Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Link List: In which there is much about octopuses, some dogs, and assorted other items of interest gathered together for your perusal

1) Octopuses believe in numbers. They keep eight arms, three legs, and multiple brains (one main brain, and a lot of neurons in the arms. What that adds up to seems to depend on who's doing the talking and what the speaker in question means by the word "brain.") When it's time to reproduce, these cephalopods go for broke: Thousands and thousands of eggs, all laid at once, all hatching at once.

Most don't live (tiny octopus=tasty treat for a number of creatures), but enough do.

Here, thanks to diver Laura James is a brood of Giant Pacific Octopuses hatching:

video found via Scientific American

This is the mother octopus' last act, by the way. She's taken good care of the eggs, but hasn't eaten in all that time and will now die of starvation. Female octopuses won't eat even if someone offers food (that last bit courtesy of Kraken by Wendy Williams

Not enough octopus for you? You might also want to look at
  1. Even Severed Octopus Arms Have Smart Moves, which discusses the possible intelligence of the octupus arm and how the central brain might or might not coordinate the lot.
  2. Watch Kerry Perkins, "who researches marine life" describe How to Play with an Intelligent Octopus. This involves Duplos, which makes me hapy.
  3. Want more? There are lots of octopus images available in these NOAA desktop images. Which one do you want to view on booting up?
  4. Whatever you've heard about octopus camouflage, it won't be as impressive as watching this beast appear from nowhere and just as quickly vanish again.
  5. And, of course, you must go see Cake Wrecks Special Octopus entry!

2) Switching from arms to ears, take a look at this article on creating machine voices, the work that goes into turning a voice actor's voice into a believable voice for the GPS, or ebooks, or, some day, a way to have people's Tweets (or, one assumes, blogs) read in the authors' voices. It's clear, interesting, and fairly long, so give yourself some time.

 3) I've posted articles before (see this list, for example) about the number of bacteria we share our bodies with. Here's a nice, handy, and cute guide from Bird and Moon: "Feeling Lonely?"  

Some Dogs to Make You Smile

1) This dog does not want to wake up: Not for a rooster, a human, or an elephant, not though all three work together.


Found via The Mary Sue
2) And this dog loves leaves!

  Found through: various. More than one person shared this, and no wonder!  

Trailers and Such


1) Despite what can best be described as a contentious relationship with Season Two of Once Upon a Time, I am still considering watching Season Three. Huffington Post has an exclusive teaser, with a minute or so of the first episode, Heart of the Truest Believer. I hope that Hook will actually have a reason to be around, that the bad guys will be kept to a reasonable number, and that reform will actually stick--or not--rather than varying from one episode to the next ("I'm good!" Now I'm evil." "Now I'm good!"). Oh, a warning about the clip: The little trailer is fun, but then it just keeps playing, seguing effortlessly from one clip to the next without asking.

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