FLOATING FANTASIES: When we humans look at a chimp or a dog or a panda or a shark or a goldfish or a canary or an elephant, we have a way of picking out what we share with the beastie. Oh, eyes? Ears? Some hair, maybe? Limbs? It's sort of a natural earthling-to-earthling response. And then there's the jelly fish, which pretty much all human beings stare at, slightly slack-jawed, not knowing where to begin in the whole commonalities department. Hair, limbs, a belly button? Nope, nope, nope. Does the jelly move like we do? Not at all. Do visitors to aquariums sometimes stand before large tanks and wonder if the ethereal, seemingly lighter-than-water creatures alighted here from some far galaxy? Yep. Jellies are earthlings too, of course, but they remain mysteries to many of their co-planet sharers. Do they breathe? Where are their brains? Can we talk mating? Questions galore. Which means that a whole weekend devoted to them, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, feels spot on.
JELLYFISH JAMBOREE: We love "jamboree" in the title there, but we're not ready to picture Moon Jellies and Flower Hat Jellies in tiny overalls and checkered shirts. Instead, the party is for humans, to learn more about the diaphanous creatures and have some mid-October fun. (The dates are Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14.) On the schedule? A chat with a jelly aquarist (which is like the best job title on earth), a jellies auditorium talk, a jellies photo session -- ohhh yeah, a flip book you can take home is involved -- and jellies playtime. It's a perfect Halloween season to-do, we think; not scary but mysterious, for sure, and very educational. Who wants to dress up as a floating Moon Jelly now for this upcoming holiday? We so do, but, again, where would we even begin, on the costume front? Jellies, you astound.