The guys over at Deep-Sea News have organized an "Ocean Bloggers Challenge" to fund ocean-related education for classrooms in need. It's through a really nifty website called Donors Choose, which lets you see exactly where your money is going. The projects they've chosen for the challenge include sending students on an overnight sea voyage and setting up a classroom saltwater aquarium, among others.

It was exactly this sort of thing--keeping a pet octopus, sailing on tall ships, and the like--that turned me on to marine science as a kid and started me down the track of becoming a marine biologist. I think giving other kids the same experiences is a really neat idea!

So I thought I would promote it by doing something a little more fun with this blog than my recent posts on mercury content and fishery managezzzzzzzzz. Okay, I hope they weren't that boring, but now: Cartoons!

For every person that donates to the Ocean Blogger's Challenge, and lets me know about it in the comments here, I will find a squid-themed comic and post it along with a quick science tidbit. This will continue until I a) can't find any more comics, or, b) the Challenge is complete.

Here is the link to donate, and here is a comic to whet the appetite:

Clever idea! It probably wouldn't work in practice, since there's no evidence that "sucker prints" differ reliably between individuals. But here's a fun fact about suckers: octopus suckers have linings, or cuticles, made out of chitin, which are periodically shed and replaced. It's sort of like fingernails, if you imagine your fingernails actually falling out and growing back.