Shedd Visit

Discussion in 'Culture' started by The Moog, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. The Moog

    The Moog O. bimaculoides Registered

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    As instructed by Phil, yesterday I went to the Shedd aquarium in Chicago armed with expensive camera and I wondered if I missed the squishy things as I only found one octopus :octopus: and a couple of nautilus :nautilus: :nautilus: .

    As you can't use flash photography (although I was the only person adhering to that particular rule), my mini-vid of the nautilus is grainy and black and white and too embarrassingly awful to post. The giant pacific octopus refused to move away from the top corner inspite of (or because of?) lots of kids tapping at it through the glass, poor thing. I went back three times and it hadn't moved so I took some pictures (bad) and a tiny vid of the octopus which I seem to be unable to attach, so a crummy picture is all you have for now.

    I am due to go back there when my Ma and Pa visit me, so will try again then.

    Does anyone know if I missed anything exciting? Saw Beluga whales, dolphins, sharks, large fish, small fish etc

    I know I will have more luck tomorrow at the college I am guest lecturing at, they have a display in a case called "Cephalpods then and now".....

    Have also attached a picture of the front of the aquarium , just to show how lovely it is!

    Moog
    (in Chicago :usa: discovering the delights of "cheese in a can" and the "Twinkie")
     
  2. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    i dunno...i think you missed the main ceph exhibit.... i heard the were having some problems but it was quite hard to miss....
     
  3. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hah! Cute one, Kiboko.

    Ah, I love the Shedd! I know there are better aquariums out there, but it's so much in my heart, being a (sort of) Chicagoan... Sorry, forgive my ensuing fanboy ramblings...

    I was at the Shedd just a couple weekends ago myself. You're right--they're limited to a GPO and a couple Nautilus at the moment. The Nautilus when I was there was remarkably active...it seemed a bit unhappy about something, I'm pretty sure it was trying to get to another part of the tank but kept bumping into some structure near the surface.

    I used to volunteer at the Shedd, as an "interpreter" (read: freelance tour guide.) The GPO's behavior is quite typical. In fact, you're lucky to have seen it in the position you did...usually it's more in a corner not against the glass. This is a small one, so I inquired, and indeed, they told me this is a new octo (as we all know, they have that very short lifespan.) From my experience volunteering, I've learned that you can ultimately get quite a display from the octo...but it will require much patience. You have to camp out by his/her tank until ultimately it decides to do some exploration. You can perhaps hang out in the galleries looking at other critters and occasionally glancing over to see if the GPO has attracted a crowd, as it most certainly will if it moves! Every time it did move while I was working there, I made sure to point out to the guests just what a rare treat that was to see. Sometimes it will get interested in an individual on the other side of the glass, which occasionally triggers these movements.

    The Shedd has had cuttles on and off...currently, they have none. They have a couple jellyfish tanks, which are very pretty and have psychedelic lighting... :heee:

    Other cool things? Unsure. Have you checked the tidepool exhibit in the Oceanarium (the whales/dolphins exhibit, it's near the sea otter tank.) That's my favorite...working that one, I'd snag somebody's attention as they walk by, heading off to the dolphins:
    "Do you know what these are"
    (pauses...gazes down...) "No..."
    "Do you think they're plants or animals?"
    "Um...gee, not sure...plants?"
    "Actually, animals. They're sea anemones. Any idea how they eat?"
    "No...are they kinda like jellyfish? Are they filter feeders?"
    Then I explain nematocysts/cnidocytes and their close relationship to jellyfish and corals. Once I get to the exploding harpoons of venomous agonizing death, they're hooked. Meanwhile, they've been looking down into the tank the whole time...and from then on, THEY run the show:
    "Oh...cool! Hey, what's that?"
    "Oh, that's a chiton..." and so on. Essentially, we would (metaphorically speaking) gently insist that a guest stop, turn over a rock, and stare at what was underneath for a while. The longer they looked, the more they would see, and the more they realized there was some really cool stuff in there. Instead of going to see the lions, they're looking at bugs in the parking lot...and loving it. :madsci:

