Category Archives: Animals, monsters and monstrous animals

Super-powered mutant Avenger of the ocean: The Mighty Cuttlefish

I understand an octopus, a squid and a clam. Clams have shells. Squids and octopuses (octopi?) have tentacles and such.

But this alien beast has a shell — inside its body.

The cuttlefish’s bone is made of aragonite, the same special metal used to graft Wolverine’s claws and skeleton* and Captain America’s shield** — but not Thor’s hammer, which came from the heart of a dead star.***

Plus it’s got all kinds of other mutant super powers, like a poisoned beak, tentacles, a giant brain, secret alien-like jaws that sneak out of nowhere to eat fish — and color changing powers that make it practically invisible.

Think you’re iPhone’s fancy Retina screen is amazing? The cuttlefish has 200 iridophores and eucophores per square millimeter, which equals out to 359 dots per inch. Want one of those 4k screens but don’t have $10,000 to buy one? Make friends with a herd of cuttlefish and get them to spread out on your living room wall, then fire up THE MATRIX, but not the two sequels, which were a waste of Keanu Reeve’s precious time and $279 million in CGI effects.

Here’s a good look at the cuttlefish from my favorite animal documentary series on the planet, True Facts:

*Note to comic book gurus: Yes, I’m kidding. Wolverine’s claws and such are made of adamantium, which is created when titanium dioxide reaches the earth’s mantle and is compressed by millions of pounds per square inch at 4,500 degrees Celsius, then remerges to the surface through millions of years of plate tectonics along with the help of all kinds of Red Bulls and shots of bourbon while the comic book writers at Marvel try to make it all sound two-thirds scientific, one-third magical and 143 percent awesome.

**Also, the famous shield of Captain America is actually made of vibranium, a real metal alloy that’s also used in the manufacture of the B-2 stealth bomber because of its unique radar-absorbing properties. Vibranium is only found in one place: the southern pole of Mars, meaning all traces of it on earth came from a massive asteroid striking the pole and sending debris raining down upon Africa, the only continent where vibranium can now be mined. Buying this so far? Okay. There are these penny stocks, and if you know which ones to buy, you can turn ten cents into a dollar, $1 into $100 — and $100 into $100,000. All you have to is subscribe to my financial newsletter to learn the secrets of true wealth that Wall Street doesn’t want you to know.

***Actually, that part is true. Dead star, all the way. Not making it up.

The Red Pen of Doom’s Greatest Hits Collection: 10 Epic Posts

  1. Epic Black Car deserves good owner; are you worthy?
  2. The Mother of All Query Letters
  3. Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller
  4. The Red Pen of Doom impales FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  5. The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books
  6. A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER
  7. 30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys
  8. Writing secret: Light as air, strong as whiskey, cheap as dirt
  9. The Red Pen of Doom murders THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  10. Quirks and legs matter more than talent and perfection

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Photo by Suhyoon Cho

 

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

4 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

007 the Crow solves epic eight-step puzzle using TOOLS

Crows are wicked smart. I’ve watched them pick up nuts, fly, then drop them on the asphalt.

This wild crow, nicknamed 007, solved a crazy complicated puzzle the very first time he saw it.

Brilliant. It’s one thing for smart birds to show off after they’ve been trained for a lifetime to, I don’t know, sing Broadway tunes or tell dirty jokes. It’s another thing for a wild crow to pop in, spot some yummy food in the puzzle and do all this stuff using tools to get at it. I believe octopus (octupi?) can do similar stuff, like unscrewing jars and such, so it’s only a matter of time before the SyFy Channel comes up with CROWTOPUS EATS MANHATTAN and then CROWTOPUS VERSUS SHARKNADO.

007 the Crow, I salute you.

The Red Pen of Doom’s Greatest Hits Collection: 10 Epic Posts

  1. Epic Black Car deserves good owner; are you worthy?
  2. The Mother of All Query Letters
  3. Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller
  4. The Red Pen of Doom impales FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  5. The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books
  6. A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER
  7. 30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys
  8. Writing secret: Light as air, strong as whiskey, cheap as dirt
  9. The Red Pen of Doom murders THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  10. Quirks and legs matter more than talent and perfection

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Say hello to Teddy Bear the Talking Porcupine

YouTube is packed chock full of videos where owners think their cat is saying something, or their dog is barking hello.

