Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Seeds Went To Sea, Sea, Sea To See Where a Seed Could Seed, Seed Seed . . .

Hi guys, welcome to today’s post. As always, before I get to the new stuff, I’ll give updates on the old stuff.

First of all, the Christmas play, “A Big Misunderstanding,” is still on hold until we get some actors. December is approaching very fast, so if we don’t get actors soon, we might have to wait till next year! And everyone knows that’s way too long to wait. So if you would like to help, please contact me at to get locations, times and other need-to-know information.

The stop-motion film I will be working on, “Animal Face-Off: Hippo vs. Bull Shark”, will begin production during the first week of October (Lord willing). So it’s not that long to wait. I am also working on another great work, that will come out after I finish the Face-Off series. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say it’s very cool.

Boy time flies doesn’t it? It’s fall already! For those of you that don’t know, fall began on the 22 of September, five days ago. A lot of things are getting ready for the season. Humans are gathering food from gardens and fields, and we are also getting ready for a big holiday: Halloween (I don’t celebrate Halloween, but we’ll talk about that a little later). Nature is getting ready for the change from summer to autumn as well – God gave the leaves on the trees the ability to change colors. Some trees shed their leaves, others just lay dormant. Some plants will wither and die. Animals are also getting ready for the change. Bears will be entering hibernation and some birds will be flying south for the winter for instance. Every day around 7:30ish a.m., while I am typing something on my computer, I will hear Canadian Geese honking as they fly over my house. I suspect I won’t see them any more soon until spring arrives once again.

Trees and other plants have an agenda of their own: get rid of their seeds so they can be ready to reproduce in the spring. But how do they do this? Well, many get rid of their seeds in a way of deception. Some for instance encase their seeds in delicious-looking (and tasting) nuts. This is when a cute little mammal comes into the scene: the squirrel! We have bunch of these guys living in a giant oak tree in front of our house. They chitter and jump around up there all the time. They now how to make a mess too! Acorns and leaves litter our driveway. Sometimes, an acorn will hit me square on the head! (But unlike Chicken Little, I don’t go around screaming, “THE SKY IS FALLING!!!”) As we all know squirrels will go nuts for . . . well, nuts! They spend a lot of their time collecting them and storing them underground. But sometimes the squirrel will forget a few nuts, so the nut has the opportunity to grow into a mighty tree! Squirrels are also being “green” this fall. Next time you go outside, see how many squirrels you can spot in a tree. If you’re quiet, you might even see them bury a nut for later.

As we all know, squirrels love these things!
Fruit has always been tempting to eat. Even back in Genesis, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit God instructed not to eat. Of course, today for the most part it is good to eat fruit (it wasn't that Eve eating the fruit was bad, it was the disobedience that was bad, but that's a whole other topic!). When humans eat fruit, they normally just spit the seeds out in the trash, depending on the type of fruit (it's very hard to spit banana seeds out, they are just too tiny). But animals don’t spit their seeds out a lot. They normally eat the fruit, seeds and all. Birds often eat fruit, but while the fruit’s flesh deteriorates in the stomach acids, the seed stays intact and comes out when the bird takes a “bathroom break”. The seed then falls to the ground and is ready to sprout, often times miles from the parent plant. The bird droppings even act as fertilizer for the baby seed. Some fruity seeds include, peaches, apples, bananas, raspberries, blueberries and sunflower seeds. This rule exists in other places too. Take the African Savannah for example. Antelopes, impalas, and giraffes can take seeds many miles across the Savannah! When you go outside, look for trees or shrubs with fruits on them. You can open the fruits up and check out the seed package inside.

The fleshy fruit surrounding the seed of a peach

Back to North America! Some seeds prefer a different method of getting around. Small seeds such as jewelweed, violets, and witch hazel come in little, leafy seedpods. Then at just the right moment, the seedpod will pop open and little seeds go whizzing through the air and land far from the parent plant. Neat trick! You can try out this trick! Try touching a seedpod and if it’s the right time, the seeds will pop and fly off to a new destination!

