The dissertation is complete, the post-dissertation vacation is finished, and Squid-A-Day is back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! And oh boy, have I got news for you.

It's no accident that Squid-A-Day is emerging from its PhD chrysalis (note to self: nice analogy. come back to it later) just as we enter the month of October. As the 10th month of the year, it is a friend to the squid, with their ten appendages. But as its Latinate name contains the number 8, it goes the extra step to acknowledge that the squid's appendages are composed of only eight arms, and two specialized tentacles. Thus, October + Squid = Celebration!

And indeed, I was not the first to come to this conclusion, and wiser heads than mine have decreed October 8-10 to be International Cephalopod Awareness Days (ICAD). I am deeply honored to be hosting this year's festivities over at the Cephalopodiatrist.

Adding extra cephalopod sparkle to this year's ICAD is
the 4th International Squid Workshop and the 5th International Symposium on Pacific Squid, October 9-15 in La Paz, Mexico. I'll be attending both workshop and symposium, and blogging about them here.

The 4th International Squid Workshop is all about in vitro fertilization of ommastrephid squid, something I have spent a little bit of time on myself.

The above sequence illustrates a fertilized egg moving through various stages of embryogenesis until it gets to the finished product: a baby squid, complete with eyes (tiny red dots in upper right of body) ink sac (tiny black dot in middle of body) and chromatophores (even tinier colored dots all over body).

Embryonic squid can actually ink before they hatch, producing a tiny adorable black puff inside their eggs.

It's like how I was able to do a bit of science writing while I was still stuck in the PhD chrysalis, but now that I'm out, I will be inking popular science all over the ocean!

Hmm. Does that analogy work . . . at all?