FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MNEMOSYNE RELEASES NEW SODA, TENTACLE GRAPE
NEW YORK, NY - December 29, 2008 –Mnemosyne LLC has teamed up with the people who brought you the Anime After Dark Film Festival to bring you a new taste sensation!
This new beverage, inspired by the genre of adult Japanese animation called Hentai, is a perfect caffeine rush for gamers, cosplayers, and comic book fans.
“Obviously I don’t take the brand very seriously… we can’t. The best I can do is develop products that I’d want to buy myself and frankly this is the right combination of ridiculous and delicious.” Says brand creator, Dekker Dreyer.
Each 12oz glass bottle of Tentacle Grape comes with a collectors’ edition label limited to the first thousand cases. Six packs are currently available for pre-order at www.tentaclegrape.com for $15.99 plus shipping. Orders before January 5th 2009 will be eligible for complimentary Tentacle Grape branded condoms or bumper stickers.
Additional flavors and label designs are slated for the third quarter of 2009.
ABOUT MNEMOSYNE: Mnemosyne develops and manages products for fans of genre entertainment. Founded in 2004, Mnemosyne runs the massively-multiplayer game "Rubies of Eventide", and builds geek-chic brands including "Tentacle Grape" soda, and Lolcattz (collectible card game).
Thanks to my friend Elliot for finding this first at Kotaku.org!
Both Tiffany, and one of my modern glass favorites, Dale Chihuly, have works in the Victoria and Albert Museum of decorative arts in London. Chihuly made the fabulous, tentacled chandelier on display in the lobby.
Big surprise that the Tentacle Blogger Girl (that would be yours truly) likes this stuff, eh?
I was reminded of it when I saw this recent video of siphonophores - deep sea, colony organisms that appear to function as one creature.
Coincidence? I think not.
Chilhuly? Or CTHULHU?
As usual, Pink Tentacle's got the full story on the undersea adventurer.
The story is called One Cell in the Sea and I won't you anything else, save that it features romance, jellyfish, and and frozen, sliced, poisonous, virus infected tentacles.
DIVER WRESTLES TEETH FROM OCTOPUS
December 19, 2008
BELIEVE it or not.
When Manly diver David Baxter emerged from the water clutching a set of false teeth he had wrestled from the tentacles of an octopus he knew he would have trouble convincing people his tale was true.
“In 20 years of diving it’s the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever encountered,” he said.
The proof was the set of dentures, complete with algae, that he had recovered from the Manly swimming enclosure between the wharf and Oceanworld while filming seahorses. Mr Baxter said he first saw a common octopus in a crevice, its two eyes visible and a tentacle draped just below in a Bela Lugosi pose. It was also clutching a row of false teeth.
Mr Baxter is a bit of an octopus aficianado - he showed a blue- ringed octopus at the recent Ocean Care display - and he knows they have beaks not teeth. The octopus had “sucked up” the teeth, presumably from the seabed floor, with its tentacles.
“I never expected to have an octopus smiling back at me,” he said. “I was so startled I spat my regulator out.”
Mr Baxter assumes someone dropped them while swimming, - perhaps they coughed or sneezed.
Knowing how expensive dentures are he gently prised the teeth from the tentacles and is hoping they can be returned to their owners.
They probably haven’t been in the water that long - they are still in great condition other than a little algae posing as plaque.
If these are your chompers we’ve got our tentacles out for the full story. Please phone Undertow on 9976 1941 for their retrieval and a story to last a lifetime.
Originally spotted on The Daily Telegraph, who pointed me to the Manly Daily.
A Plentacle of Tentacles (grey) Tentacles a Plentacle (tan)
You can find out more at her website: Karly Fae, Printmaker
Published: Monday, 15-Dec-2008
A three year old girl is lucky to be alive after she was stung by a deadly box jellyfish at a remote beach in Milingimbi in the Northern Territory, Australia.
The youngster was reportedly playing in the shallows when she stepped on the adult jellyfish, which injected her with venom.
She collapsed and her family rushed her to a nearby local health clinic where doctors and nurses worked desperately to revive her.
The Arnhem Land community of Milingimbi is about 440km east of Darwin and visiting community GP Dr. Paul Spillane says the girl was "lucky to survive" and was saved because there were experienced nursing and medical staff in the health centre at the time who were able to resuscitate her before she was evacuated to Gove District Hospital.
