If it isn’t fun it shouldn’t be done

Hi fiends,

If you’ve read my blog before you know we look at stuff that’s informative, current and often funny…. this week we look at something that’s a little worrying.

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A little while back we talked about me doing The Adventures of Ragamuffin films and being in that brilliant charity show with the great kids, think I said something like; “being on stage is very different to making our  films – mum and her clever fiends do editing and stuff to so, it doesn’t matter if you fluff it as, they can kinda fix it afterwards……….”

Should say too; if you fluff it on stage it’s part of the fun and always made us all giggle. And  when you’re working with us animals and children anything can happen so,  whether you’re an amateur, small production company or perhaps; DreamWorks for instance, you should always be prepared for the unexpected.

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The editing and stuff that mum and her ‘technical’ fiends do in the editing place make the final film look fantastic in the end. With all that wizardry technology around you can fill in any gaps you didn’t get when you were filming  Think you can even rub out the rain!!!

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Which is why we’re worried, shocked, sad, angry and fuming to hear about, and see for ourselves, the cruel treatment of a German Shepherd dog in a very big budget feature film. The film is going to be in cinemas across the whole wide world very soon – not just on You Tube like me.

The lovely dog was there to film a scene for ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ –  the film of a popular book of the same title – this poor dog was forced to do something it really, really didn’t want to do, it was terrified and hurt and in danger.

We’re puzzled because, those big film companies have ZILLIONS of pounds and dollars to spend on the best special effects and computer technology (called CGI) in the whole world so, there’s no reason to make any dog (or any animal or person) do something that’s very dangerous and in this case left our fiend terrified and scared.

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If the Director was good he wouldn’t even need technology, he would just shoot the right film pictures to cover that section of the script…… not everything has to be illustrated literally (according to Auntie Jules – she used to work in filmey stuff with mum), specially when it’s just a few seconds out of the whole thing. If we can do it with our little films so can they!!!!

The film production company and other filmey people involved seem to be trying to say that nothing really bad had gone wrong and they were ‘investigating’ and ‘looking at’ the ‘incident’……. Thanks to the land of Tweeter and all those other Apes; the incident was on film for all the world to see exactly what happened.

Decent, professional  and kind animal trainers and handlers (and owners, of course) know when an animal is; unhappy or scared or hurting or nervous or tired or just plain bored and stops…….. so, there’s no excuse to be cruel or for this incident to have happened. Mum and our film crew fellas always know right away if me, and my canine ‘co-stars’ and little  fiends in the films, aren’t having fun or have just had enough for the day.

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We send our prayers, best wishes and love to the dear fiend involved – we will not be going to see it.

Until next time fiends

Rx

More About Autumn

Hello fiends,

This week has been fun and busy again but, I’ve been thinking – loads of things happen in Autumn so, thought we’d have a look at some more of them. They’ll be lots of scary Halloween things coming into the shops soon and adverts for local Fireworks Night Displays but, we’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks.

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There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for those events: if you and your fiends are building a bonfire; keep an eye out that no hedgehogs make their winter nest in the bottom (check it each week and on the night) and if you have a dog or cat or little pet who’s not keen on big bangs and flashes – think about getting advice from your vet now, this week, about products and ways you can help it all be a little less stressful. Don’t mind saying; me and my cat sisters are pretty scared of fireworks and we stay very close to mum!! My fiend Rufus hides under loads and loads of cushions!

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Back to other Autumn things: the bird world gets really busy. Me and my fiends love watching the Starlings doing that crazy flying thing. It’s brilliant; hundreds of Starlings collect together in trees, or on piers, or TV aerials or on roofs and all sing together, like a massive out of tune school choir. This is called roosting and then suddenly – they all take off together, flying in patterns all over the sky, whizzing about, looking like they can’t decide which way to go but, all staying together and going in the same direction!

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Loads of Starlings flying together like this is called; ‘murmurations’, my fiend Moja says it looks like Bird Ballet! Bird experts think they do it as protection, that’s ‘safety in numbers’, or it’s a way of signposting the place to roost to other Starlings that are new to the area. I think the ‘safety in numbers’ idea is true –  when they’re all flying together it can look like a giant shadow monster!! Which is pretty scary if you think about it?!?

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 The other thing Starlings and birds of all types do in Autumn is get ready to migrate – that means they fly off to live somewhere else for the colder months, like a winter holiday. So, some of those new Starlings flying around near your house could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe who have come to the UK as, our winter is warmer than theirs! You can often spot birds flying in a V shape formation in the winter skies when they are heading off to warmer places.