Most of the time, the owners are goofy for their pet who simply says one thing, over and over, that sort of sounds like a word.

And yeah, birds can blow them all out of the water.

But here’s something different: a porcupine who isn’t a one-word pony. Teddy the Talking Porcupine seems to have entire conversations.

Teddy is impressive and funny. He belongs on this BBC show, which you need to fire up if you haven’t seen them all. They rock.

The Red Pen of Doom’s Greatest Hits Collection: 10 Epic Posts

  1. Epic Black Car deserves good owner; are you worthy?
  2. The Mother of All Query Letters
  3. Why every man MUST read a romance – and every woman a thriller
  4. The Red Pen of Doom impales FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  5. The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books
  6. A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER
  7. 30 achy breaky Twitter mistakeys
  8. Writing secret: Light as air, strong as whiskey, cheap as dirt
  9. The Red Pen of Doom murders THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
  10. Quirks and legs matter more than talent and perfection

###

Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award and is represented by Jill Marr of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.

1 Comment

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Giant killer hornets prepare to devour the planet

As a fan of monsters, and animals, and monstrous animals, I like learning about obscure or scary beasts.

Killer hornets are really this big, and yes, they will happily lay waste to humanity, because your stockpile of AR-15s is useless against the swarm. Let the hornet apocalypse begin.

Killer hornets are really this big, and yes, they will happily lay waste to humanity, because your stockpile of AR-15s is useless against the swarm. Let the hornet apocalypse begin.

However, the giant asian hornet is not a curiousity to be admired and talked about in polite company while you eat finger food and sip a nice bottle of Riesling from the Rhine Valley.

No. The giant asian hornet is making the great white shark look like a toothless poodle right now.

Sharks kill a handful of people each year. Dogs and cow (yes, cows) actually kill far, far more humans. So yes, JAWS was a great movie, but we really have more to fear from Spot the Dog and Bessie the Cow than any shark, which is apparently smarter and more concerned with eating, I don’t know, fish. Maybe because fish don’t have boats and spearguns and nuclear weapons. 

These hornets, though, are armored flying spaceships. Which hate you.

Check out three headlines that I’m not making up:

That’s right. The last story should get you: they’re already in the United States.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals

Six immortal — and possibly invincible — animals

There’s a difference between “True and Terrifying Facts about Actual Animals” and “Scary Stuff from Insane Writers at the Discovery Channel.”

That difference is simple: real life is far, far more frightening than SHARKNADO, though I do admire the writer who came up with the idea of JAWS + TWISTER = viral B movie goodness.

Here are six animals who are not (a) sparkly vampires or (b) moaning zombies but nonetheless (c) don’t age. We’re talking immortal.

Age-defying animals, I tip my hat in your direction. Also, please don’t go swimming around that nuke plant in Japan, grow to a giant size and decide to stomp on my town. Kthxbai.

Related posts: 

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller (FREEDOM, ALASKA) that won some award (PNWA 2013).

Google+

 

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Snuffy the Seal, plus an epic round-up of Shark Movie Goodness

They tell me it’s July, and summer, and I do see a burning ball of fire in the sky that confuses us here in the Pacific Northwest.

So: that means it’s the time of year where we all hit the beach, which means it’s also time for silly monster movies. Bring on the sharks, and the sharks crossed with an octopus. I kid you not.

To whet your appetite, I give you Snuffy the Seal — which you will watch six times, and show all your friends, because it is that good — and an epic round-up of every monstrous shark movie that’s so bad, it circles back to good.

SNUFFY THE SEAL

This is an instant classic, and I can’t think of any way to improve it. The roving reporter is perfectly perky, the anchor’s Hair Helmet and reaction is priceless, and the timing is comedy gold.

SHARKNADO

Shark movies were fresh and new, I don’t know, back in the 1970s, when Spielberg came out with JAWS.

Tornado movies were hot for a bit. Remember TWISTER?

So I give you SHARKNADO, because the only thing more terrifying than a gang of sharks in the water or a raging tornado is a raging tornado with its own gang of sharks.

TWO-HEADED SHARK ATTACK

Keanu Reeves would say, “Whoah.”

