Authors Posts by Steve Zaragoza

Steve Zaragoza

Hi I'm Steve Zaragoza! Stuff is COOL!

A new photo was taken, as part of a study (yeah, even fetuses are involved in studies… Is nothing sacred?!), using fancy 4D scans, to see what fetuses are up to in the womb.

As well as kicking and punching a lady’s insides, fetuses also hiccup and stretch. These science-types discovered that babies do in fact yawn inside the womb, they also open their mouths randomly, so these guys wanted to see if they could capture a bona fide yawn, and as you can see: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! FETUS YAWN 2012! OMG! LOL! YOLO!

Ok, it is pretty awesome though. Look at that fetus! He’s all, tired or bored, being all human-like in that womb! It’s fascinating! Sort of… Either way, technology is awesome. And why do fetuses yawn? Guess what? We don’t even know why adults yawn. Or animals. Yawning is sort of a mystery, isn’t that cool?!

Studies emerge all the time attempting to unlock the secrets of, the yawn. Some say we yawn because it’s our body’s way of telling us “Hey! You’re not breathing enough, take in a deep breath so we can keep living, cool?!”, others say it’s because of fatigue, being tired. I feel like I yawn more when I’m tired, but maybe I just notice it more when I’m tired. Look, I don’t understand half of the things my body does all day. Why do we walk? Where do farts come from? Why do I cry every night before I go to bed? These are all questions that have no scientific answer.

Here’s a quote from one of the researchers on the project, Dr. Nadja Reissland:

“The results of this study demonstrate that yawning can be observed in healthy fetuses and extends previous work on fetal yawning. Our longitudinal study shows that yawning declines with increasing fetal age. Unlike us, fetuses do not yawn contagiously, nor do they yawn because they are sleepy. Instead, the frequency of yawning in the womb may be linked to the maturing of the brain early in gestation. Given that the frequency of yawning in our sample of healthy fetuses declined from 28 weeks to 36 weeks gestation, it seems to suggest that yawning and simple mouth opening have this maturational function early in gestation.”

So there you go! Could yawning in adulthood happen purely out of habit because we did it during early gestation? Who knows! All we know for sure is, yawning is pretty much an unavoidable, involuntary thing. If you don’t yawn, you just may be an alien. Why haven’t they tried that in movies?

Question: Why do you think we yawn?

YouTube user Joatmonjb has edited together every The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey trailer, chronologically into an 8 minute epic treat!

The trailer combines the “Announcement trailer, Announcement trailer (G), Trailer 1, TV Spot 1 – 7, UK 1 minute TV spot, and Japanese 1 minute TV Spot.” Oh. That’s a lot of trailers!

Sure it’s 8 minutes, and if you’re like me, you’ve seen all of this footage already from the daily, nay hourly re watching of anything Hobbit related, but it’s the perfect refresher and epic “pump-up” leading up to the December 14th premiere of this highly anticipated film.

This fan-edit-trailer-edit-compilation-of-trailers-edited-by-a-fan-in-chronological-order seems to indicate where the first film will end, and possibly where the second will begin (remember they’re making a trilogy out of a book that has around 320 pages, depending on which version you have). Or maybe it doesn’t, for all we know absolutely zero footage has been seen from the last portion of the film, which is likely, but my assumption is the film will end just before our heroes meet the Mirkwood elves. Your guess is as good as mine.

Ok I’m gonna watch the trailer one more time.

Question: Where do you think the first Hobbit film will end?

According to animal wranglers who worked on the Hobbit films, the production company is at fault for the death of up to 27 animals kept in harsh conditions once off the set. Apparently they were housed in a farm near the Hobbit set that was described as “filled” with “bluffs”, “sinkholes” and other  “death traps.”

The American Humane Association keeps a watchful eye on movie sets during the filming of big productions like this one, but apparently once the animals leave the set, so does the AHA. Which means they don’t monitor where the animals are kept and trained. What?

Regardless of that obvious shortcoming of the AHA, someone has to take the blame for these incidents and it’s unclear who that is. The animal wranglers blame the production company, but what about the wranglers?

A spokesman for director Peter Jackson acknowledged today that horses, goats, chickens and one sheep died at the farm located near Wellington, New Zealand, where around 150 animals were kept during production of the three films, which were shot all at the same time, much like Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The spokesman, Matt Draviski, said that some of the animals died of natural causes and that 2 of the deaths were “avoidable”, and that the production company “moved quickly” to “improve conditions” after they died.

Any way you slice it, this is bad. And horrible news. It always bums me out when you hear about innocent animals dying, especially when some of the deaths could have been prevented. But this isn’t the first time animals have been mistreated on a film or TV production set. Old Spaghetti Westerns from the 1920s and well into the 1970s showcase some pretty awful mistreatment of horses and other animals.

Recently there was that big debacle with HBO’s “Luck“, which was cancelled after the 3rd horse died during production. Obviously some more extreme measures dealing with animal care and housing is called for here. Something needs to be done about the AHA and their inspection methods on and off the set.

In the wake of this news, PETA now plans on protesting in New Zealand on December 14th, during the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

So does this mean the end credits can’t have that “No animals were harmed during the making of this film” thing?

Question: Who do you think is to blame for this incident?

Cool App, Bro!

I’ve been digging this app (currently iPhone only) for the past couple of days called “Arranger” by Ayopa Games. The game was designed by professional music composer Arman Bohn, so the music is kind of a big part of the game. The best way to describe it is, it’s like an RPG with Wario-Ware type mini games involving musical instruments. I really dig the 8-bit style, it’s very reminiscent of another great iOS app called “Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery” (which I highly reccomend), but with more of a Legend of Zelda type “birds-eye-view” RPG game-play style.

Here’s the trailer for the game:

I’ve put in about an hour tops on the game and I’m really into it. The controls are kind of not great, you have a choice between tapping and dragging your character, or d-pad that appears anywhere you touch on the screen (you get used to it). So far it’s held my interest and if you’re into these kinds of wacky games I recommend you check it out. And for a buck you can’t go wrong.

The game is $0.99 in the app store.

What are your thoughts on modern 8-bit styled iOS/Android games?

It’s all happening so fast! Almost three weeks after Disney bought Lucasfilm (Which also came with the announcement of a new series of continuing Star Wars films and droves of fans speculating the hell out of who may write/direct this new series), an official announcement was made on this past Friday (11/9) that Toy Story 3/Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt will take the reigns on the screenplay.

Watch The Hobbit In 3D

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is happening! But before you get to the theater to purchase your tickets, there’re some important choices to be made. There are three different ways to see The Hobbit come December 14th: 2D, 3D, and in limited theaters with the brand-spanking new HFR 3D.

The wait is over folks, Jurassic Park 3D is no longer just a probably bad idea that seems like a clear-as-day money grab! It’s as official as this brand new poster that was released today on the official Jurassic Park Facebook page, for the 20th anniversary (I feel old) re-release of the epic dinosaur movie from Universal Pictures.