Three And A Half Years Is A Pretty Decent Lifespan For A Cuttlefish

In which I reveal my secret identity and announce a radical change
The Cuttlefish Poet started out as a joke. I had posted about Cephalopod
Awareness Days
, including a cephalopod poetry contest, and just for
fun, added a handful. I have my reputation to think of, so a quick
nom de tentacle change was required. I honestly thought that would be
the end of it.

But then, Gary Aldridge made the news, and in the ensuing respectful,
solemn thread
, I was struck with a rhyme. So… why not let
“Cuttlefish” make another appearance? So he did. This time, though,
the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with just enough “that’s
inappropriate” to convince me to put it up as its own post.

I am strong, but I am not immune to public reaction. It was fun being
“Cuttlefish”, at least at first. The very first month commenting
“he/she” won a Molly! I had to start another blog for Cuttlefish,
just to keep my thoughts straight. I don’t update it nearly as often
as Pharyngula, so it’s not a great time-sink. And little or no
editing takes place—if I like a comment Cuttlefish makes on
Pharyngula, I post it on the Cuttle blog; if not, I can just let it
stay and get buried in other comments.

There were some close calls. A few people did guess, but their
guesses were either buried in comments, or on their own blogs with
very few readers. Sometimes “his” comments came altogether too
quickly after my blog post, and I worried that it would be too
obvious. After a while, though, I started toying with that, making
Cuttlefish appear nearly psychic. The biggest benefit to this, of
course, was seeing how this intimidated Truth Machine.

It has been fun, but now my own book is coming out, and well, three
and a half years is a good long life for a cuttlefish. And as you know, we’ve had a few problems at Scienceblogs, which have led to a little dissatisfaction with the current digs…but hey! I’ve already got this other blog where I’m comfortable, so I’ve decided to just up and move wholesale from scienceblogs to If I do any more rhyming there, it will be under my own name, but otherwise, look for new material to appear here at the Digital Cuttlefish from now on.

PZ Myers, Ph.D.
Division of Science & Math 2135, 2390 Science
University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, MN 56267


  1. embertine says

    It seems there is no difference ‘twixt a cuttle and a squid(If one can believe what P Z Myers says he did);And yet, thus far, reaction to the news is somewhat cool.Perhaps the loyal readers think it could be April Fool?

  2. Terryg says

    Bookmarks changed, Sciblogs abandoned, Cuttlefish embraced wholeheartedly, and shirt changed due to resulting dampness :)

  3. says

    Dang. Now I realize what date it is…that's entirely coincidental. I was waiting for Seed to catch up on those past due payments, which they did just this week, so this just happened to be the week I jump ship.

  4. Sparky_ca says

    I wondered about the date as well, but several bloggers are switching hosts this month.

  5. says

    But… it's been so nice and peaceful here. However, there are too many things that don't quite add up, and together with it being April 1st, I'm inclined to believe it is a Cuttlehoax.

  6. says

    You know, I feel dumb. I mean, "digitalcuttlefish"?? The name should have been an obvious giveaway. Cuttlefish, after all, do not have digits. They have tentacles. (I know, some people call them "arms". But that's narrow-minded tetrapod privilege speaking. )

  7. Anonymous says

    Some aspect of this is a Fool's day hoax. Whether it's moving the blog or not, i don't know. But if none of it is, then change is good. I've just fallen for this stuff way too many times.It's strange that we have a day where it's explicitly encouraged to make shit up and make fools of people. (which of course is everyday in the life of the pious.)

  8. Hershele Ostropoler says

    I hope this isn't in honor of the day; I can't comment on Typepad blogs, and you all need my great anticreationist wisdom.

  9. says

    D'Oh! The facial tentacles should have given it away to all of us.PZ, you always did seem a little too fast developing and posting your magnificent poems on Pharyngula for someone without an inside channel. :P So it figures!

  10. says

    I didn't see this one coming. Cool.I think I may hold off on anymore comments until after April Fool's Day, just in case. :)

  11. says

    Good heavens! You're even more versatile than I thought. I believed that DC simply read Pharyngula fairly closely. Also, I guessed that you were a woman living in Ottawa. Some later comments made me not sure about the sex. Well, darn! Punk'd again!

  12. Katrina says

    I'll believe it if it's still true tomorrow. Otherwise, I'm bearing today's date in mind on this one.

  13. GenghisFaun says

    Damn! I'm flabbergasted! I always suspected that PZ had super powers, although not of verse. Now it's confirmed! It's not fair that one person can contain the awesomeness of two (or so we thought) people.

  14. David Cortesi says

    OK, great, now would you PLEASE enable RSS or Atom feeds from here? (RSS hasn't worked over on pharyngula for weeks.)

  15. says

    Wow! It never even crossed my mind! I guess I'll have to see what happens on april 2nd before I totally believe it.

  16. says

    Gah. Now I have to read those crapture words or whatever they're called in order to comment.On the positive side, I finally get to use my avatar. Now everyone will know my secret identity: I am a Ken doll that got left outside in 1983.

