Seattle is calling me…

After all, the big squid are washing up on Puget Sound beaches, so I, too, feel the call. I’m going to have to make the journey.

It also helps that the Northwest Science Writers Association has invited me to come out and give a talk. I’ll be speaking on 2 June at the Pacific Science Center on communicating science, somehow. I think I’ll also be spending several days visiting family and friends…and maybe some of those poor lovely tentacled denizens of the Sound who find themselves stranded on the shore.


  1. Duncan says


    (you’ll catch ‘teh stupidz’)

  2. Spero Melior says

    Actually, I think you should pay the DI a courtesy call. And let us know when so I can drive up there and tag along to see what hijinx ensue.

  3. Sven DiMilo says

    ah, Seattle…a Scarlet Fire Ale at the Bigtime Brewery…saturated Chucks…

  4. says

    Go smack down Rosenhouse while you’re moving about.

    You know you’re empowered by Big Science to fire him or to suppress him otherwise (like tenure really can save heretics). Obviously waterboarding is completely within your rights during this administration, since it doesn’t leave any marks.

    Squids might leave imprints, but what the hell, maybe it’s time that Stein knows what we really do. After all, he’s seen Expelled, and we all know that is a powerfully subversive and dangerous act. I’m surprised that Stein is still alive after this long. He must have God’s protection, yet another proof of the truth of ID.

    Glen Davidson

  5. Duncan says

    Even if waterboarding is completely legal, how would one interrogate a squid, should that come up?

  6. says

    Actually, I think you should pay the DI a courtesy call. And let us know when so I can drive up there and tag along to see what hijinx ensue.

    No, he can’t find it. It was in the movie, no one knows where it is, except, I suppose, the Resistance movement.

    ID science has to be done covertly. Which explains why we’ve never seen any results from it.

    Glen D

  7. Matlatzinca says

    Will there be a chance for something like Skeptics in the Pub? We have a rather wide array of delicious fermented grains and grapes in the area, you know. Would love a chance to meet up.

  8. says

    I may be up there for about a week, since I’ve got family to spend time with…so yeah, I might be available for other, informal get-togethers.

  9. Duncan says

    Actually, I just figured it out: airboarding.

    Leaves no marks, and the squid will be begging for mercy if the air is from Bakersfield.

  10. Ferrous Patella says

    Will the event be open to the public? I checked NSWA’s site but they only have May’s events up. My significant bother used to be a freelance science writer (does software documentation now.) Sounds like it could be a fun talk.


  11. says

    “we now gazed at the most wondrous phenomenon which the secret seas have hitherto revealed to mankind. A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-color, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to catch at any hapless object within reach. No perceptible face or front did it have; no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct; but undulated there on the billows, an unearthly, formless, chance-like apparition of life.

    As with a low sucking sound it slowly disappeared again, Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk, with a wild voice exclaimed- “Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!”

    “What was it, Sir?” said Flask.

    “The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.”

    But Ahab said nothing; turning his boat, he sailed back to the vessel; the rest as silently following.

    Whatever superstitions the sperm whalemen in general have connected with the sight of this object, certain it is, that a glimpse of it being so very unusual, that circumstance has gone far to invest it with portentousness. So rarely is it beheld, that though one and all of them declare it to be the largest animated thing in the ocean, yet very few of them have any but the most vague ideas concerning its true nature and form; notwithstanding, they believe it to furnish to the sperm whale his only food. For though other species of whales find their food above water, and may be seen by man in the act of feeding, the spermaceti whale obtains his whole food in unknown zones below the surface; and only by inference is it that any one can tell of what, precisely, that food consists. At times, when closely pursued, he will disgorge what are supposed to be the detached arms of the squid; some of them thus exhibited exceeding twenty and thirty feet in length. They fancy that the monster to which these arms belonged ordinarily clings by them to the bed of the ocean; and that the sperm whale, unlike other species, is supplied with teeth in order to attack and tear it.”
    “Moby Dick”- Herman Melville

  12. Jeff Arnold says

    Just so happens I’ll be in Seattle on that date. Is the talk open to the public?

  13. says

    If these squid are so smart how come they don’t go back to regular ocean water when they get sick? See? The squid overlords must be from outer space. The ones in the water are just suckers.

  14. says

    They’re still working out the details, and tentatively it’s going to be open to the public, and free. That could change, so don’t consider that a promise.

  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out the mysterious Cephalopod Appreciation Society and make contact. Recognition passwords are in your information packet. This tape will dissolve in 5 seconds. hssssss

  16. The Other Dan from Milwaukee says

    @7:>Even if waterboarding is completely legal, how would one interrogate a squid, should that come up?


  17. David Marjanović, OM says

    It also helps that the Northwest Science Writers Association has invited me to come out and give a talk.

    And apart from that, the Stars are Right.

  18. markmier says

    I’m a lurker here mostly, but I live near Seattle and it’d be fun to have some sort of alcohol-fuelled get-together for Pharyngulites while PZ is in town. There are lots of great bars/breweries around. Maybe we could meet up at Pike’s Brewery (or Elysian, or Hales, or any number of wineries…)

    Oops, looks like matlazinca already suggested it…

  19. Bride of Shrek says

    At first thought when looking at that photo of the diver with the squid I thought he must have kahoonas the size of basketballs to go near the thing. Then I realised the persepctive of the photo just made it seem really big next to him but its still impressive.

  20. beagledad says

    Seattle NPR station KUOW reported on the Humboldt squid invasion this morning. They concluded the report by informing us that the squid “taste just like calimari.” In other news, chicken tastes just like chicken.

  21. Ken Mareld says

    Welcome back to THE northwest, instead of the OLD northwest.
    Just stay away from where I work. Valley Medical Center. Or in your yout’ – Valley General.

  22. says

    PZ, my standing offer to take you and yours to dinner in Seattle remains. I will follow up by email.

  23. says

    I also pledge to attend any Skeptics in the Pub type event, and I will do my best to attend your talk.

  24. Steviepinhead says

    Keep us posted on your plans, PZ (or, rather, that part of them that involves a willingness to subject yourself to public encounters).

    Perhaps this time a restaurant/establishment can be found that will admit ALL the likely attendees.

    And not just those of drinking age!

  25. Nentuaby says

    Duncan @#12:

    I’m pretty sure Bakersfield air would leave a mark…

  26. Tom Schmidlin says

    Please keep us updated on your Seattle trip so we’ll know when we can meet up. If you want something formal arranged at one of the breweries drop me an email, I know people.

  27. Bumper says

    If you happen to make it out to Aberdeen in Grays Harbor, I’ll take you out to our best restaurant…oh, who am kidding. There’s not much in the way of great food or anything here.

    But seriously, if you want to practice communicating science, you should stop by my child’s elementary school, where a whopping 7% passed the state’s science exam for 5th graders last year. Yeah, that number is correct. We are in desperate need of science help out here. (Yep, I’ve addressed this problem with multiple teachers at the school and the principal. But not being a scientist or science teacher I don’t know what else to do besides just stamp my feet.)

  28. aporeticus says

    #35 While you’re there, keep a lookout for the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

    Or you could go south a bit and visit the Octopus Tree.

  29. Longtime Lurker says

    You don’t waterboard seafood, you cedarboard it… delicious! May I suggest Ivar’s for seafood? Either the clam shack or the nice place that’s a replica of a Kwakiutl lodge.