Friday morning photograph Open Thread – Fish and cephalopod edition

Hello, my dears.

I can’t abide reading or writing about American politics tonight, so I popped a Haldol and have been looking at pictures from my visit to an aquarium a few years ago. Cuttlefish are very relaxing.

The aquarium was the Aquarium of Western Australia. I was in Perth to check up on one of my mines – originally a strictly off-the-record gift from a grateful Frazer government to Keith after he was so successful in getting that nice Mr Whitlam kicked out in 1975. So much nicer than a knighthood.

Perth is quite a nice city in a thrusting kind of way – a little priapism of towers surrounded by red-brick houses, lovely parks and the gaudy, black-glass-clad abominations built for the newly rich to live in. These last are everywhere – lines of waterfront houses the size of small office-blocks, each looking like the architect had sold his artistic soul to a particularly malign and vengeful older god and then built an altar to it made entirely of glass and concrete reproductions of Michelangelo’s David. There were atria you could house 97 pensioners in and still have room for their dogs and a year’s supply of Depends.

Anyway, the aquarium was quite lovely, and dedicated to reproducing the various aquatic environments of Western Australia. The shark tank is incredible with a moving walkway (similar to the one in OceanWorld in Singapore) which takes you beneath rays and sharks and some quite terrified looking fish. My pekinese Fuzzbutt was desperate to tackle a particularly dyspeptic looking white pointer, but only managed to get a lot of dog slobber on the three-inch-thick perspex.

I hope you might indulge me if I post a few of my pictures. The quality varies due to the lighting, but these have been making me feel happy this evening. Click to embiggen massively.

Scorpion fish:

Scorpion Fish

This is the least blurry picture of a Leafy Sea Dragon I managed to get. All the others are just cute yellow swirls. These things are simply incredible. It must have taken God hours to get each of those leaves right.

This is the best picture of a Leafy Sea Dragon I managed to get. All the others are cute yellow blurs.

This Little Pineapple fish is a little blurry too, but it’s just so pretty. Its scales are thick and clear and almost crystalline.

Finally, the cuttlefish, who I communed with for quite a while. He’s quite adorable and peered out at me with great interest, circling around his tank to get a better view at each of the punters.


ETA: When Great Cthulhu comes back to crunch the world in his slimy maw, it will look something like that, although probably with more screaming and rending of flesh.

Happy days.

58 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Cuttlefish r tasty. That’s all I really got right now.

  2. 2
    JGabriel says:

    Sarah @ Top:

    Finally, the cuttlefish, who I communed with for quite a while.

    Speaking of communion:

    Pope Shuts Down Monastery Of Lap-Dancing Nun.

    That guy just has no fucking sense of humor. Prude.


  3. 3

    @Yutsano: And cyoot, if you squint. How you be?

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    One of the great disappointments of my life was not adventuring to Australia as a young man. Almost talked myself into it when the rumor was around there were ten women to every man, or something along those lines. Oh well, I at least made it to the SW Corner of New Mexico, plus a few other stateside places of interest.

    I would still like to go, if only to check out all the wonderful critters they have there, though a lot of them seem to have fangs and stingers with plenty of poison. Which reminds me of a wildlife show I saw several years ago, where a couple of Great White shark researchers got stung by some kind of tiny jellyfish, that the toxin produced excruciating pain for a day of so, and they had to be hooked up to a morphine pump, but were still in obvious agony.

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    I like the cuttlefish’s zany eyebrows. Assuming that’s an eye.

  6. 6
    Lurleen says:

    I don’t know who you are, but I don’t like you on my BJ and wish you would go away.


  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    @Lurleen: That’s a rather harsh thing to say to a defenseless cephalopod.

    And I hate to break this to you, but this ain’t your blog.

  8. 8

    @Yutsano: Bwahahahahaha. Wot you said.

    That Leafy Sea Dragon looks like a skeleton. Really cool.

    @JGabriel: I don’t know why this little article cracked me up so much, but it did. So, thanks.

  9. 9


    I don’t know who you are, but I don’t like you on my BJ and wish you would go away. Seriously.

    No one is making you read my posts. If you don’t like them, don’t read them, or at least stop whinging about how you don’t like me. I don’t give a shit.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    The Aquarium of the Pacific has leafy seadragons and weedy seadragons.

