Unedited Falcon

It’s been an amazing weekend away with my girl – some great father and daughter time – but we’re back now and we’re knackered.

I haven’t got the time or energy to work through 600+ photos at the moment, so here’s a quick shot from camera to phone to blog of a Rock Kestrel or Kransvalk that we spotted on our way back from this morning’s wander in Suiderstrand.

So… more to come at some point soon.

Flying things on flying things

I’m travelling again in a few weeks time. And it will be the first international flight I will have done since I got Florence, my little Mavic.

It’s been a wonderful few months together. I can’t imagine being without her, and so, obviously, she must come with us in September.

The rules for carrying drones on planes are pretty much universal. The danger here (such as it is) comes from the lithium ion batteries. Because of its compact size, the Mavic’s batteries are only 43.6Wh a piece. But you still need to follow the protocols, so you discharge them, you cover their terminals and you take them on in your cabin baggage.


But we are (thankfully) flying Emirates. And their rules are slightly different.

Now, Emirates are the only airline I have heard of that have this policy. I don’t understand why they need to be different, but (and I am saying this in hushed tones) I’ve never really worked out how you were allowed to take a drone on a flight anyway, given that it could be easily used as a dangerous weapon (those propellers can get up to 8000rpm). Eina.

Still, having checked with other drone owners online, there are various anecdotes about getting through DXB and not getting through DXB with a drone in your cabin and/or hold luggage. And I’m not massively happy about Florence being gooied around in a suitcase. I’ll give the airline a shout.

One thing we won’t be taking with us is the beagle. Three reasons here:

1. A week apart is good for everyone concerned (most especially me).
2. The beagle is not a falcon.
3. We’re not going to certain destinations in Pakistan.


Presumably, this isn’t just any falcon. You can’t just turn up with a falcon you snatched from your local National Park the previous day. Or with a beagle disguised as a falcon.

So majestic – see how it soars on the breeze! Such effortless grace!
[crashing sound, frantic barking, further crashing sounds]

I can’t believe you can take a falcon into the cabin, but not a Mavic.
It can even go in a cage if it needs to.

I’ll give the airline a shout.

Was This The Cause Of The SpaceX Explosion?

Remember just yesterday when I shared the video of the SpaceX Falcon vehicle exploding on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral?

I got a screenshot from that video, and I think I may have worked out exactly why the explosion took place:

Fullscreen capture 03-Sep-16 31030 PM.bmp

Look – there, just below the explosion site:

Fullscreen capture 03-Sep-16 31030 PM.bmp

Yes. A stray apostrophe.

I’ve been doing some rudimentary research and while I couldn’t actually find any instance in which a space vehicle had been destroyed by an errant semi-colon or exclamation mark, no investigation I found (Challenger, Discovery, Soyuz 11 et al.) implicitly stated that poor or incorrect use of punctuation wasn’t to blame, either.

Telling stuff, hey?

Elon Musk and Space X have always been very open about their successes and failures, inviting us to join in their programme, enjoy their triumphs and commiserate with them on their disappointments. This is, therefore, a watershed moment. Will they admit that appalling grammar caused this massive explosion or will we be fed some lies about a tube coming loose or a faulty valve or some such?

We’re watching, Elon. We’re watching.


Note: This realisation came to me on Cape Town’s elevated freeway today, above which was a dot matrix sign reading:

No if’s. No but’s.
Always buckle up.

I may have left out a hashtag somewhere – I was so shocked at the grammar, I almost crashed.