Monday, January 21, 2008

Fire breathing cows

The Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala has received 3.8 million kronor ($590,000) to study the greenhouse gases released when cattle belch. Most research up till now has focused on greenhouse gases coming out of the other end of the cow. But the wily Canadians are researching cattle burps and the Swedes are afraid of a belch gap developing between their countries. For the project, twenty cattle have been fitted with a special collar containing an instrument to measure the methane level in the air around them which they will match to different diets for the cattle.

I didn't know methane came out in belches; I though that was mostly carbon dioxide and that methane was produced lower in the gastrointestinal system to be released in the other type of gaseous emission. This opens up some great possibilities. If cows belch methane, doesn't that open up the possibility of fire breathing cows? In his novel Glory Road, Robert A. Heinlein mentioned the possibility of fire breathing dragons in the form of a Tyrannosaurus type dinosaur that belched gut methane and ignited it with sparks from rocks in its gizzard. Recently, some young earth creationists (notably Kent Hovind) have adopted this idea and converted the Leviathan of Job into a fire breathing T Rex. Ken Ham prefers a fire breathing Kronosaurus.

Fire breathing cows imperiling a small dairy town in Wisconsin would make a really cool horror movie.

Afterthought: Don't let Bush or the neo-cons hear about this. They'll probably decide the Swedes (who we all know are immoral, gay atheists) are developing the cows as weapons of mass destruction. Then we'll have a sudden need to deal with this threat by bombing and invasion before the election. Any Democrats who say otherwise are objectively pro Carl XVI Gustaf. Don't those Defeatocrats know that Sweden has fissile materials that could be weaponized and, with a population almost as big as Los Angeles, they form a threat to world peace, freedom, and prosperity greater than that posed by Hitler, Yankee abolitionists, and transfats combined?!!???

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