EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Tag Archives: Cephalopods

The Friday Post #44: Cephalopods, Coconuts, Cold Iguanas, Pinched

This is the first Friday Post #44 for 2010

Anyone who reads this blog might recall that I’m fond of cephalopods. Why? They’re smart (if not huggable), beautiful in their alien-marine type of way, their skin reflects their emotional states and there is still so much for humans to discover about their wily Octopus behaviors.  So, this Friday Post celebrates the Cephalopod class of Molluska.


Octopus Adopts a Significant Other (in this case, a coconut)

Video Credit/Source: http://www.youtube.com/user/museumvictoria – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


and who knew Octopus could moon-walk?!

Video Credit/Source: http://youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tteigkXaj6k – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


An online library exhibit found on the Marine Biological Laboratory – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute website features the exquisite anatomical illustrations of 19th Century German scientist, Rudolph Leuckart (1822-1890), who was considered the “Father of Parasitology” and a very influential zoologist in his era.

This virtual exhibit shows many of Dr. Leuckart’s beautiful, classic color illustrations; the chart below features a Cephalopod:


Image credit: http://www.mblwhoilibrary.org/exhibits/leuckart/wall_charts.html – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010


Watch where you walk

Although I have a number of relatives who live in Florida (where the license plates read “the Sunshine State“), none of them ever mentioned  kamikaze lizards, a species that has been severely affected by this week’s prolonged severe cold weather in the South. (News story from JustNews.com – WPLG Channel 10, Broward County, Florida). And these guys are big and green!

This could be the stuff of nightmares for some people.


Writings about this American Recession

In regards to money (or lack thereof), there is an interesting series of writings on Salon.com entitled Pinched.  A recent post by Ken Ilgunas (Dec 6 2009) relates his experience of living in a used 1994 van in order to afford to attend graduate school at Duke University.  He lives without running water, and with no certain address, but he is debt-free.  Worth reading, and especially for his discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of living simply.


That’s the Friday Post #44 for Jan 8 2010.

Enjoy your weekend!


The Friday Post #28: Economics, Wordle, Cephalopods and an Emergency Room Rap

Here’s the Friday Post #28 for Feb 28 2009.  There’s enough doom-and-gloom, and down economic news from all around the world this week to make you want to cry.  Bah! So turn the TV off.

Wired reporter Felix Salmon published an article on Feb 23 2009 entitled “Recipe for Disaster: The Formula that Killed Wall Street“.

Here’s a Wordle tag cloud based on words taken from a recent news article from BBC:


Photo/Source: http://www.wordle.net – Copyright 2009 – All Rights Reserved


Let’s cheer up with an XKCD cartoon about my favorite marine animals… Cephalopods!


Photo Credit: http://xkcd.com/520/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2009


Sing along to the Emergency Department Rap


That’s the Friday Post for Feb 28 2009, folks!  Have a great weekend!

The Friday Post #25: Build-A-Squid, Outside Hospital and Exercise Fail

Here’s the Friday Post #25 for Jan 23 2009.

I’m always happy to write about Cephalopods which are some of the most interesting animals in the world (see several previous posts about them).  Recently I found a great interactive/ educational game for children called Build A Squid! The game is at: http://squid.tepapa.govt.nz/build-a-squid/interactive, courtesy of the Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.

Note: Remember what you name your squid, as you can re-visit the site and see what he/she has been up to since the last time you checked in.  Here’s mine, named Rudy:.


Image Source/Credit: http://squid.tepapa.govt.nz/build-a-squid/interactive – All rights reserved – Copyright 2009



Definitely you do not want to be treated by these medical students describing services at Outside Hospital:



Thanks to the FailBlog.com for this post, named Jumping Jacks Fail.  It’s just goofy:

That’s the Friday Post – Have a Good Weekend!

The Friday Post #12: Museums & Medical Detectives, More on Cephalopods and a Medical Student Video

Forensic investigations of centuries-old skeletons in London, dissection of a rare deep-sea giant squid in Australia, one news-making employee in California and a medical student video make up this Friday Post #12 for Jul 18 2008.


Over the last 30 years, [staff from] the Museum of London has excavated, examined and archived 17,000 human skeletons. Now, 26 of them are to go on display at the Wellcome Trust in London. They each have a story to tell about life in the capital hundreds of years ago “.

This week, BBC Science/Nature Page featured an lengthy article this week entitled, Tales from the Grave, describing an archaeology project undertaken by the Museum of London. Within the news article are three brief videos narrated by several of the scientists involved in the project. It’s fascinating medical detective work.


