Octopus is the new black

The wonderful octopus might be my new favorite animal-of-the-moment.  According to podcast The Naked Scientists, octopodes may have a sense of humor.  One of them took a not-fresh-enough shrimp and stuffed it down a drain, while keeping eye contact with the keeper the whole time!

The Indonesian mimic octopus is absolutely stunning.

If you can find the issue of Smithsonian with the pictures, you should track it down. Apparently, octopi are also the first invertebrates known to use tools.

This is why an octopus is more awesome than your mom. The site points out that “octopuses, octopi, and octopodes are all acceptable ways to pluralize octopus.”

They make great jewelry, too. (Anyone who would like to send me one of these, let me know. Sadly, these don’t come in my size, and probably this one isn’t my size either. This is kind of cool but kind of ostentatious. Fans of the blog may also feel free to send me this (not an octopus).)

There’s Paul, the Psychic Octopus, who picked the World Cup winners.

Paul picking Germany

Paul picking Germany

There’s the octopus who baffled keepers by climbing out of its tank at night, slithering over to the food tank, and eating as many crustaceans as it wanted — ending up back in its own tank, the food source mysteriously depleted, when the keepers came in for the day.

There’s the weirdly cute Dumbo Octopus:

They are unequivocally smart. And often, very beautiful as well:

blue-ringed octopus

As anyone who has watched Octopussy probably remembers, they can also be deadly. What’s not to love?

Things I want to buy

1. All the books and music on my amazon wish list

2.  A new mattress

3.  A gas grill

4.  A piano

5.  Lots and lots of fruit trees

6.  A gas stovetop

7.  A new kitchen

8.  A xeriscaped lawn

9.  A driveway that fits 2 cars

10.  Time

Whaddya think?

I’m thinking 2, 3, and 4 are going to happen this year, and maybe 5… but we’ll see. #9 is really just a pipedream— a gas line will probably keep it from becoming reality. And 7 and 8 are definitely post-tenure.