Dr. Paul Spillane says she was very lucky that the health centre was so close to the beach as had it been any further away she may not have lived.
Dr. Spillane says children are worst affected by the creature's venom and he has warned families to avoid swimming in the sea during stinger season which is from October to May.
Dr. Spillane says during the stinger season parents need to realise a day on the beach can quickly turn into a life-or-death situation and the best strategy is prevention and avoiding the water altogether.
Since first reported in 1883, box jellyfish have been responsible for at least 64 deaths in Australia - the last fatality was also a Northern Territory child, a six-year-old boy, who was also playing the shallows near the Milikapiti barge landing at Snake Bay on Melville Island in November last year which was the first stinger fatality in the Territory in more than a decade - the previous death was a three-year-old girl at a remote community in February 1996.
As many as 30 deaths have been recorded from jellyfish stings in the Territory and ten have been children.
The Department of Health and Families says first aid is essential, victims must be got out of the water and the stung area immediately doused with vinegar and if the person is seriously ill, CPR may need to be carried out.
Box Jellyfish (Chironex Fleckeri) are pale blue and transparent and bell or cubed shaped with four distinct sides - they can measure up to 20 cm along each side of the cube or bell and have as many as 15 tentacles on each corner which can be 3 metres in length with up to 5,000 stinging cells.
The box jellyfish swims along at speeds of up 4 knots in a jet-like motion and appears along the shore in calm waters when the tide is rising - they are often found near the mouths of rivers, estuaries and creeks following the rain and feed on small fish and crustaceans.
The box jellyfish season starts with the onset of the wet across the top of northern Australia, usually around October and lasts until April - further south along the northern Queensland or northern Western Australia coast the season is usually from November to March and prevents swimming in the sea unless the beaches have protective stinger nets or a purpose designed stinger suit is worn; fortunately the Great Barrier Reef is free of box jellyfish through all the seasons.
The venomous sting causes such excruciating pain that victims go into shock and can drown before reaching the shore and unless treated immediately, a victim has virtually no chance of surviving.
In treating the sting methylated spirit or alcohol must not be used as only domestic vinegars poured liberally over the tentacles inactivate the stinging cells allowing the tentacles to be removed.
Where antivenom is unavailable, pressure-immobilisation may be used on limbs after the stinging cells have been inactivated and artificial respiration and cardiac massage may be needed until medical assistance is available.
I found it on News-Medical.net
Novel genes, rather than regulatory DNA, underlie the evolution of morphological traits, according to research published today (Nov. 17) in PLoS Biology. The new study reports that genes found in simple freshwater animals -- but not in any other evolutionary lineage -- can drive changes in body plan, and stokes the flames of a long-standing debate among evolutionary developmental biologists.
"This is the first study that puts together comparative molecular evolution data and experimental data into a cohesive case for this mode of evolution," Günter Wagner, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Yale University, who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist.
The underlying genetic basis of morphological adaptation has been hotly debated in the evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) field. On the one side, many argue that innovations in body plans stem from modifications in the spatial and temporal activity of well-conserved regulatory DNA, known as cis elements. Others, however, argue that adaptation and speciation originate from structural mutations in the protein-coding regions of genes themselves. Although many agree that both sorts of changes take place, the relative importance of each process has remained unclear.
Now, a team led by Thomas Bosch, an evo-devo biologist at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, has found that expression of a single gene drives major differences in tentacle formation between two closely related freshwater polyps of the genus Hydra -- score one for the structural mutation camp. What's more, the tentacle-related gene was found only in Hydra, with no shared genes in other evolutionary lineages.
Hydra tentacle formation during budding
Bosch's team scanned all the messenger RNAs of two closely related Hydra species for genes differentially expressed in the main polyp-specific structures -- tentacles, nematocysts, and the stalk. Their transcriptome-tracking turned up Hym301, a gene coding for a secreted protein that was expressed in the tentacles of one species and everywhere but the tentacles in the other species. By using transgenic and mutant Hydra that overexpressed Hym301, as well as RNA interference to silence Hym301, they showed that the gene affects the general timing and order in which tentacles arise in the different cnidarians.
