Thursday, June 26, 2008

best piece of mail...EVER!

When I first moved out to the my particular corner of the midwest (or as I like to call it "the cornhole of america") I received a most intriguing piece of mail:

Very mysterious, no? I asked friends who I thought sent it and they all denied ownership so I was stumped. I wanted to put it on the blog right away but due to complete inertia, I still haven't replaced my broken camera battery charger. So I resorted to using the camera in my computer.

I finally found out (after months of waterboarding innocent friends) who sent these buttons and all I can say is...Thanks Corrie!!!!! And, I can't wait until you are in Chicago!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

just in time for summer!

The cephalokini!

photo from here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

really big squid eyeballs!

do you ever lay awake at night wondering about the colossal squid they caught last year in antartica? well, they are finally slowly thawing it out in new zealand (so that it doesn't turn into squid oatmeal). they just took out its eyeballs, and not surprisingly, they are really big: 11 inches across (the pic is of the lenses, which are apparently orange sized).

Thanks to my dad for sending me this story from the nytimes!

Monday, April 28, 2008

a great birthday card

even though it's not my birthday, robin sent this amazing card to me:

(my squid whisk offered to hold the card for me.)
Thanks, Robin!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Paleozoic cephalopods in a blanket!!!

Now that I am unemployed and living in a burnt out cornfield in the Midwest, I can focus a lot more time on finding amazing things like this site, courtesy of the Kentucky Geological Survey. Now I thought geological surveys had to do with, well, rocks and oil and fossils and the like. But no! They deal with hot dogs! I haven't seen anything this amazing since the octodog!

The site is an instructional how-to on making cephalopods in a blanket, I 'm guessing to feed future geologists? The page is under the "earth education" section. Apparently it was either, feed the kids rocks, or feed them cephalopods in a blanket. A great, albeit misinformed, quote on the site about making cephalopods in a blanket (or for short, CIBs): "This recipe uses a variation of the old pigs-'n-a-blanket theme in order to make edible cephalopods. Cephalopods were squid-like animals that lived in shells. They were very common in Paleozoic-era seas. They would probably have tasted like calamari (a fancy name for squid to trick people into eating it), but what are your chances of getting a child to eat squid?"

There is also an amazing diagram of how to cut the ends of the hot dogs into tentacles, obviously done on some fancy computer program intended to map oil fields (although not fancy enough to give the cephs enough tentacles):

Here are the CIBs before their amazing transformation:

And after! Voila! CIBs!

It's not hard to picture these little guys swimming peacefully in a Paleozoic sea, with little cinnamon roll nautiluses, jellyfish made of cotton candy, and little jelly bean isopods. Wheee!

¿Se habla cephalopod?

Connie and Matt recently traveled to Mexico, where they spotted this mysterious octopus. That has something to do with drinking?

This is what Connie had to say about it:
"we saw this somewhere between mexico city and san miguel de allende. we passed more than one of these things. maybe a restraunt chain? we were on the bus, so we couldn't investigate. (the bus was moving, hence the awkward image quality.)"

Very mysterious.

¡Que mysterioso!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Viva octopus lovin'!

Behold, Abdopus aculeatus, a small octopus that lives in the waters off of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Christine Huffard, a grad student at Berkeley (now a post-doc at the Monterey Bay Aquarium) was studying a large population of these octopuses and discovered some of their (until now) secret bedroom tactics.

This is all big news because everyone used to think octopuses were solitary and would just mate and then go their separate ways, without even an exchange of phone numbers or a goodbye text message. Robert Caldwell, a researcher at Berkeley had this to say about octopuses and their ways: "They're obsessively secretive, solitary and pretty spooky," Caldwell said. "If you watch them, they watch you back. It's hard to study them." Oh my god, octopuses are like the masons!

Researchers found that male Abdopus aculeatus will intently guard the females they choose to mate with. They will also strangle other males who try to get near their mate of choice. The press release for this story stated that the octopuses "hold hands" but this is actually referring to the fact that the male will insert his sperm releasing tentacle (known as the hectocotylus) and leave it inserted for a long time. If the female goes anywhere, the male gets dragged his "hand."

Christine Huffard, PhD extraordinaire, also found that there were tiny males who would "sneak" matings with females. They did this by mimicking female colors, or hiding until the larger male went away--proof of the existence of metrosexual octopuses?

Finally, one other thing that I love about this story is that it found that males like larger female octopuses much more than tiny ones. That's right! Eat your sandwiches octopuses! Male octopuses do not like skinny bitches!

Thank you to Erin, Fabienne, and my mom for sending info about this my way!

I ruthlessly stole information from the Globe and Mail video, Berkeley news announcement, and NPR story for this post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ivy league squid!

my friend marycat gave me this eons ago. behold, the yale squid:

he lives in the Peabody Museum's lobby, and he is watching you!