    Might recommend hanging out by the Beluga exhibit for a while too, ESPECIALLY if you can get there RIGHT when the Shedd opens...I mean, be one of the first people through the door. The belugas are remarkably social, and after a long night they tend to like to "talk" to people...hover with their heads out of the water, craned toward people, chattering away. They're also quite mischevious...they love getting a reaction out of humans. They love to draw a crowd and then spit water at them (yes, they can reach you...) They'll occasionally try to get the attention of people at the glass in the underneath sections. And I once saw a couple of the girls draw a big crowd...whereupon the male did a spectacular breach right in front of the crowd, pretty much drenching several folks. I suspect the girls knew that would happen... :twisted:

    rusty
     
  4. lithographette

    lithographette O. vulgaris Registered

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    Moog - two more non ceph things to enjoy while in the windy city -
    A chicago style hot dog
    and
    Chicago deep dish pizza

    maybe you can get one of the two with some squiddly topping?!?!?!

    :tentacle:

    Part of me misses the midwest until I wake up everyday to the New Mexican Sunshine!
     
  5. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    The best thing about Chicago is the part when you get to leave...LOL...just kidding...it certainly is a great place to visit, and the musuems and art galleries are incredible! The food is superb, but I don't have a hardy enough soul to endure the weather there...great people, but shhhheeesh! It is cold!
    Of course, here I am talking from the death zone of 120 degrees too...go figure!
    Greg

    p.s. don't forget the ribs! Chicago has some of the best ribs I have ever had, at a myriad of places! yummm!
     
  6. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    ill gladly trade 30 degrees if i keeps the 75-80% humidity that we had a few days ago away....
     
  7. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    central arizona has little to no humidity...no mosquito problem either! but, it is like a blast furnace at noon...people drop dead fairly often! we are looking to relocate in the next few years to san diego or the like...a little cooler, please!
    Greg
     
  8. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Yuh...heat-related death is a very underrated phenomeon. In the nastiest recent Chicago heat wave, the death toll approached 1000. Much like SARS or West Nile Virus, heat waves tend to take those who were already at greater risk or in poor health, and in dense urban environments you easily get poor people without air conditioning, or unwilling to pay for running it, plus overtaxed electrical distribution stations--on the hottest days you get the highest electrical demands. In the Windy City, of course, this leads to a cacophony of blustering politicians and pundits, with fingers pointing every which way, but the frank answer seems to be that nobody realized something like this could be a risk. The City put together a response plan afterwards, the utility upgraded key distribution stations, etc.

    I wonder...would a place like yours, Greg, be better equipped to handle the heat and have fewer deaths as a result? Or do you still have a large amount, just spread a bit more evenly over the year? I know I certainly wouldn't like a hot climate year-round... :|

    rusty
     
  9. Octomatt

    Octomatt O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Here in Minnesota's Mall Of America, there's a cool place called Underwater World. They have an Octo in a tank at the end of the moving walkway tour that has ALWAYS been incredibly active. I've sat in front of it literally for hours in awe. I'm not sure of the species, and it's unfortunately not listed on the exhibit, but if you get the chance, I'd highly recommend it!

    Octomatt
     
  10. The Moog

    The Moog O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks Rusty for an excellent informative reply back there!!! And I love the new-look shedd picture!

    I feel much less hard-done-by now I know I was lucky to see the octopus where it was! I did see the dolphins, belugas, tide pool (tho' the attendant didn't seem half as enthusiastic or knowledgeable as Rusty). Good beluga tip, I will try it on the parents when they visit.

    I took a lovely piccie of the jellyfish, blue and blurry as they wouldn't keep still, and will post it later when I can access it.

    As for food, I have had a number of hot dogs, yummy, and tonight I'm going out for pizza! Can't eat ribs, being a medical-type, keep thinking of intercostal muscles. Have had WHITE CASTLE :yuck: , which sort of goes against the previous statement, who knows what's in one of them.

    And it's hot! It was 80 something yesterday! That's practically tropical to a Brit! They laugh at me here, saying it will get hotter, there is no air con, and now I've added climated-related deaths to my list of things to worry about.....

    Moog
     
  11. Octomatt

    Octomatt O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Actually, I read a stat somewhere that said that White Castle hamburgers have the highest beef content of all the fast food burgers! Most of them are soy or worse...
     
  12. The Moog

    The Moog O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Yeah, but which bit of the cow?
    Nice and slimey, I got through 3 and a half cheesesburgers and gave up as I thought I was going to explode (they are v v small!).

    Have attached the lovely jellyfish picture from the Shedd!
     