These pods look about ready to pop!
Some seeds like to get places a little quicker than that. They prefer to stick to moving objects, literally! The seeds of sticktights, burdock and a bunch of others have seeds called burs. You know those spiky objects your dog comes home with in its fur and they take forever to pull out? Those are burs. The bur trick of moving from place to place is to hitch onto to a passing object, such as a dog, a cat, a deer, or even your clothes. You probably guessed that the little spikes on burs keep them clinging on, and you would be correct. The burs simply stick onto whatever they stuck to until they either fall off or the animal (or person) scratches it off! Next time you get a bur on your dog or yourself, instead of throwing it in the trash, look at it closely in a microscope to see what these little guys look like up-close and personal (just don’t get pricked on those spikes!).

Did you know burs gave inspiration for Velcro?
Another way seeds get around is by whizzing through the air. Instead of falling off the tree, maple seeds just get carried off by the wind to lands afar. They have curved “wings” that help it spin in the wind like a helicopter blade does. My sister, Halle and I used to play with them all the time. We would pick up a bunch of them and throw them up in the air and watch them spin! What fun that was! You can give it a “whirl” too, just get some spinners and toss them in the air and watch the fun!

These little guys will appear to "flutter" to the ground after falling off a tree
The only problem with the “whirly seed” trick is that the landing has got to hurt if the seeds could feel pain, they would probably scream after falling. One seed doesn't just float in the air and plop down, it gently descends down to earth. You may often blow the seeds of dandelions, milkweed and other plants. These plants have their seeds in, or connected to little tufts of fine, silky hairs. Normally these hairs are tossed about by the wind before gently drifting down to the ground and growing up where they land. However, you can help with this process too! Just get a little dandelion seed and blow really hard. See how far you can get it. You could even have a dandelion race with your friends (just don’t breathe in or you’ll get a mouthful of fluff!).

If you were to blow on these,  they'd go up, up, up and awa-a-a-a-a-ay!
While drifting in the air and gently descending down is really fun, what happened if the seed fell in a pool of water? A pond? A lake? A sea? An ocean? The poor little thing would probably not have the opportunity to reproduce. Spinners, burs, and acorn-like nuts can’t travel across bodies of water easily (some fruity seeds can because they are inside an animal’s body while traveling). So therefore, most air-floating seeds can’t cross large bodies of water without falling in it. But some seeds can cross large bodies of water, even oceans. Some seeds such as coconuts can do this. So when a coconut falls into the water, it can float to new places such as islands. Talk about wide-spread! Coconuts aren’t the only water-floaters rocking the dock! Try to get some seeds where you live, toss them in a puddle or a pond and see if they float. (now hearing the rest of this posts title makes sense: . . . but the only place they could seed, seed, seed was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea! See?)

A Coconut sprouting a leafy stalk
Wow, seeds are way more impressive than what meets the eye! They really know how to get around don’t they. Seeds are just another example of a beautiful creation God has made for us to enjoy! 

Thanks for joining me today. Be sure to check back next Thursday to see what’s what in the amazing world we live in. Goodbye!

PS: Have a puzzling question about myself, nature, animals (including dinosaurs), Creation, God, my book, “THE KING ON ACROSS”, or etc.? Post your question as a comment or send an email to

PS 2: Can’t get enough of nuts? Then you and squirrels have a lot in common! Check out the latest headline of Smiley’s News to see what my buddy Mr. Smiley has to say!

PS 3: Don’t forget, if you want to take part in the Christmas play, “A Big Misunderstanding,” send me an email.

PS 4: Ok, no one thinks this joke is funny, but maybe you will: Why didn’t the Sloth Bear cross the road? I’ll answer the joke next week.

PS 5: Please help expand our wiki: Exploration Books Pedia! It's free and fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Polly Want Lamb Chops?

Welcome back everyone. Today we’ve got a lot of cool and wacky stuff to go over, so let’s get started!

