Wednesday, December 1, 2010

False alarm

Last night, my housemate bought a Christmas tree and we all decorated it together :) It was lovely. One stipulation made before the decorating was that each of us was to arrive with an ornament. Having no money nor desire to go to the store and pick out a tacky ornament, I made my own. You can see the results below. I collected little things from around Coconut and put them into my favorite little glass vials. The pictures with the flash were a happy accident. A friend saw them today and said--'Oh, I can tell your mom is an artist,' which I found to be very flattering.

The false alarm referenced in the title of this post is in regards to my eggs. I thought today might be the day for them to hatch (it has been exactly one month). I received a phone call from a friend on the island who said she had seen some small things that appeared to be octopus babies. However, when I arrived, I saw no octopus babies :( I think she may have confused some waterbugs with the octos, and I don't blame her; these little guys are hard to see. I will let you know when they do hatch, and will post photos (I promise this time). Here is my mama octopus fiercely protecting her babies.

And look at this! Kasie and I are going to finally make our science show! Look how awesome it is. And, go to our youtube channel to check when we post new vids :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?!!! My octopus had babies!! I'm a grandmoctopus!! There are thousands of eggs in the cinder block where she has made her den. They hang from the "ceiling" of the rock like strings of pearls. I'm very excited. This is a huge moment in my research! So much potential in those little eggs... Ahh!! I'll post pics soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rabbit rabbit

How is it already November? Things have been incredibly busy these days. Last Wednesday, I did a twelve-hour overnight-survey of Kewalo Basin to determine the Octopus oliveri population size and behavior. I made quite a few homeless friends in addition to octopus. Apparently, Kewalo is a popular hangout for the homeless. I did a 50 minute survey every hour and had ten minutes to write down observations, so I managed to avoid most unpleasant interactions. However, I did meet one toothless man who made strange sucking noises at me until I left to look for octopus. At the end of the evening (or rather, in the morning) I realized I had brought way too much food for one person and gave the people who lived there my apples, crackers and sandwiches as a thank you for making sure I was safe all night. They all called me "squid lady," which of course made me very happy :)

I realized I forgot to post pictures of the Queen's Anne's Revenge when it was here for the filming of the new Pirate's movie this summer. Here are some of the better ones.

Here's a photo of my babies mating!

Here are some photos and a video of the Blue Angels when they were here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I want

Found here
he's plotting something...

wow, don't tell someone their robots suck...

Flying Lotus - Kill Your Co-Workers from beeple on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween is quickly approaching and there are only eight weeks until I go home for Christmas! Speaking of Halloween, two bodies were found on Coconut Island last week. Apparently, these are not the first bodies to be found out here. They are likely very important people of royal Hawaiian ancestry. I think it's pretty cool, but I might be in the minority... They were found while digging to lay pipe down for fire hydrants. In Hawaii, if any historical artifacts are found while doing construction, all digging stops. We've had a team of archeologists out here analyzing the bones and I'm interested to see what they find.

Life with octos is going as well as can be expected when working with live animals. I've collected many Octopus oliveri (also known as rock tako) and they are mating and feeding readily. I got a particularly large one (with the help of two adventurous friends) last week, and she has proceeded to eat three of my males. I'm not too upset by it as long as she lays some eggs for me. I also found an extremely small one that is likely metamorphosing from its paralarval stage. She is the most adorable little thing you have ever seen. I have to cut tiny pieces from my shrimp to feed to her. So cute!!!

I seem to be losing any semblance of mastery of the English language these days. We'll see how smooshy my brain gets by Christmas...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New OK GO! music video. How did they get those dogs to do that? How many takes did this video take. If nothing else, this band is the most patient band out there...

Hey there fancy pants...


Umbra (HD - 2010) from Malcolm Sutherland on Vimeo.

