Robins Can Literally See Magnetic Fields

Some birds can literally see magnetic fields. The ability to visualize the Earth’s magnetic field is believed to be linked to the availability of light and it is thought that specialized molecules in the birds’ retinas allow them to literally see the magnetic fields, which appear as patterns of light and shade superimposed over the regular image from light. A new study shows that the internal compass also depends on the birds having clear vision in their right eyes.

Some birds can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and orientate themselves with the ease of a compass needle. This ability is a massive boon for migrating birds, keeping frequent flyers on the straight and narrow. But this incredible sense is closely tied to a more mundane one – vision. Thanks to special molecules in their retinas, birds like the European robins can literally see magnetic fields. The fields appear as patterns of light and shade, or even colour, superimposed onto what they normally see.

Below is what is suspected it would look like to be a robin flying over Frankfurt, Germany at a flight altitude of 200 m above the ground.
Magnetic Vision
Image via Theoretical and Computational Physics Group

Closing Signatures To Be Inserted At The End Of Your Love Letters

As a man who signs my letters to my girlfriend with “XOXOXO – hubs”, I found this McSweeney’s article titled “Two Previously Known and 15 Brand-New Closing Signatures, to Be Inserted at the End of Your Love Letters for Valentine’s or Any Other Day.” to be extremely funny.

X = A kiss.
O = A hug.
R = A saucy lick.
T = A meaningful pat on your high, yummy ass, not too hard, not too soft, now you try it on me, perfect, that’ll do just fine.
I = Remember that day at the park? That day when we walked hand-in-hand alongside the reflecting pool and then strolled, ever so casually, over to the cocker spaniel with the very bad breath and that vague, faraway stare that reminded me of the rabid dog I once saw beneath the arts-and-crafts cabin at summer camp? I’m recalling that memory as I write this. You should be, too.

Crushes On Mates Of State

In preparation for their new album release this summer, Mates Of State has offered up a free download. Laura, originally by Girls, is the first track on the “Crushes (The Covers Mixtape)” LP . Crushes will be their fisrt full length album recorded and produced by themselves and the track listing looks awesome:
1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)