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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.