According to a postcard and info MC gave me, the squid is 37 feet long, and is a life-size representation of the giant squid Architeuthis dux. The model was made in the 1960's. How sweet would it be to have that hanging in your living room? Beats a weird ikea lamp any day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

in the event of a water landing, look under your seat for a squid tube flotation device.

Oh man, squid tubes for dinner again??? I'm the luckiest girl in the world!!! (from But points for Supreme Lobster on using the really fancy font to describe something that sounds pretty gross.
(*I know, these are just calamari before the deliciousness of frying. but tubes? as a word to describe a food?)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Run octopuses, run! The yuppies are after your tender tentacles!!!!

MORONG brought two articles from the NY times to my attention this morning (do you like how I don't even have to look for cephalopod stories? They just come to me! From the cephalopod fairies!)

Apparently cooking octopus is the new thing to do. You can click on the above link to see Mark Bittman man handling an octopus. Next, the curious cook is trying out different ways of prepping octopus. Apparently the best thing to do is brine it. Like a turkey. But it appears that no matter what, the octopus will turn out quite "gelatinous," a word I don't usually associate with "tasty."

I probably won't be trying out these recipes soon since I feel guilty eating octopus since I started this blog. I mean, someone who had a blog on how smart and cute and wonderful dogs are probably would stop eating them too. Even though hotdogs are so delicious.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hexapus alert! Hexapus alert!

The blog has been receiving a rash of six legged octopus sitings and reports lately. The first came from Rik, of the Netherlands. (If you have ever spent five minutes with me, you will find out I am 1/2 Dutch, so I'm excited Dutch people are reading my blog.) He sent in the following image, which was drawn by his colleague's six year old:

(Rik said there was more info with the picture, but that didn't come through, so if you have time, send it in, Rik.)

What I suspect is that this six year old was telepathic and already knew about Henry the Hexapus from London:

Don't you just picture the octopus having a Cockney accent? And complaining about the freakish eight legged octopuses in its tank? Thanks to Brendan for sending in the breaking news about the Hexapus!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

goodbye tramp stamp, hello sucker implants!

What can I say? If you're still considering a labret piercing you are soooooooo behind the times! Consider getting tentacle implants!

The blog doesn't mention if the implants actually WORK or not. I'm guessing they are just for show and you can't use them to catch prey items, like your roommate's cat. Thanks to MORONG for sending this in.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Squeal like a...squid?

Apparently, there is a show on Adult Swim on the cartoon network known as Squidbillies. I had no idea! I am one of those people without cable, but not one of those self righteous people without cable--i.e. if I come to your house, and you have cable, and it's on, I won't be able to hold a conversation as I stare, slack jawed and drooling at the tv. Anyway, I read some snippets about the show from the wiki page about it. Highlights include squids running meth labs and calling white people "chalkies."

Here's a YouTube video:

Thanks to russell for pointing this out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Did you know that the Detroit Redwings' mascot is Al the OCTOPUS??? And, if you did know this, why the frick didn't you tell me???? (except for my friend rob, who did tell me about it--thanks rob!)

Apparently, there is a "tradition" that during Detroit playoff games, fans fling octopuses onto the ice after a goal is scored for good luck. I know, this is confounding. But apparently in 1952 two brothers who owned a fish market threw out the first octopus onto the ice, because they made the (totally natural) connection that the eight tentacles of the octopus symbolized the eight wins it would take to get the Stanley Cup.

Now the Redwings have Al the Octopus mascot, and here is some information from Al's Wiki page (I know--kids! don't quote wikipedia in your book reports!):
"The Octopus was eventually named 'Al' (after Joe Louis Arena building operations manager Al Sobotka), and every playoff year since, Al the Octopus gets raised to the rafters, when the Red Wings skate out onto the ice. As the years went on some modifications were made to Al, such as making it so his pupils light up red (blinking on and off), the adding of a large Red Wing Jersey to his body, and the removal of a tooth in order to give Al that "hockey player" look."

I love the fact that there was probably a whole meeting devoted to how to make a totally made up purple octopus have a more "hockey player" look. And then they were like, "Oh yeah, let's make his eyes blink on and off! Like real hockey players!"

Also, don't worry, people are still throwing real octopuses on the ice. According to a link on the Redwings site, in 1995 two dudes from another seafood company threw a 38 pound octopus onto the ice. And then the next year, they outdid themselves and threw on a 50 pounder on the ice. I wonder how they made it through security...

Here are some photos from the Redwing site (I like the fuzzy, wispy watercolored memories of octopus flinging days of yore style of these):

And then this one, which sort of makes me feel strange, like, wow, that guy is really gleefully swinging around that octopus carcass. And I suspect he would just as gleefully swing around a human head if it meant the Redwings would win:

After sitting at my desk trying to decide if this whole detroit thing is funny or disturbing, I might need a drink. Whatever the case, I think Detroit should be wondering right now if its economic problems might not be due to industrial outsourcing, but instead to a hex placed upon it by the cephalopod gods.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008