My Instagram

I get quite a few requests for details of my Instagram account, despite it being linked to just over there on the right.

Anyway, here it is, along with a few other of my accounts you might want to follow:

My Instagram
My Flickr
My Twitter
My Facebook
My Youtube

And a couple of my Spotify playlists:

inspired by 6
just another indie/britpop playlist

I look forward to record (no pun intended) numbers of listeners.

 

Please feel free to add me on your social network(s) of choice.
Unless you’ve had enough of me already; in which case, why are you still reading this?

Nigel in Iceland

Another Nigel Danson-related link, this time to one of his photos and one of his videos from his recent trip to Iceland.

I really like the drama of his Icelandic Storm image:

Bigger on black here, and well worth the click.

The story of how the image was captured is also worth a look. Patience and planning were key here, and it’s really paid off.

This is also available as a limited edition print on his website.

Lovely stuff, and excellent blog fodder on a busy, busy day in the lab.

Drone homework

I’ve been planning ahead for our trip to Europe later in the year. Part of that planning is working out where I can safely and legally fly my Mavic.

It’s reasonable to say that there are differences in the approach to drone rules and regulations between differing countries.

Take, for example, the Isle of Man:

Basically, with a few provisos here and there, together with a dollop of common sense and a healthy respect for other people, you can fly your drone up to 120m high anywhere outside that red circle.

You need to employ those same provisos, that common sense and respect in France too. But it’s a bit more complex than the IOM.
Here’s a map of the bit of France we’re going to:

Right.

Easy stuff first: no flying in the red bits; but yes flying (up to 150m, nogal) in the uncoloured bits. No problem.
From there though, it gets complicated. Pink areas allow flight to 30m altitude. You can fly up to 50m up in the orange (or is it peach?) areas. Even better, in the peach (or is it orange?) areas, you’re permitted to fly at 60m up from your takeoff spot. I’m not sure why they have this 10m difference. Presumably, something important happens (or is likely to happen) in this narrow strip of airspace in orange areas that doesn’t happen in the peach areas. Oh, and then in the yellow areas, you can fly up to a height of 100m.

I’m happy to comply with all of this, of course. It’s just that it’s massively complicated given that we go through a constantly changing kaleidoscope of colour as we wend our way downstream, so I’m going to have to keep a digital, zoomable copy of this map to hand.

The other thing is that for a lot of these restricted areas, it’s not very clear why there are restrictions. That doesn’t matter, of course – if it says not to fly, you don’t fly. It would just be nice to know what that bizarre mirror image of a question mark is bottom right. And why there’s that huge, weirdly shaped peach (orange?) swathe right across the middle of the map.

Obviously, I’m going to follow all the rules and regulations. There’s more than enough opportunity to get some decent shots and video in between all the bureaucracy.

But it’s going to be much more simple to chuck Florence the Mavic up once we get over to the Isle of Man.

80s music flashback

A couple of songs which have recently appeared on my metaprical musical radar, and which will therefore obviously be shared on the blog.

While there are a lot of famous 80s songs, I don’t think that these are/were amongst them. They’re not ones that you will hear at 80s-themed disco parties, although if you were looking for a archetypal early 80s analogue synth piece, this first one really does tick all the boxes. And (like Alphaville) the lyrics for John Foxx’s Underpass are… well… “basic”:

Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click drone
Click-click…
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass
Underpass

Wonderful.

And if that was a bit fast and loud for you, please now relax with This Mortal Coil’s version of Song To The Siren from 1984:

Wow. How beautiful is that?

Music posts on 6000 miles… don’t get as many hits as some of the other stuff I write about on here: perhaps because musical tastes are such a personal thing. Or perhaps because my musical tastes can be a bit odd. But I know that there is a hardcore set of readers who do like to give the stuff I share a spin.

Why not join them? You might just find something you like. And – if you want to delve a little more deeply – both these tracks make it onto my inspired by 6 Spotify playlist.

Skeleton Gorge Fire News

If you live in or around the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, you’ll likely have seen or heard the fire helicopters doing their work on a fire in Skeleton Gorge yesterday afternoon and again this morning.

I don’t have any statistics to hand, but many of the wildfires in the Cape Town area are caused by humans: either maliciously (arson) or accidentally (carelessly discarded cigarette butts, glass bottles etc). As this fire was in an area which is frequented by hikers, I was guess that this one was going to be one of these accidental ignitions.

But no.

Enviro fire investigators were tasked by the Table Mountain National Park to investigate the origin and cause of the fire that started around 15h00 in the Skeleton Gorge area. We can confirm on behalf of SANParks that the cause of this fire was as a result of a massive rock fall that caused huge amounts of heat and sparks to be generated when the falling boulders struck other rocks, setting the grass and leaves alight which then quickly spread up the steep slope. 

Wow. Nature is out to kill us, even when we’re not out trying to kill Nature.

I find it incredible that heat and sparks from a rockfall could trigger a wildfire, but if it could happen (which it clearly can) then bone-dry Cape Town is the perfect candidate for it right now.

As proven yesterday.