Ben Oostdam story # 180


a.k.a. "How I invented breakdancing..." or "Barnacle Ben the Breakdancer!"

For several months now I have wanted to put down the story about me (myself, I, ipse) being the inventor of breakdancing.
What kept me from doing it earlier, is that I plain forgot the exact connexion.
I knew it had to do with me lying on my back on a table, spinning around and moving my legs up in the air.
But why would I lie down on a table and demonstrate this to a class load of students?

Then at 04:00 this very morning, I suddenly recalled it had something to do with a mussel.
Still, I was not satisfied, but got up anyhow to "research" (=GOOGLE) the matter, at which time I recalled
that I was imitating a creature that attached itself after having spent several juvenile phases of its life as free-floating plankton.

Next, I recalled that it was not a mussel (which is a mollusc) but an arthropod and then it hit me
(whichever guy shouted whatever in the bathtub? ...o yah, Aristotle and Eureka!) :
it was a barnacle, of course!!

Anyhow, while watching me demonstrate how a settling barnacle larva (cyprid stage) lies down on its back -
using a unique type of cement/glue to attach itself to the substrate -
some student from the Bronx (? or Phila ?) could not fail but be inspired ;
he imitated my motions that weekend in New Amsterdam where it was very well received
witness the fact that my daughter Eureka Erika who took this selfsame course -
even managed to raise a grade of "A" (top 10%) -
still knows the term "breakdancing"* -
although she admitted to have forgotten
the connexion to settling barnacle larvae....

* part of hophop developed in S. Bronx and NYC in the 1970's

hip hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc insists that the name breaking originated in the slang term "break,"
meaning someone going "off" or crazy, as the dancers seemed to do when driven by the right beat.

"downrock" specifically refers to the actions of the nether parts of the body - which also reminds me of a Maduran type of close fighting

And while I have your attention, I may as well tell you some more about this fascinating creature the Barnacle, which has much more up its sleeve apparently.
I use the term "it" here advisedly, since the creature is hermaphroditic, which means that it can function both as a male and as a female.
credit: Spinerless Productions Inc.
please click to enlarge
As a male, it is outstanding in that the length of its uncoiled penis may be as much as seven times the diameter of its entire body.
As a female, it manages to produce thousands of eggs which after fertilization (usually by a neighbor) are brooded inside its platey structure.

photo of whale with barnacles by John Saxon of Canberra:

photo of barnacles on the bottom of a buoy (NOAA):
  • Attachments of Barnacles (to substrates): rocks, piers, ships, whales and buoys and so on ...
  • The attached end of the animal is its anterior, or head region:
    the barnacle has been described as a shrimplike animal standing on its head
    in a limestone house and kicking food into its mouth with its feet.

  • Barnacle Goose - Branta leucopsis
    Migration of Barnacle Goose

    Goose(neck) Barnacle
    Lepas sp.

    drawing by Tallulah Cunningham
    illustrating the myth that
    barnacle geese derived
    from goose barnacles
  • Goose Barnacle versus Barnacle Goose

  • and ... even more than you ever wanted to know
    about barnacles and geese:

  • Barnacles
  • Geese saved Rome acting as watchdogs
  • "The barnacle may be consumed upon days of lent
    as it is not flesh nor true fowel but cometh from
    shellfish that grow upon fir wood and that,
    in time of maturite do open and out of them
    grow living things that, falling in the sea become fowels,
    but those that do fall to land perish and come to naught."

  • Gooseneck Barnacle fishing revived BC
  • Gooseneck Barnacles: trivia
  • Geese Trivia: quantities, Hitchcock product
  • What's in a name?
  • About Barnacles and Geese

    water coloured by barnacle of doom artist girl deviant
    BLO fecit 20060802 - stories