Friday, April 24, 2015

The Smartest Creature on Earth

Now, everyone knows that the smartest creature on the planet is the Octopus. It's obvious. Its brain is larger than its whole body. So, you'll forgive the Pacific octopus for being a little prideful. Being so intelligent comes at a cost though. For example, the Pacific octopus is extremely curious.
"What's this?" He thought one day, as a large round object invaded his dark hole in the chilly artic water. It looked like a large eye, even larger than his own eye. Cautiously he reached out a long tentacle and encircled the cylindrical object. It felt interesting, so he reached out a second tentacle, and then a third. Then he noticed a creature holding the object in question. This new creature had two large fins, attached to long thin legs. Anti water spouted from its head and spiraled toward the surface. The Pacific octopus was about to reach out a forth tentacle to inspect the strange creature, but he noticed it retreating. Perhaps most disappointing of all was its grip on the original cylindrical object of interest. Try as he might, the octopus could not retrieve the curious item. The creature would not relinquish it.
Another side effect to being extremely intelligent is the ability to make very crafty plots of revenge. The octopus seethed with anger and indignation as his last tentacle slipped away from the object. He'd show that weird anti-water thing what messing with such a smart being would do! Quickly, in his immense brain, the octopus figured the best way to get back at the creature, was to throw the most horrible predator in the sea at it. Luckily for the octopus, the most horrible predator in the sea, was sitting right next to him. So with two of his arms, he picked up the most horrible predator in the sea, and lobbed it with great strength, at the selfish creature. The predator's five points stood on end and its freakish tube feet wiggled threateningly at the knowledge hording creature.
The octopus swam away indignantly. Let them fight it out. He was sure it would be a bloody affair. After all, the most horrible predator in the sea, was known for braking through any shell, no matter how much mussel was inside.

Note: Incase anyone was wondering, the most horrible predator was a star fish and the anti-water creature was a scuba diver. This actually happened. The video is hysterical. The octopus literally chunks a star fish at the diver.

Moral: I don't even…  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Love and Glass

Sr. Shrimp and Madam Shrimp were madly in love. Sr. Shrimp longed for a large family, but he also knew his dreams would never come true without his provision for the family he already had, even if it was small. Madam Shrimp wanted a family also, but desired a nice living space for them in the future, and the present. So together they set out to find the perfect home.

“What about this nice, sturdy, stone coral?” Sr. Shrimp asked enthusiastically. “It’ll keep our children safe from anything!”
“But gray is so boring.” complained Madam Shrimp, “Can’t we find something with a little more color to it?”
Sr. Shrimp agreed. Even though his first choice would be safer, he supposed keeping Madam Shrimp happy would also be safer. He started searching for the most colorful home.
“What about this bright yellow sponge?” Sr. Shrimp asked proudly, “It’s like a piece of the sun fell into the ocean.”
“Yes. It is pretty. But so is that one.” Madam Shrimp said, waving one of her swimmerets at an almost identical sponge. “And that one, and that one too!”
“So,” Retorted Sr. Shrimp, feeling a little put out and exasperated, “What does it matter how many others there are. We’re going to choose this one! It’s still a bright color, and far from boring.”
“No matter how much you wax eloquent about the color, it’s still not special. Apparently the sun lost a lot of its pieces. Let’s find something else, something special!”
“Fine…” Sr. Shrimp swam off in a different direction. He needed some time to calm down and think of what would make his wife truly happy, “I would have picked you.” He said to the stone coral, 

“You would have kept our family safe from even the strongest sea creatures. What you look like wouldn’t matter if I lost my family. And you!” He said to the yellow sponges, “No matter how many of you there are, you’re all still so beautiful. Even if I had a hundred children, they’d all be special to me.” Lost in his thoughts, Sr. Shrimp became startled at his wife’s cry. He swam as quickly as he could, hoping nothing had happened to her.
“My dear! My Dear! Are you alright?”
“Oh Yes! I’m better than alright. Look what I found!” Madam Shrimp exclaimed, thrusting her swimmeret at a large ornate structure. Its many sides sparkled and shone like stars, and its intricate pattern made endless hexagons to its apex. “It’s glass. It’s perfect, glistening, glass. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“That really is something,” Sr. Shrimp said in both relief and awe. “Should we move in then?”
“Oh Yes! Right away!" Madam Shrimp exclaimed.
Sr. Shrimp sighed. The fight was over. The glass seemed strong enough to protect them, and it certainly was a unique sight to behold. Even he had to admit he liked it. And it’s a good thing he liked it too, because after the two swam down into their crystalline doorway and started their family, they failed to notice the glass sponge’s rapid growth until it was too late. Now they’re trapped forever in a glittering net of silica, only taking hope in the fact that their children are small enough to escape.
“Oh well…” Sighed Sr. Shrimp, “At least we have each other.”

Note: This truly happens in nature. The shrimp do not starve however. They’re filter feeders and water passes freely in and out of the glass sponge, bringing food along with it. Many shrimp couples are caught up in this strange shiny trap set by nature. They remain safe, continuing to raise children and release them beyond the borders of their glass prison. Odds are, one of them might end up in another glass sponge, hopefully with the love of its life.

Moral: Never let shiny things distract you from what’s really important… unless it's also shiny.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The ‘In’ Crowd

“NO! Stop! Wait! What are you doing?” Yelped a quavering green leaf.
The large sharp pincers stopped their advance and their owner backed away in surprise. “Well,” The smaller, yet sharper creature replied, “I’m a leaf cutter ant, and you’re a leaf, right?”
 “No! Wrong! I’m not a leaf. What makes you think that? I mean, how many leaves do you know who can talk?” the leaf in denial said firmly.
 “Well, none actually; I don’t usually talk to leaves. Anyway, you even have little holes on you. Did you yell at a caterpillar this morning too? Maybe a very hungry caterpillar?” The ant tilted his head, giving the leaf in denial a good view of his massive pincers.
“No. Those holes have always been there. You see, I’m not an ordinary leaf.” informed the leaf in denial, wondering how an ant could mistake an insect like him for a leaf.
“Oh, you’re not? So I guess that makes you special!” The ant said happily.
 “Yes! Now you got it! I’m special!” Exclaimed the leaf in denial.
“You’re a special leaf!” shouted the ant. – note ants cannot shout very loudly.
“I’m a special leaf!” Cheered the leaf in denial.
The ant giggled with a click of his pincers and added in amusement, “That’s what the last leaf said!”

The moral of this story: If you don’t want people to treat you like an idiot… stop acting like one.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Who is this Ravie

You may be wondering why so many people blog about so many things. You could be asking yourself what makes this blog more interesting than the next. There's even a small chance you're considering the opportunities associated with investing in air-umbrellas. If this is the case, I'm afraid I don't have an answer to any of your questions. Even still, you should stick around just a little longer.

 My name is Raven and I love science. Yes, I know some of you might be shrinking back in your computer chairs because science tends to overwhelm a lot of people. But with a few little stories and perhaps some anecdotal explanations, I hope to change your mind about the subject. For those of us who are already hopeless science nerds, perhaps this blog might bring a little smile to your face with out all the formulas or dissected specimens.

 I'm hoping that this becomes a place where some people can find interest in something they once felt belittled by, and where the rest of us can delight in the awesomeness of science.