Things with octos are progressing. Life lessons being learned. Cars breaking down. Guns being shot (yes, a Glock 22. and I'm a natural). Busy Busy Busy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

oooo! if only i could get my hands on this book!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The end of summer

This morning, I went swimming with Galapagos sharks on the North Shore. We saw lot's of sharks about ten feet long. Christine said they were mostly females. Yesterday, we went on a hike to Maunawili Falls. We got lost along the way and saw a historical house where King Kalakaua and Princess Liliokalani went. I've also been on a baking kick recently. Also, the black pearl is here, filming the most recent Pirates movie. Now I am off to run boats!

The Black Pearl

Galapagos Sharks

A bathtub built for Princess Liliokalani in the 1800's

Maunawili Falls--Christine's cousin Grace jumps in

Orchid in front of my house :)

Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake with Apricot Glaze

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some cool vids

Really busy. Coral spawning, squid hunting, boat driving, physics class taking... Cool vids in the meantime...

Blue - An Erotic Life from Tibo Charroppin on Vimeo.

"The Music Scene" from Anthony Francisco Schepperd on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Especially to my mom and my two beautiful grandmothers :) Here is a pic of a beautiful octopus mom with her eggs to celebrate the occasion.

I had my first committee meeting last week and it went very well! They kind of want me to study a different kind of octopus, but I don't mind. It was very productive and it feel good to have the support of so many smart people :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

this one is a little different from the last video :)

Second Wind from Ian Worrel on Vimeo.


I went looking for octopus paralarvae last week with a post doc who is also interested in cephalopods. We went out on the leeward side, to about a depth of 50m, and put lights in the water to attract them. Most octopods lay eggs and aerate them until they begin to hatch. Once they hatch, they look like little baby octopus and are likely delicious snacks for any predators. With the particular species I study, it is presumed that the octopus larvae will float among the zooplankton (usually made up of larvae of both invertebrates and vertebrates) at night to feed, and settle down to the bottom to hide from predators during the day. When we put the lights out at night, it triggers the phototrophic response (the octopus thinks it is day), and the small octopus will attach to whatever is closest for shelter from predators. Conceivably, we are supposed to be able to find hundreds of them, however, we found only one. We were very excited though :) Here is a picture of my cute little guy (actually not sure if it is male or female). I am raising him and hope he will reach maturity after he metamorphoses to have many more chromatophores and a sexually developed arm.

This past Saturday, I went on a field trip with my Marine Ecology class to look at sea grass beds and sand flats. We found an algae eating crab (not going to pinch anyone) and several more of those photosynthetic slugs.

One of my octopods recently perished at the hands of a turkey sandwich :( Someone decided to feed him and I am down to one now. I am going to look for more on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Also, I will hopefully be having my first committee meeting soon, which will either mean the end of my career as a PhD student, or the beginning. Fingers crossed again...

Also, just found out today that to get my external hard drive fixed and recover all of my photos, papers, and resources, it is going to cost $2400. Seriously. So, that's it. All of those memories gone. Zanzibar, college, Finland, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, family, friends, all the things that make up a life... ugh. I've learned my lesson I suppose. Never again will I put things on my external hard drive that I care about.

Time for bed. I have a paper I need to work on tomorrow and need sleep...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am a Geek

scientists are called many things--here is a venn diagram my dad sent me that helps to explain the differences between them

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

werner herzog makes everything better...

mangroves and slugs

I have been quite lackadaisical recently with my postings, and for that I apologize. However, I would like to bring your attention to my friend Christine's blog, which is more often updated. As she is also a scientist in the Hawai'i program, and is often discussing interesting bits of research, I will link you over to her. Here is a post she recently did on our field trip to the mangroves. I found the little photosynthetic slug--a recent discovery for science! Photosynthesis in slugs is not a common occurrence!

My sister, brother, and friend Monica recently visited and we took over the island; driving everywhere, going to Lanikai, North Shore, Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, among others. Here is a pic my sis took of my octo :) click to see the whole pic--i can't figure out how to fix that....

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I thought I should put some pictures up of my new home. Here is a view of my front yard, and a view of the moon through the palm tree.

Also, they filmed Lost here recently. Here is a picture of the boat they brought to film on.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Day

I would have begun that phrase with "what," but that implies some negativity. And indeed, there were some quite negative parts to this day, horrible parts even, but, there were some splendid parts as well. I would love to say that the splendid outweigh the horrible, but I would be lying...

