Tag Archives: Shark Week Critique

Shark Week Blogiversary – Sunday

I have to be honest, folks. I didn’t enjoy either of these episodes for different reasons. But then, I’m a science nerd, not an entertainment junkie.

Sharks Gone Wild 2 –

This sort of episode is great for people who don’t know much about sharks or like jump scares. While the scripting did point out that messing around with sharks was dangerous, the film clips were deliberately sensationalist.

Shark Week Immersion –

I had never seen Rooster Teeth’s Immersion series before this, I tend to equate them with Red vs. Blue and RWBY. I found it to be an odd mix of MythBusters and internet trolling. It was interesting to see how sharks are portrayed in video games, though.

Shark Week 2019 Summary –

Overall, I really enjoyed this year. While there were some shows I disliked, most were both entertaining and informative. I am well aware that I am biased when dealing with documentaries and science shows, and that my opinion is no better or worse than anyone else’s. I woul dearly love for Discovery channel to kill Shark After Dark, as I find it a waste of a perfectly good time slot, and that all it does is recap the episodes of the day. Also, I want more diverse sharks! There are hundreds of different shark species, not just the popular Great White, Tiger, Mako, Bull and Hammerhead.

Shark Week Blogiversary Winners!

Please congratulate the winners of my first ever giveaway, Cassandra D. and Jenny H!!

Todays review is a little different, a friend of mine convinced me to pick up a paper craft kit from the local discount store. To my shock, I really enjoyed assembling it!

This is ArtZone Paper Sculpt Shark by Trends International. It is a preformed kit of heavy paper that is scored for folding with a tab system that is meant to be glued into place.

This kit includes 2 sheets of heavy paper printed on one side with numbers for assembly, and on the other side with shark coloration. There is a tube of craft glue, a paintbrush and some basic instructions. IMG_6230

I started out by folding each piece along the marked lines, then started to glue the end pieces to each other.

The assembly of this craft is a little tricky. Any time I work with glue, I get it all over my hands. The procedure is simple, you match the numbered tabs to the corresponding numbered space and glue. IMG_6231Slowly, my shark started to take shape!

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Look at that smile!!

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While the midsection is a little mangled, I’m rather proud of this! I haven’t done any sort of paper models quite like this!

Disability Notes: I can definitely recommend this craft for people with good hand/eye coordination. The numbers are clearly printed, but some of the tabs are very small and you need good focus. I did this on a good hand day, and Hime showed a lot of interest, so I’d rate the age range from 10+.

Where to buy: Trends International Shark Paper Sculpt Model is available on Amazon for $5.99 USD. Unfortunately, Trends International no longer carries this product, so Amazon or your local discount store may be the only place to find these.

Trends International: Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I bought this craft kit specifically for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

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Shark Week Blogiversary – Saturday

Isle of Jaws: Blood Brothers –

This is an interesting episode in terms of shark behavior. Great Whites give birth to live young, and so it is entirely possible that they may choose to spend their lives with their siblings. I felt a bit cheated by the discovery that both sharks had already been tagged and had their DNA sampled, but the results not stated in the show.

Andrew Mayne: Ghost Diver –

While interesting, I didn’t really enjoy this episode. I found the premise intriguing. My issue was the main focus of the show, Andrew Mayne. He struck me as someone more interested in the gimmick of an electric suit, not the actual sharks. Still, the episode was great about showing the trial and error process of experimentation and invention.

I Was Prey: Shark Week –

This was the most emotional of all the Shark Week episodes, following two shark attack survivors as they recount their experiences. I was impressed by both survivors’ attitudes. They don’t blame the sharks for doing what they naturally do, and still make a point of going back to the ocean. I was impressed by the warnings at the beginning of the episode, letting people know the graphic nature of the images shown. Even then, the photos of the actual injuries were blurred.

Today’s review is a little bit different. It is a self-review, or an explanation of why I am such a shark nut.

I’ve always been a water-child. I am the daughter of a Navy man, and so most of my early memories involve being around the ocean. I remember hunting sand dollars and playing in tide pools, and visiting aquariums.

I loved dolphins and whales, but the movie Free Willy cemented my love of Orcas. I was obsessed. I wanted to study Marine Biology as an adult. I wanted to work with Orcas. When I was 10, my parents gave me the National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Familiar Marine Mammals.

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I still have this!!

I focused all my studies to this goal, and while I did well in High School, College Maths and I did not agree. Between my math struggles and the fact that I had some family members disparaging my passion because “It wasn’t a money-making career.”, I floundered a while. I ended up not finishing college for other reasons and moved on with my life.

