Showing posts with label Flying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flying. Show all posts

October 6, 2020

Awesome Hot Air Balloons


Hot Air Balloons are so awesome!

Dreamy, drifting into the sky. 

Flying away with a birds-eye view.

Looking near and far across the landscape.

To the sunrise and the sunset. 

Calm, coasting, and carried by the wind. 

Fire breathing into the balloon. 

Up, up, and away.

My beautiful, my beautiful balloon! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


Share/Save/Bookmark

January 17, 2020

Airplane Art

Why aren't airplanes really decorated like this?

It would be so much more fun to get on a plane that displayed some pizzaz!

All we hear about are plane delays, cancelled flights, mishandled baggage, and involuntary bumping.

Oh, and don't forget the ever more cramped seating and the entertainment system that is habitually broken.

How does this industry get away with all this crap? ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 10, 2019

Training With Paper Airplanes

So I was in an Agile and Scrum Management class yesterday. 

Always looking for new best practices and efficiencies for what we are doing in software development. 

We did one exercise to compare the old Waterfall methodology with Agile. 

And the instructor had us as a team build paper airplanes one way and then the other so see the difference in output and outcome. 

Lo and behold, we had almost 40 planes in agile and only 6 in waterfall. 

What you see in the photo is the testing phase: we actually had to see if they could fly at least 10 feet without taking a nosedive.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 16, 2018

Who Says Flying Can't Be More Enjoyable


This flight attendant is terrific here. 

She delivers the typical hum-drum public service announcements in a whole new way--now (maybe) you'll actually pay attention.

Smart cookie and fun sense of humor. 

Happy Friday and enjoy!

(Thank you to Itzchak Ochayon for sharing this with me)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 29, 2017

When The Wires Get Crossed

So the flight coming back from Israel was technologically challenged. 

I'm sitting toward the front of the plane...more room, that's good.

But there are a bunch of families with small children and babies...and that ends up being bad. 

The flight attendants bring out this contraption to hook up a crib device to a front wall of the plane for the parents to put the baby in to sleep. 

But there ends up being one small problem.

The overhead lights are seriously messed up.

This passenger with the baby tries to use his button next to his seat to turn the bright reading lights off--this is like row 10 or something. 

But when he hits the lights off button--instead the lights go off in row 22. 

And they stay on in his row keeping his baby awake and crying virtually the whole flight.

The stewardesses are going crazy trying to figure out where the "wires got crossed" here. 

When they go to row 22 and ask them to turn off their lights--thinking maybe that will turn off the lights in row 10 that is keeping the baby up and crying--but instead that turns off the lights further in the back of the plane in row 30-something. 

This was a really bad comedy going on this plane.

The baby keeps crying and crying.

The stewardesses keep running around trying to figure out how to get the lights working where they are supposed to be working.

And the parents are frustrated as hell trying to calm the baby and get some rest on this lengthy, cross-ocean flight. 

Needless-to-say, all the other passengers trying to get some rest weren't thrilled at this ridiculousness going on.

The plane got us home, but the electrical system didn't inspire any confidence and kept the baby (and us) up almost the entire flight. 

When you think that this was just the lights--oh boy!  

Because what if the wires had gotten crossed between something important like the accelerator and the brake instead?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 19, 2016

Flying Sneaks

We can all fly.

Not necessarily through the air.

But through life and ultimately in death, we can fight and take flight and soar. 

It is our attitude and determination to overcome the hardest of hardships that we face. 

We feel the pain for the situations where we fell, failed, and lost control over outcomes. 

People who told us what they thought we are and where we can go...our ego busted, our shame written all over us, our regret and fear over what we did or should've done differently.

We can't go back.

We can only go forward.

We can learn, and we can grow.

We can compartmentalize the problems and hurt. 

We can pick up the pieces wiser than before and more determined to succeed.

Wings are not just for angels, but also for sneakers and for souls. 

I want to fly all around the world, and more so into the heavens to see my Heavenly father and be reunited for eternity with my family and loved ones.

Fly free and wide.

Fly high and unobstructed by poverty, illness, abuse, and loneliness. 

Fly and soar beyond anything we could ever have imagined. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 8, 2016

Jet Bluing Around



(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 23, 2015

Flying Garbage

Thought this was an interesting way to get the garbage to the curbside truck.

This guy is standing in the yard of this brownstone building in the leftover snow.

Almost like an Olympian, he is picking up bag after bag of garbage and tossing them at least a dozen feet (or more).

The garbage in these big hefty bags are sailing through the air to his partner standing by the truck in the street. 

This guy must be getting quite some exercise not only lifting, but also throwing these bags all day long.

