Your Moment Of Octopus

Our eight-armed friend gets out of a jam: Tamsin Woolley-Barker reminds us what makes the creature so spectacular: Three-fifths of his neurons are in his arms. He has nerve cells and “eyes” all over his body. Like an eight-legged brainiac Mr. Potatohead, he is an inside-out neocortex covered in cameras. He sees through his skin, and … Continue reading Your Moment Of Octopus

Your Moment Of Octopus

Ze Frank turns his focus to one of the Dish’s pet subjects: Oliver Sacks also contemplates the creature: Here, as a start, the nervous system is much larger—an octopus may have half a billion nerve cells distributed between its brain and its “arms” (a mouse, by comparison, has only 75 to 100 million). There is a remarkable degree … Continue reading Your Moment Of Octopus

This Octopus Is NSFW

Rachel Nuwer drops some knowledge gleaned from Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea, a new book by Katherine Harmon Courage. She addresses the cephalopods’ allure: Octopuses, to some, are erotic muses. Japan’s notorious “tentacle erotica” traces back to an 1814 woodblock print (potentially NSFW [pictured above]) titled Tako to Ama, or “Octopus and the … Continue reading This Octopus Is NSFW

Your Place For Politics And Octopus

A reader responds to a recent post: I was one of your dawdling freeloaders. But I finally caved, and it wasn’t your coverage of the debt-crisis that did it. While politics are somewhat similar around the world, as a Canadian, I have been simply shocked by Congress and the insane behaviour on display. Riveting reading, … Continue reading Your Place For Politics And Octopus

The Octopus Defense

by Zoë Pollock What the natural world can teach us about problem-solving: Nature teaches us that adaptation to environmental risk carries no goal of perfection. In human society, it’s politically expedient to propose top- down security initiatives that promise total risk elimination, such as “winning the global war on terror.” But trying to eliminate a threat … Continue reading The Octopus Defense

The Octopus Consciousness

Sy Montgomery contemplates it:  Half a billion years ago, the brainiest thing on the planet had only a few neurons. Octopus and human intelligence evolved independently. “Octopuses,” writes philosopher Godfrey-Smith, “are a separate experiment in the evolution of the mind.” And that, he feels, is what makes the study of the octopus mind so philosophically interesting.