humor, crack-ish in parts, romantic in others. Fluff.
Maybe it was because he didn’t have time to read the gossip
columns; maybe it was because he seriously underestimated the
audience’s power to “Ship It”, but Bruce didn’t immediately
cotton onto the fact that his scheme made half the country think that
his son was in love will, well, his other
Timothy Wayne was attending a
charity event, when a masked man with bombs tied around his waist and
chest burst in, screaming threats at the top of his lungs.
It was instant chaos. Panic swept
like wildfire through the crowd. People began to run, panicked and
directionless, pushing the slower out of their paths and crashing
against the locked doors in screaming, begging waves.
Outside, the Police gathered
quickly, but unless the madman agreed to talk, there was nothing they
Commissioner Gordon was hesitant to move, afraid for the hundred or
so people kept hostage. Even Batman did nothing but linger on a
rooftop for long minutes, assessing the situation and planning
carefully his next move.
Are we freaked out about this Theo dude? Yes. But look on the comical side.. Think about how much shit we’ll give the producers/writers..
I will say one thing tho… If “Theca” happens, please don’t spam the Pitch Perfect casts social media accounts. Its not their fault.
Especially Anna K. She signed onto the movie before the script was even written.
Breakdown of Baymax’s neurological scan of Hiro in Big Hero Six
Getting the chance to see Big Hero Six for a second time, on
my computer, allowed me to pause the screen and check out all the cool details
more carefully. I was especially
interested in the scene where Baymax is scanning Hiro’s neurological
functioning. I wanted to see if
the writers and animators just phoned this bit in with a bunch of made-up
jargon and figures, or if they actually did their research to add an extra
level of authenticity. I was happy
to find that it was the later of these two options. Even more so than I had hoped for. They didn’t just do the research, they clearly got a real
neurologist to consult on this…
It’s a super impressive facsimile of what a real, super high-tech
neuro-scan would look like, right down to being gender and age-specific.
Check it out:
On the viewer’s left side of the screen, just below
‘diagnosis’ there is a list of symptoms.
After ‘no physical injury’ it reads ‘GPR54 detected.’ GPR54, also known as the
‘Kisspeptin receptor’ mitigates endocrine functioning during puberty. Its activation causes the release of
gonadotropin hormones. In short,
it is the mechanism that ‘turns on’ the gonads and basically readies the body
for sexual procreation. All of the
aches and pains and weird feelings that occur during puberty are a result of
the body adjusting to changes in the gonadal system. The Kisspeptin receptor usually becomes active around
age 11 in girls and 12 in boys.
Hiro is 14, which suggests he’s a bit of a late-bloomer in regards to
his physical development, but this is not especially uncommon among children
who are intellectually precocious.
No one really knows why this is; it’s just a common correlational
Next it reads ‘High levels of GnRH.’ GnRH
is short for gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This is a peptide hormone that regulates the release of
additional hormones in the anterior pituitary gland within the
hypothalamus. These hormones are
released in pulses or waves and it’s often different between boys and
girls. In girls, the pulses tend
to occur at a varied rate throughout the menstrual cycle, with big surges
occurring just prior to ovulation.
In boys, meanwhile, GnRH is secreted in pulses at a more constant
frequency. Detection of high
levels of GnRH in Hiro indicates a pulse of the hormone is occurring and his
gonads are in a state of spermatogenesis (i.e. his body is creating sperm…
which is likely much more information than anyone needs regarding a cartoon
After that it reads ‘increased pituitary activity.’
Again, the pituitary gland is the main generator for these
hormones. Electrical activity
generating in the pituitary causes the release of various hormones. The pituitary is involved in all manner
of state and trait-based functioning.
In this case, the heightened activity is most likely connected to the
pulse of GnRH.
Next it reads ‘High Testosterone.’ Testosterone is an androgen steroid
hormone secreted in the testicles of males and the ovaries of females. Higher levels of testosterone during
physical development aids in the tissue growth of secondary sexual characteristics,
as well as augmenting muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair. Secretion of testosterone from the
adrenal glands is also associated with stress, helping to ready muscles tension
and blood flow in so-called ‘fight-or-flight’ situations. Heightened testosterone in Hiro just
means that his body is going through the process of puberty; that his body is
at an accelerated process of physical development (i.e. a ‘growth spurt’).