  13. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Moog, your gorgeous jellies make me regret that I only get to change planes in Chicago next week. Next time, I'll leave a day for Shedd.

    I am afraid to know and yet simultaneously need to know why you shy away from meals of intercostal muscle.

    Melissa
     
  14. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Well, you get used to the heat after a year or two, and everywhere you go has ac units running 24/7...that and I typically drink 2 gallons of water per day in the summer, plus several showers and a dunk in the pool or so! It is only ungodly hot for about 3 months of the year, and being from Minnesota, I chose the heat rather than the excessive cold...hats off to you who can take the bitter temps back east!
    Glad you had a good time in Chicago, Moog...I still like ribs though...weird structures or not...yum!
    Greg
    p.s. white castle burgers??? yikes. those are horrible!
     
  15. The Moog

    The Moog O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I put it down to the fact that I've taken loads of chest x-rays, seen an autopsy and various surgical procedures, ribs are just too, well, rib-like!

    Similar reason to why I can't eat chicken drumsticks, they look like what they are/were. I won't even start on liver and kidneys!!! Yet I'm strangely unworried about the items they put in a hot dog, maybe this is my weirdness gene, I am Phil's sister after all.

    As for the impending heat, I have from now till august to find someone with a pool, then it'll be back to cold old England!

    Moog

    PS Had chicago pizza tonight, v nice indeed,
     
  16. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    im not sure august anywhere in the country (except maybe maine, pac NW or alaska) is kind to any of our cool weather visitors... dont think youre odd on the liver/kidney thing....thats like eating a cars oil filter.... my guess about the hot dogs is that everythings been pureed and the jungle was 80 years ago :) everyone is welcome for that wonderful imagery... fortunately ive never been subjected to white castle....
     
  17. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Moog, that jelly picture is awesome! The faint blurriness plus light and color really makes it cool...I might try to set that up as my desktop wallpaper.

    Enjoy Chicago while you can, it's a neat town, really. Wish I could think of a lot of cool places to send you, but I always blank out when I try to think of them. They're there, trust me!

    Actually...did I interpret this to mean you're in Chicago 'till August? If so, one thing I would highly recommend is that you make every effort to attend the Taste of Chicago, which will be ramping up here in a few weeks. A very large street festival, wherein prominent local restaurants provide a wide variety of their fares in relatively small portions. Thus, you can flit from stand to stand and "taste" the restaurants of Chicago. Big, crowded, almost always hot, but fun.

    For years, my family has camped out on the lakefront on the third of July, picnic-style. One of us retrieves food, and we eat at a leisurely pace, drink cool drinks from our cooler, and wait for dark, when the City's massive fireworks display starts, fired off from barges in the lake. On the side of the Shedd Aquarium is a fine sloping grass lawn that's the perfect place to view the show. For some reason it's never as crowded as many of the other places in the lakefront park are, despite being an ideal location.

    If you have the time, I highly recommend trying to make the taste and/or fireworks. And yes...for some reason, the City holds them on the 3rd, not the 4th as is traditional. I'm not sure why...perhaps it was to respect the parades and fireworks shows of the many neighboring communities, which would otherwise lose attendees to Chicago's huge display.

    rusty
     
  18. The Moog

    The Moog O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Kiboko, what jungle was 80 years ago? Am I being stupid (probably)! :?

    Really glad you like the jellyfish Rusty, I would feel quite honoured if you used it! I have a version of it with more pixels if it comes up a bit pixelly on magnification, let me know and I can email it to you.

    And I am here till August, parents are flying in on the 1st July and staying downtown for a week, so, I can stay where they are (instead of the suburbs) and see all the fireworks and go to the Taste of Chicago, it starts today or tomorrow. May take them to the grass outside the Shedd if it's a bit more empty, they said there were a million people on the lakefront last year!!!

    Quite exciting, looking forward to it, I've got loads of spare time (sorry Phil, I am doing some work) so am off to see dinosaurs next week.....

    Also going to New York and Las Vegas, might as well do it while I'm here

    Moog
     
  19. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Moog,

    The Jungle was written 80 years ago, a book by Upton Sinclair, I may have that wrong, about the meat industry. Pretty scathing on many levels, from slaughterhouse conditions and practices to working conditions. That may have been about the time labor unions started to take hold in the US.

    Melissa
     
  20. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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