    I’ve really gotta get down there more often. But watch out for the lorikeets — those little bastards will bite you if you don’t feed them fast enough.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    Are you one of the many readers who sends emails to John Cole about not liking this or that? And then eventually he deletes them all and comes and yells at us. That’s fun!

  12. 12
    freelancer says:


    That guy just has no fucking sense of humor. Prude.

    The Bearded dude above him does. And that guy is fucking dark.

  13. 13
    John Weiss says:

    @General Stuck: You shouldn’t be suprised: Australia is very much like Texas, both in much of it’s terrain, it’s plethora of biters, stingers, suckers and so on. And culture.

    On several occasions, I had the pleasure to work a film gig with Aussies. Within minutes, on the various occasions, you couldn’t tell the difference between Texans and Aussies, save for the accent. Fine folk.

  14. 14
    gex says:

    @JGabriel: Now why won’t he do that the churches with pedophile priests?

  15. 15

    @John Weiss:


    Is everyone doing this just to piss eemom off?

    Because I could get behind that.

  16. 16
    John Weiss says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall: Sarah, I for one like you quite well.

    Don’t waste a second on the small, unless it’s mosses.

  17. 17
    zoej says:

    Awesomely cool.

  18. 18

    @John Weiss:

    Why, thankyou, that’s very kind.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    freelancer says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:

    You piss eemom off by saying that she has nothing substantive or funny to say, and she knows this because her tirades are unnecessarily laced with ill-thought out expletives. That’s should get her going for a while.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    @John Weiss: Are you saying that I can skip Sydney and go to Lubbock instead? It would save quite a bit of money.

  22. 22

    @John Weiss:

    Dear eemom was getting herself quite exercised the other day when someone used the contraction “it’s” (it + is) instead of the possessive “its”.

  23. 23
    John Weiss says:

    @Suffern ACE: Well, there’s not much ocean on the coast of Lubbock, but I think that they do have an opera. If you wanted the full experience, I’d say Amarillo, but skip Van Horne. W. Texas is the outback experience in spades.

  24. 24
    Mark S. says:

    Allan West said something stupid. But the article alludes to something he said a couple months ago that had me do a double take:

    In January, he criticized Obama for traveling to Afghanistan with a security detail, saying, “[I]f I’m asking my young men and women to go out there and put their lives on the line, I should be willing and able to do the exact same thing.”

    The President of the United States is supposed to go to a war zone without any fucking security? What planet are these people from?

  25. 25
    John Weiss says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall: Well, S. that distinction sorta makes me nuts as well, ‘its, it’s’ but I figure you gotta roll with the punches, so to speak. The use of ‘interface’ as a verb, I must admit, still makes me… annoyed. I’m, at my advanced age, still trying to get over my cheap self. You know?

  26. 26
    Mark S. says:

    Walter Russell Mead:

    The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

    God that’s insane. A foreign policy should not be based on whether it aids in producing “clear” signs that the Bible can be trusted. These are the idiots who will be running our foreign policy again if the goopers get back in the White House.

  27. 27
    eemom says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:

    oh good Sarah, please don’t join the legions of my assholish enemies on this blog.

    I am sorry for being ill-tempered the other evening — but I just can’t believe that you of all glorious fictional 92 year old violently senile goddesses does not appreciate the abomination of its vs it’s.

  28. 28

    @John Weiss: “officed”. As in, “where are you?” I heard that one over a decade ago, and I still haven’t recovered.

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Every time I think I am finally aware of all Internet traditions, something else comes about to question my certitude. Damn Interwebs.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    ….I mean it’s not like it’s fucking rocket science.

    hmm….let’s see…..

    Rocket Science, asked to comment on the matter, declined to give its opinion.

    Get it now, idjits?

  31. 31


    oh good Sarah, please don’t join the legions of my assholish enemies on this blog.

    Don’t worry, dear. I’m just teasing. I like anyone who likes an argument. It’s the pissant complainers who just whine that “ABL is stupid because she formats things wrong” or “I don’t like you on my BJ and wish you would go away” without adding any value that get me annoyed.

    I am sorry for being ill-tempered the other evening—but I just can’t believe that you of all glorious fictional 92 year old violently senile goddesses does not appreciate the abomination of its vs it’s.

    I’m an apostrophe Nazi as well, but I’d noticed a few people getting the two mixed up and thought it might be on purpose ’cause, you know, you do like a good argument.

    I don’t find it’s/its as annoying as “bridge’s” and “cucumber’s” and the like.

  32. 32
    eemom says:


    as for you, a simple GFY will suffice.

