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Thursday, October 30, 2008

BBC's Planet Earth features Octopuses

I just finished watching the entire BBC Planet Earth series and all I can say is, "Wow!" The series explores all aspects of our planet with magnificent film footage, enjoyable and educational narration, and a beautiful orchestral score. It was absolutely incredible from start to finish!

One of the fascinating creatures that our planet houses is the ever-elusive octopus. The Planet Earth camera crew caught some great footage of our favorite little guys in the "Shallow Seas" and "Ocean Deep" episodes. Other cephs get lovin' too - the vampire squid, common squid, nautilus, and cuttlefish all got screen time.

The BBC website has fact pages about some of the octopuses featured in the series, the mysterious Dumbo Octopus and the Giant Pacific Octopus. Go check 'em out!

Because I'm still in awe and not truly doing the DVD justice, here's a spot-on review by Jeff Shannon found on

As of its release in early 2007, Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. Following the similarly monumental achievement of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, this astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, shallow seas, seasonal forests, etc.) until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. The premiere episode, "From Pole to Pole," serves as a primer for things to come, placing the entire series in proper context and giving a general overview of what to expect from each individual episode. Without being overtly political, the series maintains a consistent and subtle emphasis on the urgent need for ongoing conservation, best illustrated by the plight of polar bears whose very behavior is changing (to accommodate life-threatening changes in their fast-melting habitat) in the wake of global warming--a phenomenon that this series appropriately presents as scientific fact. With this harsh reality as subtext, the series proceeds to accentuate the positive, delivering a seemingly endless variety of natural wonders, from the spectacular mating displays of New Guinea's various birds of paradise to a rare encounter with Siberia's nearly-extinct Amur Leopards, of which only 30 remain in the wild.

That's just a hint of the marvels on display. Accompanied by majestic orchestral scores by George Fenton, every episode is packed with images so beautiful or so forcefully impressive (and so perfectly photographed by the BBC's tenacious high-definition camera crews) that you'll be rendered speechless by the splendor of it all. You'll see a seal struggling to out-maneuver a Great White Shark; swimming macaques in the Ganges delta; massive flocks of snow geese numbering in the hundreds of thousands; an awesome night-vision sequence of lions attacking an elephant; the Colugo (or "flying lemur"--not really a lemur!) of the Philippines; a hunting alliance of fish and snakes on Indonesia's magnificent coral reef; the bioluminescent "vampire squid" of the deep oceans... these are just a few of countless highlights, masterfully filmed from every conceivable angle, with frequent use of super-slow-motion and amazing motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography, and narrated by Attenborough with his trademark combination of observational wit and informative authority. The result is a hugely entertaining series that doesn't flinch from the predatory realities of nature (death is a constant presence, without being off-putting).

At a time when the multiple threats of global warming should be obvious to all, let's give Sir David the last word, from the closing of Planet Earth's final episode: "We can now destroy or we can cherish--the choice is ours." --Jeff Shannon

This series is a "must-have" for anyone who has an interest in nature, our planet, and the many diverse and intriguing creatures it is home to. This would make a great holiday present too! I bought mine used and saved about $20 - you can too: Follow the link to to get your copy today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Octopus T-Shirts and Hoodies from The Steal

VNGRD is an underground clothing design company based in Milan, Italy. "The Steal" is their retail store where they sell a colorful assortment of Octopus t-shirts, hoodies, and windbreakers . Visit their site to check out the complete Octopus Line.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Octopus for Your...Toilet?

This is so cool, I just had to share it:

Check out what Gabby and Tal are selling on These two are purveyors of fun and funky vinyl decals for your home appliances, windows, cars, and even toilets - as they demonstrate.

My favorite, of course, is the creature lurking in the toilet tank, the octopus!

Many more cool stickers available at their shop. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Octopus Lyrics by Syd Barrett

"Octopus" was a song on Syd Barrett's first solo record, "The Madcap Laughs". Barrett released the album after being booted from Pink Floyd and replaced by longtime friend, David Gimour. The song, "Octopus", was released as a single in November of 1969 and was well-received, reaching #40 in the UK. The album containing the song followed in January of 1970.

Trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro
You have no word
Trip, trip to a dream dragon
Hide your wings in a ghost tower
Sails crackiling at evry plate we break
Cracked by scattered needles
Little minute gong
Coughs and clears his throat
Madam you see before you stand
Hey ho, never be still
The old original favourite gran
Grasshoppers green herbarian band
And the tune they play in us confide...
So trip to heave and ho, up down, to and fro
You have no word
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride!
Isnt it good to be lost in the wood
Isnt it bad so quiet there, in the wood
Twenty even less to me than I thought
With a honey plough of yellow prickly seeds
Clover honey pots and mystic shining feed...
Well, the madcap laughed at the man on the border
Hey ho, huff the talbot
Cheetah he cried shouted kangaroo
So through their tree they cried
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride!
The madcap laughed at the man on the border
Hey ho, huff the talbot
The winds they blew and the leaves did wag
And theyll never put me in their bag
The seas will reach and always see
So high you go, so low you creep
The winds it blows in tropical heat
The drones they throng on mossy seats
The squeaking door will always creep
Two up, two down well never meet
So merrily trip for good my side
Please leave us here
Close our eyes to the octopus ride!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cyanea Octopus in "The Great Escape!"

