Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Feline Friends

Hello everyone! Once again, I have more updates and Joy has written a nonfiction article for this week, so let's get started!

Unfortunately, the stop-motion series I've been working on (Planet of the Dinosaurs) is currently on hold because I can't get the audio recording system to work. That means I can't do any narration and if you've seen the finished episodes for the series, you'll see how important sound and narration is to the series. If it doesn't work, I'll try downloading another recording system to the computer so that hopefully, I can resume this wonderful project. I'll keep you posted!

The theatrical poster for Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that BBC Earth (along with Evergreen Films) is creating a film about dinosaurs called Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie, and it's based on the 1999 BBC miniseries of the same name (minus the “The 3D Movie” part). We've known for a while that this film is due to be released on December 20, 2013 in both 2D and 3D, but they hadn't really released much information regarding the plot . . . until last Thursday. Unlike the original series, this movie isn't meant to be a documentary, but rather entertainment based on fossil evidence. Last Thursday, they revealed that this film is going to star a lesser known relative of the more famous Triceratops called Pachyrhinosaurus. Unlike Triceratops, Pachyrhinosaurus lacked horns and instead, had a large lump of bone on its snout called a “boss”, and it was probably used like a battering ram. BBC revealed that Walking with Dinosaurs focuses on the life of three baby Pachyrhinosaurus: Pachi, his brother Scowler, and a female named Juniper and we will witnessed how they and the rest of their herd struggle to stay alive in a ferocious ever-changing world they live in. During the course of the film, the three dinosaurs grow up and Pachi will become leader of the whole herd (which appears to be hundreds, if not thousands strong) as he leads them on a massive migration through what will become Alaska, which wasn't as frigid as it is today (before the Flood and for a brief period after the Flood but before the Ice Age, Alaska and Antarctica were more tropical). “This is Pachyrhinosaurus' chance to shine,” explains paleontologist Scott Sampson, one of the film's scientific advisers. “It's an ornate and just phenomenal creature. A lot of other dinosaurs haven't had the exposure that T. rex or Triceratops get. So it's nice to see others become part of the dinosaur iconography.”
But danger lurks for Pachi's herd in the form of, not T. rex, but another not well-known dinosaur, a Gorgosaurus named Gorgon. Gorgosaurus was smaller than T. rex, but it still had a wicked set of sharp teeth and was much faster.
Gorgon narrowly misses his prey . . .
But Pachyrhinosaurus and Gorgosaurus won't be the other extinct creatures to make an appearance in this film! A whole host of others will also be appearing as revealed in a recent trailer. Here's a list of creatures that are said to appear in Walking with Dinosaurs:

Quetzalcoatlus (not a dinosaur, but a flying reptile with a wingspan of a small airplane)
Alexornis (this extinct bird (appropriately named Alex) serves as a narrator for the film)

But there were other dinosaurs seen in the recent theatrical trailers for the film that were not mentioned. So therefore, we can't be exactly sure of what they are. However, after watching the trailers myself, I think I have a good identification for the animals not mentioned that were shown that didn't get mentioned by anyone working on the movie:

Another major difference from the original Walking with Dinosaurs, is that this movie will feature voice-overs for the three Pachyrhinosaurus, in addition to the voice of the narrator Alexornis. This film comes into theaters December 20th and is being distributed by 20th Century Fox. Personally, I can't wait for this film to be released because I've always been a total fan of the Walking with . . . series. I hope this film lives up to the Walking with . . . shows that have gone before it. “Jurassic Park set a standard and completely wowed audiences [when it came out in 1993],” says Sampson,
I truly believe Walking with Dinosaurs is the next quantum leap. It will transport people back in time living with these snorting, hunting, bleeding animals. It's an amazing experience.” I've already shown two of the three trailers so far released concerning this movie. I know that this one is in a different language, but it features parts of the movie that were not featured in the other two, so that's why it's here for you to view.