Some Swans, fly all the way to the Arctic as, it has a really good short summer there when it’s cold here. And in the Artic Summer there’s twenty-four-hour daylight and loads of food to fatten them up before the flight home. What a long way to go for a slap up meal – Joe Allens would be easier and nearer!

Birds are fast and can go anywhere if they have enough energy so, they can fly to the best places for food and to live safely through the winter. The RSPB website and books are a great place to get more info.

There’s lots of reasons birds migrate but, the experts think that sometimes it’s just because they can! But some don’t go at all including, the beautiful Red Kite which is the bird on the left below.

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Until next week, keep your eyes open for Starlings and their Bird Ballet and see if you can spot flocks of birds migrating.

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Have a good week fiends

Rx

 

Back to School

Hello fiends!

It’s that time of year again when we all buy new pencil cases, get our hair cut (or fur) and try on our uniforms only realise how much we’ve grown since July! It’s time to head back to school.

I’ve decided that I might give it a go this year, I know I am only three but that is 25 in human years so I think I am quite old enough to start my education! (you can see how old you are in dog years here)

I want to go into schools to help teach my younger fiends about how to look after animals, especially dogs! I will teach them things like not to leave us in hot cars or at home alone for too long and what food we can and can’t eat!

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For example, here I am teaching a fiend that some drinks like fizzy pop aren’t good for dogs, we LOVE water just as it is.

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I have already learned lots in my three years, like how to use a computer and drive a car… although I have needed help from my fiends. So I think it’s only time to return the favour.

 

What are you looking forward to learning about this year at school (or at work for the grown ups)? I have really enjoyed learning about how to use the computer and be safe on the internet in the last year, but this year, as you might have noticed, I have become quite interested in science. So I have decided to learn a little more about the world around us through science! I will share with you what I learn!

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I hope this week isn’t too tough back at school fiends! And if you’re about to have your first day, have fun! It is so exciting.

 

Until next time fiends

 

R x

Wind Energy and How Every Dog has his Day!

Hello Fiends!

I hope you all celebrated Dogs Day in style this week. I certainly did…

 

This week in my blog I am going to be looking at solar energy, and in particular wind turbines. This is because I have noticed more and more turbines popping up, and there have been lots of stories about wind farms being built off the coast of Britain! Aunty Jules says she sees them on her journeys quite often and lots of children always ask what they are and how they work!

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They use the kinetic energy (that means movement energy) of the wind which turns the blades of the turbine and transfers this energy to a generator which is housed in the centre of the turbine. Of course, this is me making it all much simpler for us all to understand… it is much more complicated than that.

 

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Courtesy of Pacific Greentech

The wind is produced because of convection currents in the Earth’s atmosphere, which are driven by heat energy from the Sun. As a result of this, the kinetic energy in wind is a renewable resource which is great because it means as long as the Sun is there, we will have it! However, some people don’t like wind turbines because they can be considered an eye sore and when they turn they can be noisy.

 

My fiend Ellie told me that where she works at Glyndebourne, they have their very own wind turbine. It produces enough power to provide 95% of the energy for Glyndebourne Opera House, which is amazing when you think of all of the energy used in one show alone! Lighting rigs are not cheap to run!

 

Because of the need to have wind, you find wind turbines in windy places. That is why people want to build them out at sea. I always notice how windy it is down at the beach! This is good too because you can’t see or hear them as much.

 

Do you have any wind turbines or maybe solar panels near you? I’d love to see some photos of just how HUGE they are! If you’d like to know more about the science behind the turbines, you can take a look here.

 

Until next time fiends,

 

R x

Teg and Kate Humble

Hi there fiends!

Hasn’t it been a fabulous week for the Olympics! I loved watching the track cycling and gymnastics, and all of it really! I am a bit sad its over but I’m looking forward to the Paralympics which start on the 7th September.

This week I watched TV with Mum and I was wowed to see I was on screen!

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I don’t remember filming that one! It turned out it wasn’t me, but a great episode from Kate Humble called ‘My Sheepdog and Me’. I learned lots about Kate’s dog Teg, a female Welsh Sheepdog, because Kate was trying to trace her heritage and produce more Welsh Sheepdog puppies. Did you know there are only around 2000 in existence at the moment?

