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Lyle Zapato

Octopus Wristlet Fad Of 1915

Lyle Zapato | 2012-02-18.6599 LMT | Retro | Cephalopods | Fashion | Cascadia

I've mentioned the use of taxidermied tree octopuses as hat decorations and octopus-inspired hair-styles, now here's another example of octopuses as objects of fashion. From the April 23, 1915 edition of the Tacoma Times:

Beach Belle Uses Octopus As Wristlet In Weird Sand Dance

Los Angeles, April 23. — Probably the strangest pet ever adopted by the shrinking sex is the little octopus carried by Miss Diana Rico, a belle of the beaches here. Whenever she goes bathing or strolling along the sands Miss Rico carries the tentacled mascot wrapped about her wrist.

This weird creature of the deep gave Miss Rico an inspiration for a new tango step, "The Dance of the Octopus," which created a sensation when she first stepped its sinuous figures on the beach.

When not clinging to the arm of its mistress, the baby octopus creeps about a little tank built especially for it.

Diana Rico
Miss Diana Rico and Her Weird Pet.

While we're there, let's see what else was on the front page of the Tacoma Times that day...

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Lyle Zapato

Beating Sprayed-Vesicant-Protection-Bags Into Rain-Covers

Lyle Zapato | 2012-01-03.7880 LMT | Retro | Random Found Thing | Defensive Techniques | Fashion

Back in 2005 I posted a version of this image from a WWII pin-up calendar/poster:

Protection against SPRAY ATTACK
Miss November, 1944

Perhaps you wondered, "What did the Army do with all those Japanese-microplane-spray-attack-protection covers after the war?" Well, it turns out they sold the surplus to civilians as "Amazing All-Over Rain-Covers". Here's a 1948 ad extolling their (apparently 106) uses:


Click to see the full ad at the Digital Comic Museum...

Biggest variety of uses of anything you ever owned! Impress your date by picnicking and canoeing in the rain! Awkwardly shuffle through the rain-drenched masses like cocooned vermin! Never again suffer the embarrassment to your male ego of having your gal use a newspaper to keep her party dress unruined! Any rain-avoidance-based thing is possible with the Amazing All-Over Rain-Cover!

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Lyle Zapato

King Kong vs. The Tree Octopus Menace

Lyle Zapato | 2011-09-03.7618 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

There seems to be a recurring theme in Japan of primates driving would-be tree-octopuses back into the sea. I've already covered tree-dwelling hominoids called Kijimunaa that guard the mangroves of Okinawa from the constant threat of octopus invasion, and monkey military retaliations against forest-melon-raiding octopuses, but here's an example on a much larger scale...

Publicity still from King Kong vs Godzilla
(Click for Flickr set with more stills...)

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Lyle Zapato

The TRUTH About The Virgina Earthquake

Lyle Zapato | 2011-08-23.9930 LMT | Mind Control | Aluminum | NWO

The Washington Post reports that the Washington Monument suffered damage during Tuesday's 5.8 earthquake in Virginia:

The National Park Service says the Washington Monument may have suffered cracks near its top during Tuesday's earthquake, and the monument could be closed indefinitely.

Park service spokesman Bill Line said there appear to be cracks "at the very, very top" of the 555-foot tall structure, and structural engineers were being brought in Wednesday to conduct a close inspection.

They're claiming that the cracks are in the stone, but, as is known to most paranoids and little understood by the throngs of orthonoid tourists who stare up at it in mesmerized obliviousness, the "very, very top" of the monument is actually an aluminum pyramidion.

The Washington Monument's aluminum pyramidion before/after 'lightning rods' installed
The Washington Monument's aluminum pyramidion before (left) and after (right) the 1934 installation of augmented "lightning rods" (actually psychotronic attenuators). (Photos by Theodor Horydczak.)

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Lyle Zapato

Summon A Tree Octopus In Minecraft

Lyle Zapato | 2011-08-03.1520 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

There are now tree octopuses in the popular indie game Minecraft!

Well, sort of... some Minecraft modders just posted a plugin for the third-party Bukkit server modding system that allows players to summon a tree octopus by placing a gold block on top of a tree.

The tree octopus is actually a stock Minecraft squid, but the game's squid only have eight appendages, so they can't really be squid and must therefore be octopuses (then again, they also have teeth, so perhaps we can't rely on anatomical accuracy.)

The mechanism to summon them was inspired by my advice to a young reader asking about tree octopus donations. However, the modders (or at least one of them, Camcade) seem to be confused about what I wrote and think it's a scam:

The website instructed people to help save the tree octopus by putting money up in the trees so that the tree octopuses could make nests out of the bills. Of course, this was a scam just to get people to put money in trees for other people to take.

We here at ZPi have always advised handing bills directly to tree octopuses, not just leaving them in trees where unscrupulous passersby may deprive needy cephalopods of nesting material. If some shady website is advising you to just throw money into the woods, please report it to your local chapter of the Sasquatch Militia.

Lyle Zapato

Osaru no Kantai (The Monkey Fleet)

Lyle Zapato | 2011-08-01.7800 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

Continuous army of octopuses marches into the forest (looping animated GIF)

It has been theorized that species of tree octopuses around the world originally took to the land, and eventually the trees, in search of tasty vegetation, such as ara flowers, tree pitch, and olives. The Japanese have a similar theory: octopuses came into the forests in search of monkey melons. Unfortunately for these would-be tree-octopuses, the monkeys fought back.

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Lyle Zapato

Goldman Sachs Hoarding Aluminum

Lyle Zapato | 2011-07-29.0018 LMT | Aluminum | Mind Control

Reuters is reporting that the Goldman Sachs Group, the government-welfare-supported investment bank often unfairly likened to a vampire squid (unfairly to the innocent squid), has been stockpiling a million tonnes of industrial aluminum, equal to a quarter of the global reported inventories, in a string of warehouses in Detroit that they control. By slowing the release of aluminum supplies to manufacturers to a trickle, they're able to artificially increase prices while at the same time trading aluminum on commodity markets. They're also profiting on warehouse rent.

At least that's the official outrage that we're supposed to fume against. But could Goldman Sachs' moustache-twirling greed and the media-prompted hisses sure to follow be merely theatrics produced by the Forces of Mind Control to lay the groundwork for government regulation of aluminum supplies as a way to keep paranoids from being able to make AFDBs and aluminized bunkers?

Perhaps.

But it might also be that Goldman Sachs has decided to become a serious player in the international mind-control club, operating at a level heretofore reserved for governments, secret societies, and paraterrestrial agencies.

By amassing a quarter of the world's supply of industrial aluminum -- a primary component in the construction of psychotron cores, casings, and control nubbins -- they can interfere with the global mind-control-device market, choking the supply of psychotronic arms to any mind-control competitors, while building their own arsenal at a greatly reduced cost.

But even more worrisome is the very real possibility that they could melt all the aluminum down to construct the world's largest psychotron core, one capable of bouncing examesmers of psychotronic radiation off the ionosphere, blanketing the Earth exclusively in Goldman Sachs' own mind-control signals and even drowning out signals from HAARP. Detroit would be the place to do this, what with all the available space and abandoned manufacturing facilities.

In either case, paranoids should continue to be bullish on aluminum foil and discarded aluminum cookware as a hedge against whatever Goldman Sachs is up to.

Lyle Zapato

Bell's Thought Transference Helmet

Lyle Zapato | 2011-07-19.5395 LMT | Technology | Mind Control

Alexander Graham Bell is well-known as the inventor of the telephone (more or less); but did you know he also invented a thought transference helmet?

In an interview with Cleveland Moffett printed in the June, 1893 issue of McClure's Magazine (available as scanned images from Google Books and in plain text from Project Gutenberg), Bell starts by discussing air-ships of the near future (airplanes) and seeing at a distance via electricity (television) before revealing his intent to go beyond mere telephony or television with his experiments into electric telepathy:

THOUGHT TRANSFERENCE BY ELECTRICITY.