First of all, the Christmas play I wrote, “A Big Misunderstanding,” is sort of on hold. We only have three actors so far (two of which being my sister, Halle, myself and another youth). We really need to get this play going though, considering we plan to produce it on December 8th. So if you’d like to help with this production, please send an email to me at

Other than that, what else is going on . . . hmmm . . . oh! I remember! My next stop-motion movie: Animal Face-Off: Hippo vs. Bull Shark will be coming up soon. I plan to start “filming” during the first week of October and then after that it should (Lord willing) be easy-peasy lemon-squeazy. But how much do you really know about each contestant? Well, we will take a really close look at each animal soon, but today we’ll learn a few things about each animal.

The Hippopotamus is a large herbivore living in the rivers, lagoons, lakes and ponds of Africa. It has huge jaws and large canine teeth. These are mainly used for fighting other males. They may look fat and slow, but don’t be fooled – an angry hippo can run at over 30 mph! And hippo’s aren’t fat either, most of that bulk is actually made up of muscle and bone and almost no fat.

The Bull Shark has the highest testosterone level of any other animal ever measured (since dinosaurs are extinct, we obviously can’t know how much testosterone they had). These sharks have killed more people than any other shark, including the Great Whites. This shark has also had some interesting remains in its stomach – hippo flesh!

Who Will Win?!?

Bull Shark
So which contestant will win the fight? Well, you’ll just have to wait till it’s all finished in a few weeks!

People just love birds. One of everyone’s favorite types is no doubt the parrot. Parrots are very smart birds. We can train them to talk and recent tests even prove that at least some parrots actually know what they’re saying instead of just calling out words! God made these birds for us to enjoy. Parrots come in a wide range of sizes, from small Budgerigars to the giant Kakapo. Haven’t heard of the Kakapo? Well, it’s this large green parrot that lives on New Zealand. It’s not very parrot-like at all; it can’t fly! Most parrots, as we all know, can fly very well. We often like to have them sit on our shoulders, especially pirates. But one species of parrot is bound to surprise you. 
A Kea sitting on a rock.

This Kea Parrot is about to land on a white car. As you can see, the undersides of its wings are a beautiful orange color.
It’s called the Kea, a small green parrot (about 19 inches long) living in New Zealand. Most parrot species are loved by millions, but not the Kea. It denies normal parrot behavior and is rather . . . “mischievous”. First of all, it likes to live in urban areas where they will tip over trash cans, break car windows, invade camping sites, and play with windshield wipers to the point of breaking them! (So they’re sort of like foxes on the wing) Another thing that makes this parrot unique is that instead of living in the lush tropical forests, it lives in the snow on the alpine slopes. Keas are the only parrots known to live in this kind of habitat.

But probably the most surprising thing about the Kea is that instead of asking it, “Polly want a cracker?” you may want to ask, “Polly want a lamb chops?” This parrot will eat fruit, but lately, they've decided to go . . . no . . . it couldn’t be . . . could these guys be turning . . . CARNIVOROUS?!? Strange but true, in the spring, summer and fall, they normally eat daisies, berries and other fruits, nectar, pollen, insects and etc. But Keas have been seen actually eating not only stuff from trash cans (which is why they tip them over in the first place), but they also will eat carrion. In winter, these foods are harder to find. The rampage began in the 1800’s when people introduced sheep to New Zealand and the Keas started to eat carrion of dead sheep. Then they really went on the rampage! Keas are believed to have actually killed 200 or so sheep in a single night (in 1884) and 15,000 sheep in a season in. Just when you saw some animals appeared to be giving meat up like the lions did in a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, another animal switches onto meat.
How on earth do they kill sheep anyway? Well, they fly over to the sheep and start pecking at sores and I’d assume the sheep eventually died of shock and blood loss. Four main theories arose as to why the Kea transformed almost overnight to be a sheep-killer:
A Kea damaging a car.
  1. They just switched from eating insects to eating sheep
  2. There were maggots in the carrion they were eating so this is when they developed a taste for meat/ 
  3. The Vegetable Sheep theory is: Keas thought the sheep were plants when they were lying down so they just accidentally ate a sheep and thought, “Hey, this tastes pretty good! We should do this more often!”
  4. The bird’s diet changed because of theory adaptability, intelligence, curiosity and mischievousness

The last theory I mentioned is the one most scientists believe is most likely. Many scientists believe they also used to feast on Moa carrion too (Moas are giant birds that went extinct a few hundred years ago). Boy, I’m sure glad these birds don’t prey on people! If they did, we’d all be in big trouble no doubt! Because of their sheep-hunting behavior, the Kea was hunted and actually became endangered. The good news is, this bird received full protection in 1986.