Because of their advanced problem-solving skills, dexterous mobility, and lack of a rigid skeletal structure, octopuses have the unique talent of being able to fit through tiny spaces. In this video, a 600 pound Cyanea Octopus wriggles it's way through an opening no bigger than a quarter! The footage is very high quality, offering a detailed view of the slippery tentacles as they maneuver through a clear plastic tube, and the narration is pretty darn informative. Enjoy:

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Slew of Octopus Tattoos.

To pay homage to the ever-fascinating and inky creatures, many humans opt for their own dose of ink with octopus tattoos. Below are some of my favorite octopus tattoos from

A lifelike beauty.

Such a cutie! Check out this Shel Silverstein illustration.

A badass nicknamed "Prometheus".

The skin pattern of an enraged Blue-Ringed Octopus.

A gorgeously detailed back piece.

A very special first tattoo.

More Blue-Ring Octopus action.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How Many Arms Does an Octopus Have? Only Six - the Other Two Are Legs

Writen by Daily Mail Reporter

Ask anyone how many arms an octopus has and the usual answer will be eight. But scientists now insist these nautical animals only have six. In a new study they found that the creatures used six of their tentacles as arms and two as legs. Marine experts at 20 Sea Life centres across Europe gathered data from over 2,000 separate observations. They found common octopuses moved over the ground using their back two limbs, leaving the remaining six for eating.

(Above) Scientists found that octopuses use two tentacles for walking and four as arms.

Claire Little, a marine expert from the Weymouth Sea Life Centre in Dorset, said: 'We've found that octopuses effectively have six arms and two legs.

'It had been thought they used four tentacles for movement and the other four for feeding and manipulating objects.

'But observations showed that they use the rearmost two to get around over rocks and the seabed.

'They also use these two legs to push off when they wish to swim, and then other tentacles are used to propel them.'

Four legs up, two legs down: An octopus goes for a walk.

The results came out of a study designed to show if octopuses favoured one side or the other. The study had involved giving them jam jars and Rubik's Cubes to play with in a bid to see if the creatures favour a particular tentacle for handling objects.
While there is no obvious difference between any of the tentacles, experts were surprised to note how often the octopuses' third tentacle from the front was employed for eating.

They also concluded the creatures favour no side and are ambidextrous.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Octopus Costumes for Halloween: Children and Adults

Surely babies aren't the only ones donning octopus costumes this Halloween. After poking around the web some more, I found a unique assortment of octopus costumes for children and adults.

Ever hear of a "Wrap-n-Ride"? Well, neither had I until stumbling upon this clever idea. The featured octopus costume wraps around your child to provide a nifty octopus costume and a plush pal to boot! Available at

So much more than just an octopus costume...this unique garment comes with a story worth reading. Pay a visit to to read about "The Octopus in You, Who?" workshop.

A clever guy made his very own octopus costume from a standard hoodie. Read all about making your own octopus costume on

This one has to be my favorite: Not only is this handmade octopus costume great for Halloween, but as designer Tiachia demonstrates, it's suitable for every other day of the year as well. Is that awesome or what? Unfortunately, the one-of-a-kind creation has been sold, but there's still time to get crackin' on creating your very own octopus costume.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Octopus Costumes for Halloween: Infants and Toddlers, the fashion-forward online baby boutique, is widely known for their extensive selection of unique Halloween costumes. One of their most popular costumes, selling out year after year, was the "Stuck on You" octopus costume.

Much to the dismay of many octopus-loving parents, the "Stuck on You" octopus costume is no longer available on Not to fret though, the octopus costume is showing up all over the web - everywhere from to to

There are also some good alternatives to the Babystyle version available at

Have fun finding the perfect octopus costume for your little one this year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Silver Octopus Necklace by Missy Industry

I am always on the hunt for great octopus jewelry. My latest find is a bold and brazen sterling silver octopus made by Canadian designer Missy Industry.

In her own words, "Missy brings the latest graphic & fashion trends into the often too classic world of bling." Hmmm...Are octopuses finally a fashion trend? Well, Betsey Johnson is rocking the octopus in her latest collection, so I'm gonna go with YES!!!

The necklace is available on Missy's site for only $70. Go get yer octopus on!!!