Genes such as Hym301 that don't resemble known coding sequences in any other organisms -- known as "orphan" genes -- are thought to constitute around 5 to 10% of all genes across most taxonomic ranks, and, yet, geneticists have largely ignored them for two reasons. First, characterizing a gene of no known function is time-consuming and laborious. Second, many suspected that these genes had counterparts in other organisms, but limited data precluded their detection.
"You can't ignore [orphan genes] anymore because databases are getting very complete," Bosch told The Scientist. "There are obviously evolutionary selective constraints on keeping them for millions of years... They can't just be nonsense genes that are lying around."
Perhaps the best examples of orphan genes, noted Bosch, can be found in the innate immune system where organisms need highly self-specific defense mechanisms. He said he also has unpublished results of Hydra anti-microbial peptide genes with no genetic equivalents outside the genus. Further, he points to human beta-defensin as another lineage-restricted antimicrobial peptide gene that is found only in mammals.
"These novel genes are important for adapting an organism to its particular needs," Bosch said. "That's why these genes are not found outside [their] taxon."
Caltech evo-devo biologist Eric Davidson, who was not involved in the study, however, doesn't think that the results of the paper can be generalized to account for fundamental evolutionary processes in other organisms. "What makes [a] body plan is fundamentally and generally the deployment of regulatory genes, not the specialized downstream genes," he wrote in an E-mail.
Wagner takes a more nuanced stance toward the study's implications, though. "It certainly doesn't undermine the fact that cis-regulatory changes are important in morphological evolution, but it broadens the horizon by showing that other mechanisms, including new genes, can contribute to morphological differences."
Image courtesy of PLoS Biology
Article originally at The-Scientist.com (free registration, but you have to log in)
Everything's in Season for Squid Along the Pacific Coast
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Out of Half Moon Bay, 100 miles out to sea, the ocean surface erupted for a half mile in a froth of white water and tentacles.
"The squid were eating a school of fish," said commercial fisherman Bob Longstreth. "I've seen them out there. Serious predators." In another episode, a gang of Humboldt squid had circled the boat New Salmon Queen from Emeryville. The squid were in full attack, with the anglers aboard hooking up on every drop. Capt. Craig Shimukuzu got out his video camera to film the action and as he pressed the record button, the ocean "blew up" - a pod of 10 killer whales came to the surface in a feeding frenzy of their own, slashing the squid to bits with their teeth. On Thursday morning out of Bodega Bay, 20 fishermen aboard the New Sea Angler caught an estimated 15,000 pounds of Humboldt squid in 90 minutes; 400 squid that averaged 30 pounds and topped out at 70, with 90 percent of them hooked near the surface. Capt. Rick Powers said he found the squid on the northwest edge of Cordell Bank. The arrival of the giant schools of Humboldt squid means two things, good and bad: -- Good: They are providing the most exciting new fishing (and good eating) on the Pacific Coast. -- Bad: These squid are predators that could alter the basic food chain in the ocean. Humboldt squid were first seen off California in 1930, then not again until the El Niño year of 1997. They disappeared again for five years, but since 2002, they have been here to stay, according to the Monterey Bay Research Institute, taking over new territory. They are best known off the coast of South America, and in recent years, Baja California, but have expanded their range north along the Pacific Coast. They are one of the fastest growing creatures in the world, transforming from a single cell to as much as 100 pounds during an average life span of about one year. They average 15 to 60 pounds and measure up to 6 feet long. "They're an eating machine," Powers said. "They eat their body weight daily." Humboldt squid are built for the job. They have 10 tentacles that are filled with teeth-lined sucker cups, including two extended tentacles that pull victims into razor-sharp beaks. "We've seen them eat each other," said Craig Stone at Emeryville Sportfishing. Field scout Pence MacKimmie, a commercial fisherman out Half Moon Bay, said he and others have seen squid marks on deep-water black rockfish. Stanley Carpenter, a sport angler, said he saw squid marks on salmon out of Fort Bragg. Longstreth has seen them mow down huge schools of sardines and anchovies. Off of Chile, Humboldt squid are blamed for the collapse of hake. "We don't know the impact," Power said. "That's the scary thing." It's possible that squid have ravaged schools of salmon and rockfish, contributing to their low numbers, but this has not been verified. Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat in Half Moon Bay has donated the stomach of every Humboldt squid caught on his boat the past few years for a federal study that is analyzing the contents. The chain of amazing episodes reported by those on the sea tells you this: They eat everything in their paths. One night, for instance, when the lights were left on aboard the commercial boat Promise, the glow on the night sea attracted needlefish, anchovies and sardines around the boat. That's when the Humboldt squid showed up and attacked, Longstreth said. By morning, 800 pounds of squid were stuck to the side of the boat and the skipper had to gaff them one-by-one to get them off. On the Huli Cat, in the middle of a similar frenzy, Mattusch found what he thought was a two-headed squid. On close inspection, however, he saw "one had actually eaten the body of another, and only the head was sticking out." Originally local news at SFGate.com
The arrival of the giant schools of Humboldt squid means two things, good and bad:
-- Good: They are providing the most exciting new fishing (and good eating) on the Pacific Coast.
