Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

How cool are the Octonauts?

Sound the Octo-Alert.

If you haven’t seen this children’s programme on CBeebies…you must!

It’s way beyond cool, it’s just sheer brilliance.

Think of it as kid’s Star Trek set under the sea instead of in space.

Created by Meomi (Vicky Wong and Michael Murphy) who also created the mascots of the Vancouver Olympics, the Octonauts are a group of 8 (funnily enough) undersea explorers in search of adventure and fun.

They live in an “octopod” which looks like a metal octopus and are led by an octopus called “Professor Inkling”, who generally moves about by chair (a bit like Davros from Doctor Who).

The team is lead by a polar bear called Captain Barnacles – he wears a very fetching blue cat-suit and blue hat – he also plays the accordion. He is the firm favourite in this house to the extent that SC requested an accordion. SC plays his accordion very badly, but when he starts playing I expect morris dancers (no offence) to jump out and take a turn about the garden! Captain Barnacles always says “Sound the Octo-alert”.

Kwasi the kitten is a pirate – the patch is over his right eye, but when he looks through the telescope he lifts up the eye patch! Mmm, don’t get that either, and he always says “in my pirate days”. He loves speed and drives the fastest boat, called Gups.

Peso the penguin is the medic – he always mends anything by applying a bandage, in super-quick time I hasten to add.

Doctor Shellington – is a sea otter complete with Scottish accent for all you trekkie fans out there. He is the ship’s scientist and knows everything about underwater sea life.

Dashi the dog monitors the computers and takes photos, she has an Australian accent bizarrely.

Tweak bunny – clearly from the mid-western USA states glows in the dark and is the ships engineer, famed for doing things “quicker ‘an you can say bunch of munchy, crunchy carrots” (affects bad Texan accent).

Finally there are things called vegimals – cross between a vegetable and animal. The main one is called Tunip – and they do the cooking.

So what’s so great about it?

Well aside from the spurious links to Star Trek, the title music gets you going, it’s fast and exciting and the programme is fairly educational on some higher plane.

We’ve learnt that the ocean is divided into 3 layers – sunlight, twilight and midnight zones, sea urchins and crabs have a symbiotic relationship, a whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean, anemones can divide themselves into 2 and much more.

To some adults it may seem far-fetched and maybe a tad daft – especially as they somehow have a diving helmet hidden around their necks which activate at the touch of a button – but the programme has been made into a 10 minute fast-paced adventure story packed full of excitement, tension and drama along with some fairly high-brow marine biological facts.

If you love Star Trek and that genre of television, you should really try watching an episode.

SC thinks he is Captain Barnacles.

Me – I love it!

Explore, Rescue, Protect!


Filed under Children, Other Reviews

Why? (more random thoughts)

Why do we all feel the need to try to be something we’re not?
Especially in the looks department. Why are the only people deemed to be beautiful those that grace the covers of magazines and that quite frankly look like they need a decent meal inside them. Ladies just because you aren’t a size zero does not mean you’re ugly, and men don’t fret about not looking like the latest James Bond or Doctor Who. It’s what’s inside that counts. True beauty comes from within, a beautiful soul can make the plainest Jane a supermodel. We’re all different and we’re all built differently – embrace it!

Why can’t magazines and catalogues show the clothes being worn be real people?
OK, so I know only beautiful people can sell clothes, but honestly it would be much more realistic to show what us ordinary Joe’s on the street would look like wearing this seasons must-have. Skinny jeans are not a good look on 99% of the population!

Why can’t clothes manufacturers/designers do the world a favour and STOP making tops with hoods on?
It’s not that difficult to omit the hood from the pattern. Cheaper, less material being used. And how much safer would everyone feel walking the streets not having to avoid youngsters wearing hoods – after all they could be harmless! Even with baby clothes all the cardigans and jumpers seem to have hoods on…Why? If it’s cold wear a hat!

Why can’t people at petrol stations realise that the hoses stretch?
So instead of causing a major league traffic jam/blockage on the forecourt by insisting on queuing at the first pump by the entrance on the side where your petrol cap is, pick ANY pump (OK I’ll accept the argument about different types of petrol, I’ve been caught out and paid for super-duper 5-star graded diesel!). Most hoses are designed these days so they extend and can be manoeuvred over, or round, your car to get to the petrol cap.

Why do people drive with their fog lights on when it’s not foggy?
Surely they have to press a special button for their fog lights, I know I do. Also most cars have a light on the dashboard to indicate fog lights are on. Please, please, please don’t. It’s a nightmare for the person behind. When it’s not foggy and you’re following someone with their fog lights on it makes driving very difficult – dazzling one could say!

Why can’t adults involved in social activities behave like adults?
There at it everywhere. Any social activity you can think of and they throw their teddies out of the pram at the drop of the hat. Behaving worse than toddlers. Would these people behave like that at their place of work, or would they be happy if their children exhibited this behaviour? I don’t think so. Grow up and don’t spoil it for everyone else! It’s a hobby – which means you do it for fun!

Why does Britain grind to a standstill in bad weather?
OK, so we don’t normally have several feet of the white stuff in the UK. However, most years we experience some amount of snowfall, but even half an inch seems to send the country into some sort of frenzy and nothing moves.

Talking of weather, why is it a British pastime to constantly moan about the weather?
If it’s hot, it’s too hot. If it rains, it’s too wet. I say enjoy the hot weather (we don’t get it that often), get used to the rain and invest in a good pair of wellies, only use your fog lights in dense fog, and if it’s cold buy a warm coat and a pair of thermal gloves!

Why can’t politicians give a straight answer to a straight question?
No matter what party, red, yellow, blue, green or purple with bright pink spots they never give a straight answer. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth?

Why do traffic wardens act the way they do?
Is it the uniform? Is it a power-kick? Or is it really to do with getting revenue? Now there are some parking violations that are agreeably definitely worth ticketing, but being 2 minutes over your allotted hour is not. Please kind traffic wardens there is such a thing as discretion. My worst experience was when I was out with my mum, who is disabled, and we pulled onto a double yellow (most places will let blue badges park there, I believe), behind a disabled bay as the person in the said bay looked as though they were going to be moving off. I didn’t turn off my engine, or switch off my indicator. Only to find a zealous traffic warden proceeding to take a photo of my car in order to give a ticket. He didn’t even want to listen when I explained – he did ask the car in front if he was going and when I was told he wasn’t I moved off. But I ask you!!!!  However, just in case you didn’t know if you park in a 1 hour spot you actually have an hour from when the traffic warden notices your car – and I got that straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak!

Why do people without disabilities think that it’s OK to park in a disabled bay?
I really hate when people do this. Whether you’re stopping for 2 minutes or 2 hours it is never OK to park in a disabled bay if you are not actually entitled too – that includes wrongfully using your spouses/parents card if they are not with you. It’s just sheer laziness. If you want the space have the disability.

Why does the fact that I don’t drink alcohol seem to be difficult for people to understand and accept? It’s quite simple actually – I don’t like it. Enough said, I think.

Why do I worry about so many things?

Why should I give a monkeys about what other people think?


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