Kraken: a new book about squid

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34 Responses to “Kraken: a new book about squid”

  1. millrick says:

    “we don’t fear giant worms bursting out of the earth’s crust to grab us and drag us underground.”

    oh yes i do

  2. Graham Anderson says:

    Channel 5 here in the UK showed a doc called “KILLER SQUID INVASION!!!1!!!”, which while hysterical, was interesting. http://www.channel5.com/shows/nature-shock/episodes/nature-shock-killer-squid-invasion

    Basically, Humboldt squid ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt_Squid ) are the size of a man and not averse to flying out of the water and attacking humans – the show starts with the grisly tale of two Mexican fisherman being plucked from their boat and devoured. Due to ocean warming, the Humboldt are moving out of their natural habitat and moving up and down the coast, but also up and down the thermocline. As such voracious predators, they are eating everything in their path, including all the fishies we like to eat. The show ends with dire warnings that with them rampaging out of control, man will be forced to give up eating tuna, cod and anything else and be happy to just eat calamari – if we dare go out into the seas to fish them. BWAHAHA.

    I look forward to the producers of Piranha 3-D starting a Kraken franchise.

  3. Lucifer says:

    all this talk about predation and hunting makes me want some Kraken fried in a light batter, with a tartar sauce dip, and beer.

  4. oldtaku says:

    ‘The Kraken’ is also some of the best spiced black rum I’ve ever had. Which would also go well with that Kraken in light batter.

  5. kateling says:

    Awesome.

    Also recommended: China Mieville’s novel Kraken, a very funny and deeply respectful story about squid cults, among other things.

  6. Thorzdad says:

    Bathyscaphoid squid, named in honor of a self-powered sea exploration vehicle that was developed after the 1930s bathysphere of naturalist William Beebe.

    Which was named after the Bathypelagic Zone, the ocean depth which the bathysphere was designed to descend to.

  7. Church says:

    Is this an A Dance With Dragons spoiler?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thoughts after reading the last paragraph quoted above:

    Isn’t it kind of sad that this wonderful research into nature is funded in the hope that it might make it easier to kill people undetected?

    Why can’t we just fund cephalopod research because understanding the universe is an end in itself?

    • Metlin says:

      Why can’t we just fund cephalopod research because understanding the universe is an end in itself?

      And that is the exact reason that my grandfather, who was a pure mathematician, would cite. Sadly, by the time I was old enough to appreciate the joy and beauty of pure math, I was already far too gone in the rat race. I keep telling myself that one of these days, I will quit my job and get into the academia for no other reason than to understand and appreciate the beauty of our universe.

      • Anonymous says:

        I keep telling myself that one of these days, I will quit my job and get into the academia for no other reason than to understand and appreciate the beauty of our universe.

        That’s a great plan! I hope you manage it.

        Make sure you pick the right field. I’m just now finishing a PhD in computer science. In retrospect, I deeply regret choosing such a commercially dominated subject.

        Academic computer scientists are basically perpetually stuck on the sidelines while tech companies shape the future (mainly into something horrible). Software technology is inherently a public good, so the only way to make money developing it is to spend 95% of your effort finding ways to wall things off and position yourself as the gatekeeper. In academia, you’re free to work in the interests of humanity, but no one will ever notice because you’re so heavily outnumbered by the legions working for industry.

        • Metlin says:

          Thank you, I hope so too!

          I’d imagine that CS has more opportunities than other majors, such as pure math for instance. Even academic computer scientists have a better chance of getting industry grants given the applied nature of CS (unless you are talking about theoretical CS — which I really enjoyed).

          But at the end of the day, I think there is something to be said about doing something you enjoy, and something that makes you genuinely happy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It seems that tentacles are a design meme for 2011.

    http://www.etsy.com/storque/spotlight/keep-it-weird-outreach-12481/

  10. bcsizemo says:

    So living in the ocean is a lot like playing Descent… I was damn good at that game if I do say so myself.

  11. Redseapedestrian says:

    Krakens everywhere…
    Free Kraken Game App

  12. agnot says:

    I’m glad too see the article points out that cephalopods are not all “rump steaks swimming around,” in danger of being eaten.

    Never throw somebody in the water when there are humboldts about. Unless, that is, you really, really, really don’t like the person and you have a strong stomach and there are no witnesses.

    OK, maybe you just shouldn’t throw that person in anyway.

    • Lucifer says:

      Are humboldts good to eat?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm… Rumpsteaks as big as me that hunt in packs like wolves, with long tentacles full of hooked claws. Fortunately, they drag their prey deep and fast, so you wouldn’t have to watch what happens to your “friend” when they hit the drink.

  13. Anonymous says:

    release the crackalackin?

  14. solstone says:

    Gonna chime in with kateling above, and say that Chine Mieville’s Kraken is fantastic. One of his best yet.

  15. TheCrawNotTheCraw says:

    ‘we don’t fear giant worms bursting out of the earth’s crust to grab us and drag us underground.’

    Sorry, but I *saw* “Tremors.”

  16. Forwardista says:

    Alright, you guys convinced me, I’m going to check out China Mieville’s Kraken.

  17. billstewart says:

    “Buy Kraken on Amazon” – Cool! I didn’t know Amazon sold giant squid monsters!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Chameleons change colour with mood, not for camoflage.

    (No doubt natural selection favours the ones who blend in, but they don’t know they’re doing it.)

  19. woid says:

    “We don’t fear giant birds swooping down from above to scoop us up and carry us away…”

    Speak for yourself.

  20. self-propelled says:

    Re Humboldt squid, here’s an alternative view: “Keeping in mind the D. gigas is a rather common animal, is fished for sport by casual fishermen, and is usually encountered in large groups…it looks like these squid are all but harmless, given how often it is encountered by lay-people and how few (if any) fatal encounters there have been.”

  21. Jake0748 says:

    “we don’t fear giant worms bursting out of the earth’s crust to grab us and drag us underground.”

    I read “Dune” when I was a kid. So yes, I fear giant worms.

  22. James says:

    If they are looking for military applications that can be learned from squid, how about this one:

    “With their highly honed predatory abilities and their large size, they don’t need to devote so much energy to disguising themselves.”

  23. dofnup says:

    Lio’s new favorite book!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Okay, there are now too many people called Wendy Williams.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Williams_%28disambiguation%29

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