Mind the gap!

Early days (well, day) in the Championship league of English football, but the gap between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday is just about as big as it could be. And we’re the ones out in front*.

A Billy Sharp header 39 minutes in was enough to dispatch Brentford, and we’re now unbeaten since January 24th. Wendy lost at Preston.
You crow about these things while you can, because who knows what the future may hold.

Other, related stuff:
The original 6000 miles… Mind The Gap post.
Still none the wiser over my Fantasy League selections.

 

* obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. 

HMDOWDCTHL?

Because

How Many Days Of Water Does Cape Town Have Left?

was too long for a blog post title. In my humble opinion, anyway.

If you want to know the answer to that question, then you might find a visit to local website howmanydaysofwaterdoescapetownhaveleft.co.za informative.

I went there just that this morning and I saw this:

Really?
Yes, whatever method they’re using, described as:

using our recent consumption as a model for future usage

provides us with the frankly terrifying prospect of October 7th being the day at which Cape Town’s dams hit the apocalyptic 10% mark.

But I think that they’ve got it wrong.

I thought I’d give the rudimentary calculation a go myself.
I went for the mathematically simple:

method.

Long story short, according to the latest city figures, we have 250581 megalitres stored, which is 27.9% of total storage capacity. As has been mentioned ad nauseum, the last 10% of our capacity is “unusable”, so clearly we can only use the first 17.9% bit of that (which is 64.2% of 27.9%).

That’s 160767 megalitres.

And we’re using 642 megalitres a day. So I make that

250 days – April 7th 2018

 

Far more reasonable, and more than a bit of a difference. I even did it in purple for you, and look, it does fit with Clem Sunter’s prediction/calculation.

Look, if you are going to have a website that only has one purpose, at least make it accurate. Does HasZumaQuitYet need checking too (he said, hopefully)?

Not great. Anyway, all in all, it’s still an excellent reminder that one way or another, pretty soon the only thing we’re going to be waist deep in is Shit Creek.

Sans paddle.

 

(I think I can see what they’ve done, by the way: they’ve divided the 250581Ml by 100 instead of 27.9 before multiplying by 17.9. I just don’t know who to tell about it. No contact details on there, see?)

Drones are bad, mmmkay?

Look, I’m not stupid. (Careful now.)

There’s no doubt that some people will use drones illegally and will do bad things with them. Just like some people have done and will continue to do bad things with basically everything else that exists: shoesvans, turtlesfixings, sports equipment, cutlerybits of musical instrumentsdogs, diggers – even fruit.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get my point.

But this BBC article – ostensibly about how criminals using drones can or could be detected and brought to justice – does seem to go out of its way in order to portray drones in an extraordinarily bad light. (Which, incidentally, makes for less than ideal flying conditions.)

I mean, just look at the image they chose to illustrate it:

That’s exactly what I look like when I fly my drone.
Furtive. Disguised. Illegal. Determined. Criminal.
(And with a jaunty tilt on my remote control.)

Still, an excellent demonstration of VLOS. Well done.

And then there are words, like these:

Whether it is flying illicit goods into forbidden places, spying on people, interrupting the work of the emergency services or worrying wild animals or aircraft, the threat they present is growing.

Spying on people? Have you any idea how absolutely amazing your drone equipment has to be to “spy” on people? My Mavic has a 12MP camera. It’s half as powerful as the one on my cellphone. And a lot noisier.
My DSLR and its telephoto lens though? Silent and powerful, like a beagle fart. Amazing for spying on people, and yet its ownership is wholly exempt from any legislation. Hmm.

Sure, someone managed to get some cigarettes and a DVD player (actually quite impressive) into a prison using a drone. And that’s not good. But then, naughty people put mobile phones into chocolate bars to get them “inside”, so should we…  should we ban the sale of Mars bars or something? No. No, we shouldn’t, because they’re delicious and most people just eat them, completely legally.

For the article to then go on and use a quote from a “drone expert” suggesting that drones could be used to disperse bio-weaponised anthrax does seem to be just a teensy-tiny bit scaremongery. Because yes, while it is technically possible, the issue there is not really the drone, but rather the bio-weaponised anthrax, no?

All in all, this does seem to be a disappointingly one-sided article. Yes, it’s about crime and drones, but in telling us about those things, it does seem to suggest that crime is all that drones are going to be used for, tarring all drone pilots with the same sticky brush, and conveniently ignoring the many thousands of us who are operating wholly within the law.
But then of course, we must remember that it’s ever so cool to hate these new-fangled tools of annoyance and terrorism – and their users – at the moment, so maybe it’s just trying to tap into the Daily Mail-created zeitgeist.

I completely understand the need for some legislation around this hobby (both flying drones and production of bio-weaponised anthrax), but I’m growing increasingly tired of the incessant anti-drone rhetoric I seem to be seeing everywhere these days.
I just hope that the individuals charged with making the rules are a little bit less alarmist and blinkered than journo Paul Marks and… well… everyone else, actually.

Rain a week away?

I’m not sure how good these two week forecasts are (save perhaps to say that so far, this one has been bang on), but this image, shared by ‘Agricultural Economist’ Wandile Sihlobo seems to give us a bit of good news:

That little red spot at the bottom of the second picture is the promise of decent, heavy, significant rain for that second week of August.

If the previous forecast was accurate, then we can even say that that potential rainfall will take place somewhere between 8th-12th August.

But like I said, I have no idea how accurate these types of forecast are.

Susanne sings

Everyone on BBC 6 Music is gushing over the Scott Walker Prom concert held earlier in the week, and from the bits I have heard, with good reason. If you’re reading this soon after I wrote it, there’s loads of stuff about it on the 6 Music website.

The audience raved about son of Sheffield, Jarvis Cocker and… er… son of Sheffield, Richard Hawley, who were both star performers on the night. But the real plaudits went to Susanne Sundfør for her outstanding vocals. Who she, you ask? Well, she the lady singing on this Röyksopp track:

…with its crazy, disturbing, heartbreaking “invited independent filmmaker” video from Lauren Rothery.