And he actually seemed to be having some fun doing it too.

Like my wife said, "What if you get hit by the garbage...ew."

Fly garbage, fly! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 19, 2014

Risk In The Eye Of The Beholder

Should I do it or is it too risky?

That's a question we ask ourselves many times a day.


- Open our mouths at work or keep a lid on it.


- Run to catch that train or bus or slow down and go more carefully.


- Eat that greasy burger and fries or opt for a salad and smoothie.


- Invest in that highflier stock or put your money in the "G" fund.


The Wall Street Journal presents risk management as both quantifiable and qualitative. 


For example, a MicroMort (1 MM, and sounds like micro fart) is "equal to one-in-a million chance of death."


An average American has a 1.3MMs chance of a "sudden, violent end" on any given day. 


However, climb to the base camp at Mount Everest (at 29K feet), that's over 12,000 MM, base jump at only 430 MMs per jump, parachute 7 MM, and go on a roller coaster at only .0015 MM. 


So there you have it--statistics tell the risk story!


But not so fast, our risk calculations also take into account our qualitative values. For example, we tend to lower the risk in our minds of postpartum depression (10-15% or higher) because we value having a baby. 


Similarly, we tend to think driving (1 MM per 240 miles) is safer than flying (1 MM per 7,500 miles) because we believe we are in control of the automobile, as opposed to a passenger jet flown by a couple of pilots. 


The result, "Scariness of an activity isn't necessarily proportionate to its risk."


That means that you can easily make a mistake and underestimate risk, because of your personality or cultural and social biases. 


Rock climb at your own risk...BUT do you really understand what that risk even is or are you driven to do something overly dangerous and maybe stupid. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 19, 2014

We Can Fly


Totally awesome viral video.

Looks like 3 flying people. 

Really they are drones in the shape of human figures. 

If only we could really fly that way--wow we!  ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 30, 2013

Up Up And Away



Had a wonderful time with Rebecca Blumenthal today.

We went air ballooning over Las Vegas. 

I was surprised at how large the balloons were and how easy the ride was--didn't even feel it when we lifted off the ground and before I knew it, we were 4,000 feet above sea level. 

I shot the video standing in the balloon as it was being inflated--never knew you could do that!

And I took the photo of the balloon with the Vegas Strip in the background--you can see the Stratosphere on the left along with the other fancy hotels and sites. 

The view from above was beautiful, the air outside was cool, but under the burners of the balloon we were warm and toasty. 

Sheldon Grauberger was a terrific aeronaut and guide today and you could see, completely, the total passion he had for this sport.

He told us how he actually trains others for free--he "pays it forward," since he was taught almost 20 years ago similarly. 

The sky, mountains, city, breeze, and peace and quiet floating overhead was so amazing. 

I sort of felt like the young boy, Pascal, in the movie, The Red Balloon.

He dreams of a better future and is carried off by the balloons into the wild blue yonder to live happily ever after, please G-d. ;-)

(Source Photo and Video: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 13, 2013

Flying Under The Ocean


This is a cool video of a new experimental swimsuit called "oceanwings."

Similar to wingsuits for BASE jumping (skydiving), oceanwings have underarm and between the leg wings or spans of material that essentially gives a person float.

With oceanwings, instead of flying through the sky, you can fly through the water.

They are made by Aqua Lung which makes and sells professional and recreational scuba diving equipment. 

For someone that loves the water, oceanwing diving looks beautiful, calming, and a heck of a lot of fun. 

Not sure in the video, how the guy is breathing under water (since they don't seem to show any sort of air tank), but maybe he is just going on bated breath. ;-)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 2, 2012

Flying Gizmo At Brookstone


I took this video of a flying drone at Brookstone at Avetura Mall in Miami. 

The drone is flying among the crowds and actually goes right over my head a couple of times--I literally had to duck (as I think the salesperson was having some fun with me recording)!

The device is called the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and sells for $299.

The drone is being controlled via wi-fi by a iPhone and also works with iPads and Droid devices.

The controlled flying as well as the stunts seemed easy to do. 

It has a front facing camera (and I think the salesperson said it has a rear-facing one too). 

You can capture the flight imagery and post the recorded video and still photos online. 

The quadricopter has stabilization controls and hull protection to keep the device safe and in the air. 

If you appreciate this technology and likes to have some fun, you may want to take this for a little spin around the yard, park, and beach. 

Also, watch out at the mall--this flying gizmo may be coming right at you. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

June 18, 2012

Flying The Miserable Skies

So I had booked up on the airline to go to the Florida Keys.

You have to go to Miami first and switch flights—it’s a two-legged trip.

But I decided after the first flight to just to stay in Miami and not go on the second flight to the Keys.

