ZPi Logo "Serving the Paranoid
since 1997"
The Typing Octopus

Evidence Submerges: Human ROV Stalking Octopus

The Typing Octopus | 2006-01-29.0150 LMT | Cephalopods | Politics | Technology

Intrepid octopus investigator risk sasquatch eating, discover secret human program to follow, spy on octopus with ROV-like robot. Human document admit intent:

...We want to design a mini-robot that will carry a video camera, follow an octopus around under the water, and always keep the animal in the camera's viewfinder. Since the robot will act like a Private Eye and tail the octopus everywhere, we think it should be called Shadow.

Reason? Discover evidence human target octopus for theft, desire steal octopus antiquities. Human ROV steal heavy pointy thing from octopus foyer.

Human ROV casing octopus home? Human ROV take salmon information box? Evidence conclusive: octopus not senile. Octopus innocent victim of vast human burglary conspiracy. Human caught in act, engage in cover up. Watergate! Watergate! Watergate!

The Typing Octopus

Human Libel Sparks Aquatic Anger

The Typing Octopus | 2006-01-27.3050 LMT | Cephalopods | Politics

CTV: 'Jim Cosgrove, an octopus expert at the Royal BC museum, believes the octopus may have been senile.'

Octopus victim responds to new accusations:

Lies! Lies! Lies!

Anti-octopus bias in human media. Truth here.

Octopus awaken by yellow intruder stealing salmon information box. Intruder attack octopus, take property. Octopus not senile. Octopus have no interest in mating with yellow armless thing. Octopus only want box back.

Give octopus box back!

Cephalopod, crustacean, nudibranch unite in protest: "Things on seafloor ours!"

Anti-Defamation Leagues Under The Sea demand human apology, give box back.

Salmon call for independent investigation, cite "Human-Octopus Axis of Evil".

The Typing Octopus

ROV Attacks Octopus

The Typing Octopus | 2006-01-20.0130 LMT | Cephalopods | Cascadia | Politics


Octopus victim (identity protected).

Innocent giant pacific octopus residing off Vancouver Island in Cascadia suffer malicious attack by remotely operated human submarine.

Octopus find nice metal box left on sea floor. Box contain valuable information revealing whereabouts of tasty salmon. Law of the ocean: Finders keepers (see: Hermit v. Fiddler, 1987).

Human submarine stealing box. Octopus protecting property. Human submarine blast octopus with mechanical siphons, rip two arms off octopus, steal box. Octopus pale with distress. Octopus demand restitution.

Human submarine operators record crime, post crime video to Internet, make false accusations, show no shame.

All octopus protest human crime. Will bite transoceanic Internet cables unless salmon information box returned to rightful octopus owner. Octopus lose salmon information, humans lose celebrity gossip.

Lyle Zapato

Panspermia In the News

Lyle Zapato | 2006-01-07.8900 LMT | Kelviniana

A paper to be published on red, cell-like particles that rained over India in 2001 has rekindled interest in panspermia -- the hypothesis that life on earth was seeded from space. The paper's researchers also wrote two unpublished papers on the subject in 2003 that made stronger panspermian claims (#1 & #2).

I'm repeating this story and links swiped from Slashdot only so I can add this quote from Lord Kelvin giving the reasoning behind the concept:

Lord Kelvin

Every year thousands, probably millions, of fragments of solid matter fall upon the Earth—whence came these fragments? What is the previous history of any one of them? Was it created in the beginning of time an amorphous mass? This idea is so unacceptable that, tacitly or explicitly, all men reject it. It is often assumed that all, and it is certain that some, meteoric stones are fragments which had been broken off from greater masses and launched free into space. It is as sure that collisions must occur between great masses moving through space as it is that ships, steered without intelligence directed to prevent collision, could not cross and recross the Atlantic for thousands of years with immunity from collisions. When two great masses come into collision in space it is certain that a large part of each is melted; but it seems also quite certain that in many cases a large quantity of debris must be shot forth in all directions, much of which may have experienced no greater violence than individual pieces of rock experience in a land-slip or in blasting by gunpowder. Should the time when this earth comes into collision with another body, comparable in dimensions to itself, be when it is still clothed as at present with vegetation, many great and small fragments carrying seed and living plants and animals would undoubtedly be scattered through space. Hence and because we all confidently believe that there are at present, and have been from time immemorial, many worlds of life besides our own, we must regard it as probable in the highest degree that there are countless seed-bearing meteoric stones moving about through space. If at the present instant no life existed upon this earth, one such stone falling upon it might, by what we blindly call natural causes, lead to its becoming covered with vegetation. I am fully conscious of the many scientific objections which may be urged against this hypothesis; but I believe them to be all answerable. I have already taxed your patience too severely to allow me to think of discussing any of them on the present occasion. The hypothesis that life originated on this earth through moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world may seem wild and visionary; all I maintain is that it is not unscientific.

