Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, Dance Moms! How was I even alive before this show? There is nothing more awesome than coming home after a long day of work and watching some ladies yell at each other while their daughters cringe in fear. It gets even better when the dance teacher rolls in and yells at everyone so hard that her vocal chords break and she can’t even talk. This is also usually the time that Allen gets annoyed and takes the computer into the other room so he doesn’t have to hear me giggling. He tried to watch second season with me, but was frustrated and dismayed when he learned that no one on the show had learned anything from season 1, and everyone was still screaming, shouting, and whining about dance lessons. I tried to discuss this with him, but he was already in the other room, battling zombies with his army of adorable plants.

Allen doesn’t think there is anything more disgusting than Dance Moms, but I think that a giant hissing cockroach giving birth could be considered a little grosser. I mean, in reality, birth is a beautiful thing and a miracle of nature, but in photos it is often both frightening and pornographic. Since I have already suffered through the photos, I thought I would let you (possibly) lose your lunch over a sight even more frightening than A Serbian Film. Obviously the photos are safe for work, but probably not for your fragile mind.

You ever think about octopuses? I do, sometimes. Generally not on a pleasant way because as a child I had a fear that an octopus would strangle me. I also had fears about being pushed underwater in the Dead Sea and being eaten by a shark. I thought octopuses were both mean and scary and saw them as completely unrelatable creatures. Except now I learn that these evil sea-dwellers—whose dreams consist only of inking me in the face and dragging me to a watery grave—also like HDTV. You know who else likes HDTV? I DO! And Allen won’t buy me one! Octopus: 1, Allen: -2,084.

You’re still freaking out about those roaches, aren’t you? Or have you started watching an entire season of Dance Moms? Either way, you’re going to need some of this virtual eyewash to wipe your trauma away! Enjoy! Polar bears!

That’s all for this week! Please send me links for next week and have a non-traumatic Wednesday!

[Photo by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr]


No, it’s not a painting, it’s National Geographic's photo of the day, this one of an octopus off the coast of Italy by Pasquale Vassallo. Click through to see it even bigger, it’s just amazing.

No, it’s not a painting, it’s National Geographic's photo of the day, this one of an octopus off the coast of Italy by Pasquale Vassallo. Click through to see it even bigger, it’s just amazing.


Breaking: Paul the octopus dies at two and a half years old  »

It’s a sad day. Paul, the famous World Cup-match-predicting octopus, died in his sleep last night. He was two and a half years old, which is kind of old for a common octopus (seriously, that’s what they call his type of octopus, so “rags to riches”); their life expectancy in the wild is one to two years. But poor Paul died never knowing freedom! Well Paul, hopefully now you are swimming free in that big ocean in the sky, totally hooking up with chicks and watching digital cable. Meave, kick some German:
Gute Nacht, lieber Kraken. Du fehlst uns alle.


Paul muss frei!  »

I love octopuses and hate everybody! Nothing new about that but I have a renewed hatred for everybody. Why are they trying to fry up Paul?! Paul, the psychic octopus who is famous for predicting the outcome of the World Cup, received death threats from his German and Dutch brethren! Maybe you don’t have jerky friends like me but last week everyone on Facebook (ever heard of it?) was posting recipes for fried octopus and whatnot. LO-fricking-L.

Really, what’s so funny about that? It’s not like people don’t already eat octopus. Hey guys, I’m going to post a recipe for hamburgers! Waka waka!

This is what I hate about “working” animals; they do all this stuff for people and then they just get shit on. I swear, one headline read, “The First Millionaire Octopus?” I’m not linking it because it’s stupid. Here’s the gist: Paul is retiring from sports prediction and entering the advertising business. Also, CNN is stupid. I’m so totally sure Paul is going to reap the benefits of “his” millions. A million dollars could build a pretty big aquarium, which is the VERY LEAST Sea Life could do for him. In other minimalism: the owners are saying his advertising career won’t actually involve him directly, just his fame. We can at least say danke for that. [Ed.: Claire Zulkey wrote something sensible about Paul as well that you might like to read!]

After these death threats, PETA Germany is petitioning for the release of Paul. Cross your tentacles, Paul, and hang in there!


I’ve never heard of fried owl  »

The science world was in a tizzy last week as a new study was published about the veined octopus, a.k.a. the coconut octopus. Turns out these guys will collect coconut shells and use them as little shelters. OMG SO CUTE. This would make the octopus the first known instance of an invertebrate animal to use tools!

I happen to love octopuses because they are one of the smartest animals on earth! They can unscrew a jar, solve puzzles and they can even get depressed—I find depression in animals very endearing. I don’t know why. But I once saw a show about this poor octopus who was stuck in a stupid aquarium and got totally depressed—surprise! But some local kids set out to cheer him up and made him lego puzzles with treats inside and he loved them!

Now we find out they use tools. So cool. Here’s a pretty great video from the Museum Victoria in Australia:

All this got me thinking about the famous Jeremy Bentham quote about animals: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Even though he asked that in 1789, it is very relevant today. It seems that we vegans continue to make arguments along these lines—at least I know I do. But I can’t help but hope that if people realize how smart octopuses are, maybe they won’t want to eat them so much! I know, it’s probably naive, but look at the owl! The “wise old owl.” Maybe if we thought owls were dumb, they’d be dishing out owl burgers at McGrossy’s. But we think they’re smart, so we let them get old. Sigh. I can hope.

Image credit: dModer101 on Flickr.

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