Day 221 – Two quite interesting maps from Reddit

Here are two maps I found on Reddit. I thought that they were quite interesting.

This first one shows you what you can see from the summit of Mount Everest.

It’s incredibly dangerous to try to scale Mount Everest: 4% of people trying to get to the top don’t come back. Because they die. And for what? Trying to find out what they can see from the top.

Er… you’re looking at what you can see from the top. Right here.

And you’re safe. Safe.

Here’s the other map.

This one is a bit more personal, because it includes Cape Agulhas. I’ve never climbed Mount Everest, but I have been to Cape Agulhas. I was there yesterday.
It’s worth noting that more than 96% of the people who go to Cape Agulhas come back. Another feather in the… er… “Cap” for the bottom of Africa.

These green lines mark the major shipping routes for the world, and you can see why we get to see so many boats going past the cottage.

Most of the stuff we see goes from Brazil to China and back again, which fits with this map.

I have no reason to believe that it is inaccurate.

I have no idea about the Mount Everest one.

Now Lily won’t deliver

I’ve been waiting a long time for Lily. If this sounds like the preface to some 1980’s synthpop hit, then that’s because it actually could be. But in this case, it’s the ubercool drone I ordered way back, when the Rand was vaguely competitive.

Since then, the Rand has gone bad, the Lily has been delayed and there has been a growing suspicion amongst many Lily orderers that we have all been part of an elaborate scam. Albeit one involving an ubercool drone.
Their communication has been excellent, which is why I have been patient. And then, finally, with the promised “summer” shipping date rapidly approaching, an email arrived, entitled:

Update: Your Lily Order

Fireworks went off, champagne was opened, and we all danced around the kitchen to Gangnam Style.
Even the beagle.

And then I opened the email:

We’re writing to inform you that tax and import restrictions will unfortunately prevent us from delivering pre-orders to your region at this time. Please know that your early support meant the world to us, and that we reached this difficult conclusion after exhausting all possibilities for secure delivery.

W – if you’ll pardon the expression – TAF?
*angry emoji here*

Yes, apparently, Africa doesn’t fall onto their list of places couriers go. In fact, neither does anywhere that’s not US, EU, Canada or Australia.

That’s an awful lot of world which is managing just fine without shipments from the US.
Well done us.

The fact that we (as a family, as a company and as a nation) regularly import stuff from the US without any problem whatsoever seems to have been missed while they were “exhausting all possibilities”. Apparently, those possibilities don’t include DHL, FedEx or UPS. For starters. And I say “for starters” because that’s where I would have started.

So is this the final nail in my Lily coffin? (Metaphorically, I mean. I don’t actually have a coffin for it. That would just be weird.) Well, I have 30 days to decide before the default option of a full refund (minus interest) kicks in.

The thing is, I’m lucky enough to have an address in the EU (until 23rd June at least, lol), but when Lily is delivered there (whenever that may be), it will be some 6000 miles… from me. And secure shipping from there is going to be expensive. Who’s going to pay for that, given that the shipping fee I paid to Lily will only get my ubercool drone to Sheffield?

I think we can guess what Lily think is the answer to that.

Colour me really disappointed.
Time for a deep think, I feel.

Here’s what you see when you track global shipping by satellite

There’s recently been a bit of interest in the satellite tracking of global transportation.

Remember when we showed you a visualisation of what the flights over Africa and the world looked like? And remember I mentioned that Marine Traffic was a great app for your mobile device? Well, combining those two ideas, gives you this:


Amazing, hey? The southern hemisphere land masses look like they’re being suspended on numerous cotton threads. And you can see why we so regularly observe big ships going around Cape Agulhas.
In addition, you can see the immense importance of the Suez and Panama Canals, and the English Channel, too.

Sadly, if you want to have this global AIS-satellite data added to your current (and free) terrestrial-based Marine Traffic portfolio, it’s going to cost you upwards of €269 (R4,000) per month. Eina!