Posts Tagged ‘octopus’

The Post – The Rare Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, Part II

February 6, 2011

The site that started it all is:

http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

and includes these “photos.”

https://i1.wp.com/zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/treeocto.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/sighting-galen_leeds-hawktopus.jpg

The Wikipedia entry for Pacific Northwest tree octopus,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Northwest_tree_octopus, adds that the site was set up in 1998 by Lyle Zapato. Even though he included a number of falsehoods on the site, such as “its affiliation with People for the Ethical Treatment of Pumpkins (P.E.T.PU.)” most students who read the site believed it.

Two sources were listed at the Wikipedia entry that give the actual research study information should you want to read those studies:

  1. ^ Beth Krane (November 13, 2006). “Researchers find kids need better online academic skills”. UComm Advance (University of Connecticut) 25 (12). http://advance.uconn.edu/2006/061113/06111308.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-11. “Don Leu, Chair in Literacy and Technology at UConn, “… anyone can publish anything on the Internet, and today’s students are not prepared to critically evaluate the information they find there.””.
  2. ^ Matthew Bettelheim (March 14, 2007). “Tentacled Tree Hugger Disarms Seventh Graders”. Inkling. http://www.inklingmagazine.com/articles/tentacled-tree-hugger-gets-legs-up-on-twelve-year-olds/. “Of the 25 seventh-graders identified as their schools’ best online readers, 24 recommended this bogus website to another class that Leu had told them was also researching endangered species.”.

Given this, even though the site was not intended for use as such, it is often used in Internet Literacy classes. Internet Literacy, as defined by the American Library Association and quoted on on Wikipedia’s entry for this, is: “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”

The article at Wikipedia goes to note that Terry Pratchett even referred to the tree octopus in his novel, Nation:

“The concept of “nation” can be extended to embrace all of humanity, anchoring Nation in the philosophy of humanism as an answer to the question of “what is the role of the individual in society?” As with the Tiffany Aching series, Nation contains an undercurrent of passive faith transforming into active scientific enquiry, without losing moral dimensions in the process. Pratchett reinforces this theme with an offhand reference to outspoken atheist and humanist Richard Dawkins as “that nice Professor Dawkins” who was bitten by a tree-climbing octopus).”

Anyways, just a really entertaining and interesting example……

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The Post – Save the Rare Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, Part I

February 6, 2011

There is a great interview with UCONN professor Donald Leu, who participated in a study of online internet reading skills. He sent his students to a website for saving the “Rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and many of them believed it was the truth, even after he told them the whole thing was bogus.

When asked if he felt the current day’s students were less knowledgeable and more gullible than previous generations, he discounted that idea, instead noting that they’re actually brighter and more aware. The real need  is to teach strategies for evaluating websites and showing healthy skeptimism in the face of online information. One must validate with several sources and also question the origin of the source of information…ie a biased source such as medical information provided by pharmaceutical companies only, etc.

He further pointed out that it isn’t just young students not checking their sources. In fact many adults don’t bother to question the sources and information they look up on the web.

To see “pictures of the rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and to hear the interview, visit:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/02/04/exp.nr.tree.octopus.professor.cnn?hpt=T2

The Post – Octopus Ballet

January 8, 2011

After the intensity of the last post, here’s something relaxing, beautiful, and meditative….an underwater ballet: The Cirrate octopus undulates through the dark depths of the Taney Seamounts, west of San Francisco. This gem comes to us through Boingboing, and was shot by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).  Click here for the article and video, and enjoy.  🙂

The Post – Mischievous Octopus

March 3, 2009

An octopus has incredible flexibility in its arms and its ability to manipulate objects, even small ones, surpasses anything man has manufactured. It’s one of the reasons the octopus is of major interest in robotics research. Jointed metal arms on underwater vehicles are klunky by comparison and can’t work well in tight spaces. Something that can be thin, smooth, and able to move in all directions with a minimum of space, would be a real plus. If researchers can replicate the infinite flexibility of an octopus arm, the applications for that kind of tool are almost as infinite.

On the flip side, such abilities in this critter, can sometimes backfire and yield unanticipated problems. Just ask the staff at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California.  🙂

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090227/ap_on_fe_st/odd_octopus_flood

The Post – Preview of Coming Attractions

March 6, 2008

Companies have “Product Pipelines.” Teachers have “Lesson plans.” Movies have “Coming Attractions.”

