Friday, May 21, 2004

Octopus Ink

One of my favorite turns of phrase that I've often been surprised to find raising puzzlement in others has been to describe some obfuscatory or distractive action or other as so much "octopus ink"; as it turns out, PZ Myers has a post up on this very phenomenon at this moment, describing vistigial ink sacs in blue-ringed octopuses in the context of evolutionary theory. From here on out I'll just send anyone who's puzzled by my use of the phrase to this Pharyngula entry - hopefully they'll not only gain an appreciation for a metaphor I think particularly appropriate for describing the evasive techniques of many a public figure, but they'll also learn one or two interesting things about the natural world while they're at it.