America’s Founding History

I'm now in the final stages of prep for this tour, and I have to say that I'm rather looking forward to it. In just under two weeks we cover a little bit of the early colonies (Jamestown), The American Revolution (Yorktown), The Civil War (Gettysburg & Virginia) and The Declaration of Independence/Constitution (Monticello, Washington …

Hyperlapse Manhattan

There are no end of Manhattan videos available but this one is really something different and special. If your bandwidth allows, run in HD and full screen. I'll be there in two weeks and will need to photographically up my game if only for my self respect. https://vimeo.com/217449774

The Transamerican Rail Tour

Summer is starting to get busier - after a short rest, I'm already preparing for the next tour and this time it's the big one, the Cadillac of tours; the one that I joined for. It's some way out but so far the weather looks to be more settled than the last time I did this …

Tracks of the Deep South

My next tour leaves on Saturday - Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Houston. This is going to involve all of my favourite music! From now on I'm going to need to do a Welcome Meeting for my clients on the first morning. Nothing too fancy, just a chance for the clients to know what …

Hurt

With just over a week to go before I set off on the 'Tracks of the Deep South' Tour and I'm getting myself in the mind set with Dusk-to-Dawn Country, Blues, Cajun, Zydeco & Jazz loaded on the iPhone and streaming from room to room. I keep returning to one song. Despite all his previous excellent …

Southern Rock Reborn

Try and imagine... Bonnie Raitt is working in a recording studio when in walk the Allman Brothers Band and ask to join the set as do various Jazz & Soul session musicians. Next, add to the recipe a little of the improv feel of a good Dave Matthews Band gig, a sip from the whiskey jar of …

Amtrak Conductors

Dawn Albuquerque, New Mexico This photo caught my eye because it captures some of my favourite things about travel with Amtrak in the USA. Firstly, the metallic coach exterior; for me there is something exciting about this exterior finish which may be related to my airline background. It just looks more appealing to my eyes. Secondly, the …

Airlines: the pre-Truth industry

A compelling case for change?

Learmount.com

Airline pilots today are obliged to steer their machines according to an instrument discovered in the earth’s Iron Age: the magnetic compass. Ships’ commanders only use that these days if all else fails.

By modern navigation standards the magnetic compass is not an accurate device. An aviator flying along a magnetic meridian toward either the North or South Magnetic Pole flies “a wiggly track” according to the Geomagnetism Team of the British Geological Survey. The pilot’s magnetic compass may display a constant heading, but the aircraft relying on it follows the gently wandering vagaries of the earth’s dipolar magnetic field.

In 2011 a Boeing 737 suffered a fatal crash on approach to land because of the artificially-induced complexities of a navigation system based on Magnetic North in a digital era (detail later). All four crew and eight of the 11 passengers were killed.

Modern aviation navigation can be conducted using…

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Thunderstruck

Spain often surprises in extraordinary ways, particularly when it comes to the sheer variety and enthusiasm for displays of local heritage. Provinces throughout the country take fierce pride in their regional traditions as demonstrated here by a Galician band 'A Rondalla Santa Eulalia de Mos' playing (unexpectedly well) a cover of the AC/DC song 'Thunderstruck'. Bagpipes are …

Selfies

There isn't a place that I haven't visited where the experience hasn't been been at least slightly marred by some idiot taking a selfie. In days gone by I used to take groups around Auschwitz/Birkenau; the day I realised that it might be time to slow up was the day that I watched a man make a …

Presidential Inauguration

I don't propose to comment on the suitability or otherwise of any candidate for the Presidency. I'm not an American registered voter and when I visit the USA (which I do frequently and with great pleasure) I do so as a guest - meaning that it would be absolutely inappropriate for me to express any such views. …

“I was strolling on the moon one day…”

How quickly we became blasé about space exploration. I admired the courage of NASA and the Astronauts when I was young, and still do, so I was saddened to read of the passing of Gene Cernan. He even found time to join his fellow Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt in singing while  moonwalking - Michael Jackson, watch …

Martin Luther King Day

Each year, on the third Monday in January there is a Federal National Holiday in the USA to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. - the first national holiday to honor an individual black American. This remarkable man, a Baptist Minister, was the primary civil rights spokesman for the campaign of non-violent activism that …

Things You Never Knew… about St. Pancras Station

via 7 Weird Facts About St Pancras Station | Londonist