Did you know that the octopus has about 500 million neurons - the same as the average dog and twice as many as a cat? Well if you read The Times you will know because that is where I got the information as there is an article on the fact that someone intends to open an Octopus Farm in the Canary Islands, to breed them solely for the Food Market (Calamari anyone?)
But it did set me thinking. Do you like Calamari? I have seen it often on the menu in various parts of the World. I have never tried it. I love Crab, Lobster, prawns and I would almost kill for a good bowl of Moules Mariniere(so if there is anyone you wish to bump off I'm your woman - except of course these days I suspect even a tortoise would be able to run away from me). And while I think about it - reading the article about how intelligent octopuses (?) are - I wonder if Sir David Attenborough is a vegetarian?
A Spanish Company is thinking of setting up a 'farm' on the Canary Islands with the sole purpose of breeding them for the table, and animal rights groups are saying it is cruel because they are "intelligent, creative and solitary creatures". Reading about them this morning has made me realise just what incredible creatures they are. For a start they have three hearts pumping blood to their 'arms' and each of their arms has a 'mini brain' - they often beat those hunting them at their own game and some can even walk on land to find food. If all that doesn't put you off ordering Calamari then I don't know what will. Eating mare (unknowingly until after I had eaten it and it was delicious) was horrifying - almost as though I had eaten my dear little Tess - my Border Terrier.
My first husband was a Japanese Prisoner of War on the Death Railway and they were mostly at starving point. One day the Japanese offered them dog and they turned it down - so the Japanese soldiers ate it.
But reading this did make me think in a wider sense about the brain and how clever some animals are - presumably reading that the dog has twice as many neurons as the cat makes me wonder just how many we have (I am now expecting one of you to tell me as I am too lazy to research it on Google).
The working of the brain has always interested me- being a teacher and especially for some years a teacher of the least able pupils- means that the problem is always at the forefront of one's mind in preparations for lessons and in the general day to day activities.
Now retired - and more recently diagnosed with Epilepsy- has sharpened my interest somewhat.
Every morning I go through the same order of things. I get up, open the blinds, get my breakfast on my trolley and into the Living Room before my carer comes. After my carer has washed and helped me dress for the day ahead, and put my Times on the trolley I immediately do the Mind Games to keep my mind sharp while I am fresh to it and my brain has not begun to fill up with the day's rubbish. Some days (today is an example) I sail through the Killer, SetSquare, Polygon, Crossword and Codeword at speed and get them all correct. On another day (yesterday for example) I struggled - finally abandoning the killer (although it was only marked 'gentle') and the crossword only half done.
Why, I ask you? What makes my brain work better some days than others? Do you have the same experience or am I a one off? The same goes for my specs and my hearing aids. This morning I listened to the seven o'clock News without hearing aids in - next time I know I will need them. Why?
I love calamari but that is a food made from squid.
The planned octopus farm is attracting a lot of concern from animal rights groups over the methods to be used in "farming" them and to produce around a million of them a year for food.
They will be kept in tanks shared with others, under constant light, when octopus's tend to be solitary animals that prefer the dark. They will be killed by placing them in iced water at a temperature of -3 which causes a slow and stressful death.
There is such a great variety of foods available, why farm octopus? We humans must be the cruelest species.
After Tim's stroke, I can tell you absolutely that you are not 'a one off'. If he has not slept well, or if he's worn himself out, his reasoning skills take a hit. I would keep notes. How did you sleep before your difficult days? Or are you physically worn out from some activity on those difficult days? It seems that exhaustion, both physical and mental, take a toll on Tim.
If you have a chance, watch 'My Octopus Teacher'. It is on Netflix and we enjoyed it so much. They are smart creatures.
I have eaten calimari. I have even cooked it myself. I did not like it.
Weave, I am a few years behind you at 86 but I share your importance of brain function. As the brain stem is connected to the neck, I try to remember to do my neck exercises each morning. Sitting upright, with hands relaxed in my lap I rotate my head 10 times clockwise and then 10 times counter clockwise. Sometimes it sounds like my head is full of gravel. Stay relaxed and make as full a sweep as possible. It may be a little painful at times but I really think it pays off in alertness. All good wishes, Julia
The number of neurons a creature has is not a measurement of intelligence. An elephant has 3 times more than humans but is not doing quantum physics.
Yes, calamari is squid and delicious!
Octopus is octopus and I don't believe I have ever had any!
The older we get, the more brain farts we tend to experience! Doing everything we can to exercise the brain helps!
It is sad about the octopuses, every little dainty must be set before us, perhaps as we strive towards the future we shall eat less of our fellow creatures. Got Wordle this morning at third go, and daily do a jigsaw as well. But no crosswords as yet.
Sorry if I got calamari wrong - I got it from The Times article. about lack of sleep. In fact I had the worst night's sleep in ages last night so in my case it seems to have had the opposite Debby.
I have only tried octopus once. Not my idea of a tasty snack.