Next, it reads ‘vocal fluctuation,’ which is pretty straightforward. During puberty, the larynx grows
and expands at a fast pace, altering the pitch and vibration of vocal
folds. Similar to GnRH, the
hormones that aid in the growth of the larynx also occur in surges or pulses
and this is why adolescent voices sometimes seem to ‘crack’ or suddenly
Finally, it the readout reads ‘emotional instability.’ This
is a complex one. Obviously, a
significant portion of Hiro’s emotional issues is related to his morning over
his brother’s death. Nevertheless,
emotional instability is highly common during the process of puberty, a
byproduct of hormonal fluctuations as well as differential activity in the
brain. Up in the picture, on the
viewer’s right side, there are two side-views of Hiro’s brain. The first is a baseline image, the
picture Baymax took when he first met Hiro. The second is a current image. These are both imitations of what full side-view brain scans
look like on a functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
Hiro’s baseline shows relatively normative brain activity,
with electrical activity occurring in a broad, spectral fashion. In the second image, however, the
electrical activity is more focal, concentrating in the lower mid-brain
region. This is where the
hypothalamus is, and the concentrated activity indicates that the pituitary is
in the process of triggering the release of all manner of hormones.
Structurally, the hypothalamus resides right next to the amygdala, part of the limbic system, and a primary component
to emotion. The amygdala is
believed to be the part of the brain that connects thoughts and memories to
physical sensations. Put simply,
it is what creates emotion. Being
situated so closely to the hypothalamus, an increase in limbic system activity
may be merely a byproduct of increases of growth-related hormones during
adolescence. And this often
contributes to greater emotional instability tied in with growth spurts.
Furthermore, the increased activity in the midbrain region
often acts to reduce activity in other areas, especially the frontal lobes. The
frontal lobes are the area of the brain most associated with decision-making,
foresight, and judgment.
Apparently, there is only so much electrical activity that can occur in
the brain at any given moment. And
a concentration of activity in the lower regions can actually reduce such
activity in the upper regions. So,
when an adolescent makes a rash decision, acts out, or shows poor judgment, it
may often be a result of reduced activity in frontal lobes that occur as a
result of heightened activity elsewhere.
And we see this actually occur later on in the movie when Hiro makes a
very rash decision and tries to get Baymax to kill Professor Callaghan. Not only is Hiro still morning Tadashi
and feels extremely betrayed by Professor Callaghan, but he’s also at a stage
of development where his frontal lobes are at a lower-than-average level of
activity… which can lead to rash, impulsive decision-making. Fortunately, Gogo, Honey and the gang
are there to stop Baymax and prevent Hiro from a decision he would ultimately
Finally, the readout also shows Hiro’s heart rate and body
temperature, both of which are in the normative range.
Below the brain scans on the right-hand side is a list of
abbreviations of hormones and neurotransmitters. First is GnRH
(or gonadotropin-releasing hormone) already covered above. Next is LH, which stands for luteinizing hormone. For girls, luteinizing hormones
supports ovarian theca cells in later stages of the menstrual cycle. In boys, luteinizing hormones helps to
activate leydig cells in the testis, assisting in the production of
After that is a figure for FSH. FSH stands for follicle-stimulating
hormone. FSH is a
specific type of luteinizing hormone that activates pubertal maturation. In girls, FSH is crucial to determining
which egg is selected in ovulation.
FSH seems to be able to determine which egg follicle is the strongest
and most ready for ovulation (i.e. which egg has the greatest chase of being
fertilized and growing into a healthy baby). In boys, FSH induces sertoli cells to secrete
androgen-binding proteins… it helps to activate cells associated with male
Next is T, also
known as T3 or Triiodothyronine. This is a thyroid hormone that plays
a significant role in multiple areas of bodily functioning, including
metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. Elevated levels of T3 is a critical component to
adolescent development. It helps
navigate metabolism so to give growing regions the extra energy needed for
cellular generation (tissue growth).
For his size and weight, Hiro’s T3 level of 170 definitely
suggests he is going through a growth spurt.
Next is E2, which
stands for estradiol.
Estradiol is both a steroid as well as a sex hormone. It is the primary sex hormone in girls,
helping to activate genes whose expression allows further development of the
vagina as well as breast growth.
In boys, estradiol acts to help keep nascent sperm cells from dying off
heightened E2 levels in boys is a primary indicator of the genetic condition
known as Klinefelters syndrome (also known as intersex or XYY syndrome). At 22, Hiro’s E2 level is a touch high,
but well within the normative range for a boy his age.
And finally, there’s F,
which totally perplexes me.
There’s no hormone I can think of that is abbreviated as F. So what’s
Hormone F? I’m still not sure and
my best guess is that it’s an in-joke for fans of the anime, Dragonball Z.
So all of this, this entire business that took me half an
hour to write, is detailed in a single scene that lasts maybe ten seconds. It’s really impressive the amount of
detail and research that went into this one scene.