Fortunately for all sheep-kind, Kea predations on livestock have gone down drastically. They are getting rarer and rarer over the past few years. However, occasional Kea attacks on sheep are still being reported, and most of these attacks are on sheep that are old, weak or sick (but some people sometimes will find healthy sheep with Kea wounds). So it seems as though the Kea is finally calming down . . . at least for the moment . . .

But don’t you start thinking this is the end of it! Kea’s aren’t the only so-called herbivores that weren’t told they are supposed to eat plants! A farmer in India lost 48 of his chickens. He suspected some dogs had done the deed, so he and his brother went out one night to catch the culprit. Boy were they in for a surprise when they saw his cow named Lal sneak into the chicken coop and started to grab and eat the chickens! How shocking in deed. So it turns out those cows promoting Chick-Fil-A aren’t only promoting the business, they’re also eating at the business!

Another example would be the was when someone took a trip to Kangaroo Island in Australia, the person dropped a BBQ steak sandwich. Then two grey kangaroos came in and devoured the sandwich, bread, meat and all.

In 1992, a wild Panda Bear killed and ate 26 goats before being captured and studied. In 2002, a British researcher got quite a shock when she saw a sheep snatch an oblivious grouse and devoured it whole! 

Another sheep was seen gobbling up nine chickens. There’s even a horse that actually will chase down chickens and eat them whole. And believe it or not, when a film crew was filming a migration of Wildebeest in Africa, they were migrating through a river where our “friendly” hippos live. Some wildebeest were killed by crocodiles who also inhabit the river, but before some of the crocodiles could eat, hippos came in and started eating the carcass!

Should I go on? Just as many carnivorous animals will have a vegetarian diet, many animals have become carnivorous herbivores. This, as horrifying as it may be, is a reminder to us that all animals were originally designed to eat plants as it says in Genesis. But after the first people rebelled against God, animals could go either ways. Most chose to go herbivorous because that was what their bodies were most designed for, but others chose to become carnivorous. Of course though, as we just learned, animals can change their diets. Fortunately most animals tend to stick with the diets that best suits their bodies (for instance, while horses can eat chickens, they must have a hard time tearing the bird apart with those dull teeth). Most animals probably would get sick if they tried to eat food that doesn’t suit their body. However, even in this fallen world we live in, God has promised us to one day, restore His beautiful creation.

Well, this must have been an eye-opener for a lot of you! It was for me when I first learned this stuff. That’s all for now, so until we meet again, I’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Bye!

PS: Have a puzzling question about creation, animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my most recent book “THE KING ON A CROSS”, a stop-motion movie or etc.? Post your question as a comment or send me an email to

PS 2: Don’t believe anything I said about these carnivorous-herbivores? Check out these links: Carnivorous CowBird-Killing SheepWild and Woolly! and Air Attack.

PS 3: Want to see my latest stop-motion film, “Animal Adventures Presents: Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger”, or my next-to-latest film, “Jurassic Park: TheGame: Triceratops Trouble” either by clicking the links or by going on Youtube.

PS 4: Want to see the latest headline? Go to Smiley's News

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger!

Hello everybody, thanks for stopping by today. Now I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first: we lost our “Zoey” for the Christmas play I wrote, “A Big Misunderstanding.” But even though this is pretty bad, there is something good to come out of this. Now a part has opened up. So that means we still need the parts of Kate, Mira AND Zoey, along with the 12 other NON-SPEAKING ROLES. So if you like acting and are close enough to take part in this production, please contact me as for locations, times and other need-to-know stuff.

