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Episode Guide

  • Season 2
    • Soap
      Soap
      Episode 8
      8.0
      After Orange Balloon, Mouse and a girl discuss sweet-smelling soaps, the narrator talks about the development of soap, noting that serious bathing didn't start until around the 20th century and that nobody really knows who invented soap. Some people make their own soap, but most of it comes from factories. We're taken inside a factory, which we learn that while it isn't quite as much of a hot and steamy place as it was in the old days, it's still quite hot, which a kettle room containing large kettles that go 14 meters deep into the floor. These kettles boil the soap ingredients tallow, palm, coconut oil, soda (which helps aid the mixing) which are all together in what looks kind of like porridge. This mixture is tested many times for its thickness until finally, soap flakes are produced, which are kept in a warm and dry bin until needed. The perfume is finally added to the soap, which mixed more and more with a device called a double boiler, the idea being to completely remove any remaining lumps or bubbles. When the soap is finally ready, it's shaped into a mold, turned the right way, then boxed and wrapped. Any of a number of products could be produced, from green bars of bath soap to little soap cakes for use in hotels.moreless
    • Printing a Newspaper
      9.0
      We open with Orange Balloon snoring and Mouse enjoying a late-night snack, a peaceful scene that is soon interrupted by the ringing of an alarm. It turns out that tonight we're visiting a newspaper office, the office of the Toronto Sun, to find about how they manage to turn out 400,000 papers to deliver by dawn. We learn that almost all of the writing of the stories is already done and that at this point the main action is in the printing and composing department, where they have just three hours to get everything ready to go. They sketch the layout of the newspaper and take pictures of everything that has to go in the paper and after making sure that the pictures are clear, they place them on a plate for the printing press. In the old days, the plates were made of very heavy metal and had to be bolted onto the printing presses, but it isn't quite so bad today. Still, everything has to be handled carefully and placed in the proper order in order to make sure that the paper comes out right. A test run is done and then a team carefully examines everything in the paper to make sure that everything is in the right place and that everything looks okay and if there's a problem, then the settings on the press have to be changed. Once everything is done, the major printing starts and although they suffer an occasional breakdown, the major work for this crew is done. Conveyor belts send the papers to delivery trucks and the printing continues until sun-up, but the next night, everyone will be back for the process to start all over again.moreless
    • Soup
      Soup
      Episode 6
      0.0
      For this look at soup, viewers are taken straight to the source: an actual Campbell's factory. There, they see the production of vegetable soup in detail. Chopping vegetables to canning is all included in this tasty look at the process.
    • Houses
      Houses
      Episode 5
      8.0
      Orange Balloon is looking at some houses, saying that he likes old houses best, whereas Mouse would prefer something small and cozy like a nest. We learn that when it comes to houses, there are two things people can do: either build their own house or purchase one and that today's tendency is for people to live close together in groups of clustered houses, as opposed to the past when they were much more spread out. We learn that fifty years ago, many people still built their own houses, but in current times it has become a much more fast and streamlined process, with somewhat less attention to detail and more focus on fast building that take place in as little as a few months. Even then, there is still a set plan, with a house beginning as a model, perhaps even of an entire neighborhood. A foundation is laid, a process that was skipped in the old days, leading to slipping and cracking. After the foundation is built, the floor is laid, the walls go up, the plumbing and electricial wires are installed and insulation are installed and finally the roof is placed on the house. The plumbing and wiring installation is a delicate process because the wall has be torn out to fix the problem if one should happen. We learn that while building a house might look fun, there is a lot of hard work involving heavy lifting, hammering, operating heavy machinery and more. It is a job best left to professionals, or at least to be done with professional help, but it is still fun to conceptualize designs for homes, even if you don't actually build them.moreless
    • Trucks
      Trucks
      Episode 4
      9.0
      When Mouse gets a little lesson in where her breakfast comes from, we launch into a lesson about trucks - special vehicles that are associated with just about anything that be delivered and work in all sorts of conditions from snow to sun. Back in older times, animals such as horses were used to pull carts carrying deliveries, but today trucks can be built quickly and easily to handle this work. We learn that in the early days, truck drivers generally didn't leave the city limits because the road conditions were terrible and they even had to watch out for ditches, as opposed to today's complex and generally well-maintained network of roads and highways. Today's trucks are also a lot bigger than the older trucks, oftentimes enjoyable to drive, perhaps while wearing a suit and tie. We go inside a factory to see the making of a truck and find out that the process actually only takes a few hours because the parts are already fully made and ready to go when they reach the assembly line. The truck is built on a device called a chassis, with things like the brakes and engines installed first and the truck getting a coat of paint. Installing the engine isn't an easy job - it takes at least five people to guide it into position and it's very heavy. After everything is finished on the chassis, a cap is created and joined together with the chassis. Finally, the trucks are installed with lights, tested using rollers and then they're ready to go.moreless
    • Dolls
      Dolls
      Episode 3
      8.0
      When the narrator offers to grant Orange Balloon and Mouse one wish each and their wishes both focus around dress-up, we get into a discussion of how much fun dress-up can be and how dolls make dress-up easy. Nobody knows exactly when the first doll was made, but we do know that it was handmade. Today, there are factories that that mass-produce dolls. We visit one where we see dolls being created from molds - they look like roast chickens at first. We learn that they use vinyl, which is so strong that it can be greatly twisted and still "spring back" - it has a memory. We learn that most dolls are also stuffed so taht they can be cute and cuddly. Hair is added once the main construction is complete and then they pop in eyeballs and visit the make-up department, where a stencil is used. We learn that dolls really have been around for a long time and are built to last - one was found buried for 2,000 years.moreless
    • Tunnels
      Tunnels
      Episode 2
      0.0
      Viewers learn about all sorts of tunnels, from road tunnels to tunnels that actually go underwater. We get to see actual construction of subway tunnels in Hong Kong.
    • Roads and Bridges
      7.0
      The episode starts out with Orange Balloon floating over a large map of streets, launching into a discussion about how cities are made up of hundreds of streets. Two hundred years ago, those very streets may have been forests or fields, but motorists got tired of breathing in dust and asks for roads that would take them places faster and more smoothly, an idea that stretches all the way back to Roman times. Back then, people had to use shovels and coal, but now there are machines that can take care of much of the work of building roads. Highway engineers are always looking for ways to make roads better and save money as well, as good roads are expensive to build and expensive to maintain: snow and rain can leave rust and potholes. Even the paint on the highways and roads must be tested to see how clean it will dry and if it'll come off the road too easily. With cities growing, more and more highways have to be built and constantly examined as well - there's a special truck that contains devices that can identify sections of road that need to be fixed. Bridges are also an important part of infrastructure these days and must be planned carefully: they have to sway with the wind and be able to bend with the heat. Each pier has a cap and inside the cap goes a steel chamber that looks like a boat. Proper construction is very important, as a failing bridge can be a big danger in a number of ways.moreless
  • Season 1
Saturday
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Sunday
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Monday
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