Alright, now let's move on to Joy's nonfiction article:

Our favorite fluffy and mischievous friends live mostly everywhere, from Egypt as royal pets to Europe where cats are considered a delicacy (who would want to eat a cat?!?). I'm not talking about the kind of wild cats such as lions and tigers and bears...(Oh my! Just kidding, I'm not talking about bears here!) Nearly 35% of Americans own one or two cats. 15-30% of Americans are allergic to them. My aunt in North Carolina owns ten dogs and an unknown number (over 20) cats living in the same house. Now that's just a little crazy but enjoyable plus most of the animals are from shelters that were about to put the animal down or wasn't wanted.
This cat is known as a calico.
Our furry friends are known for their amazing eyesight in the dark, their sharp claws to climb things, and their incredible agility skills. They've been able to catch; mice, rats, birds, bunnies, and fish. Cats come in different colors and in different variations of colors including:
RedOrange, rust, marmalade, yellow, ginger
BlueGray, grey
SilverGrey or gray
Black Tortie & WhiteCalico
As we all know, cats, especially kittens, adore yarn!
Cats have keen instincts and easily catches their prey. However, cats have been know to play around with their captured food (who taught them table manners anyway?). Therefore, the prey has a high chance of escaping because of the cat's folly. These cute felines are known to be very destructive and will rip up couches, curtains, and rugs but as their mischievous talent continues, the bond between an owner and their pet is unbreakable.
"I didn't get much sleep because I was up chasing mice all night."
Cats have been one of our lifelong companions, like dogs. Cats have been known to alert owners when they want attention and need food. If they like you, they may end up giving you a gift! Did you know that cats can understand your feelings? They can read your body language and listen to the sounds you make. Sometimes when your in pain, cats act gently around you or when your sad, cats have been known to rub or head-butt, possibly to comfort you. Our furry felines have been loved or abused, hurt or cared for, but no matter what, a bond between a human and animal can be unbreakable and never ending, even after death!

I hope you enjoyed today's article! I'll see you next week when we'll delve into each of the characters in the popular British television show called Primeval. Bye for now!

PS 1: To post a comment (this is highly encouraged), please simply click the post you wish to comment on, scroll to the bottom of the page and put what you wish to say or ask in the comment box. Then in the box below the comment box choose who you’re going to comment as. And then click preview or publish. If you aren’t signed into Google, you’ll be asked to type in a word and a number in the space provided. Type the word, put a space and then put the number. Then your comment is on the blog!

PS 2: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 3: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 4: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Primeval - Season 1: pt. 1 Summary

Hi guys! Another Thursday has sprung upon us so it's time for me to share another update and a non-fiction article written by yours truly. So let's get started!

