Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lucius Shepard 1943-2014

His research into magnetotaxy in humans (by way of neurophilic magnetotactic bacterial symbiotes, noticeable through their green bioluminescence in the retina of the host) was published in 1984. It was a seminal work, paving the way for later studies in mammalian magnetotaxy.*

Apparently Shepard also wrote some magic-realism science fiction.
* The Czech group** have been particularly prolific, finding evidence of magnetoception in practically every species they've examined.

Dog fooled into thinking that a wireframe
parasol is providing privacy while it poops
Most recently they reported that dogs like to be aligned with the Earth's magnetic field when they poop, which is a useful thing to know if you are lost in the wilderness with a canine companion as your only help for orienting yourself. It is also a useful excuse if someone demands to know why you are following them around the dog-exercise park with a camera.

The Czechs also recorded urinary activity from the dogs they watched. If their Table 11 is to be believed, one male Borzoi provided more piddle events than the other 69 dogs combined.
It is not recorded whether the subjects' eyes glowed a bioluminescent green while they shat.

** From the Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Two points, Sir!

Point the first: Dog fooled into thinking that a wireframe
parasol is providing privacy while it poops

In my experience, the D.A.W.G. prefers to find the house on the mountainside that actually has cars in the driveway. And then proceeds into their front yard. Not 'privacy-seeking', to the dismay of some economic models.

2) I forgot what it was, but it certainly was important!

Smut Clyde said...

n other Lucius Shepard news, there appear to be no Lego-block renditions of Castle Banat -- the Gormenghast / Piranesi / Homeward setting for "The Golden". To the dismay of many in the loft.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

According to the wiki, he briefly flirted with hoboism and wrote hobo fanfic:

He researched the Freight Train Riders of America and spent time riding the rails, writing both fiction and non-fiction based on those experiences

Smut Clyde said...

To the dismay of many catching a lift.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Now this is far out, old chum... I went looking for Tim Powers in your archives and found, you got it, Lucius Shepard.

fish said...

Fucking magnets! How do they work?