Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Octopus walks on land at Fitzgerald Marine

The video appeared on Youtube, and then was picked up on Yahoo. The article at Yahoo is excerpted below, but it was the comments after the Yahoo article about the octopus that made me laugh out loud.

"If you're curious to learn more about the sea creature's possible motivation, there has been some great research on the understanding of octopus intelligence recently, including this surprisingly moving article in Orion magazine, chronicling a researchers bond with a giant Pacific octopus named Athena."

"As it turns out, walking on land in the octopus kingdom is not as unique as you might think:
Some would let themselves be captured, only to use the net as a trampoline. They'd leap off the mesh and onto the floor—and then run for it. Yes, run. "You'd chase them under the tank, back and forth, like you were chasing a cat," [Middlebury College researcher Alexa] Warburton said. "It's so weird!"

"Octopuses in captivity actually escape their watery enclosures with alarming frequency. While on the move, they have been discovered on carpets, along bookshelves, in a teapot, and inside the aquarium tanks of other fish—upon whom they have usually been dining."

"However, it's quite unusual to capture video of a walking octopus in action. Part of the reason that studies on the creatures have been so limited, aside from their brief three-year life spans, is that they are notoriously shy, usually avoiding contact not only with humans, but with any other creatures, including fellow octopi."

Louisc • Tulare, United States •
"I only see fresh walking sashimi, delicious! this one probably walk close to wasabi! They make a good combination."

Sid • Quezon City, Philippines •
caught that octopus and make it Calamares!.hehe

Gman • Wichita, United States •
Why did the octopus cross the road?

If Octopusses started walking around Earth the big ones would definitely band together and take over earth..They are clever beasts...we can never trust them!!!

Mang Gooseteen • Makati City, Philippines •
its squidward!!! and where the hell is spongebob!!!

Victoria • Irvine, United States •
Octopi are extremely intelligent -not surprised he came out to hunt...not surprised he didn't stay either. Probably got a whiff of the politics and lousy TV and went back down where it's safe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Would you like some biscuits along with that heart attack?

Now step right up and hear a tale, a tale of domestic fail...Here we are again, me at home...doing domestic things. This morning I thought I'd bake some biscuits. Yes, Georgia ladies, biscuits! I had purchased a Peel N Pop tube of biscuits and now I was ready to bake them. Only problem: I'm afraid of peel and pop. I am also afraid of Jiffy Pop popcorn, but that is neither here nor there. It was the price of 59 cents that caused me to overlook the fact that I'd be petrified when I had to pop them.

I put the tube in the sink, peeled it, turned my face away and held my breath. Nothing. I peeled some more, my hear rate increasing, still no pop. I peeled ALL the paper pop.

By now I have a cardboard tube, a pile of paper scraps, and a fluttering heart rate, but no pop. What to do? Go outside and football spike it on the concrete. POP! There. Nothing like full contact baking.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reading update: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I enjoy reading. I always have. As a kid I'd curl up under my favorite tree with a good Nancy Drew book. As a teen in high school I'd hide The Iliad inside my algebra book. As an adult I became entranced with a good legal thriller (Scott Turow), the newest adventure of global trotters like Jon Krakauer, or a science book by Stephen Jay Gould or Isaac Asimov.

My reading tastes as a high schooler and young adult were firmly in the classics aisle. I have read most of them (except Dickens, can't stand him). Yeats, Hardy, Twain, DeFoe....been there. I read Cervantes in Spanish and the Gallic Wars in Latin. However I was also a literary snob. Having such a reading resume under my belt I was feeling a bit superior.

Later on I got saved. I grew older and my reading tastes changed. Formerly I would never have picked up a John Grisham, believing it was beneath me to descend to gasp, popular fiction. LOL, I'm such an idiot.

But as I grew older I exhausted legal beagles Jonathan Harr and Scott Turow, so picked up a Grisham and I loved it. Quite rapidly I blew through all of Grisham's legal thrillers, and also his fiction, A Painted House. Eagerly I awaited this latest installment, The Litigators. I had thought Grisham was retired but I was delighted to discover a new book on the way.

The Litigators is excellent. At page 8 I stopped to reflect on what I had been reading and also reflect on how the author does what he does. By page 8 I noticed that the three main characters were firmly set in their respective settings in my mind. They were vivid, fleshed out, and distinct. The city and the offices in which they worked are also vivid and set. How does an author do this so firmly and in such economy of words?  A good one. I read the book in two days and hated it to come to an end.  I recommend The Litigators.

That was the good. Now for the bad. I wrestle so often with my desire to read versus and awful trash that is today's literary market. Secular books have so much in them that disqualify them from being remotely appropriate, never mind Godly that I often have to toss them aside after only a few pages. It is one reason I like Grisham, they're clean books.

So I turn to Christian books. Almost exclusively they are romantic or sentimental stories of wives or sisters and quilts and brownies and giggling. UGH. I am not sentimental and I am not romantic and I like a high tech adventure or a science mystery. There are only a few of those. So a day comes when I'm desperate and I pick one of these up. Invariably they have flowers on the front, or maybe a needle and thread. And a sunset, with softened color tones and gauzy type. Sigh.