I still loved marine animals, but the increasing presence of the internet made clear that Orcas in captivity was not humane. I found the yearly ritual of watching Shark Week and visiting my local aquariums fed my interests. When the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) installed a Shark Touch Tank , I was hooked! I held my hand in the water and was brushed by a Cownose ray and a Cat shark(I honestly can’t call it petting….). The passion was back!

I read tons of nonfiction on Marine life in general and sharks in particular. I follow sharks tagged by Ocearch on Facebook and Twitter, and a ton of shark scientists. I advocate as much as I can for all marine life (except the invasive species), because my dream was deferred, and now I’m living with a disability that makes achieving it nigh impossible.

So I make new dreams, achievable ones. I dream of being able to rent a wheelchair and spend a day at the Georgia Aquarium(Atlanta, Georgia) so I can see a whale shark with my own eyes.  I dream of being well on the days NOAA and Ocearch scientists are giving lectures in my town so I can go see them. I dream of being well enough to volunteer doing data entry on sharks. I dream of being such a weird and wonderful shark fan that I can convince plush makers to design me a Wobbegong plushie (okay..I know this one is really left field, but I still want it to happen.)

Want a chance to win your own Shark puzzle? Giveaway Link: Here!

Disclosure:  The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them. Photo By Warren Tyrer via StockPholio.net

 

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

 

Shark Week Blogiversary – Friday

Return to Shark Island

This episode was both interesting and problematic for me. I understand that reunion Island is having a higher than normal spike of fatal shark encounters; but at the same time, humans are in the water, which is where sharks live. The CRA Shark Protection Program is a great idea, as previously the government had sanctioned shark culling. CRA and Dr. Craig O’Connell implemented a new shark deterrent system, so we will most likely have another Shark island episode in next year’s Shark Week. This episode highlights the fact that it takes TIME to find solutions to problems.

Great White Kill Zone: Guadalupe –

I won’t lie, I’ve been a huge fan of Melissa Marquez’s ever since last year’s Shark Week. Lady got bitten by a crocodile doing shark research and kept going! This episode shows the fact that Great Whites can and do adapt their hunting strategies to their environment. While the title of the show is sensationalist, it is interesting that due to the unique geography of Guadalupe Island the sharks have to change their usual behavior in order to be successful. Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou has a wonderful way of explaining things to the layman shark enthusiast.

Monster Mako: Perfect Predator –

Another slightly problematic episode for me. I dislike the use of the term of “grander” Mako to describe the larger end of the Mako shark size spectrum. No other shark species has this designation. Some of the behavior of the crew is incredibly dangerous and immature when filming the Mako’s behavior. I honestly can’t tell what is natural behavior and what is baited behavior. I did like seeing Spinner Sharks and the cinematography was excellent. Focusing on a species other than Great Whites and Bull Sharks was gratifying.

Want a chance to win your own Shark puzzle? Giveaway Link: Here!

Today’s review is MindWare’s Color by Number Color Counts: Glitter Under the Sea. IMG_6197This is the other side to MindWare’s Mystery Mosaic Series of color by number books. Color Counts are done in a stained glass style, with larger coloring areas and an easy to see design. Like the Mystery Mosaics, Color counts features both 22 8×11 pictures as well as 8 double-fold 15×11 pages.

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Double-fold page, uncolored.

All of the pages are perforated, which makes removal easy. But, the best part, in my mind, is the fact that unlike Mystery Mosaics, Color Counts has duplicate images without the numbers! It is absolutely possible to color the same image twice, once using the numbers, and once by using your imagination!

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Numbered page colored by me, Unnumbered page colored by Hime, age 10. Both images colored by using MindWare’s Colored Pencils Set.

While you will get excellent results using MindWare’s Colored Pencil Set, if you like Markers or crayons, it is totally possible to make great art! Every colorist has their preferences, and all are good, so long as you enjoy what you are doing!

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Colored by Little-Big, using colored pencils
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Colored by me using Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

You did see that the title of the book is Glitter Under the Sea? The other nifty thing about this coloring book is that it comes with a tube of sparkle glitter glue. You can choose to use it or not on your images, but all of the numbered pages have sections where the number is followed by an asterisk(*). These let you know where to add sparkle!IMG_6204IMG_6206

I really think adding the glue made my pictures pop! IMG_6203

Disability Notes: Color Counts is a fantastic coloring book series to add to any colorist’s collection. The thick lines of the stained glass styling are forgiving of erroneous lines due to hand or eye issues. The larger coloring areas are just the right size for comfortable coloring, without over-stressing my hands. I find coloring CBN reduces my anxiety and relaxes me.

Where to buy: Color by Number Color Counts: Glitter Under the Sea and the 36 Colored Pencils Tin are available on the MindWare website. The book is $8.95 USD and the pencils are $19.99 USD. MindWare has tons of other Color Counts books are well as other coloring and activity books, so you’re sure to find something for nearly every taste!