Alright, our first update of the day is concerning the third sequel to one of my all-time favorite movie franchises: Jurassic Park. As you'll recall if you've read the updates for the past few months, Jurassic Park 4 has been in the works for some time now and over the last couple of weeks, the movie company that's making this movie, Universal Studios, hasn't been revealing much information on their progress. As we all know, when this happens, internet rumors abound and if the movie makers don't pop in and correct us, we'll never know what's true and what's not until the movie's release. Last week, a Jurassic Park fan group called Jurassic Cast had an interview with the film's director, Colin Trevorrow, and JP fans will be glad to know that once again, Trevorrow has stepped in to spill a few beans on the movie's progress. He says that he point out that not only does he want to make this movie for fans of the series, but he also hopes to, in the process, get new fans. “It's important to make a movie for the fans but I also have to remember that there's a lot of people who just couldn't care less and need me to make a solid case for why . . . there's a Jurassic Park 4 in the first place and I want to make a movie for them too.” During the interview, Trevorrow reaffirmed that what Jack Horner revealed about JP4 having a new dinosaur described as “terrifying”. In fact, he was quoted for saying, “we have a new one that's pretty cool. I'm not going to tell you anything about it, but . . . it's pretty bad . . . I think Jack Horner said something about that too.” Despite this, he also said that he also understands the importance of Tyrannosaurus rex in the film's and in dinosaur pop culture and this probably means we'll see more of this species than we did in JP3 (a lot of people complained when they saw the T. rex get slaughtered by the claws and teeth of Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III, and I don't get why! Frankly, I love both Spinosaurus and T. rex. My personal opinion is that people technically don't like to see their favorite dinosaurs loose in a fight between it and another, less popular, dinosaur species). He didn't reveal any more information about other species of dinosaurs planned to be in the upcoming film, but I'd say we can still be 99.99% sure that T. rex and, of course, Velociraptors, will be making an appearance alongside the “new scary dinosaur”.
Tyrannosaurus rex, alongside the raptors, are no doubt the most famous dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
A few months ago, JP fans who've been faithfully following the film's progress will remember that a rumor was started saying that the forth movie was going to have Jurassic Park (the actual theme park, not the movie) opened just like its creator, John Hammond, had originally planned. The rumor also stated that the park was going to feature marine creatures (often incorrectly called “sea dinosaurs”) and tamed raptors and tyrannosaurs (or muzzled at least), until everything goes wrong once again. But how true is this rumor? Well, Trevorrow also said something about these rumors in the interview. “,” he said, “”. But, it's interesting to note that he never said anything regarding the appearance of marine reptiles in the interview . . . is he suggesting that the rumor got that part right? Could an awesome creature like Pliosaurus, Tylosaurus or Sarcosuchus make an appearance? So far, we just don't know, but it isn't out of the question.
In closing, Trevorrow also had something to say regarding the process of making JP4. He has stated that he really wants to make a good film, something that would bring out the same awe that grasped audiences all over when they first witnessed the majestic Brachiosaurus marching across the plain in the first movie, or when the Tyrannosaurus escaped its enclosure before creating its bloodcurdling roar, or when the pair of deadly Velociraptors struck fear in both the kids they were stalking in the kitchen and the audience. “This is not a paycheck gig for me,” Trevorrow says, “and it's not the movie I'm making so I can make the movies that I really want to make. I actually want to make a . . . [really good] Jurassic Park movie.”
Will dangerous marine reptiles make an appearance in Jurassic Park IV?
With our updates out of the way, let's press on to my article of the week. This time though, I've decided to do a review on one of my favorite series, so let's get reading:

What if a type of “rupture in time” occurred and made it possible to actually travel through time to a totally different place and time period. What do you think you'd see on the other side? What amazing species of animals do you imagine encountering? What would happen if these animals also went through these “ruptures in time” and came to the present . . . you were the one standing between it, and the lives of people worldwide! That's sort of the idea of a British television show known as Primeval. I recently started renting the DVD's of this series on Netflix and I've really been enjoying them (I just finished the second season). Want to learn more about this series? Continue down to the next paragraph!

The main cast of Primeval (left to right): Captain Ryan, Abby Maitland, Stephen Hart, Nick Cutter, Claudia Brown and Conner Temple.
These orbs of light, called anomalies, allow creatures from the past and future to come into the present and vise versa.
Primeval is basically about these “ruptures in time” called anomalies that resemble glowing orbs of light and floating shards of glass that have begun to appear in Great Britain and worst of all, dangerous creatures from the past are able to travel to the present from their own time must be stopped from wreaking havoc in the 21st century. Who stands between these creatures and the lives of countless people? The answer is Nick Cutter, a paleontologist professor who's wife, Helen Cutter, supposedly died eight years prior when taking a visit to the Forest of Dean. His life was pretty simple until he and his colleague, Stephen Hart, were invited by a student named Conner Temple to investigate a strange creature sighting in Forest of Dean. Upon arrival, it's obvious that something other than a normal animal has made its presence known: huge claw marks left in a vehicle containment box, a large animal spotted running through a farmer's field and a young boy's account of a strange light through which he claims to have seen the past through all point to a strange event taking place. So the three of them, who are later joined by Claudia Brown from the Home Office and Abby Maitland, a reptile keeper from a nearby zoo journey into the Forest of Dean and discover not only the strange light (an anomaly), but also a living, breathing Scutosaurus, an elephant-sized vegetarian pareiasaur that they learn entered into the Forest of Dean through an anomaly. Realizing they'll need to keep this situation out of control, the group joins forces with the Home Office and the ruthless and rather sarcastic senior UK government official, James Lester to learn more about the anomalies and during this experience, Nick Cutter finds a link between the anomalies and the disappearance of his wife and finds out that there's more to this disappearance than what meets the eye . . .
This is the Scutosaurus seen in the Forest of Dean.
I for one really enjoyed the first season so I strongly recommend the series for anyone who likes anything dealing with prehistory and sci-fi (even if you don't like those genres (and even I normally don't watch sci-fi myself) you might still enjoy this series). Of course, there was some objectionable content such as a few words I wouldn't repeat, a sexual innuendo or two (but compared to many modern movies and TV series, it was almost non-existent), and obviously, the evolutionary world-view represented. Other than those things I mentioned, I loved the show.

