Friday, February 18, 2005


Edmund: Oh, codswallop! It's taken me seven years, and it's perfect. "Edmund: A Butler's Tale." A giant roller coaster of a novel in four hundred sizzling chapters. A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine.
Baldrick: And this is mine [takes small piece of paper from front of his trousers]. My magnificent octopus.
— "Ink and Incapability," Blackadder III

Everything you ever wanted to know about octopus.

The octopus has three hearts.

Brainy octopus:
Octopuses have intrigued scientists for years, because they have both long- and short-term memory, they remember solutions to problems, and they can go on to solve the same or similar problems. They have been known to climb aboard fishing boats and open holds in search of crabs. They can figure out mazes, open jars, and break out of their aquariums in search of food.

The octopus's brain is wrapped around its esophagus.

"A legend of the deep," Nature, PBS.
Captive octopuses have been known to hide in aspirin bottles.

Octopus robots:
Understanding how the octopus controls eight flexible arms all at once could be the basis for developing the next generation of flexible robotic arms-long a goal among robotics engineers.

Technically speaking, the octopus has arms, not tentacles. (The squid has eight arms plus two tentacles.) But I'd rather think of myself as tentacled than armed.

Holding hands with the octopus:
"It can be intimidating at first, because they wrap their arms pretty tight around you, and everything they latch onto is pretty much headed straight to their mouth," Schmitz said. "But once you get used to it, I can't describe it: They feel like wet velvet or wet silk."

Despite its great strength, the octopus tires easily.

Mythic octopus:
Na Kika.
Dr. Octopus.

Literary octopus. Posted by Hello

Octopus Magazine:
Octopus is an online poetry magazine named after a sea creature that is intelligent, lives in dens, and uses ink as a defense mechanism. Every issue features a combination of 8.

The octopus squirts clouds of ink to confuse its enemy.

I don't often remember my dreams. One stays with me from around the time my grandmother died. We (I know my mother was there. Children? Family.) were in India (I've never been to India). We were picnicking on the edge of a deep, fully enclosed, still and dead sea, surrounded by desert. As I looked out over the water, I had flashes of what this place once was, or would be — a bone-dry pit, an elephant graveyard. I peered down over the sheer cliff-face, only to fall into the water. And I was dragged down. I came to in a doctor's office, was told I had the ink disease. My fingertips leaked blue.

Tasty octopus.

Edmund: This is your novel, Baldrick?
Baldrick: Yeah — I can't stand long books.
Edmund: [reads] "Once upon a time, there was a lovely little sausage called 'Baldrick', and it lived happily ever after."
Baldrick: It's semi-autobiographical.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Thanks for sharing the source of your blog's name. While I think that octopuses (octopi?) are rather magnificent creatures, it seemed there must be more.

I wonder whether the Oregon aquarium has octopus hand-holding on days other than Valentine's Day? Sounds like fun to me.

(While Michele has sent me before, today it was your comment at SC&A that brought me here.)