The online playground of Andrea Schwandt-Arbogast:web design, university web development, animals, books, and other slices of life.

Did I mention that I used to study boobies?

Well, now that I have your attention, I’m going to wow you with my full-on bio geekiness.*

Some of you know that in a former life, I was a biologist. I have a Master’s degree in Biology, which I earned after 3 grueling years studying charismatic birds (masked and blue-footed boobies) in a tropical paradise (the Gal├ípagos Islands). I also happen to have a scientific publication about Waved Albatrosses. Then for some reason I morphed into a web designer. That, however is a post for another day. I also married a biologist who makes his living studying mammals, preferably rodents.

I think that we are probably the only two geeks on the planet that have a Tivo box full of Nova, Discovery Science, and National Geographic Explorers. I recently had to ask a bunch of Brits what the good American shows are… but that’s another story. Last night we did watch the Bob Dylan documentary, right after finishing up “Marsupial Madness”. Our friend Terry featured in a show called “Nature’s Nightmares: Eaten Alive”, proudly showing off the flesh-eating bacteria he picked up in Peru. You can also hear our friend Joe on public radio, discussing the bat detecting software he wrote.

So maybe you could humor me as I share my extreme excitement over the first ever photos of a live giant squid that were published yesterday. Think about it— this is a huge animal that is a major food source for other huge animals, such as leatherback turtles and sperm whales, that no one had ever seen alive. This is almost as big as the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker earlier this year.

What I love about these kinds of discoveries is that it reminds me of how little humans matter in the big scheme of things. Despite our best efforts to mess up our planet, nature is still able to give us the finger and go on with her own plans. We think we know all there is to be known, and are cocky enough to think we know how to “save the planet”, but in reality there are whole universes of stuff out there that we don’t know the first thing about. This is an important thing for me to remember periodically, when my ego gets the best of me.

Anyway, I’m excited about the squid.

  • All of you that clicked through just because of the title owe me a beer (that means you Matt Robin!!).



goodwitch writes

Oct 1 at 01:03 AM #

Damn, and I thought I’d find something out about Sea Serpent cleavage.  Does this mean I own both you and Matt a beer?


Jodie writes

Oct 1 at 03:26 AM #

OMG! Anthony has been calling EVERYONE he knows to tell them about the giant squid photos and video. It’s nice to know that my husband and some of my closest friends have things in common. (I thought it was pretty cool too!)


Andrea writes

Oct 4 at 10:08 PM #

Jodie:  Yes, what would we do without Anthony?  I can’t imagine life without someone to point me to the flying spaghetti monster game and offer to fix our disgusting backed-up sink.


Krishen writes

Mar 19 at 11:28 AM #

Nifty!  I too am a biologist-turned-techno geek.  I found you while checking out the people tagged in Glenda Sim’s four things post , which I found referenced in this similar post by Liz Danzico, who I discovered via Rands’ SXSW recap , which I found via DaringFireball , which I have bookmarked :)

I remember this discovery with great glee; glad there’s some other people out there who get excited by this too!

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