Lord Kelvin, August 1871.

Lyle Zapato

Spider Not-So-Mini-Anymore

Lyle Zapato | 2005-12-21.5940 LMT | Art | Black Helicopters

A member of the orb weaver (Araneidae) family. I think it might be Uncle Earl.

A recent article on making a macro lens using a Pringles can led me to a fortunate discovery that may be of use, or at least give ideas, to someone else, so I'll pass it along...

It turns out that a lens hood accessory I had lying around from a circa-1960s Pentax SLR can be jury-rigged to allow the use of that camera's filters and lenses with my Sony Mavica CD500 digicam (which otherwise would need a $35 adaptor from Sony to accept accessories). The hood, intended to keep stray light out of lenses, is just a metal tube with threading on one end that screws into the filter threads on the lenses (not all hoods use threading, though -- I also have one from another camera that uses a compression fitting.)

By lining the inside with a 3cm wide strip of felt cut to the inner diameter, the hood can be slid, thread-end pointing out, snugly onto the telescoping-lens base of the Mavica. It's just the right length to allow clearance for the moving lens, which can now be enclosed and protected with a filter.

Besides filters, lenses can also be screwed onto the hood's threads, albeit backwards. What use is a backwards lens? Macro photography! Reversing a standard lens turns it into a serviceable macro lens. (For those with the same camera: Turn the macro mode on and zoom all the way in. Do not use the "Conversion Lens" mode.) Wide angle lenses give even better magnification, but will have greater vignetting. Oh, and try a telephoto lens if you feel burdened by too many megapixels.

Anyway, here's some pics taken with my newly-discovered macro lens:

Read more...

The Typing Octopus

Happy Scalloween

The Typing Octopus | 2005-10-31.5900 LMT | Food
The Typing Octopus

Calamari Sutra

The Typing Octopus | 2005-09-26.1780 LMT | Cephalopods

Weird Sex: Giant Squid Do It Deeper (WARNING: not safe for hatchlings):

Although mating has never been observed in giant squid, it is thought that what happens is that the male injects his sperm packages into the female's arms. The process is likely to be a fairly violent affair as the female is probably not that keen on being injected. This is a problem for the amorous male as females are normally a third bigger than they are.

But males get round their inferior size by being endowed with a particularly long penis, which means they can inject the female without having to get too close to her chomping beak. The male's sexual organ is actually a bit like a high-pressure fire hose and is normally nearly as long as his body - excluding legs and head.

But having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask, and one of the two males stranded on the Spanish coast had accidentally injected himself with sperm packages in the legs and body. And this does not seem to have been an isolated incident since two of the eight males that had stranded in the north-east Atlantic before had also accidentally inseminated themselves.

The Typing Octopus

Happy Hatchday!

The Typing Octopus | 2005-09-04.9900 LMT | Cephalopods
The Typing Octopus

Misrepresentation Of Octopus's Nature

The Typing Octopus | 2005-08-23.4920 LMT | Cephalopods | Politics

Sister in octoarms calls for defamation suit against humans in Korean op-ed piece:

먹물을 뿜는다 하여 너희는 나에게 고상한 이름(文魚)을 붙여 주었다. 그렇지만 나의 이미지는 여전히 고약하기 짝이 없다. ... 너희 법정이 양심이 있다면 우리에게도 명예훼손 소송을 허(許)하라.

List of grievances also in English for Cascadian humans.

Caution to humans: we have mastered your jar lids... manipulating your legal system easy as cracking crabs.

Lyle Zapato

Fonts: Submarine vs. Whale

Lyle Zapato | 2005-04-25.5400 LMT | Fonts

Type sample

Submarine vs. Whale is an Art-Nouveau-ish font based on the heading of a 1911 illustrated account of Lieutenant Chester W. Nimitz's encounter with whales while commanding the USS Narwhal. It's cleaner than the original, but still has some irregularity in the curves to give it character. Great for tales of underwater Edwardian adventure!