What’s happening down in New Zealand?

Watch and find out next week, as the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa prepares to move the Colossal Squid live, on webcam. It’s going from its formalin soak to a new display tank. Along the way they’ll sew up a rip in the mantle, remove some eggs and check how it has preserved.

The live webcast starts at 9am NZ time on Wednesday 6 August, USA time Tuesday, 5 August, 2pm PDT, 5pm EDT and UK time Tuesday, 5 August, 10pm.


  1. says

    What? A thread with only 3 comments?
    And me with nothing to say?

    I guess Bertrand Russell will have to do…

    “Then you come to moral questions. There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person that is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching — an attitude which is not uncommon with preachers, but which does somewhat detract from superlative excellence. You do not, for instance, find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him; and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation. You probably all remember the sorts of things that Socrates was saying when he was dying, and the sort of things that he generally did say to people who did not agree with him.

    You will find that in the Gospels Christ said: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell.” That was said to people who did not like His preaching. It is not really to my mind quite the best tone, and there are a great many of these things about hell. There is, of course, the familiar text about the sin against the Holy Ghost: “Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world nor in the world to come.” That text has caused an unspeakable amount of misery in the world, for all sorts of people have imagined that they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, and thought that it would not be forgiven them either in this world or in the world to come. I really do not think that a person with a proper degree of kindliness in his nature would have put fears and terrors of this sort into the world.

    Then Christ says, “The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” He continues: “And these shall go away into everlasting fire.” Then He says again, “If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.” He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world, and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him as his chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that.

    There are other things of less importance. There is the instance of the Gadarene swine, where it certainly was not very kind to the pigs to put the devils into them and make them rush down the hill into the sea. You must remember that He was omnipotent, and He could have made the devils simply go away; but He chose to send them into the pigs. Then there is the curious story of the fig-tree, which always rather puzzled me. You remember what happened about the fig-tree. “He was hungry; and seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, He came if haply He might find anything thereon; and when he came to it He found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it: ‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever’…. and Peter…. saith unto Him: ‘Master, behold the fig-tree which thou cursedst is withered away.'” This is a very curious story, because it was not the right time of year for figs, and you really could not blame the tree. I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to History. I think I should put Buddha and Socrates above Him in those respects”

  2. Mark B. from Austin TX says

    There appear to be a javascript in the page that’s crashing IE. Firefox appears to be OK, I suspect the doubleclick.com ad, the markup in it looks to be messed up.

  3. ErrolC says

    Tis lovely in Zealand.

    Not this week it isn’t, we’ve had 3 worse-than-usual storms in a row.

    I assume that some of my taxes are being used to support squid study, and approve.

  4. Divalent says

    OT (but on T related to comments above)

    I can no longer access this site (and the other Science blog sites) with Internet explorer. I also can’t access Sandwalk, and several others. I have switched to foxfire, which works fine (although foxfire sucks, IMHO).

    Its probably an advertiser.

    (for the record, what happens is that it will load the whole page, then give me an error box on top (saying it can’t load the page), with the only option to click OK; then it switches to a blank IE page with a “cannot access” message).

  5. says

    I can get the page to load in IE on WinXP (even using an ad and flash blocker), but I have to click the stop button when the page is mostly loaded, otherwise it gives the same error as in post #8. I had problems when I switched to Firefox on Ubuntu, but after a few tries, it finally loaded.

    – David

  6. David says

    My comment at #9 makes more sense if you put the part about the ad and flash blocker at the end of that sentence.

  7. John Morales says

    Yes, this site has begun crashing in IE. The rest of the Web remains accessible to me, so I’m pretty sure it’s caused by a rogue script.

  8. divalent says

    regarding access issues, according to this blogger:


    the issue is with sitemeter. On scienceblogs, this is probably a blogger-specific item, since (for example) Dispatches (Ed Braytons site) is not affected, but Evolution blog and Highly Allochthonous are. (And Sandwalk is not ScienceBlog, but his site is affected.)

    Apparently the temporary fix until Sitemeter get it corrected is to remove anything related to them from the webpage.

  9. Heraclides says


    PZ: Did you hear about the Bollywwod effort Natalie Portman is in where, apparently, she morphs into an octopus?

    I’m having no problems accessing this via Opera or Safari.

  10. John Morales says

    re Sitemeter issue: aft_lizard at freerepublic published a fix; it works for me.

    1. Open menu item: Tools…Options
    2. Click “Security” tab
    3. Select “Restricted Sites”
    4. Click “Sites” button
    5. Under “Add this website to this zone”, enter “*.sitemeter.com” without the quotes
    6. Click “Add” button
    7. Close windows using “Close” or “OK”, not “Cancel”.

    This works

  11. chris says

    “This will be fascinating to watch, thanks for the tip. I can’t imagine how they’ll move it without seriously damaging it.”

    We can’t either . . . as well as the live webcam broadcast there will be Discovery Channel filming, plus news media will be present . . . I guess if we drop it we’ll make the front page :-(

    There may be a trial run with the webcam on Tuesday (NZ time) we’d appreciate any feedback on the transmission

  12. shonny says

    Nothing to say?

    What? A thread with only 3 comments?
    And me with nothing to say?

    Then why say it anyway??

  13. Buffybot says

    I’ll be there to gaze in awe the instant it’s on display.

    Re the access problems, it’s been screwed up all day, but I successfully got in by clicking the ‘close’ arrow on the error message, then the back arrow on the Site Not Found error page thingy. Sometimes not knowing what the hell you’re doing works out.

  14. Daniel says


    Brooker on Dawkins on Darwin.

    For all you UK’ers – Monday 8pm, C4. Don’t forget to set the Sky+ now!

  15. RamblinDude says

    Dang, I thought I had a virus!

    Yes, the fix for those using Internet Explorer and getting the error message “Internet Explorer cannot open the website —whatever –Operation aborted”

    is to follow the instructions that John in comment 14 posted.

    1. Open menu item: Tools…Options
    2. Click “Security” tab
    3. Select “Restricted Sites”
    4. Click “Sites” button
    5. Under “Add this website to this zone”, enter “*.sitemeter.com” without the quotes
    6. Click “Add” button
    7. Close windows using “Close” or “OK”, not “Cancel”.
    Yes, the problem loading this site and others is with sitemeter.com

    This is a widespread problem, and is affecting lots of web pages.

  16. llewelly says

    sitemeter has been making web-surfing slow and unreliable for ages. It’s best to always block sites of its ilk.

  17. says

    o ou ae a oeo,
    iou you oi i oy,
    oi a aue.

    uie u o eeai ie
    y ei u o ue iey
    e ei you ae ie o e o.

    e a i ou ou o eu i, you o,
    o ie a ei i you a e oy ii,
    oe o, o ee a ee.

    [Jack is banned and deserves deconsonanting]

  18. John Morales says

    Re Sitemeter issue: Science Blogs is free of it and I recommend anyone who enabled it to remove it unless it remains necessary.

    That this problem briefly “broke the site” speaks more of sitemeter than of IE.

    But it sure was an annoyance.

    And screw those who sneer at IE7. I browse full-screen with no clutter whatsoever, can access anything I want to access and keystroke my way around a page as much as I mouse; and I internally strain with impatience when forced to endure the average user stumbling around on what little window remains thanks to the pixels wasted on stupid seldom-if-ever-used toolbars and widgets and window bars and other crap, with their clickings and drilling-in through layers and their stumblings.
    Oh, but they use Firefox!! Yay them! Stick it to IE!
    Bah. It’s not the browser, it’s the user.