Given that, I thought it was important to take a moment today to let everybody know “what’s coming” in the next few months on Soul Mosaic. The list below is not complete by any means, just some of the highlights farthest along in the planning stages:

Fiddler Crabs:

It remains to be seen whether the babies will make it or not, but I will continue to keep you posted. I see from the blog numbers this is a subject of high interest, so I will keep the updates coming.

As of today, the numbers of babies in the nursery tank has dropped dramatically. I am both sad and relieved. If thousands survived, they might have taken over my entire downstairs. However, I hope some make it. The parameters in the tank are good except for nitrites…the bane of all new tank setups. I am on my way right now to do a water change and see if that helps.

Hermit Crabs:

The next addition to the household in the near future will be 2-3 hermit crabs. I will be chronicling that from the very beginning, including what gear I buy and why, what happens when I “bring the babies home,” and how “life with hermit crabs” goes. Stay tuned for updates on when that will be happening.

Writing Posts:

There will be more posts to come on both My Author Journey, and the journey of Under the Pier as it moves through its process. I am pleased to report I am almost done with the second draft and will be starting both the third draft soon as well as putting together a submission proposal for a couple of editors. I will be sure to document the journey as it progresses. Topics still to come over the next several weeks and months in both of these areas:

1) Essays

From animals to God, geeks to kids, essays are how I speak. So more to come in this department

2) General Writing Journey

– The Writer’s House – That Swarming Bacteria, Proteus mirabilis

– Broken Bits – Encouragement for the Writer’s Soul From Beyond the Grave: A Nobel Laureate “Speaks”

– Writing Sanity: Do Something For Someone
3) More Topics for Under the Pier – Journey of a Novel

– Research Part III: Animal Character R&D

– Research Part IV: Setting as Character

– Three: The Mystical Number for Character Dynamics

– Test, Review, Retest, Analyze, Conclude

– Research Biblio- Diner Books

– Research Biblio – Nature Guides

– Writing the First Draft: If I Find One More Envelope Shred With a Story Note on It I’m Going to Scream!

– The First Draft is Done; What Now?

– So What’s Scribbled On All Those Revision Board Lists?

– What Writings Books Did I Use and Which Ones Did I Find Helpful?

– What Was Writing the Second Draft Like?

– What’s Coming Up for the Third Draft?

COMING SOON!!! A New Blog Category: Creature Features

As part of my preparation for Draft 3 of Under the Pier, I need to refresh my memory on all the critter descriptions. To really have those fish, birds, snails, and crustaceans breathing on the page requires vibrant details. So since I have to do a biology review of sorts, I thought I’d turn it into a creature of the day review for all of us. So – “Creature Features” coming VERY soon. (Appetizer: Did you know that an oyster toadfish can sound like an underwater foghorn?)

Photos and Art:

– New Macro photos coming soon. Since it’s Spring that means I can go back outside and crawl around the pond. Who knows what I’ll catch with my macro lens.

– “Photographic Journey of a Painting” – I will follow the journey of one of my oil paintings from rough sketches to explore composition arrangements, initial layers of paints, through finished product.

– Possibly Pastel: Given that I will be taking a 2 day seminar on Pastels in April, I may start exploring pastel art works and sharing those as well.

The Confusion:

What to do with the years and years worth of animal articles I have collected? – I have a box of news articles from the web collected over MANY years. It’s one of my quirks. I see an article about an animal, a cat who flew cross-country trapped in a plane’s insulation, a zoo animal playing with fabric softener dryer sheets, a 6-legged octopus, and I HAVE to print it out and keep it. My husband finds them for me now and sends them to me. Just like my feeling compelled to keep writing down the words “Mosaic” and “Broken Bits” over and over for the last few years until finally I realized it was my blog’s title and theme, I feel compelled to collect these articles.

The confusion in my mind is: WHAT SHALL I DO WITH THEM? I know I am supposed to do something with them… I FEEL it. But …what?

(Anybody have any flashes of insight????)
…And Last But Not Least: And Then There’s Bear

So, lots to come in the next few months, so stay tuned.