This post is the first of a three part series dealing with the Primeval series. In this first part, I am going to give a summary of each episode. I have tried to avoid as many spoilers as possible, but if you don't want to know anything, please skip these summaries and rent the series on Netflix (or buy them):

Episode 1.1:
After his wife disappeared eight years earlier, Professor Nick Cutter has tried to live his life as usual until the events described three paragraphs up take place (I'll skip most of the stuff I mentioned in that paragraph). While Cutter, Stephen and Conner, and later Claudia Brown, go investigate the strange creature sightings, Abby Maitland, a keeper at a nearby zoo is sent to retrieve a lizard a boy named Ben found in the Forest of Dean and is surprised to find that she can't identify and believes it to be a new species of lizard, named Rex, that has the ability to fly via its wing-like flaps of skin. When Ben unintentionally leaves Abby in the Forest of Dean while showing her where the lizard was found and she runs into Cutter's group as they come into contact with the Scutosaurus I mentioned above and they find their first anomaly. A whole lead of escapades follows as they learn that a dangerous gorgonopsid, a therapsid, saber-toothed predator the size of a rhino, has decided to come through the anomaly coming from the Permian habitat to the present and our team must work together to defeat this menace before it kills anyone. Also, Cutter finds tantalizing evidence that Helen had not died eight years ago, but might have instead run . . . into an anomaly . . .

Nick Cutter in the Permian habitat in Episode 1.1
Episode 1.2:
Rumors of giant spiders making an appearance in the subway tunnels and the attack of a cleaner who worked there alerts Nick Cutter, Stephan Hart, Abby Maitland and Conner Temple and the two government officials Claudia Brown and James Lester to another anomaly appearance. As they tackle the giant spiders though, they find that the giant spiders aren't responsible for the cleaner's death, and  that something more sinister lurks in the subway tunnels. The mysterious creature later attacks Stephen and the team finds out that whatever attacked him has a venomous bite. The race in on to track down the ferocious creature, collect venom from it to create anti-venom to cure Stephen before Stephen succumbs to his bite. In the process, Stephen gets a message that he received for Cutter just after getting bitten while he was waiting in the subway tunnels to be rescued: Helen Cutter is waiting for him on the other side of the anomaly!

Abby, Cutter and Stephen admiring the anomaly in the subway tunnels that leads to the Carboniferous habitat of Episode 1.2.
Episode 1.3:
A lifeguard disappears at a swimming pool, a strange creature lurks in a woman's basement that is oddly flooded and the body of the lifeguard (or what remains from him) is discovered in a local lake all point to one thing for Nick Cutter: anomalies don't only appear, they move locations! So as he and his team try to find out more, they discover that a Cretaceous mosasaur and a Hesperornis have made their way through the anomaly. While trying to send the creatures back, they find discover more evidence that Helen is indeed alive and waiting for Cutter on the other side of the anomaly and James Lester orders Cutter to bring her back to see what she can reveal about these anomalies . . . but coaxing her back might be tricky, as if avoiding dangerous mosasaurs wasn't enough!

