It is March already and this week we have helicopters behaving badly, an experiment with a gun and some live ammo and lots of other cool stuff too.
We also return to the small boating lake we visited last week where even more shocking details have emerged about the ‘rescue’ attempt which has made the British emergency services somewhat of a laughing-stock around the world.
But there are no ‘strange dad’ stories this week.
So let’s see what I have been looking at in the last few days…
The Helicopter Which Literally Shook Itself to Destruction
All helicopter pilots should be familiar with the term ‘ground resonance’ because it is a pretty scary thing when it happens.
Ground resonance, as the term suggests, only ever occurs on the ground and happens when the motion of the main rotor blades becomes unbalanced.
This unbalanced rotation can cause the helicopter to shake from side to side ever more violently until the whole helicopter simply breaks apart…just like this:
This incident happened in the northern state of Para in Brazil and the footage was taken by the Para Fire Department.
And now a funny side note…
When I saw this story I was trying to figure out a way to explain the term “ground resonance” and found this explanation in Wikipedia:
“Ground resonance is…[s]imilar in concept to the behavior of a washing machine when the clothes are concentrated at one point during the spin cycle.”
So it made me laugh when next I saw a news clip from BBC news online and the voice-over to the video said this:
“…a rescue helicopter in northern Brazil, just after landing. Quite simply it falls apart. A bit, some say, like the washing machine when the clothes are concentrated at the wrong point in a spin cycle.”
It looks like we both do our ‘research’ in exactly the same way…pity the BBC guy got the quote wrong though!
Check the report out for yourself here.
And here’s what to do if you experience ground resonance while making a popular network TV show
Given that ground resonance only occurs on the ground with the rotors spinning the emergency actions required are either to get the helicopter back into the air or immediately shut down the engine(s).
I am not a helicopter pilot but I know that shutting down the engine(s) too quickly can cause serious damage so I guess that if possible then getting the machine into the air again is the preferred course of action.
My second guess is that if a helicopter pilot experiences ground resonance then the emergency action is to get airborne again as quickly as possible.
A great example of this was captured in the opening sequence of an episode of the hit American action-adventure TV series MacGyver in 1986.
The episode opens with a helicopter landing on the roof of a skyscraper so that the passengers can get out.
However upon landing the pilot experiences ground resonance and takes immediate action to get the chopper back into the air…and the producers left the scene in the sequence intact.
You can see from the video below that he doesn’t even wait to close the passenger door before getting the machine airborne once more.
Video originally uploaded to YouTube by Airwolf SFX
You really won’t want to try this at home (or anywhere else for that matter)
It is, I suspect, something we have all done.
We buy something new and just can’t wait to try it out.
Whether it is an item of clothing, a new super-cool gadget or a bullet-proof vest we simply cannot wait to rip apart the wrappings and try it out.
Hang on did I say bullet proof vest?
On second thoughts that is something I would put right up there with car air bags and the life jackets you get on aircraft…they are firmly in the category of things I don’t want to see working in real life.
But one man sees things a little differently.
You see as soon as he bought his new bullet-proof vest he just had to put it on to test it for size…so far so good.
Then he wondered if it would really work.
It looked sturdy enough and it felt good but would it really stop a bullet?
As luck would have it he also just happened to own a gun and a video camera to record the experiment for all to see.
So he loaded the gun, pressed it to the vest and then this happened…
[Note: video owner has since removed the video from public view]
Well the experiment worked, the vest stopped the bullet but it still hurt when he pulled the trigger and the vews owner was left in intense pain for several minutes.
Being different means more than just saying you are different
What is it with traffic exchanges and surf promos?
I mean do they really work? Do they bring in more surfers, more advertisers and more revenue?
I have a feeling that many TE owners do surf promos week in and week out just because they see other TE owners doing surf promos week in and week out and they think they simply have to do exactly the same as everyone else does.
Personally I find the whole experience totally underwhelming.
Surf “x” many pages and get the chance to win $1 or $2 or $3…underwhelming.
So last week I checked an email which told of a surf promo by SiteXplosion and Top Flight Traffic.
It said this:
“Grand Prize: $50 Cash Money!!
($25 from each site to one winner)
Other Prizes: Choose from 350 Credits, 1000 Banners
or 1000 Text Ads
What To Do: Surf a total of 1000 pages at each site and
choose your credits, banners or text ads prize.
You will also be entered in the $50 drawing.
If you’re not able to surf, you can make a
purchase at each site to be entered in the
** Do both and get TWO entries in the drawing **”
Now that, I would suggest, is how to do a surf promo.
It runs until tomorrow (March 3) so you still have a time to get involved.
More shameful details emerge about the ‘man in the lake’ rescue attempt which saw 25 firemen standing around because they were not trained to enter the water.
Remember last week’s story about the man who fell into a shallow boating lake and drowned as fire and rescue teams watched from the shore because they were not trained to enter the water?