I spent some memorable weeks in Greece recovering from cholera (I did not get cholera in Greece), and love Greek cuisine, which is where I first tasted octopus and loved it. But now I won't eat it, they are too intelligent and have personalities, I just can't do it. So the idea of the farming of octopus seems harsh to me. I admire you do all those word games, I don't do those but I read an eclectic mix of books which hopefully has a similar good effect.
I wouldn't eat octopus or calamari either. Just doesn't appeal to me.
I do not like Calamari... Yes i have tried it.. very rubbery.. Hubby likes it though.. I've always thought of Octopus as very intelligent animals. They are great problem solvers.. I wonder how they rate up against pigs... ? I hate the idea of farming them.. I think it is cruel. No i'am not a vegetarian. Very interesting question though about David Attenborough...
No, thank you, on the octopus.
Disney channel (streaming) has interesting shows from several zoos: Taranga in Sydney, Australia is the best one IMHO, but Tampa, Florida's show is also interesting. There they have a pool of sting rays who are also very (and surprisingly) intelligent. One of the most delightful things about these shows is the huge variety of animals that we'd never seen or heard of. Did you know there are 27 varieties of Wallabies?
If I’ve not slept well, my brain seems to go into neutral. Friends have noticed that with themselves as well. Good sleep/no nightmares and we feel much more mentally alert and we are all decades younger than you. Now if we could just get magic wands to deter anxiety and scary dreams…
I have tried Calamari and do not like it. Lobster and crab are my favorite shellfish meals. Thank you for the little course on Octopus; you provided some interesting facts. How people learn is a great topic with lots of complexity. Being highly capable one day and not so capable the next is hard. An expert in the area of neuroscience might have some insight.
We do eat fish occasionally but are otherwise vegetarian. It sounds like octopus is a no.
Calamari in Carmel-by-the-Sea —- nothing better. Octopus ceviche from a street vendor along Mexico’s Coast —- numnumnum.
A good read for you.The octopus is the story teller.I really enjoyed it.Its called Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.
I think that it is only right to bring up the potential cruelty of how this proposed octopus farm will operate. Surely we have learned with other creatures that we can raise them for food whilst still respecting them as intelligent in their own right. Anyone who has worked with livestock will know that cows, sheep, pigs etc all have their own personalities.
Entirely unneccessary that octopus farm. Find something else to eat.
Puppy farms also operate entirely for profit without considering the welfare and wellbeing of the creatures involved. Humans are a selfish species in so many ways. We should ask ourselves, 'is this kind?' before any undertaking.- Pam.
I believe it is quite common for some people to have better hearing on some days than others, but can't tell you why.
I had calamari in Spain many years ago and enjoyed it, I don't know why there should be an outcry at octopus farming when so many of us are happy to eat chicken, lamb, pork and beef.
You know I've had a stroke and one nearly terminal severe brain injury. These affected my brain and body. I am most sharp in the mornings, after a good night's sleep.
Heather wondering why there would be an outcry for an octopus... An octopus is a wild animal that would be farmed... chicken, lamb, pig and cows are domesticated animals. There is a difference for me anyway.
Mussels that Weave says she would die for are farmed and have been for centuries, along with oysters and salmon. Japanese and South Koreans love octopus and Koreans chop them up still alive then you can chase the bits round your plate. Asian market will be good for octopus farmer.
My point exactly Rachel that I tried to make earlier. Why would you chop them up alive when that cruelty is unneccessary . Asian markets may be good for the octopus farmer but they are bad on a whole lot of other levels for living creatures. Best I stick to your subject of brain function on good and bad days Weave - there are too many horror stories of animal and marine mistreatment out there - many I have seen personally and people don't appreciate being told as it is too upsetting and I feel here is not the place.- Pam.
While I really like fish (trout being my favourite, especially fillet with horseradish cream and a glass of sparkling wine), I never got into seafood, and although I have tried calamari, it is too "rubbery" for me.
As for cruelty to animals just so that there is enough for the food market, well, it's the same allover, isn't it. Whether you look at poultry farms or how pigs and cows are "produced" (the term alone, used in connection with living beings, makes me shiver!), and knowing full well that all of these are our fellow creatures with feelings not unlike ours, nobody should be eating meat.
And yet I do love a good bacon sarnie, and enjoy barbecues nearly all year round - and that is only possible because it is not me who does the killing, and not me who raised the animal.
Your paragraph about you being the woman if anyone wanted to bump off someone really made me laugh! Your sense of humour is one reason why your blog is so popular.
Only the Chinese are ruthless enough to eat absolutely anything. I would not want to eat anything as emotionally developed (or sensitive) as me and I don't like eating creatures which pair up for life with one mate. That in itself is an emotional response.
They die after mating so they don't exactly live a long and happy marriage together.
Oh dear - Rachel and Tom have set me off on thinking about what I eat and about what kind of life we all live. I am going to start writing today's post shortly and you have entered into my today's "thinking territory" as I am in thinking deep mode. And the same goes for you too Pam - it really does no good to start thinking deeply about things, does it.
Caz - Thanks for the recommwndation.
Gosh - many thanks to all of you - so much food for thought here that I wouldn't have room for a plate of octopus even if it was put in front of me.
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