Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Call Me Ishmael

I am a nerd.

My idea of fun often lies in sketching chemical compounds (ah...covalent bonding..), diagramming sentences or watching documentaries.

Not too long ago I invited a friend over for an evening of pizza, beer, and the Enron documentary, "The Smartest Guys in the Room".

One of my very favorite things to do on the weekends is to watch the Discovery or National Geographic channels if they are showing any ocean/underwater documentaries. It could be about the breeding habits of sea cucumbers, I don't even care.

I am mesmerized by anything underwater. Sharks, kelp, whales, those weird fish with the photoluminescent fishing lures that are actual body parts!

A few years ago I watched a documentary on giant squid - and I was hooked! They are huge, and gnarly, and any real specimens that were shown were half rotten. You just don't get any better than that. In a follow up documentary they had found baby giant squid bobbing along in the currents off of Australia. They were on the right track and the clock was ticking before they were going to be able to film one alive.

I was a bit obsessive about this. That is all I really wanted to see out of the scientific community for months after. Finally, my interest lagged and I moved on to other things (namely ancient caldera locations in Russia and the Chamchatka peninsula to name a few).

Then, it happened.

They captured the first ever live squid on camera. I jumped online and looked and viewed and looked some more. And I was disappointed. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe something violent. Maybe the giant squid would leap out of the ocean and envelope the research vessel in it's tentacles, forever dragging the courageous captain and crew into the murky depths.....

(I was listening to the audio version of Moby Dick at the time. Maybe that was my problem.)

My giant squid fascination petered out. Kaput.

Until right before Christmas when this happened. I hope you agree that this is the coolest picture ever. Twenty four feet (seven meters) long - and its a young female.

I bet there is going to be the greatest squid documentary soon! You are all invited over for popcorn and cheap wine!


At 6:53 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Wow, you could totally move in here. Anth is a big fan of any program on the Science channel that talks about theories on the universe, while I am hooked on nature shows, OR ones that show me that a giant meteor is going to crash into the earth at any minute thereby destroying us all--those are my favorite.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Marisol said...

All I can think of when I look at that pic is an enormous vat of marinara sauce and a bushel of lemons!!!!

My secret obsession??? The Animal Planet chanel and those SPCA Cops. I once watched an entire weekend marathon of abused animals whose negligent owners were punished. I love the stories with happy endings where the pets are nursed to health and given new and happy homes.


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Kingfisher said...

Cool! I want one for my aquarium.

I, too, am hooked on geek stuff: books on astronomy, physics, natural science, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, History Channel, and sci-fi.

Unless I'm watching Looney Tunes. Then nothing else matters.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger rennratt said...

I love the Discovery channel (mythbusters and dirty jobs!)

The History Channel - Ancient cultures and religions, etc.

When I was in Maine, I spent an entire night watching a show about people in Pakistan/Afghanistan looking for large statues of Buddha in caves.

I'm not really sure why.

At 1:41 AM, Blogger Ant said...

So so cool. Ever seen Peter Benchley's "The Beast"? Terrible drama, but the squid was a belter of a star (it's the mad pincer things that you see in their maws when the cameras get up close and personal that have to be the scariest bit...)

Went round a shark museum whilst in Oz - that was cool too, with footage of them feasting on a dead whale then all getting a bit drunk and horny on the overload of protein or something.

But squids undoubtedly rule the waves.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Squishi said...

I'll bring the Clean Skins! (You can get a $60+ bottle without even knowing it cos there's no label!)


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