From details given at the inquest into the man’s death it appears the senior officers at the scene were more worried about breaking health and safety regulations than in effecting a timely rescue of the victim.
Now a national newspaper journalist has made a mockery of the whole affair by donning a pair of fisherman’s waterproof waders and walking out to the spot where the man was seen face-down in the water.
It took reporter Nick Constable just two minutes to reach the spot where the man was seen face-down in the water and he has no specialist training to do so.
The newsman said:
“I could feel the bottom was covered in thick sludge but beneath lay a hard, even base that was straightforward to negotiate. At no point did the depth rise higher than 3½ft, and at no point did I feel as if I was in the remotest danger.”
So why did a group of highly trained fire and rescue officers wait 30 minutes for a specialist team to arrive before any attempt was even made to recover the body?
The whole situation is made all the more absurd because the initial emergency crews arrived on the scene within five minutes.
In the 30 minutes or so which followed more and more emergency teams arrived but nobody seemed to actually do anything.
A police officer volunteered to wade in to reach the man but both the senior fire officer on duty and his own police control room ordered him not to do so.
To make matters even more absurd than they already are, this is the line up of rescue personnel and equipment sent to the scene:
- An air ambulance helicopter with a crew of three paramedics
- Two ambulances each crewed by two paramedics
- A rapid-response ambulance
- Two fire appliances and 13 firefighters
- A water support unit manned by two officers with equipment including waterproof immersion suits, personal locator beacons, thermal underwear, lifejackets, rafts, paddles and breathing systems
- A bright orange inflatable emergency tent containing medical equipment.
- A press and public relations officer.
Is it any wonder that this incident has made headlines around the world and is being held up as an example of how risk adverse the country has become?
But there is even worse to come.
The guidelines so slavishly followed by the fire crews which arrived at the scene were only supposed to apply to fast-flowing flood water and not shallow boating lakes on a calm day.
The fire and rescue authority in question knew the guidelines were drawn up for dealing with flood incidents but had decided to apply them to all water-related incidents.
I am not against ‘health and safety’ regulations in themselves but surely common sense says the approach here is utterly crazy.
British bureaucracy has always loved slavishly following rules and regulations but it must be time for a major overhaul of our attitude to health and safety if it means that 25 emergency personnel can stand around doing nothing for 30 minutes while supposedly effecting a rescue of a man in a shallow boating lake.
Story source: Mail on Sunday: The Picture that Shames Britain
With new ThumbVu it seems everyone wants to be in the spotlight
Often when you change something it is difficult to know exactly how that change will go down.
The new ThumbVu seems to have been received very well indeed and people are getting used to the new way of putting the marketer first and not the page they are promoting.
But one thing which has really taken everyone by surprise is the new Spotlight feature where people bid to be the first site seen when a user logs on.
Similar to the Site of the Day feature on sister-site Sweeva, the Spotlight feature is proving to be a massive hit with people spending up to 50,000 credits so far just to get their site seen first.
Blain Jones must be laughing out loud for snapping it up at just 2.500 credits last week and as for Darren Olander who “stole” it for just 50 credits, well if Blain is laughing out loud, he must actually be rolling on the floor laughing. lol. rofl.
Why it took me more than three hours to leave a seven sentence comment on one of my favorite blogs
Monday night was a little bid odd.
Earlier in the day I got a couple of emails from TimTech sites informing me of the two Monday online conferences they host.
This sort of thing to be precise:
As with TimTech conferences there is no rigid timetable to these things but, as a general rule of thumb, they last for about an hour or so.
TELive was interesting and I more or less listened to it in the background as I worked on other things online, pausing every now and again to give it my full attention when something particularly interesting caught my intention.
To be honest I had planned to do something similar for the hour or so that T3 was on but then events took a rather funny turn.
Quite simply the show refused to end and it was all Justin’s fault.
Jon Olson did the first hour or so of training and then Justin Ledvina started taking questions on any subject thrown at him and before I knew where I was, three hours had passed.
I felt sure that T3 would wrap up at that point and opened up a friend’s blog to comment on, but as it turns out we were not even at the half way point.
Next Justin persuaded Matt Koshko to speak on camera and the guy was seriously entertaining.
I am not sure if Matt realizes how funny it is to listen to him attempt to tell a story while constantly getting himself distracted by reading the chat function in the room but it had me hooked for another hour.
Justin then came back for another three hours of chat which included two guest appearances from Sergio Félix whose blog I was trying to comment on at the time.
There were no dramatic announcements, no script was being followed, nothing was being pitched and I will bet that not one person expected that a conference scheduled to last around an hour actually went on for nearly seven hours.
All I know is that Monday night’s T3 conference is the reason why it took me more than three hours to leave a seven sentence comment on one of my favorite blogs.
Somebody, it would appear, needs to go back to scohol.
Have a good weekend and God bless.