This is a post about psychology, technology, marine biology, and the common ties that bind.
Psychology and Technology: Men and high-def
If I had to bullet-point my notes on the male gender from the past 24 years spent studying them, one key takeaway to note is that they prefer things to be viewed in high-definition whenever possible. Sports, video games, movies; my collective interactions with my father, brothers, friends and various assorted boyfriends have taught me that men prefer to be entertained in as large and crispy-clear a format as possible. This is very important to them, and they will eagerly fork over their hard-earned paychecks to improve their viewing experience. Some larger events (the Super Bowl, for example) are deemed by men as hardly worth watching in standard definition. Almost all press-worthy technological advances in the way of the television have had to do with the clarity and size of the picture. High-def, so it seems, is serious business.
Marine Biology: Octopuses
My apologies to the men in the audience that this video is somewhat fuzzy.
By the magic of the internet, I've been part of an initiative for the past year or so collecting materials on that sharpest of invertebrates, the octopus. The interest stems from the fact that our friend the octopus is capable of so much, such as using tools or giving unassuming aquarium-workers what for. Please, read. A sampling from the latter:
"In one instance, an octopus given a slightly spoiled shrimp stuffed it down the drain while maintaining eye contact with its keeper."
Gizmodo alerted me to a study in which octopuses had refused to react to videos footage for ten years - UNTIL they were shown video in high-def. Then, they lunged, darted, attacked, or hid.
"Previous attempts to get octopuses to respond to videos failed, probably because they used CRT, which displays footage at a rate of 24 frames per second – too slowly for their sophisticated eyes."
Conclusion: Octopuses are not unlike men
Like men, octopuses find that things that are not in high-def are often not worth watching.
You can be sure I'll keep you posted if any other worthwhile octopus-fodder comes my way. Man-fodder too, for that matter.
An extremely brief history of octopus gadgetry, John Herrman, Gizmodo.com, Dec 14, 2009
Curious octopus floods aquarium, Christine Dell'Amore, NationalGeographic.com, Feb 27, 2009
Did you know that octopus love high-definition crabs, Kyle VanHemert, Gizmodo.com, Mar 12, 2010
HDTV reveals brainy octopus has no personality, Shanta Barley, NewScientist.com, Mar 12, 2010