Tag Archives: Armed Man

In The Land Of The One-Armed Man, The Octopus Killed Richard Kimble’s Wife*

by Richard

It’s not so much the tool using, it’s the fact that he can sort out which hand grabs which bit.

Okay, I might be a little late coming to this particular science party, but I still think this is something worth tapping you dudes on the shoulder for and having a look.

So, here. Look.

That, dudes, is a veined octopus and he’s in the middle of building a house on the sea bottom near Indonesia.

It’s long been known that octopi will make use of some discarded shells or other bits of detritus on the ocean floor to snuggle into and have a bit of a hide out.

This is the first time, though, that we’ve ever seen evidence of an octopus taking a coconut shell, dragging it along the ocean floor and then putting it together with another coconut shell to form a little shelter for the octopus. That, dudes, is tool using. Something we used to think was the sole province of humans, most monkeys and — occasionally — Rush Limbaugh.

“I was gobsmacked,” said Julian Finn, a research biologist at Museum Victoria in Melbourne who specializes in cephalopods. “I mean, I’ve seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I’ve never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.”

Finn and Mark Norman of Museum Victoria filmed the octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies, and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot up to 65 feet feet away from where the creature originally found the shells.

What makes this unusual isn’t that the octopus is using a foreign object for protection. Hermit crabs do that sort of thing all the time. No, what makes this remarkable is that during the transportation process, the octopus is getting no protection at all from the shell. It’s that the octopus is working now for a benefit later.

This octopus is pretty much just proven to be more mature than most human teenagers, who can’t actually see the benefit of doing something now if they’ll have to wait 10 minutes to reap a reward.

*No wives were harmed in the production of this blog post.


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In The Land Of The Armless, The One-Armed Man Is King

by Richard

To quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.” Or at least it would be if I really were in the land of the armless. Unfortunately, I’m in the normal land here where most everybody has two arms, two hands and can actually get stuff done.

Yep, you guessed right. It’s time for a whine-fest.

It’s been almost two weeks since I had my shoulder operated on and I’m already getting very, very, very tired of walking around with one arm in a sling, strapped to my body. My right arm is basically useless. I’ve been told I can’t even hold things with my right hand because I don’t want to strain the newly repaired muscles and tendons in my shoulder.

I never realized how much I actually do during the day until I couldn’t do any of those things.

I have to get help from my young dudes to tie my shoes. Zipping up is a monumental task. Putting on deodorant requires a few acts of contortions that would strain the credulity of India rubber men at the freak show. I can’t even wash dishes.

See, the thing is I know I have ADD. I can’t sit and do just one thing. If I’m watching TV, I’ll also need to read a book at the same time because I can’t just watch. During most evenings, I will be doing stuff in the kitchen while also keeping an eye on the TV or something similar. Now I can’t.

TV, by itself, is just so boring.

Sitting at the keyboard to write is a chore now. I have to type so very slowly. By the time my fingers have hunted-and-pecked their way to being even with my brain, my brain has moved on and forgotten what I was writing about in the. . .

Still, I can’t get too annoyed. I know I will get the use of my right arm back. Eventually. I’m a lot luckier than a lot of people who are learning to adjust to life with only one arm.

Still. . .

Still. . .

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I Live!

by Richard

Apparently, I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am when I’m under anesthesia.

When I woke up from shoulder surgery, I began confessing to murder.

“Okay,” I said, “I admit it. I killed the wife of Dr. Richard Kimble.”

Get it? The old tv show called “The Fugitive?” He was searching for his wife’s killer? The one-armed man? I just had shoulder surgery and my right arm is basically useless? I only have one arm?

Well, I thought it was funny. Apparently I was the only one with a sense of humor in the OR suite. And the recovery room. And in my discharge room. And in my car. And in my house. And who I talked to on the phone.

I also learned that telling the same joke over and over and over and over doesn’t make it any funnier. Oops.

Signing off for now since I’ve still got only one good arm and onr-handed typing isn’t nearly as much fun as one-handed reading. (I’m sure a few dudes got that joke.)


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