“Are You Afraid of the Dark” is an immensely popular kids show from the mid-1990’s that is cited as one of the all time favourite shows for Generation Y. Personally, I can watch episodes of this show over and over, never getting tired of the “Midnight Society” and cheesy 90’s-ness of the whole thing. I’m proud that it’s Canadian, and that it’s become such a popular show over the years despite being over 10 years old now. I have never heard anyone speak badly of it, and it tends to come up as a favourite with many people when speaking of favourite kids shows. Nickelodeon in the U.S. will beairing it on “TeenNick” as part of their “the 90’s are all that” nighttime broadcast slot. It stirs my emotions in the same way as “Saved By The Bell” and “Full House“. Reflecting upon the show now, it’s the type of show that would not be made in this day in age. Some of the themes are very dark and scary for kids. Goosebumps was created to fill the gap for tamer fare in same kids horror genre, but it never lived up to the standard set by “Are You Afraid of the Dark.” I recently downloaded the entire series from the web. I intended on purchasing them, but DVD copies are out of print and fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay. In case you weren’t aware, the show had 5 original seasons, went off the air, then had a revival for another 2 seasons. While the original series is amazing, the revival never lived up to the original premise of the show. Regardless, in the spirit of nostalgia, here is my countdown of the best 5 episodes of the show. You’ll notice they are from the first season, as it’s best and more frequently aired.
“The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors”: Emma and Dayday Toll suspect that their new neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Braun and their son Lex, may be vampires when people in town start to get sick. The Brauns are originally from Eastern Europe, wear black, collect blood, and only are active at night.
This episode scared me so much as a kid that I still have thoughts of vampires flying through my window in the middle of the night. As a kid I would sleep with the blankets wrapped around my neck so that if they did get into my house, they couldn’t suck my blood. Super creepy!
“The Tale of the Lonely Ghost“: A girl, Amanda Cameron, goes to stay with her Aunt Dottie and desperately wants to be friends with her snotty cousin, Beth, and her group of friends agrees to spend the night in the haunted house next door, which is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a preteen girl, to become part of the group. Beth’s nanny tries to warn Amanda to stay away from that place.
This episode comes to mind everytime I think of the show. It’s such a touching story, not as scary as many other episodes. It also has the girl from “Ready or Not” so it gets bonus points.
“The Tale of the Phantom Cab”: Two brothers, Denny and Buzz Crocker, get lost in the woods, and come across a mysterious cab driver, Flynn, and a very unusual man, a reclusive backwoods scientist by the name of Dr. Vink, who won’t let any of his victims go unless they solve a riddle: “What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it into a barrel, it will make the barrel lighter?”
This episode is excellent because it introduces us to an awesome character named Dr. Vink. He makes appearances throughout the series and is always fun to watch.
“The Tale of the Pinball Wizard”: Campbell, a mischievous kid who is obsessed with pinball, finds himself trapped in the mall at closing time after he loses track of time when working at a repair shop for Mr. Olson—and the protagonist of a real life pinball game. He must use all of his skills to escape the enchanted mall and save Princess Sophie, but soon learns that he is not the only one playing.
An excellent episode that takes place in a mall and always reminded me of the Stoneroad Mall in Guelph, ON.
“The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice”: Berkham, a high school outcast, awakens an ancient secret hidden in the school about an evil wizard named Goth after a lesson with Dr. Oliver. After his friend, Alix, discovers what’s going on and is the only one that knows, and it’s up to her alone to not only save Dean, but stop him from releasing the evil sorcerer.
The coolest part of this episode is the secret swimming pool and the sorcerers staff, which always reminded me of the one that”Jafar” had in the Disney movie “Aladdin.”
Does anyone else remember Hitclips? They were made by Tiger Electronics and came out in 2000 with a major push from McDonald’s and commercials with Britney Spears and N*Sync. They were little flash drive type plastic squares that you put into a small Walkman type player, and they would play a 60 second clip of that song. They were basically the precursor to MP3s and the iPod. I remember getting a few on our way to Cedar Point, because at the time they were only available in the United States. Check out the ad for them below. Doesn’t it make them look so exciting! Ultimately they just never caught on because they were expensive, weren’t full songs and also a proprietary format. Regardless they were kinda cool!
Today in videos that I can watch over and over comes this Kia commercial starring the hip-hop hamsters and using “Party Rock” by LMFAO as the soundtrack. The ad is actually not that effective, but is so much fun it doesn’t matter.
Today I decided to finalize my hydroponic garden setup. I got a timer for the lights and fan to make my life easier. This allows the plants to be on a perfect day/night cycle without me having to worry about it. I also took some cuttings of peppers from my Dad’s garden, and one from the healthiest looking tomato plant from my own garden. I am very impatient, so I feel like starting half the garden from cuttings will speed the process of growth up and give me the results I want a lot faster. I’m still learning about hydroponics everyday, but is it becoming quite an addiction for me. It’s also getting chilly outside, so I brought in my basil plants to the warmth of the fluorescent lights. I lined the walls with aluminum foil to reflect the light, and the whole setup is pretty sweet. Last but not least, I got a great deal on a refill pack for my Aerogarden, it’s the type you can plant whatever type of seeds you have. I decided that spinach looked easy enough and would work well in that setup. Soon my whole house is going to be full of plants that will provide us with fresh produce to eat. Tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, basil and spinach so far. I keep wanting to plant more and more, but I’m going to wait and see how everything I have on the go turns out first.
I finally have my entire setup for my super-fantastic garden of the future! Using hydroponics technology! Today I made the run to the hydroponics supply store to grab my nutrients, PH tester, rock-wool and lighting for my garden. It was a little sketchy, a lot of people there were obviously not growing tomatoes like I am. Regardless, I’m not here to judge. Hydroponics gets a bad rap because it is used to grow marijuana, the reasoning is that it works. But the same techniques can be used to grow almost every other vegetable. My plan is to grow things I eat in the winter, instead of buying the crappy, overpriced produce from the grocery store. I spend about $100 total for everything, making this weekend project cost a total of about $130 so far. I decided on getting fluorescent grow lights as I’m not looking at turning my whole basement into a hydroponics farm and don’t want to use too much power. I am using the empty closet in my basement, as it already had the rail I am hanging my light from, and a desk to put the garden unit and supplies on top. I’m still learning about all the intricacies of how to make sure I use the right amount of nutrients and light to be successful. Regardless, it’s up and running so well see in a week or so how its going! I’m starting with 8 plants, tomatoes and peppers.
Here’s a fascinating look at how Hydroponic Lettuce is grown:
It has finally been officially announced, Pirates of the Caribbean 4! Can’t wait for Summer 2011. The subtitle is On Stranger Tides. This D23 Expo is amazing, hopefully I can go next year!