A deadly mosasaur slowly circles Abby in Episode 1.3
Episode 1.4:
After tricking the team, Helen escapes custody at the Home Office by fleeing into an anomaly that has opened up in the kitchen of a football stadium. This time, the team gets a break from chasing down ferocious extinct animals as a flock of dodos exits the anomaly. After all, the harmless nature of these cute birds is what caused them to go extinct . . . right? Well, it turns out that some of the dodos carry a deadly parasite that can be passed onto humans. That's not the only bit: Conner's friends, Duncan and Tom steal one of the dodos as the others are returned through the anomaly, hoping to make lots of money with it, and the stolen dodo lashes out and bites Tom, infecting him with the parasite. The parasite takes control of Tom and sends him on rampage and Nick's team must track him down before he infects countless others.
Cutter with a flock of dodos that exited the anomaly in Episode 1.4.
Episode 1.5:
A golfer is killed on a golf course after a Pteranodon makes an appearance. So Nick and his team manage to bring down the Pteranodon . . . only to find that it ate small reptiles and fish and was not responsible for the golfer's death. Instead, a deadly flock of bloodthirsty, piranha-like Anurognathus are the ones to look out for and Cutter and Claudia become trapped in a mansion surrounded by the terrifying killers. During this, Rex, the lizard from episode one that Abby has since kept as a pet, escapes thanks to Conner (who is staying at her apartment due to troubles at his own place) and Claudia and Cutter begin to have romantic feelings for each other.
Conner and Rex escaping a (unbeknownst to them) harmless Pteranodon in Episode 1.5
Episode 1.6:
A lion and Abby's boss both disappear when another creature comes through the anomaly in the Forest of Dean. Helen Cutter returns to the present to tell the group of a terribly creature from the future that has come to the Permian habitat to the present. They manage to tackle the creature when Helen suggests they use the Future Predator's young to find the Future anomaly that's in the Permian. Before their trip, Claudia seems to have developed deep romantic feelings toward Cutter. But the trip is a disaster when an encounter with both a Future Predator and a gorgonopsid lets the babies escape. Nick returns to the present to find that things are not the way they were when he left: no one seems to remember Claudia Brown, it's as if she's vanished from history . . .
A deadly gorgonopsid and an equally dangerous Future Predator size each other up preparing to fight . . .
I hope you've enjoyed this brief summary of the first season of Primeval. The next time I write (which will be after Joy's article next week), we will take a closer look at the characters in the series. See you then!

PS 1: To post a comment (this is highly encouraged), please simply click the post you wish to comment on, scroll to the bottom of the page and put what you wish to say or ask in the comment box. Then in the box below the comment box choose who you’re going to comment as. And then click preview or publish. If you aren’t signed into Google, you’ll be asked to type in a word and a number in the space provided. Type the word, put a space and then put the number. Then your comment is on the blog!

PS 2: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 3: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 4: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.

PS 5: I do not claim ownership to any of the images from the Primeval series. If you wish to see one removed, please contact me and it will be done.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rabbits and Crabs and Dragons . . . OH MY!

Howdy! Welcome back everyone! If you been reading the last couple of posts, you'll realize that there haven't been many (if any) updates to write about due to the fact that the movies I've been giving updates on haven't released much information in the past few weeks. Well, that all changes today! How? Read on to find out!

On the ninth of this month, major information has been revealed from Pixar Animation Studios at D23 Expo concerning their next upcoming films! Let's start with their most recent release: Planes. You may or may not have heard about it, but the Disney film Planes was released last Friday (OK, this movie isn't really a Pixar film, but it is a Disney film and it's a spin-off from the Pixar movie Cars). The reason you may not have heard about it is probably because it wasn't supposed to be released in theaters, but rather “directly-to-video” as they call it (in fact, I didn't hear about it too long ago myself), but a last minute decision was made for a theatrical release on August 9th. I haven't seen it yet, but the film is about a plane who dreams about becoming a racer, but there's a big catch: he's afraid of heights! How this movie all comes together, I have no idea, but I'll probably wait until it comes out on DVD to rent it. I hope it's a good one!

The theatrical poster for Planes
Here's another update on another upcoming film I've been tracking progress on that Pixar is working on: Finding Dory, a sequel to the beloved 2003-film, Finding Nemo. In this upcoming film, it was revealed that Dory (the forgetful Blue Tang fish from the first movie) teams up once again with Marlin and his son Nemo (they're clown fish) but instead of looking for Dory – as the film's title – might suggest, they're on the look out for Dory's family. It is interesting to note that in the first movie, Dory herself says that forgetfulness “runs in my family . . . at least I think it does.” So if Dory's family is as forgetful as she suggests, we could have a very hilarious movie coming up! Also, it was revealed that the Tank Gang are also going to reappear in this film along with a new character: a beluga whale named Bailey. By the way, the film is set to take place a year after the events in Finding Nemo, set off the coast of California and is planned to be released on 2015.