Forensic medicine on a very different scale (and continent): one of the largest rare deep-sea cephalopods ever seen was accidentally caught and killed in a net from a commercial fishing boat in Australia recently. The giant squid was dissected by scientists in front of a live audience in Melbourne this week. Read about that story here from the Melbourne Herald-Sun. Here is a press release about it, and a link to Museum Victoria (July 17 2008 )

You can view the entire filmed dissection (90 minutes in length) accompanied by narrative from several of the scientists involved, including squid expert Dr. Mark Norman, at this link: streaming video (Jul 17 2008 ).


Officials at the City of San Francisco had a bad week.

Prosecutors say City employee Terry Childs, who works in the Department of Technology, tampered with the city’s new FiberWAN (Wide Area Network), where records such as officials’ e-mails, city payroll files, confidential law enforcement documents and jail inmates’ bookings are stored. Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didn’t work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said. He was taken into custody Sunday.”

Excerpt from an article dated July 15 2008, on http://sfgate.com


Finally… one Unnecessarily Angry Surgeon

Friday Post #6: Creating Better Presentations, Health-Blogs and More Stuff on Cephalopods

Creating effective presentations – and advice on blogging – start off the Friday Post #6 for this week.

Are there any of us who haven’t dozed off in the middle of an overly-long Powerpoint presentation? You know: it’s after lunch, you stayed up late the night before… the room is very warm, the lights are low and suddenly you’re face down on the table making little snicking sounds. Embarrassing, but very common.

However, if you’re the person presenting rather than listening, you definitely want to avoid putting your boss and colleagues to sleep. Thanks to Clinical Cases and Images for posting about this excellent tutorial by Alexei Kapterev on how to create more effective presentations called Death by Powerpoint (and How to Avoid It).

Three faculty members from North Carolina State University have made their tutorial on creating effective poster presentations available at this link: http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters/NewSite/index.html

Thinking about starting a Blog? Read the 10 points to consider that Trisha Okubo has given in her presentation, “Blog Your Brand“. You might want to reconsider the blog. But hers is an example of a great presentation. It is entertaining, crisp, her points are clear, the slides are uncluttered, she uses thought-provoking headlines, her key points do not cause members of the audience to get stuck in that dreaded “stop-and-ponder” loop… as in, missing the content of the next 7 slides because you’re still trying to figure out what the speaker said four minutes ago.

Next: A blog for journalists and public relations specialists, Bulldog Reporter, offers up a lengthy List of Health Related Blogs. If you are looking for new content to connect with, try this comprehensive international list. It is very l-o-n-g. (Thanks to David Rothman for the link).

Next item. Weird marine animals… cephalopods in particular. I like ’em. (See a previous posting about the work of Roger Hanlon here). Following are two videos of scientists investigating the carcass of a giant squid found in New Zealand in April 2008 (links and video – courtesy of BBC News):


FinallyOctopus Tossing? Not being a hockey fan, I’m out of the loop but… Holy Cow! Is this any way to treat a cephalopod?!

The Friday Post #3: Cephalopod Trickery, Camouflague and A Life’s Work


It’s smart skin – it’s all wired up. – Roger T. Hanlon

Cuttlefish blending in with a checkerboard

Photo Credit: The New York Times – Copyright 2008 – All rights reserved

Stories about Giant Squid, animal mimics and weird marine phenomena intrigue me. Hence, the idea for this Friday post started after reading a recent Science section article from The New York Times, written by Carl Zimmer and published on Feb 19 2008 about scientific investigations and experiments by Dr. Roger T. Hanlon, a senior aquatic scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA and his associates.

Dr. Hanlon and colleagues have spent decades studying an exceptional group of Cephalopods – principally cuttlefish, squid and octopus – who, though color-blind themselves, possess the ability to “hide in plain site” from predators by changing their skin color pattern and appearance to blend in with the surrounding environment. Biologists admit that they do not yet know exactly how these intelligent, gentle but short-lived creatures assess their physical surroundings to change the pigments in their skin to reflect those underwater patterns.

In a short video found on YouTube (linked below) from the NOVA Science series on PBS, Dr. Hanlon tells us that cuttlefish have large brains, possessing over 1,000,000 chromatophores (pigment containing, color-processing cells) which explains in part their ability to change color in a kaleidoscopic way.

Dr. Hanlon has written a chapter from the Encylopedia of Life on Australian Giant Cuttlefish (link here).

Also link to a list of recent publications from the Hanlon Laboratory at MBL.

There are more than 780 living species of Cephalopods. For additional information on these marine invertebrates including videos and many photos of specimens, check out CephBase and National Center for Cephalopods. These sites are hosted by University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

A free online textbook entitled “Cephalopods of the World(ftp link), is where the following photo and illustration were found:



Species Sepia orbignyana

Photo/Illustrations Credit – FAO.org – Copyright 2001-2008 – All rights reserved

What an exceptional group of marine animals!