My day began as all days begin: I woke up late and had to rush to get to campus on time. I did SEM work for Les, which was pretty uneventful. Then, I had class, in which I struggled to keep awake. All this was fine until my external hard drive decided it was dead. Forever. And all of my pictures and grant proposals and resumes are on there. Everyone has helpfully pointed out that I shouldn't have put them all on there without a backup. While I know this is true, fat lot a good it will do for me now... It will cost at least $300 to get everything off of there. I am trying to weigh the memories with dollar values, but it is getting me nowhere. I finally decided I didn't have time to dwell on this issue because as a spontaneous exciting adventure, my friend Kasie asked me to go on two night dives with her!

The night dives were fabulous, splendiferous, magnupendous! Each dive was around 100ft. The first dive was to a small circular coral reef that you could swim underneath. There were lots of white tip reef sharks there, and morays, and soldier fish, frogfish, and a huge carrier crab (what looked to be a carrier crab). On the way up from the dive, we turned our lights off and swam in the phosphorescence. I looked up at the ocean surface above and it is so beautiful. I always feel so much more at peace in the water. The second dive was on a wreck where we saw several huge turtles, more morays, butterfly fish, parrot fish, and many others. When I am underwater, I forget about all the stress and frustration of everyday life. All I want to do is be in the moment and explore the amazing life around me...

After the dives, I was excited to drive home, have a shower and eat something (the first thing I would eat all day). At this point it was around 9PM and I was looking forward to a late night bike ride. Everything was going well until I got about five minutes from home. Then, my bike started to sputter. I thought perhaps I was getting low on gas. However, as soon as I got to a stop light, it stalled. It was dead. I tried to get it starting again, but to no avail. I sat for a bit on the side of the road, let it rest, then pulled the choke forward, and got it going. I made it to the gas station, filled up and that was it. No more. It would not start ever again. He is dead. I tried and tried. I left him for a bit, and still, no go. I left him in the parking lot of the gas station, but I am worried for him. It is raining and he's not covered and I hope he doesn't get stolen. But also, I am so frustrated. I just got this bike fixed. I finally got it back--they apparently fixed the starter, and now it is dead again! What the hell?!!!? Ugh! I am so mad. I had to call someone to pick me up, and I felt really bad because it was late and raining. Now, it is almost midnight, I still need a hot shower, but have finally gotten some food in me.

Somehow I feel that whenever I am fully at peace with the world and excited about what there is to come, something goes wrong... Am I not allowed to be happy? I feel like I am always shot down right at the moment of peace....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.

click to watch it bigger--it should be watched full screen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Yesterday I went out in the bay with my octopus fisherman friend to find more babies to mate in my tank. We got two more males and a small female. It was a beautiful day and the water was crystal clear. Both the males were very large and as soon as I put them in the tank, they started fighting with my other male. I am hoping they will all be alive tomorrow... But really, I am worried for my poor little female.
On the way back to the Island, we saw 3 giant manta rays! I have never seen a manta ray that close, and each one had a wing span of at least 8 feet. They were stunning. And I think they were mating. It was magical.
When I begin to feel overwhelmed and wonder what I am doing here, I will think on that moment. It was a perfect day--drinking beer, snorkeling, enjoying Hawai'i.
I'll be moving out to Kaneohe soon, so hopefully, I will have more days like that.
Things have been extremely busy recently. I'm working with Les on the bamboo corals, taking two classes, doing microsatellite work in the lab on Coconut, moving to Coconut, feeding and caring for my octopods, and trying to stay sane. And, my bike is in the shop again! Ugh! I took it in today to fix the starter and I have to order a new part--more money... And it won't be ready for a week. In the meantime, I need to get to Coconut every other day... Get ready for two hour bus rides across the island--yay!
Maybe I'll have more drawings of creepy bus people for you.

In the meantime, here is a manta ray.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A few photos from the cruise

Pics of the sub and me in the sub with Terry and Cori :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Dad, this one is not for Mom.