-- Bad: These squid are predators that could alter the basic food chain in the ocean.
"They're an eating machine," Powers said. "They eat their body weight daily."
"We don't know the impact," Power said. "That's the scary thing."
Originally local news at SFGate.com
This fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia on the bottom of a muddy river mouth. For the next 2 years, scientists filmed nine different mimic octopuses, Thaumoctopus mimicus (Norman & Hochberg, 2005), impersonating sea snakes, lionfish, and flatfish—a strategy used to avoid predators. The mimic octopus reaches about 60 cm long, and is typically brown and white striped.
The mimic octopus has been observed shifting between impersonations as it crosses the ocean floor to return to its burrow.
Read more, watch more at MarineBio.org
Originally via Dark Roast Blend.
It has come to my attention that many people come to this blog, this one-stop source for your up-to-the-minute tentacle news - and expect something different. After considering many responses ("I don't care," and "It's nice when people use their imaginations," ranking high among them), I can only tell you, tentacle fans, that Today in Tentacles seeks to bring you news about real, hard hitting tentacles - and not "fantasy" tentacles. I am confident that the internet is in no short supply of that kind of thing. Really.
The internet is also full of blogs with tentacles in their name that have absolutely nothing to do with tentacles at all!
(and if that's not enough for you, try the next one - )
nicolelang.blogspot.com (the blog is called "TENTACLES")
Mysteriously, tentacle.com is available.
That's the *real* headline, folks.
Census of world's sea life tallies up tentacles of surprises
At the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Valencia, Spain, which begins Tuesday, researchers will discuss the "Census of Marine Life" update report. It details efforts by more than 2,000 scientists from more than 80 nations to account for all the species in the world's oceans by 2010.
"We're in the home stretch," says project senior scientist Ronald O'Dor. "Not to say someone won't pull up a giant squid from somewhere unexpected, but we think we are going to have a very good census."
Since 2000, the initiative — executed by boat, tags, nets and submarine — has uncovered more than 5,300 new species, as diverse as blind lobsters and sulfur-eating bacteria. Among the highlights:
• The deepest hydrothermal vents, 21/2 miles beneath the Atlantic Ocean, are thronging with species of shrimp and mussels.
• Great white and other sharks head to a previously unknown offseason Pacific region, perhaps to mate.
• Tens of millions of brittle sea stars were discovered tip-to-tip on an undersea mountain in the Antarctic Ocean.
• Combined genetic evidence from deep-sea octopi shows that many newer species evolved from a predecessor living in shallow Antarctic waters about 30 million years ago.
The researchers say changes in the ocean driven by a warming climate, overfishing and environmental damage add urgency to their effort. Moreover, the oceans remain by some estimates 95% unexplored, which makes them rich with discoveries.
"The more we look, the more we find," says molecular biologist Mitchell Sogin of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., who heads census efforts to profile marine microbes. Microbes total perhaps 90% of ocean life, he says, and they help keep the Earth habitable by cycling oxygen and carbon into the atmosphere.
"I would say we are in a second Golden Age of marine biology," says project scientist Patricia Miloslavich of Venezuela's Universidad Simón Bolívar, comparing today's efforts with those of earlier naturalists such as Charles Darwin and Carl Linnaeus, who first set out to catalog species. "I hope it doesn't end."
From USA Today Technology
So you know that time we told you about how we were going to bring you up-to-the minute, breaking tentacle news? You know, right there in the header? Well, we weren't lying.
But we also realized that there was a good deal of UNDOCUMENTED tentacle news floating around on the net that had to be recapped. While we're not going to tell you about the giant squid siting of 2005, we will potentially go back a few months in tentacle time.