SHARKTOPUS

Julia Robert’s brother is in this stinker. I’ve actually seen the whole thing. It’s packed chock full of cray-cray.

PIRANHACONDA

You’re sitting by the pool in Hollywood, drinking a pitcher of margaritas with your screenwriter buddy who’s written a bunch of B movies. And you think, what if there was an anaconda crossed with a piranha? YES!

DINOSHARK

JAWS meets JURRASIC PARK, and the offspring is ugly.

SWAMP SHARK

I love this movie simply for the crazy scene in the trailer of the shark jumping into the water to decapitate a man with a shotgun on land, then land in a different section of swamp. How can you top that?

Related posts – Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 or whatever:

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

6 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers, The Big Screen

Insensitive Hippo opens Twitter account, harasses man it once swallowed

Protip: Do not play around with hippos.  Art by Netlizard.

At 27 years old, Paul Templer was swallowed by a hippo.

In 1996, Templer was giving a tour of the Zambezi river in Africa when his canoe was overturned. As Templer paddled out to rescue a fellow guide, he was swallowed by a rude hippopotamus.

Templer documented the incident in an article written for The Guardian in May 2013. Templer writes:

I reached over to grab his outstretched hand but as our fingers were about to touch, I was engulfed in darkness…I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs…My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo’s snout. It was only then that I realised I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth.

…I’ve no idea how long we stayed under – time passes very slowly when you’re in a hippo’s mouth.

After having a book about the experience published in 2012 (ironically titled What’s Left Of Me), he thought that his nightmare with the “rogue hippo”, as he calls it, was over.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 7 Media Strategy Saturday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Muffin chokers, The Twitter, the Book of Face and the Series of Tubes

Just a man and his wombat

What’s a wombat? I HAVE NO IDEA.

Looks like some kind of mythical beast, an extra from some Peter Jackson film. But it’s cool, and apparently friendly.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 2:

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

4 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Golden eagle: the honey badger of birds

The shocking video of a giant flipping golden eagle, soaring in like some kind of pterodactyl, which I can’t even spell, to snatch a toddler — well, that thing may or may not be a total fake.

Watch it and decide.

Not fake is this long nature video of a golden eagle killing and eating MOUNTAIN GOATS.

I am not making that up. Why bother hunting rats, rabbits, purse dogs belonging to Paris Hilton, wolves, tiny humans and anything else under 33 pounds — why even mess with such trifling things when you can take out giant goats, and do so using jedi bird mastery of gravity?

We should remember three things: (1) birds are feathered dinosaurs, (2) golden eagles are like mini velicoraptors WHO CAN FLY and (3) if you have one as a pet, I am not cleaning the bird cage.

Bonus video: a rundown, with all kinds of scientific numbers and such about the golden eagle, truly the honey badger of birds. (Though in a fight, I’m putting a purple euro on the honey badger.)

Related posts: 

Real animal that should NOT exist: the blue dragon mollusk

Shapeshifting owl is seven separate flavors of awesomesauce

Diver attacks and kills great white shark, has a Foster’s

A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Page 2 of A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Random passages from A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia … and Tacoma, and Seattle

The scariest fish IN THE WORLD

The cyclops piglet with two snouts and other REAL MONSTERS

The Swamp Demon of Louisiana

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Muffin chokers

Dogs driving cars, I kid you not

This isn’t one of those joke photos where somebody puts Spot on their lap as they’re cruising down I-5.

This is a BBC news report from New Zealand, where they’re teaching dogs to truly drive cars.

Related post: Cats who open freezers and dogs who fetch COLD BEER

Three things:

1) Anything said with a British accent is — by definition — 15,923 times more awesome.

2) It is official: New Zealand raaawks.

3) When can I hire a trained Schnauzer  chauffeur from New Zealand, and does he require health benefits and a 401(k)?

Related posts: 

Diver attacks and kills great white shark, has a Foster’s

Real animal that should NOT exist: the blue dragon mollusk

A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Page 2 of A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Random passages from A BOWL OF WARM MILK AND MURDER

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia … and Tacoma, and Seattle

Shapeshifting owl is seven separate flavors of awesomesauce

The scariest fish IN THE WORLD

The cyclops piglet with two snouts and other REAL MONSTERS

The Swamp Demon of Louisiana

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

3 Comments

Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals