Sunday, March 04, 2007


Travelling from my home island of Salt Spring to Victoria, B.C. (Canada) this week - I discovered that the trip is just the right distance to enjoy the first disc of Allison's Live at Wood Hall double-album one-way, and to sing along through the second disc on the return to the ferry.

I have just recently found myself with a car that contains a CD player. Modern, I know. Highway cruising, singing out loud, with no one cautioning me to "leave it to the professionals", (as our loved driver Axel likes to say when we're on tour), is plenty of fun!

And this experience answered a question rolling in mind: what can you find on this particular blog that you can't find on Allison Crowe's website or her other online venues?

Well, for a start, a walking octopus.

Octopi, even.

It was in the Spring of 2005 that Allison performed a two-night stand at Victoria's Conservatory of Music - in the converted church sanctuary that now serves as the Robin & Winifred Wood Recital Hall. (It's recordings of these shows that form the 'Wood Hall' CD set.) Between the first night's encore and soundcheck the next afternoon, Christine L. Huffard, Farnis Boneka, and Robert J. Full, scientists in the U.S. and Indonesia, made public their studies on Underwater Bipedal Locomotion by Octopuses in Disguise, revealing:

"Two species of octopus walk on two alternating arms using a rolling gait and appear to use the remaining six arms for camouflage. Octopus marginatus resembles a coconut, and Octopus (Abdopus) aculeatus, a clump of floating algae. Using underwater video, we analyzed the kinematics of their strides. Each arm was on the sand for more than half of the stride, qualifying this behavior as a form of walking."

Naturally, Allison helped spread word of this amazing find that same evening in the song introduction to Secrets.

The 25 March 2005 issue of Science magazine contained full details. Fine folks at the non-profit Sea Studios Foundation, based in Monterey, California's legendary Cannery Row, made the delightful vids.

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