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Throughout the episode Kate tries to discover if Teg is a Welsh Sheepdog by using her DNA and comparing it to other Welsh dogs who are certified by the Welsh Sheepdog Society. The study compared Teg’s genes and found that she was 75% Welsh Sheepdog, but also part Border Collie. I am a Border Collie but part Welsh Sheepdog! That explains why I look a lot like Teg, because we must have similar DNA!

Teg even has the same kind of different coloured eyes that I have! Kate said it was just like David Bowie which is what Mum always says to me.

I couldn’t believe that there were more than 20 breeds of herding dog, including the border collie, many of which are now either extinct or in decline. The show had great reviews and if you want to find out more you can read about it here or go and catch up on BBC iPlayer.

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Photograph: Craig Morris/BBC/Tatu Pictures Ltd/Craig Morris

 

I’ve already started getting confused for Teg when I’m out… I mean come on, do I look like a girl!?

Until next week fiends, when I’ll be looking at wind turbines and how they work!

 

R x

Cats’ Eyes

Hello there fiends!

How are you all this week? I am okay, but a little sad because I have noticed that cats seem to be getting far too much attention. What with Grumpy Cat coming to London, #caturday Saturdays and now my new discovery of Cats’ Eyes it seems they’re getting all the fame!

I was on a walk with Mum and we were carefully crossing the road when I noticed the big studs down the middle of the road.
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Mum explained they were there so that at night drivers could see the road ahead and know which side to stay on, they’re called cat’s eyes. Can you believe it! Now I’m sure dog’s eyes work just as well, even if science says that cats’ are better at reflecting the light, so I think there is clear favouritism for cats surfacing here and I’m not all that happy about it.

I went home and decided to look into how these pretend Cat’s Eyes work. They were invented by a Yorkshireman called Percy Shaw in 1929 after his headlights were reflected from the eyes of a cat beside the road. He thought this kind of technology would be handy in making the roads safer.

Cat’s eyes are made up of two pairs of reflective glass spheres in a flexible white rubber dome that is protected by a cast iron surrounding. They are really clever because they are also self-cleaning, so when a car drives over one, or a dog walks on one, they are pushed down inside the rubber and, like an eyelid, it cleans all the muck off of the eye!

I found this great YouTube video that explains it in more detail for those of you who are interested!

As annoying as it is that such a cool invention is because of cats, Cats’ Eyes have saved many lives as road traffic accidents at night reduced dramatically.

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Although I know that the technology is always being improved and some roads now feature LED studs which are even better than traditional Cats’ Eyes… I won’t tell them if you won’t!

Next week I’ll be talking about the Rio Olympics which start on 5th August! Send me your sporting photos on Facebook

Until next time fiends

R x

A lovely week on Earth

Hello fiends! Have you been busy outside recently? I don’t know about where you live, but it has been very rainy this week and so I got very very wet doing my #30dayswild challenge!

Mum is always saying how time flies, and I know what she means this week because it’s been six months since Tim Peake went into space. He returned to Earth yesterday.

 

It is hard to believe all of the amazing things he has seen and shared with us in his time up in space. Let’s have a look at some of his best images!

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Photo by: PA

Above is a picture of Tim before he left Earth for space, he has said that he is going to put on lots of weight when he comes back because he lost so much while in orbit.

Below is an image of somewhere in England. Can you guess where?

London space image
Photo by Tim Peake / ESA via Getty Images

If you look closely you can see a long winding snake. That isn’t actually a snake, it is the river Thames. This is a photo of London at night. Don’t we make an awful lot of light!

Here is Tim Peake taking a selfie before his first space walk. I don’t know if space walks are for me, I prefer the coast of Ilfracombe!

Selfie before space walk
Picture: PA

You might have seen Miss Mouse from CBeebies up in space with him too! He took three very special items with him when he left. A rugby ball and shirt to launch BBC six nations coverage, a tuxedo t-shirt to present Adele with her Brit Award, and Miss Mouse to teach children about space on Show Me Show Me.

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DID YOU KNOW in the 1950’s and 60’s the USSR sent dogs into space to test if it was safe for humans to be able to go. I think Tim Peake has a lot to thank us for.

But after all his hard work it was announced that for his services to space research he has been awarded an Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Congratulations Tim! I hope you have a lovely week on Earth.

 

Another of my videos is out today, so keep your eyes peeled on YouTube. Let me know what you’ve been up to this week and keep in touch with me on my Facebook page.

 

Until next time fiends

R x