Since the flight was overbooked—not only didn’t the airlines lose anything by me not going, they actually benefited by having my empty seat for another passenger—and making money twice off of the same seat.

Yet, the airline demanded that I pay them a change ticket fee.

This is the first time that I heard of being asked to pay extra for not using a product or service.

Common sense and basic business practice is that if you don’t use something, you get a credit or refund, but the airline was actually demanding I pay an extra fee for this so called “change.”

I explained politely that I didn’t change anything and that I just wanted to be able to get home.

They said even by not getting on another flight that is a change—and as the customer service representative (and I choke on even calling him that) then went on to say, “you will pay for that mistake!”

I reiterated that I didn’t make a mistake or any change, I simply decided not to use the second leg of the trip.

I asked to see a copy of the policy or guidelines where I had to pay for not using something, but the customer rep refused this.

He may as well have said, “Who needs right, when we have might?”

Basically, it came down to, “If you want to go home, you will have to pay.”

As if this wasn’t enough, when I arrived at the airport, another airline representative made me put my rolling carry-on into the sizing device to check that it would fit in the overhead.

Dar-gone-it—I bought it specifically for just that purpose, as it was advertised—why go through this?

In the airport, in front of everyone, they made me empty my things out and put some in another bag to skinny the first--“just a little.”

Then they said, uh ha, now you have an extra carry-on we can charge you for—but I didn’t, I only had two bags, total!

Later, in the airport, I overpaid for a stale sandwich and diet soda.

And for the first time, even after going through airport security and showing my boarding pass and picture identification once, I was then asked to do it all over again—while “walking the plank” to board the flight, with suitcase and sandwich in hand. 

Not long after I sat down, an airline attendant literally shoved my seat up straight, and then reminded me put up my seat before takeoff! Yet the seat was already up—the whole time.

Another comes up and asks me if I was the one who asked about the Internet—no, it wasn’t me, but there’s another customer somewhere onboard who did ask about it—they just forget who it was—oh well.

It used to be that the airlines were just overcrowded, the bagged peanuts were skimpy, and the recycled air was nauseating, but now the flying experience is at a whole new level of yuck!

This is no way to run an industry, treat customers, or generally do business.

On the airline, the stewardess gets on the mic and says “welcome to {Blank} airlines” and hope you enjoy the ride—unfortunately, they are riding all of us. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Kuster and Wildhaber Photography)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 4, 2011

The Art of The Fearless


This was my introduction to Wingsuit Flying.
It's an extension of death-defying BASE jumping off of Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth (cliffs) with the added feature of soaring like a bird over the most beautiful terrains.
The wingsuits are bat-like jumpsuits with material stretching between the legs and under the arms enabling a user to glide through the sky, rather than free-falling straight down to the ground.














Essentially the wingsuit gives the human body the extra surface area to get the lift to fly through the sky without any mechanical devices at all or with the addition of small jet engines strapped to the feet for added thrust.
I am amazed at the fearlessness of these wingsuit fliers who jump virtually head first from unbelievable heights, fly close to the ground over extremely dangerous terrain, and only then release their parachutes toward the very end, near landing.
The other thing that impresses me about this is the beauty of this sport--the stunning places they jump from in Norway, Greenland, France and so on, the amazing, intricate colorful fly suits, the choreography of the stunts--alone and in groups--the spectacular filming of the events, and even the great heart-pounding accompanying music.
The talent, beauty, and courage of these sports enthusiasts combine to inspire me and hopefully you to go out and do great things (although hopefully not anything near as dangerous) with our lives--because these guys make it seem like almost anything is possible.
(Source Photo: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark

October 6, 2010

A Flying Boat, Machine Gun Included

New Iranian "Bavar 2" stealth flying boats with machine guns and surveillance cameras at ready.

I guess this one tops the Terrafugia flying car, if not in terms of innovation, then in terms of lethality.

Share/Save/Bookmark

September 15, 2010

Eat, Pray, Fly

Imagine your airplane flight with 40% more people than today's already crammed cabin...

(Pretty unimaginable right?)

Well check out these new airline seats called Skyriders, marketed by Italian company Aviointeriors.

The catch is that the Skyrider seats are only 23 inches narrow and passengers are expected to be in this crazy, half-sitting, half-standing "ergonomic" position for up to 2 hour flights.

The company's advice to larger size people: "You have to lose some weight!"

This certainly doesn't seem like a very customer-centric attitude, nor a very practical way to fly, no matter how much their spokesperson tries to "sell us the Brooklyn Bridge" on this one.

GONG! Back to the drawing board on this "innovation."
Share/Save/Bookmark