Friday Squid Blogging: A New Book About Squid

Wendy Williams, Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid.

Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.

Seems to be getting good reviews.

Posted on April 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM8 Comments


When did I get old? April 8, 2011 7:50 PM

I’m getting old. I saw Wendy Williams and thought…
Why is a punk rocker writing about Squids?

Hopefully it’s available on Kindle to redeem myself.

  Exactly when did I get old?

Mike April 9, 2011 12:53 AM

I have been reading your blog for like 2 years now. I have never fully understood the ‘friday squid blogging’ thing. Do you really like to study squid in your spare time? What draws you towards them?

Jose April 9, 2011 10:08 AM

Bruce you like too much about squid, why you dont make a new algorithm calleD SQUIDFISH (joke but semitrue too)


Terry Cloth April 9, 2011 10:21 AM

@When did I get old?:

You’re old when you finally realize that everybody else feels like a scared little kid inside, too.

anonymous squid April 9, 2011 1:16 PM

An excerpt from Moby Dick.

Chapter 59 Squid

A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-colour, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to clutch at any hapless object within reach. No perceptible face or front did it have; no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct; but undulated there on the billows, an unearthly, formless,chance-like apparition of life.

As with a low sucking sound it slowly disappeared again, Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk, with a wild voice exclaimed–“Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!”

“What was it, Sir?” said Flask.

“The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.”

Clive Robinson April 10, 2011 7:10 AM

OFF Topic:

@ Bruce,

I don’t know if you have seen this or not,

Basicaly the French Parliment has decided that services are required to keep “user data” for 12 months.

This user data is to include all the users Paswords so that they are available to various organisations on request, including the various Police, fraud, tax, customs and social security authorities (it is not clear if “tax” also includes the French equivalent of the local town hall and civic authorities).

It is further unclear of what the scope of this parlimentary dictat is under various EU legislation (potentialy it’s any EU equivalent authority who makes a request).

As presented in some news items it appears to be just providers of “termination services” such as WebMail suppliers etc. affected. However a closer look appears to include “connection services” such as ISP’s and Mobile Phone Service Providers, Further it does not rule out “transmission services” such as network providers.

Nor is it clear which “users” are covered that is if it is just French Citizens and long term residents of France, or includes people visiting France, or all people using the various French “services” irespective of the geo-location of where the connection or termination is made.

Likewise nor is it clear which service providers are covered by this dictat. Potentialy due to the peculiarities of EU law, any service provider who has a person covered by the dictat using their service is thus covered irespective of geo-location.

Most of this French Parlimentary Dictat flies in the face of EU and other EU nations legislation and has thus caused a considerable out cry.

So much so that a group of orgaisations throuch the French ASIC (Association of Internet Service Communities) are taking out a lawsuit against the dictat in France’s most senior court the “Conseil d’Etat” (Council of State ).

[Technicaly the French Council of State is the court of last appeal, however it’s own decision (February 89) “Alitalia corporation” ceeds to the directives and other legislation of the EU and requires the French Excecutive to void any legislation that is not compliant to EU legislation.]

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.