Tuesday, June 26, 2007

d.i.y. cephalopod

An alert reader (thanks, Mom!) informed me of an article in the N.Y. Sunday Times Style Section on the Renegade Craft Fair which took place last weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to the article (which is hilarious), cephalopods are TOTALLY IN with the do it yourself crowd.

According to the article (by Melena Ryzik) "while the sparrow and the owl — last year’s favored animal and the symbol of the fair — are out, the octopus, a burgeoning contender for creature of the moment, has been joined by other sea dwellers, like the squid."

This makes me a little bit fearful because it means that soon cephalopods may go the way of flannel shirts, hypercolor, and more recently, getting sparrows tattooed on each shoulder.

However, I believe in the strength of the cephalopod to ride this wave of popularity without becoming annihilated through ubiquitousness. I.E. I believe cephalopods can be the Justin Timberlakes of ocean trendy, not the Vanilla Ices.

Friday, June 22, 2007

wearable cephalopod and a divine deep sea book.

Cephalopodcast kindly informed me that it is now possible to purchase a dumbo octopus t-shirt on McSweeney's. This is perfect timing since a) McSweeney's is having some kind of financial trouble, and b) there just can't be too much cephalopod inspired kitsch out there to please me. I feel this t-shirt would be good for many professions: the office (business casual! or dress it up with a tie), grad students (don't eat this weekend, order this shirt instead), strippers (can get extra small and wear over a tiny sequined thong), etc.

Apparently the original dumbo picture (and the inspiration for the shirt) are from the book, "The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss" by Claire Nouvian, which is full of stunning pictures that made me pee a little in my office chair.

Here is our dumbo octopus again, giving us a sort of coquettish, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's side long glance:

And here, a frothy pink deep sea delight:

And finally, a cephalopod made out of saran wrap:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

nautilus performance art.

This is a set of musical nautiluses, which I believe originate from the U.K. The website states that "each shell is pulled behind a performer dressed as a fish." I'm not quite sure why said performer wouldn't be dressed as a, well, a nautilus, but oh well. Artistic license.

As an added bonus, each shell plays an ocean soundtrack (if you go to the website you will hear the soothing sound of the ocean which makes you feel like you are at the beach or in the office of a new age masseuse). According to the website, with the five shells projecting ocean music at you, you will experience "total immersion on dry land!"

Monday, June 18, 2007

what if god is a cephalopod?

he/she/it is watching you. so stop thinking about sex. and start thinking about what will happen when you meet The Giant Cephalopod In the Sky.

sorry to anthropomorphisize, but this octopus is terribly cute.

Cute overload knows the value of a good octopus:

Behold the "dumbo octopus," also known as Grimpoteuthis.

This picture was originally from a NY times article on strange deep sea creatures. Ah, to live in the deep sea and have animals like this and this be my neighbors (instead of the beyatchy girls who live on the first floor of our building, smoke parliaments like it's their job, and screech in the wee hours).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A new breed of californians.

It's too bad Steinbeck is dead. If he were alive he could make a sequel to "The Grapes of Wrath," and entitle it "The Cuttle of Eternal Sorrow," or "Global Warming Sucks and Now I'm in California."

Multiple reports are turning up about thousands of "jumbo" squid washing up on the shores of California. Squid are showing up all over Orange County beaches (though sadly, they have not eaten any members of the OC or the hills yet). According to a story by David Reyes of the Los Angeles Times , Californians seem to be surprised by "the creatures with their elongated, gooey-looking tentacles and oversized heads." This may because the squid do not look like normal Californians. I recommend that the squid dye their hair blonde, get breast implants, and whiten their cuttles to fit in.

The type of squid washing up are known as jumbo squid, who probably have ego complexes when compared to giant and colossal squid. However, jumbos are still quite large--they can weigh up to 100 pounds and be as long as six feet. They are more properly known as Humboldt squid and Dosidicus gigas. The squid usually hang around further south off the coast of South America.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Steven Colbert-official cephalopod hater?

Alert reader Matt sent me a link to the following video from the Colbert Report last night:

Now, readers of this blog (yes, all five of you) already knew about this octopus and her talents. Weeks ago. That's what I'm here for. To share prescient octopus oddities with you as they happen.

Colbert also mentions a shrimp on a treadmill. I just wish the shrimp were wearing tiny little sneakers and a headband. Is that wrong?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome.

While perusing octopus-related journal articles (I know I have been very octopus-centric lately. I will get off my octopus soap box soon) I found this article on takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome. What is this broken-heart syndrome? Apparently, it is a disease that "mimics acute coronary syndrome". What does this have to do with octopuses? The article goes on to say that in Japanese, the tranlation of "tako-tsubo" is "fishing pot for trapping octopus," because "the left ventricle of a patient diagnosed with this condition resembles that shape.

Apparently takotsubo can be precipitated by acute emotional stress--which is why it is called "broken-heart syndrome."

A picture I found of an octopus trap:

Here is a picture of what takotsubo cardiomyopathy looks like:

Citation: S.S. Virani, A.N. Khan, C.E. Mendoz, A.C. Ferreira, and E. de Marchena. 2007. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome. Texas Heart Institute Journal. Volume 34 (1):pp. 76-79.

Monday, June 4, 2007

dirty ceph.

Guess what this little creature is? Here, maybe the name of the product will help--it is known as "The Screaming O Screaming Octopus Mini Vibrator." It's also available in assorted colors.

But before you rush to the site to buy one, let me share some of the customer reviews with you:

DIdn't do much for me, either...but my boyfriend loved it.
-- Anonymous on May 5, 2007

Three words to remember if you're interested in purchasing this product... save your money. This thing was absolutely useless and not worth the money. I'm very disappointed in this item, and would not recommend it to anybody.
-- Denise, O Fallon, MO on December 29, 2006

Utterly useless --- I don't like a strong vibe, but the octopus is extremely weak (far less vibration than my cell phone!), and won't take you where you want to go.
-- Anonymous on December 3, 2006

Come on, people. If you are going to make an octopus vibrator, at least make it high powered. Like put a jet ski motor in it or the engine from Jacques Cousteau's Calypso, or something!