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Octopus vs Underwater Maze

This is a remarkably endearing and educational video. Mark Rober taught us many interesting facts about octopi. The plural can also also be octopuses. He did point out that their blue blood is copper-based, and that they have three hearts. What he didn’t mention is that all three hearts beat with independent rhythms. Among their many defenses, such as camouflage and squirting water out of their jet to swim away very quickly, is the ability to squirt a cloud of ink, thereby obscuring their view from enemies. The largest octopi, living off the coast of Washington State on the west coast of the United States, have been known to grow to beyond 30 feet across (9.1 meters) and weigh as much as 600 pounds (272 kg) Their eyes can be as big as 15 inches (38cm) in diameter.

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Sun Valley Serenade

This full movie is cued up to start at the musical and dance entertainment portion. You can rewind to the beginning to see the full movie if you wish. This is a level of entertainment that is probably not possible today.

The orchestra was led by Benny Goodman who was as big as the Beatles in his day – about 25 years before the Beatles. Benny’s instrument was the clarinet, something that’s been nearly entirely missing from the mainstream music scene for at least fifty years.

Sun Valley Serenade was recorded in Sun Valley, Idaho. The venue still exists to this day. Your author and his wife had the pleasure of staying in the Sun Valley Lodge 20 or so years ago where we met ice skating legends Scotty Hamilton, Katarina Witt, Oksana Baiul, and others in person. The room the orchestra played in looks the same to this day.

Skating stars tend to vacation in Sun Valley and neighboring Ketchum, Idaho in the summers during their off season. Many of them practice in the two skating rinks and some participate in public shows on Friday or Saturday nights. Sun Vally has a year-round outdoor ice rink, one of the few, and perhaps the only year-round outdoor rink in the world. To keep the ice frozen, they have four Diesel-powered refrigerators each as big as a full-size cargo container.

I believe you’ll agree with me that the dance sequence is one of the best ever. It is performed by the Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge. The brothers were born in 1914 and 1921 to a pianist mother and drummer father.

The Nicholas Brothers, Harold and Fayard, who lived to the age of 92, later taught master tap dance classes as teachers-in-residence at Harvard University and Radcliffe College. Janet Jackson and her brother Michael studied under the Nicholas brothers.

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Gentle Whale Approaches Unsuspecting Paddle Boarder

There are about 13,600 of these Southern Right Whales left in the world. These whales can be up to 56 feet (17 meters) long. The longest city buses are about 40 feet (12 meters) long. They can weigh up to 51,000 pounds (23,000 kilos) or 25 tons, more than ten average cars.

Southern Rights are not as big as Blue Whales who hove hearts as big as Toyotas.

So, why didn’t this whale eat the paddle boarder? The whale was not interested. These whales only want to eat tiny shrimp and plankton, which they filter out of the water with baleens, hundreds of filtering structures that hang down from their upper jaws.

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Bushnell’s Turtle

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In the mid 1770’s, During America’s War of Independence with England, David Bushnell, an inventive guy on the American side, created the world’s first attack submarine. Using whiskey barrel technology, he made a watertight, clam shell-shaped vehicle with barely enough room for one man. The thing,  Continue reading Submarines

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Giant Squid

The mysterious many-tentacled Atlantic Giant Squid has the largest eye of any living animal at up to nine inches (22 cm) in diameter (fifteen inches or 38 cm according to another source). These squid live so deep in the ocean that live ones have seldom been seen. Dead ones have been found that are up to 55 feet (16.7 meters) long, longer than a city bus.

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Octopi Are Not Stupid

Octopi are not stupid creatures. Scientists have trained them to perform simple tasks. They have been observed pulling the stoppers out of bottles to get at the stuff inside, and even unscrewing jar lids. Some of the largest octopi live not in some remote deep part on the Indian Ocean, but in Puget Sound in the State of Washington, where they have been found with armspans up to 30 feet (9.1 meters) long.

On some distant planet with large oceans, octopi may have evolved into the dominant species, in terms of intelligence. Could beings exist somewhere that are better able to communicate, more compassionate, and more successful than humans, that have eight flexible arms and live underwater?