Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fun Facts About Octopus!

Octopus are strange and unusual creatures.  Extremely intelligent, these eight armed animals are part of the family Octopoda and have no bones (except for a cartilaginous skull).  The get around by both swimming and walking and have been known to walk on the land if a tasty treat tempts them.  Read on to learn more about these fascinating residents of the sea.

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* There are around 300 known species of octopus. 

* Highly intelligent, they have demonstrated the ability to solve problems and use simple tools.

* The octopus has three hearts.  One heart pumps blood throughout the body while the other two pump blood through the gills. 

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* Did you know that octopus can change colors in order to blend into their environment.  The can also change the shape of their body if necessary in order to escape from traps or tight spaces.

* Octopus eject black ink when threatened.  This provides a screen which allows the octopus to escape as well as a scent which throws off the predator's sense of smell. 

* They like to eat fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.  They are able to suck their prey out of its shell. 

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* The Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest known species of octopus, weighing in at around fifty pounds and bein approximately fourteen feet long. 

* Unfortunately, they have very short life-spans.  Depending on the species, they can live from six months to five years. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Being Weird

What's it like to be a strange person living in a very boring world?  It can be lonely and frustrating.  Someone whom society considers to be a weirdo is oftentimes shunned and neglected.  People tend to gravitate towards others who are similar to themselves. which in turn gives them a faux sense of worth.  While this is completely understandable, it's not much consolation when you're the one who is being left out.

I live in a small, rural town.  Not much happens here.  Needless to say, I don't often meet others with interests similar to mine and on those rare occasions when I come across a kindred sole, it's a treat which I savor.  Most of the time, I must keep my predilections to myself.  It can be uncomfortable when your co-workers are going on and on about having their hair and nails done and you just want to tell someone about your most recent animal skull acquisition.   On those rare occasions when you do throw caution to the wind and mention some incredible find you are met with a blank stare, uncomfortable silence, and quiet judgment. 

People assume that if you like odd, dark, and offbeat items you must be a devil worshiper or something to that effect.  I love my strange collections and thoroughly enjoy owning them.  I am also a Christian and nothing will ever change that.  A few years back, a co-worker was telling me about a neighbor she used to have.  Apparently, the woman was very nice, but had "strange" items in her home.  My co-worker announced that "she must have been a witch!"  It crossed my mind that if this particular co-worker came to my home she wouldn't even try to understand who I was. 

If you are that odd soul please know that you are special, you are unique, and you are courageous as not many people have the courage to be the person they were meant to be.  Let the unkind words of others roll of your back and know that you are going to change the world in your own unique fashion and in turn the world will be better off because of it. 

Also know you've got a friend sitting in a small town in rural Nebraska.....

Friday, June 2, 2017

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again

Almost all children are familiar with the anthropomorphic egg Humpty Dumpty, featured in the well known nursery rhyme.  Few stop to consider that Humpty Dumpty is never actually described as being an egg, we all just assume that someone with such a fragile constitution must be an egg.  And if he truly is an egg, what type of egg is he - is he a rather large ostrich egg; perhaps something smaller like a humming bird egg; and maybe he could be a snake egg, who really knows?

While the exact origins of the rhyme are unknown, it first appeared in writing in 1797 in a book titled "Juvenile Amusements".  In 1872 he was featured in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass".  In the 1933 movie "Alice in Wonderland" W.C. Fields gives a memorable performance as the ill-fated egg.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Amazing World of Walter Potter

In the 1800's, an Englishman named Walter Potter used taxidermy to create his own magical world. His anthropomorphic animals set in enchanting, everyday scenes captivated visitors to his museum for over a century until, unfortunately, the museum was closed and the various displays were sold at auction in 2003. Today, all that remains of this magical world is photographs, which are featured in books and on the Internet.

In our politically correct society, many people today are not fans of taxidermy, However, it is hard not to be enchanted by the magical scenes and anthropomorphic animals created by Potter featuring kittens, bunnies, and an assortment of other animals, all acting as small humans. In "Rabbits' Village School" a multitude of young bunnies are hard at work on their lessons. "The Kitten's Tea and Croquet Party" depicts a warm, summer afternoon of tea and games for a group of kittens, while "The Kittens Wedding" features elaborately dressed kittens attending a formal wedding. "The Death & Burial of Cock Robin", considered on of the most beautiful of Potter's displays, feature nearly one hundred birds attending a funeral, some with small, glass tears in their eyes. "The Upper Ten" takes us to a group of squirrels engaged in a friendly game of cards while in "The Lower Five" the police are raiding an illegal game of cards in a rats den.

While it is no longer possible to see these amazing displays in person, it is still possible to view these beautiful creations through photographs. Every time I look at photographs of this enchanting world, I find some small detail which enchants and delights me, and I'm sure you will to.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Gnomes, Gnomes, Gnomes!!


These rather interesting images come from a book written in 1895 called "The Book of Gnomes by Fred Weatherly and illustrated by E. Stuart Hardy.  Maybe someday, I'll find a copy of this book, but in the meantime, I'll have to make due with looking at these incredible images!

I love the small details in images like these, such as the insect band and the dancing frogs.  I would love to get into the head of someone who thinks up things like this.  How interesting that would be!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Let's Rock!

Some people always are in step with the latest music.  I, on the other hand, have never seemed to be in touch with whatever music is currently popular or in fashion!

I don't know about you, but I'd love to hear this band play!