Octopuses don’t have tentacles

That’s right, octopuses don’t have tentacles, they have arms. Squids have 8 arms and 2 tentacles.
So how are tentacles different from arms? They are usually longer and, in general, only have suckers at their ends.
If the cephalopod doesn’t have tentacles, it’s most likely an octopus. If you want to get even more confused, check out why the Vampire squid isn’t quite a squid or an octopus here.
I hate discovering that things that I’ve believed since I was a child are wrong! Sometimes I’m just not in a mood to be humbled, I guess. In search of knowledge, the road is windy and endless.
Apparently the arms and tentacles of the cephalopods that we know and love fall under the term “muscular hydrostat”. According to Wikipedia, a muscular hydrostat is:

“a biological structure found in animals. It is used to manipulate items (including food) or to move its host about and consists mainly of muscles with no skeletal support. It performs its hydraulic movement without fluid in a separate compartment, as in a hydrostatic skeleton. The principle behind the hydrostatic skeleton is that water is effectively incompressible at physiological pressures. Thus, a fiber-wound chamber full of water will act as a constant-volume system. What makes the muscular hydrostat unique is that it relies on the same principle, but there is no water-filled cavity. Instead, the bulk of the organ is made up of muscle, which also has constant volume and is effectively incompressible, its main material being water. Thus, instead of a cylinder wrapped with muscle and connective tissue that changes its shape, a muscular hydrostat is a cylinder made of muscle.”

So what is a muscular hydrostat? The bodies of worms, the trunk of an elephant, the arms and tentacles of cephalopods, and the tongues of animals.
So even now that I know this, I don’t think it’s necessarily important for me to correct others who say that octopuses have 8 tentacles, just as I don’t think it’s important that people stop using the term “Great White Shark”. After all, even if you use these incorrect terminology, people will understand what you are talking about.
Language, in itself, is an imperfect metaphor for us to make sense and communicate these ideas of our perception of reality, so isn’t being understood more than sufficient most of the time? If not, most people wouldn’t care to debate the issue anyways…
I guess I’m still experiencing lingering annoyance at my ignorance, but since I’ve typed this out of my system, I feel much better!
Here’s a story about the largest known creature that has muscular hydrostats:
link (via my Mom)

“(Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni a.k.a. the Colossal Squid) attains a size larger than the giant squid. Giant squid is no longer the largest squid that’s out there. We’ve got something that’s even larger, and not just larger but an order of magnitude meaner.”

On a lighter note, take a look at this Conservapedia entry on the Pacific Northwestern Tree Octopus. Ah, good stuff…

Flashbang Cephalopods

It appears that Taningia danae, a deep-sea squid, uses “bright flashes to disorientate potential victims”, much like Ts and CTs use flashbangs in order to blind, confuse, and incapacitate their opponents in CS.
Check out the story here, and don’t miss the video.
Fire in the hole! Me ga mienai!
Ah, sometimes it’s fun to revel in one’s own nerdiness.
On a side note, I am willing to bet that T. Danae tastes nasty. I know that the smaller, bioluminescent hotaru ika (firefly squid), considered a delicacy in Japan, doesn’t rate among my favorite calamari dishes.

Is Mencia a theif?

***Update 5***
Um, this is getting to be pretty hard for Mencia to explain away…
***Update 4***
Carlos Mencia and Bobby Lee weigh in on the feud.
***Update 3***
Techdirt discusses the irony of the DCMA taking the side of Mencia, who allegedly plagiarized other comedians’ acts, against Joe Rogan, who exposed Mencia.
Also, this video actually works (for now):***Update 2***
Ah, this keeps on getting better:
Joe Rogan got banned from the Comedy Store as a result of the video. Luckily Joe has his gig as a UFC commentator and other venues to perform comedy to fall back on.
Mencia might have won this battle, but it will be interesting to see if his credibility can remain intact in the long-term. For that matter, I’d like to hear his perspective on all of this.
(This video is the one that the DMCA had taken down)

My brother and I enjoyed watching the first season of The Mind of Mencia, but then his stuff started getting old and repetitive to the point where I would change the channel if his program came on. I noticed that others felt similarly about the show. Why had Mencia’s show started off with such a bang and then fizzled out?
Joe Rogan’s account of his on-stage confrontation with Mencia gives the reader a possible explanation.
Did Mencia, or “Ned”, really steal some of his material? Why is he not forthcoming about his non-Mexican heritage?
The video and Rogan’s entry are undoubtedly biased against Mencia, but after reviewing the video I am left questioning the integrity of Mencia and his material.

Tabehodai for white sharks

Like Calvin, I don’t like to think of apex predators as scavengers. This is fascinating footage, but it is kind of disappointing to my childhood perceptions of white sharks, like the theories of the T. Rex being a scavenger made Calvin angry.
From a conservation standpoint, it is essential to dispel the myth of sharks as killing machines. The overwhelming majority of shark attacks on humans are accidental, and more people are killed by lightning each year than by sharks. Jaws is what we imagine a creature as awesome as the White Shark to be.
This isn’t to say that shark myths shouldn’t be preserved and enjoyed. Jaws was a good movie, and sharks make great antagonists in a story. These stories, however, shouldn’t be used as justification for hunting sharks to the point where they are unable to sustain a healthy population.
Much in the same way that people should stop blaming violence on TV and in video games for the violence that occurs in the real world. When we’re children, most of us can figure out the difference between the pretend world and reality. As long as some of us are unable to (which I am guessing is a very small minority), or, more commonly, are desperate for a scapegoat it will continue to be frustrating for those of us who have to watch these things unfold.
(thanks to Justin, via Maven, for the link)

Shucking Lobsters

What does an uncooked lobster that has been stripped of its shell look like?
(scroll down)
I’m not one to cry for lobsters, or anything else that I eat for that matter, but I would imagine that being processed in this fashion would hurt. For us, this would be the equivalent of not only peeling away the skin, but more importantly, extracting all of our bones as a whole.

Giant steps are what we take…

The Police are reunited!
I have always felt cheated that I wasn’t able to go to a Police show, but now I might be able to listen to their music live and in person.
I feel the same way about Bob Marley and the Wailers, but maybe it’s for the best. Bob is immortal.
I don’t think the Police will be disappointing, but then again I didn’t think that the Star Wars Prequels would be anything less than awesome. If things don’t pan out, I can ignore the new stuff and just keep on listening to their older recordings.
I only wish I could do that with Star Wars, but my copies of episode 4-6 show Greedo drawing his blaster first and all of the other “enhanced” bollocks that George Lucas appended onto his original works.
On a side note, isn’t “bollocks” a great word. We should all use it a bit more often than we do.

Chitosan sounds like some Japanese dude

“After a long search for a better way to stop extreme bleeding, the U.S. Army has purchased more than 400,000 bandages made from chitosan, a polysaccharide extracted from the exoskeletons of Icelandic shrimp.”

Another cool thing about Chitosan: it’s a carbohydrate, so people that are allergic to shrimp can use it, since the proteins are the culprit of a histamine reaction.