  33. 33

    @Yutsano: You can always learn something new on the intertoobz. You never answered how you were.

    @Sarah Proud and Tall: I don’t like misplaced apostrophes on my Balloon Juice. I’ll have none of that, Ma’am.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I didn’t? I thought I did, though granted I wasn’t too specific. I’m too tired for that right now.

  35. 35

    @Yutsano: Oh! I didn’t check back there so I didn’t know you had run to the store. Gotcha.

  36. 36
    Origuy says:

    The misplaced apostrophe bugs me, too. (BTW, was Obama’s speech in Dublin the first time a President has used the word “apostrophe” in public?) My current pet peeve is the misuse of the words “fewer” and “less”. “Fewer” is used when the amount can be quantified; “less” is used for uncountable quantities. E.g., “The recipe works better with less flour and fewer eggs.” But you all, being educated people, knew that already.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I r being stealthy like ninja. Except now. I’m jumping threads all over the place.

  38. 38
    Jewish Steel says:

    I have some elaborate and technical thoughts about the quality of production in 80s recorded music, the sony walkman, open backed headphones, and what I have been assured is the very Byronic quality of setting up a system of thought only to destroy it, but, alas:

    Jewish Steel + 7 and very tired. So it will have to wait.

    יִדיש ווערטערבוך אויפֿן וועב

    (Good Night)

  39. 39
    opie jeanne says:

    Way O/T even for an open thread, but has anyone here run across a person named Greyson Peltier?

    I just ran across him and am still shaking my head.

    The sports blog I frequent has been graced by him for a couple of weeks, and all I can say is he is making himself miserable there. He’s 14, home-schooled, and a self-professed expert in fields such as constitutional law and economics, not to mention academic subjects such as English composition. He has been on the Suze Ormond show, has declared that the founding fathers certainly never meant the Federal government to be what it is today, has made many “conservative” pronouncements, (got accused of parroting political opinions he doesn’t understand), etc.
    He has riled up the various lawyers, doctors and teachers on the site and he hasn’t even mentioned his politics yet, but I think some of the denizens must have googled him because they have told him that he is full of hatred, and the people doing so are not necessarily liberals. When people tried to talk to him he tells them he will set up a face-to-face meeting after verifying that they do not represent a competing PR firm. Then he posted not only his email address but also his home phone number. This is on a sports blog, where people exchange ideas very much the way we do here; we do not email each other to discuss Buster Posey’s terrible injury, or whether Shaq is a lousy teammate, we post it right there on the site.

    He seems extremely bright but is just plain strange; when asked nicely about his home-schooling he verified it and claimed to have Asperger’s. He is homeschooled using a company that also owns the University of Phoenix.
    I don’t know about the Aspergers, but he certainly is obnoxious and arrogant. My cousin has that and he is not that way at all, but i know it may manifest itself in different ways.

  40. 40
    Chris T. says:

    @General Stuck: Deadly Animals: Come to Australia (youtube)

    I like Perth. I like Melbourne too, but oh the humidity! Overall I prefer new Zealand though. :-)

  41. 41
    Bmaccnm says:

    @opie jeanne: Dang, O-J! Whatdya have to go and do that for??? Here i am, trying to push myself to stay up because I’m working nights all weekend, and I find myself sucked into Little Slap Me’s world.

    I have a few Apsy friends, and they aren’t this kind of special. I read a few of his blog responses. Clearly he’s parroting someone. It is possible for a 14 year old to have had some life experience, but a 14 year old with life experience doesn’t sound like Jonah Goldberg. Why would a home schooled 14 year old have a personal opinion on teachers unions and tax policy? He’s much more likely to have his parents’s opinions on teachers unions and tax policy. Like an obnoxious, over wrought performance by a child actor. A Teabagger’s Lindsay Lohan. Ick.

  42. 42
    Jazz Superluminar says:

    @opie jeanne

    I did wonder when m_c would change to a new persona.

  43. 43
    Michael D. says:


    Cuttlefish r tasty

    Ever had Japanese cuttlefish soup? For breakfast? Let me know when you do and you will never utter that sentence again.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Jazz Superluminar says:

    @Yutsano; @Michael D.

    Best cuttlefish dish I ever had was in Seville earlier this year, lightly grilled and stuffed with foie gras and pine nuts. It was awesome.*

    *this was quite a hipsterish restaurant, and they put these stupid lines of that fucking pink himalyan salt on the sides of the dish.

