Is It Bigger Than a Breadbox?

Tube Anemone

Tube Anemone

“Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” is a variant of the popular parlor game, “Twenty Questions”. In this version of the game the answerer first offers the questioners a hint in the form that the object to be guessed is either an animal, vegetable or a mineral. The questioners then have twenty questions to guess what the object is and all questions can only be answered with either a yes or a no. I enjoyed playing this game a lot when I was young.

It was always more fun being the answerer than a questioners, what with possessing the power of secret knowledge. It was probably easier back then too, because as children our horizons were more limited and our life experience up to that point were also relatively all the same. There was a pretty good chance of guessing the object in question, especially after play had gone several rounds.

Another hint could also be gleamed, whenever an increasingly taxed answerer searched for a new object as the subject for the next round. By watching their eyes nervously flit around the scene, in search of the next challenge, an observer could detect the moment that that thing was found. Then by looking where they had been looking, you had a pretty good head start in the next contest.

This is why the tube anemone would have made for a tough challenge, because this animal looks like a plant. They would have been thrown off course at the start of the game. I suppose for this scenario to have any hope of playing out in real life, you’d have to be playing against the little mermaid and her undersea friends and in that case, so long that you continued to pick terrestrial items, you couldn’t have gone wrong, but work with me here folks. I always say don’t let words get in the way of a good picture.

Now for a teachable moment: Tube anemones root where plants can’t. Plants can’t anchor in the shifting sands, but a flower like tube anemone can. To shield itself from grit and escape predators, this delicate creature makes a tough leathery tube and sinks it two feet or more into the sand. If threatened, the anemone disappears in the blink of an eye and so now will I, but before I go, I must pose one question: Is it truly vegan to take calcium pills that come from ancient sea beds?

Big Blue Live

Harbor Seal at Asilomar

Harbor Seal at Asilomar

“Big Blue Live” is a three-part PBS and BBC television special about sea life in Monterey Bay. It starts tonight and runs through Wednesday. This nature show is distinguished from other nature shows by its live TV aspect. Producers hope that it will give the show a spontaneity like that that is seen on reality TV. The producer’s obvious confidence that they can take the nature show genera that typically relies upon months of recorded video and bring it to live TV is in part due to the resurgence of sea life around Monterey. Monterey Bay is an environmental success story that this series hopes to showcase. The show is timed to broadcast near the peak of the whale migration season and it will be leavened with recorded background material, but as the name implies, this series is all about live TV. We’ll be watching it, just to see what happens next.