Now, I know how you have been waiting anxiously for the good news, here it is: “Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger” is here for you to view today! This is the third stop-motion movie (or short film) I’ve made, the first one being “Dinosaurs – The Mission.” I didn’t put that one on my blog because it isn’t really that good. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the contrary. But my second one, “Jurassic Park: The Game: Triceratops Trouble” is on this blog for viewing. But enough about stuff I’ve already done, let’s talk about this film. Later, if you want to view it on Youtube, it is on my Youtube channel: ANIMALADVENTURES CHANNEL, where you can see it and the other films I have on the channel (if you choose to watch the whole channel, please check out to learn some facts from a creation world-view). So, after all these many weeks of waiting, let’s see which jungle cat, the lion or tiger, will win in a virtual face-off right now. Be sure to . . . what? Oh, Ok, I won’t keep you any longer; let’s see the outcome of the fight:

Well now, that was interesting. That cat really nailed the other one down didn’t it? As it said in the video, please be sure to check the next stop-motion film: “Animal Face-Off: Hippo vs. Bull Shark.” I will probably start production on that film a few weeks from now (perhaps it will be finished sometime in October). Also please tell me how you liked the film you just watched by posting a comment or emailing me the feedback.

As for what else is going on around here, well, not much. With the play on standstill we can’t really do much with it until we get some more actors. My next book, the dinosaur one, is also on standstill. My editors have yet to read it because of their busy schedule. But once they read it, Lord-willing, I will be able to publish it. I hope to publish it by the winter of 2014. I’m not saying it will necessarily take that long to publish, but that’s my deadline and Lord willing, it will get finished before that time.

After the Animal Face-Off series, I have some great stop-motion films planned. By that time, I will hopefully be finished with these “practice films” so I can move onto the big stuff. I am working on an episodic mini-series that I hope to “produce” after the Animal Face-Off series. I don’t want to give away too many details yet (that spoils the surprise) but I will say that it’s going to be a great work once finished.

So that’s all the new stuff happening around here. Be sure to check back next week for more cool stuff. See you next time!

PS: Have a puzzling question about me, my latest book “THE KING ON A CROSS”, animals (including dinosaurs), stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Send me an email to or post your question as a comment (If you send an email, PLEASE SAY IN YOUR EMAIL THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG SO I DON’T THINK IT’S SPAM).

PS 2: Be sure to check out our wiki website, ExplorationBooks Pedia and the latest headline on Smiley’s News.

PS 3: Want me to write a post on a specific topic? Have a stop-motion movie idea? Send me an email.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Mighty Tiger

Boy, I have made a lot of progress with my latest stop-motion movie, “Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger.” But before we get onto that topic, let’s talk a little bit about what else has been going on around here.
The next rehearsal/casting call for the Christmas play, “A Big Misunderstanding” is going to happen on September 8th. We still need to fill in the speaking roles of Mira and Kate, and the other 12 non-speaking roles. I am really excited to get this project underway. If you would like to participate (and are close enough to help), please send me an email to, for locations, times and other need-to-know stuff.

 Now I can talk about the stop-motion movie: and it is 100% finished! I will show it on next week’s post. First though, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Panthera Tigris or, aka the “tiger”, since we talked about the lion last week. Not many people know this, but there were actually nine subspecies of tigers that have lived on the continent of Asia:
Bengal Tiger

Indochinese Tiger

Siberian Tiger

Malayan Tiger

Sumatran Tiger

South Chinese Tiger

Javan Tiger

Caspian Tiger
The only free Bali Tiger picture I could track down
 Today, there are only six species; the Caspian (which went extinct in the 1970's), the Bali (which went extinct in 1937) and Javan Tigers (which also went extinct in the 1970's) are all gone, which is why the pictures I found are in black and white. We’ll talk about why in just a minute. Now technically, tigers actually are related to lions, as only a single pair of cats came off Noah’s Ark after the Flood. And this cat kind had the DNA in it for ALL the later species of cats. And from this cat kind, a species called the tiger emerged from a process of natural selection. Natural selection is NOT evolution, by the way. However, today I wish to stay on the tiger topic, so for more on natural selection, check out one of my previous posts entitled “Return of the Great Mammoths”.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, I remember. Tigers all descended from the cat kind and from there they spread out over Asia and diversified into the different sub-species of tigers. A subspecies is different from a species. “Subspecies” is a term that is used to describe the differences within a species of animal, in this case, the tiger.

