Vote for Giant Squid
Photo courtesy of Hine Mizushima

Since I last updated this blog, I have bought my first house, left a great job, came back to an even better job, learned to roller skate, got involved with roller derby, broke my ankle, and started the process of (and still am) recovering from an ankle break. As you can see, I have found plenty to keep me busy. I would love to resurrect this blog again someday, but for now, I will be satisfied with being the one who introduced many of you to women peeing standing up, reusable menstrual products, the difference between octopus and squid, and more. Maybe I’ll impart you with useless knowledge again soon. Until then, enjoy the archives!

When Squid Take Over

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Be ready to bow down to the tentacles before you when giant squid take over.

Just a little clarification – what the media have been referring to as “giant squid” the last several months are not actually squid of the genus architeuthis, but Humboldt squid, an unusually large species of squid that can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. A squid of formidable size, and certainly large, but maybe not giant.

Anyway, Humboldt squid are once again storming the shores of the pacific coast, and have been doing so for almost half a year now. A quick search of one of my favorite (revived?) blogs,, confirms that this is not the first time this has happened!

The much feared squid, known as “red devils” among other nick names, are known for their carnivorous, predatory nature, which can be so vicious at times that they become cannibalistic.

A Refresher on Why This is Called Cephaloblog

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Because I LOVE giant squid (a type of cephalopod)!

So, you can see why I’d be excited that, in one of the coolest things to happen to me since Kubodera got video of a LIVE giant squid right before Christmas in 2006*, a photographer from National Geographic has captured photos of an adult female sperm whale with the remains of a 30-foot giant squid in her mouth, near the Pacific Ocean’s surface off of the Bonin Islands in Japan.

The observations of the group of five adult whales and one calf not only reveal that sperm whales do, in fact, actively hunt and consume giant squid, but that they also possibly use these catches to train their babies to do the same.

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

The photographer, Tony Wu, said the whales kept diving in unison. “It seemed as if the adult whales were trying to teach the baby to dive and also to eat squid.”

My old buddy Steve O’Shea**, who is a passionate and devoted giant squid expert (and is likely peeing his pants over the discovery), confirms this and attests to the rareness of these photos.

Now, for a squid lover like me, of course a certain sadness accompanies these photos. I like to imagine the giant squid kicking the sperm whales ass, or at least putting up a hell of a fight (and who knows, maybe he did) but the reality is that giant squid are eaten by sperm whales all the time. Finding their beaks in the bellies of beached sperm whales is what helped to prove that they actually did exist and weren’t just mythical sea monsters for so long.

Oh, that and I’ve seen plenty of photos of dead giant squid. It’s the photos of live ones that are really intriguing!
Continue reading “A Refresher on Why This is Called Cephaloblog”

The Squid Hunter

Pepper viciously attacks a squid - Photo by Ariel Servadio
Pepper viciously attacks a squid - Photo by Ariel Servadio

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve been a bad Cephaloblogger for the last two weeks. As in, I haven’t been posting anything since I announced that Jeanna won the Lunapads Contest.

And there’s no excuse for it, because just in the last week there have been a slew of wonderful things for me to blog about – Thomas Beatie giving birth to his second child (a little brother for Susan!), Chastity Bono transitioning (and Jamison Green writes a fantastic response to Chaz’s announcement), the turmoil in Albany threatening the passing of the Marriage Fairness Bill.

But, I do have an excuse: I’ve been really busy! And while I have plenty of posts brewing in my head (and in my WordPress dashboard), I haven’t had the time to sit down and fully flesh them out yet (with the exception of this pathetic excuse for an explanation of my absence).

So, just be assured that more Cephaloblog posts are on their way in the very near future. In the mean time, entertain yourself with this adorable photo of my beloved cat, Pepper, viciously attacking a squid (she is the squid hunter – Pepp has been engaged in the lengthy process of slowly tearing this squid apart for months).

Giant Squid? I Don’t Think So

Photo Courtesy of & Edited by Ariel E.M. Servadio
Photo Courtesy of & Edited by Ariel E.M. Servadio

I took my younger brother and sister to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian this weekend.

As a lover of the Museum of Natural History, I laughed along with the first movie, Night at the Museum, enough to be able to ignore its cheesier moments. Also a lover of the Smithsonian Museums, I was confident this would be true for the second as well – and it was, except for one glaring flaw.

As I was notified by my Google News Alerts, many reviews of Night at the Museum 2 promised a specimen of a giant squid come to life. This, of course, was a big draw for me – the only thing I enjoy more than giant squid specimens are, in fact, live giant squid (well, I think – I’ve never met one in person). 

Yeah, well, that’s a great thought and all, but whoever did the animation for this movie royally f’ed up: their so called “giant squid” was actually a giant-squid-colored extra-large octopus!

Interestingly enough, while looking for pictures of the offending cephalopod (I couldn’t find any, unfortunately – but see the hint of octopus-ness in the movie poster above) I found that the Smithsonian’s own website notes the error themselves while showing one of the giant squid exhibits that inspired the movie:

“The so-called ‘squid’ in the movie bears little resemblance to this streamlined creature, one of two giant squid specimens in the museum.”

Continue reading “Giant Squid? I Don’t Think So”

Green Porno

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

I just started watching Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno series on the Sundance Channel with my mom last night. Never vulgar, always adorable and incredibly informative – this is a brief series that you don’t want to miss.

If you haven’t heard of it, Green Porno is a collection of approximately 2-minute-long films in which actress Isabella Rossellini describes different species’ mating habits using clever costumes and props.

Continue reading “Green Porno”