After he had spoken of this idea [television] for some time, Professor Bell stopped suddenly, and, with an amused twinkle in his eyes, exclaimed: "But while we are talking of all this, what is to prevent some one from discovering a way of thinking at a distance by electricity?"

Having said this, the genial professor threw himself back and laughed heartily at the amazement his words awakened. Was he joking? Apparently not, for he proceeded seriously to discuss one of the most astounding conceptions that ever entered an inventor's mind. Thinking by electricity! Imagine two persons, one thousand or ten thousand miles apart, placed in communication electrically, in such a way that, without any spoken word, without sounding-board, key, or any bodily movement, the one receives instantly the thoughts of the other, and instantly sends back his own thoughts. The wife in New York knows what is passing in the brain of her husband in Paris. The husband has the same knowledge. What boundless possibilities, to be sure, this arrangement offers for business men, lovers, humorous writers, and the police authorities!

Preposterous as such an idea appears in its first conception, it certainly assumes an increasing plausibility when one listens to Professor Bell's reasoning.

"After all," he says, "what would there be in such a system more mysterious than in the processes of the mind reader? You substitute a wire and batteries for a strange-eyed man in a dress suit, that is all."

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Lyle Zapato

Dixon's Tree Ammonite

Lyle Zapato | 2011-07-17.7070 LMT | Cephalopods | Art | Nature

Dougal Dixon's book The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution (1988) imagines what life would look like if the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event had not happened and non-avian dinosaurs had continued evolving over the last 65 million years.

Besides the eponymous new dinosaurs, one of his hypothetical creatures inhabiting the Austral­asian Realm is the coconut grab (Nuctoceras litureperus), a type of tree-climbing ammonite:

The coconut grab is an unusual ammonite in that it can spend much of its time out of the water crawling about on land. On many of the tropical islands of the ocean it can crawl up the beach and eat coconuts, and even climb trees to find the nuts when there are none available lying in the sand or washed up on the shore.

It's preyed upon by a flightless, tree-climbing pterosaur called a shorerunner.

In Dixon's hypothetical present, tropical tree octopuses apparently never had a chance to evolve, which is probably just as well for the dinosaurs.

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Lyle Zapato

Review: The Lost Cavern

Lyle Zapato | 2011-06-06.0875 LMT | Entertainment | Cephalopods
cover

The Lost Cavern and Other Stories of the Fantastic (Vanguard Press, 1948) by H.F. Heard (a.k.a. Gerald Heard) is a collection of four short stories: "The Lost Cavern", "The Cup", "The Thaw Plan", and "The Chapel of Ease". (Synopses with spoilers follow...)

My initial interest was in "The Thaw Plan" because it briefly mentions a tree octopus, but the story's setting and nascent-Cold-War perspective are interesting in their own right: induced global warming is used by both super powers as a strategic weapon, resulting in a future Earth where humanity has split into two separate species living at either pole, separated from any interaction by an impenetrable, primeval, equatorial jungle -- home to tree octopuses, naturally.

The first part of the story sets the world-building in motion. The year is 1975, 30 years into W.W.2.A. (World War Second Armistice). The world is divided into two super powers, the US and the USSR. The seat of power in the Soviet Union has moved East, to the city of Karakorum. The Chinese have taken control, turning Moscow into a Holy City and elevating the Russian people to the highest (and most powerless) level of "Ritual Rank".

Many in the West see this as a good thing since "a Chinaman never likes war". But the new leader of the USSR, Supreme Commissar Yang, has a devious plot to diminish -- figuratively and literally -- the West (including the Russians): they will use atomic power to melt the tundra, causing sea levels to rise 100 feet, flooding most of the world but leaving the tablelands of Tibet and China uninundated, from which the USSR will rule as the lone superpower.

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