Tigers habitats very greatly. They live everywhere from the lush tropical forested, almost swampy habitats, to the freezing cold Polar Regions called the Taiga. They also hunt a wide range of prey, including wild pigs, monkeys, orangutans, deer, baby elephants, you name it!  They use those black stripes to camouflage into the dense jungle. Did you know that tigers are the only cats to have orange skin? Yep, the fur is not the only orange thing on this cat. Tigers also can be white. This is caused by a genetic mutation. However, no matter how hard you look, you will never ever see an adult white tiger in the wild. Why? Well, because they are too easy to spot in the dark jungles. A predator can easily spot a baby tiger and eat it. And even if the baby white tiger managed to survive predators, it wouldn't be able to catch enough food because prey would see it from a mile away. Now if these white tigers lived near, let’s say the North Pole and they had a thick coat of fur, they would be quite common in the wild. But apparently, God didn’t want these cats in the North Pole. So if you’re looking for a white tiger, try the nearest zoo.

You have probably heard about a famous extinct cat called the Saber-Toothed Tiger. It probably got this name, not only because it has saber-teeth, but also because of its resemblance to a tiger. But guess what, the name “Saber-Toothed Tiger” is really a misnomer, since these cats are only distantly related to tigers. This is why scientists prefer to call them “Saber-Toothed Cats”. By the way, since we are talking about extinct cats, this is probably a good time to bring up the topic of why some subspecies of tiger have gone extinct. The answer is that they were overhunted. Who could dare over hunt the beautiful tiger? Well, their beauty is also their downfall. Many hunters over the years have hunted these cats for their coats. Fortunately, some ingenious people noticed that tiger populations were in decline, so they had the tiger put on the Endangered Species List so it was illegal to hunt the tiger. Now they’re safe . . . right? Not quite. See, there are still people who will illegally go out and kill tigers. These evil hunters are called poachers. Even today, tiger skin and bones will fetch a pretty price in some countries. You may be wondering why on earth so many folks would want tiger bones (and most of these people don’t wish to display the tiger bones in a museum or something). In many cultures, people believe that tiger bones have medical capabilities and are crushed up to use as medicine! Really, I’m not joking around! And believe it or not, these so-called “medicines” don’t really work, so they have no practical use to the buyer (but apparently, the buyers don’t know that). The South Chinese Tiger is really on the brink, it is almost extinct in the wild. The majority of these tigers is in captivity. And even the ones in captivity only came from about six individuals, so the gene pool is very small. It is already too late to save the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers, but what can we do to save the other six species of tigers?

Well, people have set up national reserves to protect the living space for these predators! Also, people have been breeding tigers in captivity so that their numbers can eventually go up. In the past few years, tiger numbers world-wide are starting to become stable. There is also a way that you can help! How? Well, tell your friends and family not to buy tiger products and to also tell other people about the tiger’s plight. You can even send money to special organizations who help tigers (I’m not saying use money that would otherwise go in the offering plate at church. Give 10% to God, the creator of the tiger and then use some for the tigers themselves). By doing all these things, we can save one of God’s creations, the tiger, from extinction!

Well, that’s all we have to tell about for today. Be sure to check back next week for more updates, animal facts and other cool stuff! Bye for now!

PS: Have a puzzling question about me, animals (including dinosaurs), Creation, God, Christianity, my book, “The King on a Cross,” or etc? Want to just get some information in general? Post your question as a comment or send me an email to

PS 2: Be sure to check back next week to see which animal will win in "Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger!" To see the last stop-motion movie I made, click here.

PS 3: What's the latest news headline? Check it out on Smiley's News.