  17. Jens says

    PZ, please get your picture up here, preferably up on the left side, so that we can feel "at home" when we access this new place. It just doesn't feel right as it is now.

  18. Jens says

    Wow! One advantage of this new place is that one's comment is posted instantly, which (at least for me) was not the case at Pharyngula. Nice!!

  19. Jens says

    Last comment, I promise: Given that no registration is required, aren't you worried that this place will get overrun by trolls and similar? Or are your banning abilities still high here?

  20. says

    The foundations of my daily routine are crumbling . . . must hold on . . . tomorrow is another day . . . I will wake up tomorrow and go to Pharyngula, and everything will be as it was before, or else . . . won't know what to think, what to believe . . . ZOMG, PZ!

  21. Invigilator says

    The foundations of my daily routine are crumbling . . . must hold on . . . tomorrow is another day . . . I will wake up tomorrow and go to Pharyngula, and everything will be as it was before, or else . . . won't know what to think, what to believe . . . ZOMG, PZ!

  22. says

    I must say, though, as an old music major, I have long admired the rhythmic and metric precision of Cuttlefish. His stuff is "in the pocket," as we say in the trade.

  23. Cyberguy says

    If true, I am stunned. Two apparently separate bloggers who I each hold in the highest regard proving to be the same person? Like other posters, I will suspend judgement in the best skeptical tradition.

  24. says

    First, PZ, the "Profile" link on the upper right is still generic and basically empty. I think if you take a moment to fill it in with your real information, you might help convince people that this isn't a joke.Second…I imagine this is going to be devastating to ScienceBlogs. Is there anything to be done to help the remaining stragglers?Cheers,b&

  25. says

    So my comment over at Pharyngula wasn't quite right. [Edit, and neither was my comment here!] It's been vexing me. Here's take 3!So PZ and cuttle are one and the same?This internet blogging's a curious game -Reflexively hat-tipping, each to the other?Perhaps mental problems? Perhaps a cruel mother?No, wait! There's a (much) simple(r) explanation!For outing these dualist bloggers as just one:You see, twice the websites could mean twice the hits!And that would give IDiots and fundies the fits!But really, now, is there a case to be made;For keeping poetical light under shade?If so, then it's not quite a case I'd see fit.And if it's a hoax, well, I don't give a —-!Meta; commenting here is weirder but one can delete posts, which is nice. Not sure which I'd ultimately prefer.

  26. says

    Oh, good grief. I want my $10. donation back. Just kidding. I hope I'll be able to get my poetry book autographed the next time you're in Denver.

  27. ye olde blacksmith says

    I am suspending judgement pending further evidence. If it is real, will the TET continue? Must flip over and catch up to see what is going there.

  28. Karen says

    If it is true PZ, well then an arsehole ye are. Asking for donations and asking for others to buy your little vanity book…Spare me. You're shameless.

  29. Anonymous says

    It's sickening how talented some people are.Do they have secret Rhyming Colleges in the US that we don't know about?Otherwise how could a biology prof in Minnesota have such a metronomic command of a huge variety of metres and styles? It all looked like the work of a professional poet.To be honest (wrong time to say it) but I usually found Cuttlefish more charming than crusty old PZ. Clark Kent reveals his secret identity!Also, weren't we just commiserating with the grieving Cuttlefish about a family bereavement? What happened to that?

  30. says

    Well, I hope it's true. I haven't been able to sign in to Pharyngula for a couple of years, but I already have a Blogspot identity and photo so here I am. Now what do I do?

  31. says

    @David Cortesi:I've had no trouble with RSS on Pharyngula. (Normally I access it through Google Reader. I just now went to the front page and pulled down the RSS icon to check, and that worked, too.)BTW, I can't believe they took the RSS icon out of the location bar in Firefox 4 (or so I've heard). What are they thinking?

  32. says

    I frequent both blogs and it always made me think; whoever this cuttlefish guy is, he follows pharyngula a little too closely. You two being one and the same never crossed my mind, but it makes more sense. Assuming i'm not getting duped, I really like the change and PZ has gained even more of my respect. What DO we call ourselves now? No longer pharyngulites, Homo sepians…? meh.

  33. says

    In my old job we'd call this whole pharyngula-cuttlefish thing a symptom of multiple personality disorder. Well, maybe more than a symptom. But then I do some research and find the real explaination: Chromatophores!!! And low and behold I find cephalopods are packed with this stuff. Now that I know your changes are indeed inherited and evolutionary and really, there is little we can do about it…well, let's just say this all makes way more sense than it did a few hours ago. Unreal, PZ! U da man! -lol-

  34. says

    Since blogspot doesn't allow for daily email updates, I imagine this is farewell. Many thanks for for all the entertainment and enlightenment over the years.

  35. Anonymous says

    There is only one thing for this.Scienceblogs, no more!P Zed is THE Cuttlefish.Brain, Heart, both skipping.spondee

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