her chest and legs  when walking in the park in the snow. 

In the same section, another reader asks why dogs like jumping into cold ponds, while cats and humans generally do not. 

We shall have to wait a week or two for New Scientist's readers' responses to these two important questions. All I know is that those snowballs are most uncomfortable. Sometimes you get so many you can't walk any more. 

I'll keep you posted on the answers. (Perhaps readers of this blog have their own ideas. If so, you could write to lastword@newscientist.com).

PS The observant amongst you will note that I've had a haircut since Wednesday. I feel like a prematurely shorn sheep.....And I'm certainly not planning on jumping into a cold pond anytime soon.

9 comments:

Martha Basset said...

Hi Hamish
What interesting literature you read!
We must pick up a copy of the New Scientist.
We agree that is a most relevant query and it takes a young biped to raise it. You see we have noticed that the older bipeds get the more they lose their insight into the more meaningful questions in life!
We will be interested to learn the answers as we have none - we dont gather snowballs - our coats are short - could that be one solution?
Of course now you have been shorn you will be able to do some personal research in this area. We were hoping there would be no more snow this year but now we will be glad of it so you can have the opportunity to comment.
Well Hamish we look forward to meeting you in New York this evening.
We trust with a wee dram in your paw you will put all these theoretical questions to the back of your mind.
We have you on our dance cards as we understand you can still cut a rug!
lots of love
Martha & Bailey xx

Penny said...

WOW,Hamish that seems like a good magazine. We dont get much snow here in Ireland and as much as I do enjoy playing in the snow I to gather lots of snowballs on my coat which really is very annoying as I fear getting a terrible cold or something and as well as that I feel like a refridgerator walking around! Looking at your older post I saw your lovely red coat,And I couldnt help but wonder does it stop you getting a chill and getting snow balls attached to your fur?! Please do write back as I am interested in your opinion! Lots of sloppy licks,Penny!=]

Gennasus said...

Bad timing for the haircut Hamish! You'll be feeling that cold north wind now!

Papillons know all about those snowballs, soft powdery snow is the worst for it. We await the answer with interest.

Penny said...

Hi again Hamish,my family had a look at the pic of you reading your magazine and I know you cant see much of you but they said you look like a cute little puppy and that you look gorgeous which I admit with a little bit of jealousy that it really is true,but the sad bit for me is that now thier considering giving me one! And I have BAD experiences of haircuts!=[

Martha Basset said...

Hi Hamish
We liked your version of Mugdock - we thought Muckdog was much more appropriate!
It made us smile anyway. xx

Ludo van puppy said...

I is liking your short new 'do Hamish. Hope it doesn't get too cold!
I is very interested to see what answers them scientists come up with.
~lickies, Ludo

Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

Hi Hamish! Yes that was quite a special night at the Spring Fling. For an older gentledog you do know some fancy moves! I see by your reading material that you are an intellectual. I like that in a pooch. You can fly on over(to Arizona) to visit me any time you want. We'll be heading up to Idaho pretty soon, but you can come there too if you'd like. They call us snowbirds, but I prefer the term getter-outters-of-the heaters.he he he. Smooches, BabyRocketDog

Petey said...

Oooh Hamish! I'd say you certainly worked your charms on Baby Rocket. I told her you had a Sean Connery vibe about you and perhaps she could be a Baby Bond Girl. I hope you'll follow up on her invitation (let me know if you need me to take a photo or two...)

Ahh, the romance of Spring is truly in the air...or is that the peet on the breeze?

Your pal,

Petey

Tee said...

that's interesting ... i never knew about fur and snowballs ... we don't have snow in our part of the woods so the thought's never occured. Now that you've raised that point of interest, we'd like to know why ...

Licks and Wags

Tuffy of Dog Woods