I have only read one good one. It was called "One More Sunrise" ironically enough, and written by Tracie Peterson and Michael Landon. (The famous Michael Landon's son). All the rest that I have read are bad, bad, bad. A few I've been able to get through holding my nose. "Doesn't She Look Lovely" by Angela Hunt is one of those. The issue with all of these books is that they are written badly, with cliches that literally make me wince, and clunky sentence construction you can spot a mile off. Foreshadowing that is like a hammer instead of a whisper. Worst, sap all the way through. Christian women's fiction is in a terrible state. Please, Michael Landon, write another one!

The ugly has to be the book I read this week by Susan Casey called "The Devil's Teeth" and it is about sharks. No, the devil's teeth are not the sharks' teeth, but the location at which they appear each season at the Farallon Islands just a few miles off San Francisco. Yes, the Islands really DO look like devil's teeth, and those teeth have claimed many a ship.

Casey is an excellent writer, and I enjoyed her book on large waves called imaginatively, "The Wave." Although most of the book is a recounting of  Casey's globetrotting with hunky surfers from wave location to wave location, she did take a few pages out to attend a scientific conference on the formation of large, rogue waves and present some information about that.

The Devil's Teeth is her first book, and she styled it in the way of Jon Krakauer, of Into Thin Air, the expedition to Everest that went so awry. Adventure writing sprinkled with a heavy dose of history and some science is right up my alley, and that is exactly what Casey delivers. So why is the book in the ugly category? Because of how she acted and what she did.

Two-thirds of the way through the book I realized that her accumulated ethical breaches, whining, carelessness, and self-absorption had set me over the edge. She had wormed her way onto the island though it was forbidden, she rented a sailboat and anchored off the island but failed to take even the most rudimentary safety precautions, oh, like knowing what kind of boat it was, how the mooring set up, what to provision for her stay (she thought about it while she was at the store) whether there was refrigeration on the boat, and boat handling. When I was getting ready to live aboard my sailboat I took a week-long boat safety and handling live-aboard course and then another one  for one day about navigation.

She was going to put her life in the hands of a vessel moored off the most notoriously stormy and dangerous islands and took not one whit of precaution. It is like the tourists who show up to a Tundra expedition in flip flops.

Then she lost the boat. It slipped moorings and sailed off into the dark and stormy night. She behaved in such a way that it got one of the scientists on the island fired, and it wrecked the career of another. She got the project shut down. Worst of all, this was described in a careless sentence or two at the end of the book, with not a whit of regret. Just, 'so sorry, boys, see ya on the flip side.' Ugh. Or should I say, ugly.

This week I am reading Caleb's Crossing, a novelized story about the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, in 1665, and whatever else I can get my hands on. Happy reading, bifocal people!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Domestic day

I am not a 'domestic goddess' as Roseanne used to say in her stand up routines in the 1980s. I don't like doing domestic chores. But I'm pretty fanatical about having a clean and orderly apartment. I hate to clean but I want it clean. I guess hope springs eternal, and I wake up every day thinking that a horde of cobbler's elves have arrived and done the tasks overnight. It hasn't happened yet.

So Saturdays are usually in one form or another a day when I clean up. The ladies around here are really cleaning kind of women. Their homes are always spotless. I mean even behind the toilet, the baseboards are clean. The back edge of the highest kitchen cupboard is clean. They clean. I don't.

I vacuum, dust, do the laundry, clean the kitchen and put everything in order. Occasionally I wash the couch afghans and the throws, and once in a while I run a Lysol wipe over the windowsills and baseboards. I should take the curtains down and wash them, but though I think about it often, I don't. On that score I have a reason: they are high and I have no ladder, not even a step ladder. Last time I put up curtains I stood on rickety chairs and wobbly hassocks, and that's dangerous to do when you live alone.

Yesterday I went all out and did the above, except not the curtains. I did vacuum the ceiling fan. So here are a few photos of domestic Saturday.

Hang the towel outside on a nice day, maybe one of the last warm ones? Time will tell...

The cats take advantage of a clean couch and a clean throw. Thanks for messing it up right away, guys.

Awww, but they're so cute! I forgive you.

I like the view outside. On my way to the garage where the washing machine is, there is the red birdhouse by the shed.

My laundry bag, atop the shelf waiting to be grabbed as I go out to get the clean clothes from the dryer in the garage.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kids and their funny wisdom

Kids today were hilarious. And that's good because I needed some laughs.

One little five year old guy and I were talking. As we finished our conversation, I said, "You sure are a cutie pie." He said, "Speaking of pie, I'm going to help my mom make a strawberry pie tonight." A five year old who's mastered the art of the segue. Pretty cool.

Another guy saw that math papers were being passed out. Immediately he said, "I don't feel good." I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "I've got heartburn. I need to go home and rest my heartburn."

At snack time outside, one gal eyed another little guy's snack across the picnic table. She pointed to what he was eating and asked, "What's that?" He replied absently, taking a huge bite, "I don't really know."

One guy had gotten into trouble. He was standing there at the trouble spot on the playground. As I walked by he said mournfully, "I'm so sorry for what I did!" I paused and asked, "What did you do?" His reply? "I don't remember!"

Aren't they characters? I really love talking with them and I truly love listening to them talk with each other. They lift my spirits.