(Sorry, this was the best photo I could find)
While at the D23 Expo this year, the people working at Pixar stated the overall plot of another film they're working on called Inside Out, which is coming out on June 19, 2015. Now this film takes place inside the head of a pre-teen girl named Riley who is thrown into turmoil as she must leave her happy life in Minnesota and is moved to San Francisco. Her emotions during this dramatic time in her life play a big part in this movie . . . actually, I take that back: they star in the movie! Anger, Disgust, Fear and Joy are the emotions that star in this movie as they attempt to keep Riley functioning to her rapidly changing life style. At the 2013 Siggraph convention, director Pete Docter described the story as “one of the most challenging I've ever had to put together” due to the fact that he had to tell what's happening in Riley's life and at the same time has to convey what's going on in her head. “The characters,” he says, “are created with this energy because we are trying to represent what emotions would look like. They are made up of particles that actually move. Instead of being skin and solid, it is a massive collection of energy.” Some might think that a movie staring emotions could be a sleeper, but I'll hold off my opinion until I've actually seen the movie. However, I will say it's going to be interesting how they pull this movie off!

The last two movies I mentioned are being released in 2015, but Pixar plans to release their next film way sooner than that. The Good Dinosaur, which has probably been in the works since 2009, is going to be released on May 30, 2014. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, this film is based on the idea that dinosaurs didn't become extinct and are still living into the present. Here's what the co-director, Pete Sohn has to say about the film's plot: “The modern dinosaurs are farmers. We actually designed them to function as their own farm equipment.” He also went on to describe that dinosaurs such as Triceratops are like bulldozers and that stegosaurs use their spiky tails to mow down acres to crop. The Apatosaurus, he said use their long necks to plant and plow the farm fields. The film stars a juvenile Apatosaurus named Arlo when he and his family finds a human child named Spot and they raise him as the family pet (don't worry, I'm sure the plot goes much deeper than what Pixar has revealed, they like to keep things rather “hush, hush”). A few months earlier, Pixar explained that even though the film's title is The Good Dinosaur, they mainly focused on herbivores and not the carnivores. However, since this is a dinosaur movie, I'm positive some carnivorous dinosaur (probably T. rex) will make an appearance, because honestly, what's a dinosaur movie without predators? But even if there aren't any carnivores in this movie, you can bet I'll still be excited when it's finally released!

The theatrical poster for The Good Dinosaur
That's all the updates I have for today, so let's get moving to Joy's non-fiction article:
I went out and searched for interesting animals on the internet, when I came across a fun and furry critter. It’s called the Angora rabbit.  They are the oldest domestic animals that came from Turkey. They were considered royal pets in France. They eat a lot of hay and their personalities are very energetic. Their playful and enjoy other rabbits. They like toys such as pinecones, stuffed socks, and rubber balls.
The French Angora is the more bunny-like of the Angora rabbits.
 There are five different types of Angora rabbits: American, French, German, giant, and satin. American Angora Rabbit is like a stuffed animal. It is gentle but needs grooming at least twice a week. French Angora rabbits look like a sheep in a way. Its fur is used for sweaters, baby clothes, and millinery. This rabbit can’t shed its fur like the rest so it has to be sheered. Giant Angora rabbits are extremely fluffy; they need to be sheered at least every 180 days to prevent hair clots that would end up causing death if not treated. A satin angora is almost like a normal rabbit, only a bit furrier.

The French Angora rabbit is definitely woolly!
Another interesting animal is a Kiwa hirsuta or the yeti crab. The crab is found in the Pacific Ocean. The yeti crab was discovered in March 2006. It is seems to be blind and a carnivore, although it eats bacteria. Its furry claws are one of the best qualities about the yeti crab. The claws detoxify poisonous minerals in the sea, where it lives. The crab was discovered by Robert Vrijenhoek and his group in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California.

