For some reason, it seems that I like planes. Not in a Let’s Go And Stand At The Airport For Days On End And Note Down Their Registration Numbers way, but definitely in a Since We’re At The Airport Let’s Go And Have A Coffee Somewhere We Can See The Runway From way. It’s an interest, not an obsession.

Of course, the only obsessive bit of this interest is the Airbus A380. Scarce in Cape Town thanks to our thin taxiways, but always a pleasure to get on in Dubai and go to Manchester. This (mild) obsession resulted in me following British Airways A380 pilot Dave Wallsworth on twitter. I mentioned this to you on here almost two years ago.

Captain Dave  has now released a pair of YouTube videos showing exactly how an A380 takes off and lands. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, in that it’s 10 minutes (each time) of real time footage, and it seems that aside from a few short words and actions, the crew don’t actually seem to do very much*, but it’s also annotated so that each thing that they do do is explained clearly.
If you have some spare time (and who doesn’t in early January?), it’s worth a watch:

And then, should you so wish, there’s the landing to look at as well.
WARNING: You will end up in Johannesburg at the end of this particular video.

One thing I did notice in both videos is that there’s an awful lot of looking out of the windows, presumably for other planes. I’m not sure if I find this comforting or not. Sure, a final check left before heading onto the runway seems like a pretty good idea, but should it really be necessary? I suppose that it takes minimal effort and it could make a huge difference, but I do wonder if it ever has. A bit like me looking left when turning onto the dual carriageway this morning, so as not to hit the utter twat of a cyclist going the wrong way. (An incident that was apparently entirely my fault with only a few months until the Cycle Tour, obvs.)

Having flown on these beasts several (or more) times, albeit never on a BA one or into Joburg, it’s really interesting to see what happens up front when we’re sitting in the back having our headphones and blankets collected and trying to find where our shoes have disappeared to.


* almost certainly because they’ve done an awful lot of things previously to make sure that they actually don’t have to do very much during this ten minutes.

Cape Town Stories 2017

I shared this video earlier on Twitter, but I’ve decided that I want to pop it on here too.

I’m not a huge Casey Neistat follower, although he does have a bloody nice drone [Ed: soon!!!], but I think that one has to admire what he has achieved in this weird, new media space that has recently appeared.

For a guy who really shouldn’t be at all down to earth, he’s remarkably… well… down to earth. His wife is South African, and thus they come over to Cape Town for summer each year. Herewith, his Cape Town Stories 2017 video, featuring some great shots of the city and a chilled few days over Christmas.

I really can’t see this sort of exposure doing our tourist industry any harm whatsoever… Nice.


Admission time: I’m an avid subscriber to Fail Army on Youtube. It’s pathetic, puerile stuff, but it’s also 10 minutes (or so) of mindless mindlessness each week. And it’s also a reminder not only that there are more stupid people than you out there, but also that they’re stupidly recording their stupidity. Double whammy.

This Tuesday’s offering was a compilation of stairs-related mishaps, and began with what remains the single most winceworthy and painful moment they’ve ever broadcast, of a BMX guy jumping down some steps and landing face first on the concrete floor at the bottom. Gravity wins again.
What quickly became evident, however, was that while this clip had previously stood out as being one that nearly made you revisit your last meal, there were plenty more where that came from. This was definitely the most painful episode they’ve ever done.
See if you can watch this all the way through without looking away or grimacing. (Pro Tip: You can’t.)

There now. Don’t you feel superior? And healthy?

That’s the power of comparing yourself with idiots. (And/or wearing a helmet.)

Powerful ad uses ‘Skip Ad’ box to highlight ex-cons’ issues

This is very clever. Link (Note: video will start automatically on the page).

It’s a fake YouTube video, with the usual ‘Skip Ad’ box appearing in the corner after a few seconds:

The video appears to be an ad with a young ex-convict stating his case for getting a job. After five seconds, the usual Skip Ad button appears, but should a viewer choose to click the button, the video will merely start over again. Each time the button is pressed, the candidate becomes more despondent and desperate in his plea to have someone listen to him. Should viewers choose not to skip and hear his whole message, they will see him grow increasingly confident as he speaks about getting a job.

It’s worth looking at a few times, clicking and not clicking the button, just to see the effect on the actor. It’s a very clever and innovative method of getting a message across, using something that we see every day and – let’s face it – use almost 100% of the time, in order to ignore what the advertisers want to tell us.


The idea is to promote the Ban The Box initiative, which aims to get the Previous Convictions box removed from job applications forms. Leo Burnett, the brains behind the campaign, have used the parallels between the Skip Ad box and the difficulties that ex-convicts face when trying to get employment to produce a really powerful and thought-provoking ad.

Nice work.

Youtube videos not playing on Chrome – Solved

I’ve been having a few issues with Youtube videos not playing in my Google Chrome browser. Instead, I just get a black screen and misery. I could, however, get those same videos to play on Internet Explorer.

This situation was beginning to irk me, so I did some rudimentary exploration around my Chrome place and found out that it was a Flash player plugin conflict which was causing the problem.

Having found that out, this is how I solved it.

  • Check your plugins by typing chrome://plugins/ into the URL bar.
  • Look for the Adobe Flash Player plugin. You may see that it says (2 files) after the plugin name. Therein lies your problem:


  • I found that the easiest way around this was to Disable one of those files.
  • To do that, look to the top right hand corner of the plugins tab and click the little + Details link.
  • This will open up the individual files each of which will have a Disable link.
  • Choose one to disable and… er… disable it. It will become greyed out.
  • Restart your Chrome browser and test by looking at a page with a Youtube video on it.
    Like this one, for example.

And there you go. Please leave thanks, comments and cold, hard cash in the comments section below.

Happy Youtubing.