Sunday, October 02, 2005

My computer's working! (So has the Archeteuthis [giant squid] candid camera!)

` I was going to post a story about my Extreme Tea Party at the top of Mount Pilchuck, but a computer virus caused my system to reboot, time after time, losing all my unsaved information - including the post I was writing and possibly whatever I was adding to 'CM'.

` Damn sass-worms. That's what I get for keep forgetting to install Service Pack II...

` Anyway, my computer is halfway restored to normal, so I can finally do stuff on it. Also, I've gotten back to working on this funny song I have been writing about my psychotic, paranoid delusional dad, and have just about finished it.
` This song is so outrageous, in fact, that Phil had thought it was not at all silly because it was so true, though he changed his tune when he saw my 'vision' of it.

` Not only this, but all of my halfway-random test audiences love it, so it's going good (so far) in that respect. In fact, just the other night, I sang it a capella over at Jason and Andie's house for their neighbors, and they thought it was hilarious.
` If I ever get my stuff copyrighted or even played on Dr. Demento (a feat that Joey - The Swill Man - had already accomplished at age thirteen), I'll play it over the phone and add it as a low-quality audio-post on my blog, along with the lyrics. That way, at least, anyone can know what I'm talking about.
` I guess it is an undeniably awesome song about life with a frightening lunatic, though it's kind of disturbing. I'm pretty good at that. I have a couple of others that are pretty neat as well.

` Oh, and did you hear? This: (Click for more pictures.)

` That's the giant squid, Archeteuthis dux. An adult of this species has never been photographed alive before this. According to Animal Planet:

Sept. 28, 2005 — Japanese scientists have caught on camera a living giant squid, showing for the first time one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep sea in its natural habitat.
` The size of a bus, with eyes as big as dinner plates and a tangle of tentacles covered with suckers, the giant squid (Architeuthis dux) has nourished legends and attracted human fascination since the ancient Greeks.
` The real thing, a purplish-red cephalopod measuring roughly 25 feet, was photographed 2,950 feet beneath the North Pacific by cameras attached to a baited fishing line.
` More than 500 images show the squid wrapping its giant tentacles around the bait, Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, both in Tokyo, reported on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings B of the Royal Society.

` Hooray!!!

` The breakthrough ends an age-old search for the elusive creature and shows for the first time the movements, behavior and natural habitat of the enormous tentacled animal. Until now, the only information about Architeuthis had been based on dead specimens found either washed ashore or entangled in trawler nets.
` The researchers first tracked sperm whales, regular hunters of giant squid [which are often found in their stomachs], and discovered that the mammals gathered off Japan's Ogasawara Islands, diving to depths of about 3,250 feet, where giant squid are thought to live.
` Once they found a likely spot, they dropped a line with a camera, light and data logger on two jigs baited with common squids and freshly ground shrimps as an odor lure. Pictures were taken every 30 seconds.
` At 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 30 last year, a 25 foot squid approached the bait. "The initial attack was captured on camera and shows the two long tentacles wrapped in a ball around the bait. ... The giant squid became snagged on the jig," Kubodera and Mori wrote.
` According to the researchers, the squid's most dramatic characteristic was "the pair of extremely long tentacles, distinct from the eight shorter arms." After struggling for four hours to free itself from the hooks used to carry the bait, the squid broke away, leaving behind an 18-foot piece of tentacle.
` The tentacle was still functioning once on the surface, with "the large suckers of the tentacle club repeatedly gripping the boat deck and any offered fingers," the researchers said.
` DNA tests from the severed tentacle matched fragments taken from the remains of other giant squid found around Japan. The photographs also show how giant squid move and approach their prey, attacking head on, horizontally rather than from above or below.

` "Architeuthis appeared to be a much more active predator than previously suspected, using its elongated feeding tentacles to strike and tangle prey. It appears that the tentacles coil into an irregular ball in much the same way that pythons rapidly envelop their prey," the researchers wrote.
` According to squid expert Martin Collins, of the British Antarctic Survey based in Cambridge, England, the pictures finally settle a long debate among researchers. "There had previously been two schools of thought, one which considered giant squid to be sluggish inactive animals and the other, which considered them to be active predators.
` This exciting discovery confirms that they are active animals," Collins told Animal Planet News.
` Leading authority on giant squids Steve O'Shea, at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, cautioned against drawing conclusions about the Architeuthis' behavior. "I've been spending years studying giant squids and I still believe they are not so very active and aggressive. But there is still a lot to find out.
` "Thanks to Kubodera and Mori we will be able to study this animal as never before. It is fantastic that someone has succeed in capturing it on a camera at last," O'Shea told Animal Planet News.

` I had learned of this earlier today, however, in the newspaper that Jason Baxter had been cutting things out of to Mod Podge onto a small table. Last night, we found the word 'oinking', which he stuck between 'The' and 'Times'. It was kinda funny.
` Dory actually sent me that article, though. She also sent me this, which I think is worth reproducing here:

"THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL" has issued a no-nonsense warning about a new, highly virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior.

The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him").

Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially troublesome disease.

Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea Lectim include, but are not limited to, anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia and homophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; total ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or-nothing behavior.

The disease is sweeping Washington. Naturalists and nepidemiologists are amazed and baffled that this malignant disease originated only a few years ago in a Texas bush.

` Hee.

` I gotta go and work on my DadSong. Then, perhaps I shall stuff some delicious envelopes and sautee them for dinner. ...Never mind.
` And yes, Joey, if I get time, I will work on that MIDI for you. If I can figure it all out.


Galtron said...

You had an Extreme Tea Party? Did you drink radioactive barium tea or something?

Also, I'm glad they finally captured the pesky squid on camera.

S E E Quine said...

` Nah, we had boring ol' peach white tea. Boy, you know, water sure boils fast up there!

cassie d said...

holy schnikeys! that squid is awesome! i KNEW 20000 Leagues Under the Sea wasn't ALL bogus!!!


i like the new disease......been seein' it in action all around me.....

S E E Quine said...

` Hee. Thank goodness we won't have another outbreak until after next term!