The Yeti crab wasn't discovered until recently because it makes its home in the depths of the ocean near volcanic vents.
One last animal is the Leafy sea dragon. It is mostly found in the coasts of Australia, one of my favorite countries/continents that I’d like to visit. The sea dragon’s skin camouflages and makes it appear like seaweed. It eats amphipods and mysid shrimpplankton, and larval fish. Leafy sea dragons have a major threat when their first born. They are slow swimmers and sea dragons are also used in alternative medicine. Dive into the ocean this summer and see the world beneath the surface.

The leafy sea dragon uses its leaf-like fins for camouflage.
Thanks for reading today's article. Please be sure to stop by next Thursday for some more exciting information about nature and about upcoming movies! Good bye!

PS: To post a comment (this is highly encouraged), please simply click the post you wish to comment on, scroll to the bottom of the page and put what you wish to say or ask in the comment box. Then in the box below the comment box choose who you’re going to comment as. And then click preview or publish. If you aren’t signed into Google, you’ll be asked to type in a word and a number in the space provided. Type the word, put a space and then put the number. Then your comment is on the blog!

PS 1: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 2: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 3: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Accidents That Changed the World

Welcome back everybody! Like last week, I have no updates to talk about (it's been so busy around here, that I've hardly had time for my stop-motion series), so I'll cut right to today's non-fiction article:

Penicillin is a group of antibiotics that is famous for saving countless millions of lives. But do you know what and where it comes from? Well, penicillin is actually derived from Penicillin fungi! Isn't it amazing that God has created special types of fungi that can help cure people from serious diseases? Penicillin has been around for a long time, and quite obviously, it's still widely used today. Penicillin is one of those handy things that we tend to take for granted these days. Have you ever questioned who thought of the idea of using penicillin for medical uses? Well, would you believe me if I told you that it was a . . . (how can I break the news to you?) . . . MISTAKE! That's right!

The discovery that penicillin could be used for medical uses was accidental. How did it happen? It all started when, Alexander Fleming, a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist, returned from a vacation on September of 1928 to check on an experiment he was conducting before he left. Before going on his vacation, Alexander put a number of Petri dishes to the side of his work bench so that another person could use the bench while he was gone. When he returned to check on his experiment, he found that one of his dishes had been contaminated by some type of mold, and this mold had apparently killed the germs he had been growing in the dish for his experiment. This intrigued him greatly. Alexander then decided to run a few tests on the mold and found it to be non-toxic, but deadly to harmful bacteria. A light bulb clicked on in Alexander's head – he had discovered penicillin!

This is Alexander Fleming, the man who accidentally discovered penicillin.
The accident of the discovery of penicillin has saved millions of people. But did you know that there are many other handy inventions that were also created by pure accidents? Read on to find out more about accidents that changed the world!

The year was 1943 when a naval mechanical engineer named Richard James was working on metal springs to support the instruments on the ship during the rough and stormy seas. All of a sudden, he accidentally bumped a little spring off the shelf and he watched with glee as it “walked” from a series of arcs, to a stack of books, on top of a tabletop and down onto the floor where it stood itself back upright. This gave him an idea. Yes, you guessed it – the Slinky was born!

He came home to his wife Betty and spawned the idea to make and sell toy springs that could “walk” across differently elevated objects, as if walking down steps. She was skeptical at first, but neighborhood kids loved the idea, so the pair began to work on this idea. Betty was the one who gave this new toy its name: Slinky (meaning “sleek and graceful”).

As with any new product, the James' had difficulty selling their new toy to department stores, but Gimbels finally granted them permission to sell. Gimbels soon learned that they made a wise decision, as 400 units of Slinkies were sold withing 90 minutes!

Slinkies were invented ages ago, and they're still around today!
Dr. Spencer Silver decided to make a really strong type of glue in 1968, and guess what he accidentally made instead – a weaker glue! You can bet he was pretty bummed! Spencer decided to try promoting his invention, but no one bought it. However, it was a good thing that a colleague of Spencer – Art Fry – likes the idea of a weaker glue. His idea was to use this glue to anchor his bookmark to his hymnbook and it worked wonderfully. The glue was strong enough to keep the bookmark in place, yet weak enough to leave the book page unharmed!

