I heard an interview on radio yesterday with a researcher from Scotland who is studying (a) whether or not the length of time a cow has been standing is a good predicator for when they might lie down and (b) whether or not the length of time a cow has been lying down is a measure of when they will stand up. I must admit that I’d never thought about this animal mystery. I didn’t even know there was a need.
It turns out that for (a) the answer is no. They found that the length of time, past a certain measure, did not give any signal for when the cow might lie down. The (b) part did demonstrate that cows who lie down for longer periods are more prone to stand up. Suprise!!! They also found that healthier cows spent even less time lying down before they stood up. Oh, and yes, weather does affect the behaviour of cows … so the old saying that says cows, as a group, lie down before a rain storm may have some truth in fact.
All this heady information made me wonder if sports fans watching TV should be studied in a similar manner. Does the amount of time the fan spends lying prone on the couch give any good indication of when they might stand up? This may be research that is confined to weekends and, in particular, during this NHL/NBA playoff season coupled with golf and baseball coverage for good measure. Elements affecting the research could include how much beer and snack food is close at hand and whether or not the spouse is bringing required food and beverage to the watcher. From a medical standpoint, bladder size will also be important.
The results of the research could be provided to the other members of the household, in an attempt to change behaviour patterns. Or, like the information on cow behaviour, we could just leave the whole thing for animal psychologists to ponder interminably. Hmmm. Sounds like a good government grant opportunity.
I think I just heard a bunch of researchers stand up.