  46. 46
    stuckinred says:

    @Jazz Superluminar: Did you snort them?

  47. 47
    Jazz Superluminar says:

    you know, I was tempted, and they were kinda laid out like that. However, a few years back, I foolishly took on a bet late at night in some bar, and did, in fact, snot a quantity of (table) salt. I absolutely do not recommend this it is really really bad.

  48. 48
    shortstop says:

    Cuttlefish are amazing critters with highly developed communication skills. They can change their color any old time they want, they’re excellent ambush predators, they have super-sensitive eyes…oh, yeah, these guys have a lot going for them. They’ve fascinated me forever.

  49. 49
    Mark H says:

    That first one is a lionfish. The closely related (and equally poisonous) scorpionfish is strictly a bottom dweller without the extended fin rays of this one.

  50. 50
    slightly_peeved says:

    @John Weiss:

    on the various occasions, you couldn’t tell the difference between Texans and Aussies, save for the accent.

    Bring up religion or politics and you’d tell the difference pretty quickly, in most company. Lot more liberal, lot less armed.

    And while there’s probably a lot of similarity between the Texas terrain and a lot of your south, south-western Australia, we are a whole continent; Far North Queensland looks more like Hawaii than anywhere else, and a lot of the area in the South and Southeast would be more evocative of California than Texas.

  51. 51
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Chris T.:

    I like Perth. I like Melbourne too, but oh the humidity! Overall I prefer new Zealand though. :-)

    Enzed is too cold, wet and windy and the natives, while polite, have lost all functional use of vowels.

    The dangerousness of Oz wildlife has been greatly overrated by hucksters like the late Steve Irwin. There are three basic rules:

    Never swim in dirty water.
    Never swim north of Capricorn during months with an R.
    Never sit on a dunny without first checking under the seat.

    Quick run down on Australian cities for prospective tourists:

    Perth – Vastly overrated. Held by its inhabitants to be the centre of the universe, only because they are too ignorant to know any better.

    Melbourne – Insular and parochial. Alternatively boiling hot and freezing cold. Usually on the same day.

    Sydney – Obsessive and self important. Competing with Rio for best beach adjacent slum.

    Adelaide – City of churches. Serial murder capital of Australia. For most victims it was merciful release from living in Adelaide.

    Brisbane – What’s a Brisbane? Rhymes with Melbourne, which is the most surprising thing about the place.

    Canberra – Like Washington, a planned city. Unlike Washington, not actually a city.

  52. 52
    Mal says:

    As a West Australia let me please deal with this one: “Perth – Vastly overrated.” (This is probably true – could somebody please build some more theatres, cultural centres,etc.) But this: Held by its inhabitants to be the centre of the universe, only because they are too ignorant to know any better. (No I’m sorry quite a few Australians are self-reflexive enough to know that Australia, as one of our prime ministers said, is the arse end of the universe. It does seem to me though that most US citizens believe that they come from the centre of the universe, no matter what little outpost of the empire they inhabit.) I liked the article. Did Keith receive a gold or nickel mine?

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    The dangerousness of Oz wildlife has been greatly overrated by hucksters like the late Steve Irwin.

    Huckster? Steve Irwin? hardly, probably did more for educating the world on the wonders of wildlife and conservation of it than anyone ever has. Especially endangered species. I liked Steve Irwin and miss his presence on planet earth. I could care less about your sorry ass.

  54. 54
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @General Stuck:

    I could care less about your sorry ass.

    I wasn’t asking you care or kiss it. But now that you’ve expressed an interest, you can bite it.

  55. 55
    Nellcote says:

    The amazing Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco has a herd of leafy sea dragons on display. They really are the most wonderous creatures imaginable.

  56. 56
    General Stuck says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    A punk like you on the internet couldn’t begin to contribute what Steve Irwin contributed in his short life. Visit more often, we’ll have some fun.

    edit – on second thought, you aren’t worth the trouble of a flame war

  57. 57
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @General Stuck:

    edit – on second thought

    Don’t strain yourself, one thought at a time is more than enough.

    you aren’t worth the trouble of a flame war

    Would that be like the internet version of kindergarten where you wait for teacher to leave the room and then start calling the other kids names like smelly pants or spotty face? I’m sorry I’ll miss that, it might have been half funny considering the amount of wit going into it.

  58. 58
    General Stuck says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Yawn, lame, even for an internet punk

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