This nifty invention was a hit with 3M and they launched the product in stores in 1977. They dubbed the invention, “Press 'n Peel”! Not surprising with a name like that, the results were very discouraging, but 3M didn't give up just yet. Next, they issued free samples, and 94% of the people who tried the samples liked the product. Finally in 1980, they released their product in stores, this time under a arguably better name. Meet the “Post-It Notes”!

As we all know, Post-It's are still in a very high demand today. I know very well how useful they are – if there's something I need to remember, all I have to do is write it on a Post-It and “post it” on a wall or on the door to my room. Thanks for the mistake Dr. Spencer!

Our last accidental invention happened in 1945 when Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer, was working with an active radar set that emitted microwaves (hint, hint) called a magnetron when he noticed his Mr. Goodbar was starting to turn into a “mush-bar”. This gave him a marvelous idea – he sprinkled a few popcorn kernels around the radar set and they popped! He just couldn't get enough of this effect, so the next thing he tried was an egg – and the egg was a success (a messy one at that, because the egg exploded into the face of one of the experimenters). These microwave-emitting devices were perfect for cooking food!

After learning that this invention could have it's upsides, Percy made a high density electromagnetic field by giving microwave power from his magnetron into a metal box and placed food in the box and BINGO! The food's temperature rose and the rest is history – we now have the microwave oven!

Where would we be without our handy-dandy microwave ovens?
So as you have just learned, many things we take for granted today were actually invented by pure chance, pure accidents, pure mistakes! Maybe mistakes aren't so bad after all; on the contrary, maybe they're really just a blessing in disguise!

Wow! In writing this article, I learned a lot of new stuff! Please be sure to stop by next time to hear Joy's latest article! Thanks for stopping by!

PS 1: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 2: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 3: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The "Humming" Hummingbirds

Hello everybody! Sorry I'm posting a day late, but I've had a really hectic week and haven't had time to write much for this website for this week. So this week, Joy wrote today's article and, since I have no updates on any upcoming movies or my stop-motion series called Planet of the Dinosaurs, we'll just start straight off with Joy's article:

Today, I'd like to talk about hummingbirds, the small bird whose egg is the size of a jellybean. It has a a straw-like beak to reach the nectar inside of flowers. However these birds can be a bit particular in what type of flower they drink out of and if it has just the right amount of sugar in it. Most hummingbirds go for red, orange, and bright pink flowers. Let's learn more about hummingbirds!

This is a female black-chinned hummingbird. Did you know hummingbirds get their names from the "humming-like" sound that their wings make?
The hummingbird's wings can beat from 12-100 times a second! That is pretty fast. To get the water, such as rain, off their back, the bird shakes itself off like a dog does. Funny huh? It's heartbeat is fast too - up to 1,260 per minute! Hummingbirds are mostly found in North and South America. They migrate south and land in Mexico, Central America, and Florida.

This is a male ruby-throated hummingbird. The rich colors of hummingbirds don't come from pigment, but actually get their colors from iridescence.
Their nest can be as small as a walnut. Most hummingbird nests are bound together by spider silk. The male doesn't take any part in the nest building. Two eggs are laid in the nest and they hatch around 14-26 days. The mother bird feeds her babies the same way as penguins. They take the food in their beak and eventually regurgitate it for the young to eat (I don't think I'd like to be a baby bird). The hummingbird's wings have a prism effect and therefore the color can change from an odd-looking bird with white downy feathers, to an adult "hummer" with vibrant red and green, such as the ruby-throated hummingbird above. That effect comes from the sunlight.

Hummingbirds can make their tiny nests on really thin objects such as this cactus "leaf".

People enjoy watching these birds as they visit flowers from flower. Humans have set up hummingbird feeders. Here's some tips on how to lure hummingbirds to your bird feeder: 
  1. Have sugar water in the feeder
  2. Boil it a little 
  3. Don't forget to add red dye to it because they like red flowers and it will attract the hummingbirds! 
These birds are just a few of many wondrous creatures. Just look around and you will find yourself in another world!

Thanks for coming today, next week, I should have time to write the article I intended for this week. See you then!

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PS 2: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 3: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 4: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.