MindWare : Website / FaceBook 

Disclosure: I received this coloring book for free in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own. All art shown on this post is Copyright ©2019 MindWare Corporation. The coloring is mine. All links are direct; I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Shark Week Blogiversary – Thursday

Hey guys, no review today as I’m out testing a sunscreen for a later review. It gives me a chance to take Hime and Bug to the pool and let them play “Baby Shark”. I’d take them to the beach, because Shark Week is all about not being afraid of sharks and water, but our area has a flesh-eating bacteria warning and that is a hard NO in my mind.

Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark

This is amazing! The fact that the Pondicherry Shark hadn’t been seen since the 1970s, and yet sightings have been reported is intriguing. The methodology and science is valid, and well explained. The fact that Pondicherry Sharks can be mistaken for juvenile Bull Sharks and have the same fresh water tolerances means that they have been hiding under the radar all this time. While I’m disappointed that the team could not catch a live Pondicherry Shark, the fresh carcass from the fish market at least provides scientists a specimen to study. I for one, am thrilled to add the Pondicherry Shark to the list of Lazarus Species.

Capsized: Blood in the Water 

This was Discovery Channel’s first Feature-length film for Shark Week and based on a true story. While mildly exaggerated(Hollywood, ya know?), the main plot points are all there. I’m not going to spoil the movie, as I rather liked it. My only real complaint was that because the events took place in 1982, the sharks were very much the villains according to the script. Also, so much over-the-top dramatic music!

Want a chance to win your own Shark puzzle? Giveaway Link: Here!

Disclosure:  The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

Shark Week Blogiversary – Tuesday

Sharks of the Badlands-

I rather liked this episode, but thought the title misleading. The trial and error aspect of finding a working solution for the problem of keeping humans in the water safe from the sharks that live there was well represented. I’m glad that the scientists in questions opted for a preventative solution, rather than a reactionary one.

Legend of the Deep Blue-

This episode was iffy for me. I thought the plot was amorphous, and not well defined. While the shark known as Deep Blue is one of the largest ever tagged, she isn’t the only large shark in the ocean, and finding her without tag data is like looking for a needle in a haystack. As the scientists I follow on Twitter noted, scars do heal, so they are not reliable identifiers after several years. DNA is the only way to be sure. That being said, the episode was fun and had amazing shark cage footage!

The Sharks of Headstone Hell-

So many tiger sharks! Another great shark episode with a great explanation of both the history of the area and the current events impacting both locals and the shark population. Hopefully, now that it is known that the area around Norkolk Island is a tiger shark hotspot it can be designated as a protected area.

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Today’s puzzle is a fun one! Ravensburger’s Smiling Sharks is a puzzle I’ve been hoarding for months, waiting for Shark Week. It is a part of Ravensburger’s Perfect Age Fit series, which features graduated piece sizes for young puzzlers. As a puzzler with hand issues due to arthritis and nerve problems, I really wanted to test these puzzles out. s-l1600

Smiling Sharks is a 300XXL puzzle, which is the smallest piece size in the series. I found the pieces to be comfortable in my hands, and the thick chipboard satisfyingly heavy.

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The border was the easiest part of this image.

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I love the fact that each shark in this puzzle has a different face and personality! Ravensburger is known for quality puzzles, and the attention to detail is  one of the reasons why!

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I adore this little fish!
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Look at their smiles!

Overall, a great puzzle! The image is challenging without being overwhelming. Little-Big and I had a nice afternoon puzzling. Shark Week and puzzles go together!

Want a chance to win your own Shark puzzle? Giveaway Link: Here!

PUZZLE SPECS

  • Company: Ravensburger
  • Title: Smiling Sharks
  • Artist: Howard Robinson
  • Year released: 2017
  • Pieces: 300XXL
  • Cut-Style: Grid
  • Finished size: 19 x 14 inches
  • Bonus poster: No
  • Made in Germany

QUALITY: 

  • Box: Sturdy but lightweight, 13 x 9 x 1½ inches, Linen finish
  • Board: Extra thick chipboard
  • Cut: Cut with a steelcut die
  • Image Quality: Excellent, great color saturation
  • Finish: Linen matte
  • Puzzle Dust: Minimal
  • Piece shapes: 2 different shapes that repeat, Large size for easy handling
  • Piece Fit: Excellent! Great snap and I could move multiple pieces easily

Disability Notes: The 300XXL size puzzle pieces are a great size for a person with hand issues, or a short attention span. The pieces are sturdy and wellmade.

Where to buy: Smiling Sharks 300 XXL Puzzle is available on the Ravensburger website for $14.99 USD.

Ravensburger Puzzles: Website / FaceBook

Disclosure: I received a complimentary puzzle from the manufacturer in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!