Drone Usage by London Residents – Is it Right or Wrong?

These days, more and more London residents are utilising drones in the city. These compact flying machines are unmanned and their increased usage does bring up some troubling questions. Typically, drones will be used by private citizens or companies, and, currently, 160 drone licenses have been granted by the industry’s governing body, the CAA.

Are Drones Good or Bad?

The primary concern about drone usage by London residents is safety-related. In other words, will these drones crash or fly too low and then cause damage to people, property or possessions? Since the price of drones is decreasing as technology evolves, the issues surrounding the usage of drones within city limits is one that may become even more contentious in the future, as more and more citizens and firms turn to drones for an array of reasons, from recreation to information gathering and beyond. Currently, those who fly drones outside of restricted airspace will be subject to penalties from law enforcement.

Those who fly unmanned drones in London and other parts of the UK may be arrested for threatening public safety and flouting privacy laws. One male who used a drone in order to do a fly-by over a crowded football stadium in Manchester City was recently apprehended by authorities, mostly due to safety concerns. This alarming trend is likely to continue. However, drones do have the capacity to aid public health and safety. Currently, certain police departments use these unmanned flying machines in order to hunt down suspects. For example, a car thief who was hiding out in Leeds was caught when a drone located him via sophisticated thermal imaging technology.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

hiking-challengeIt’s amazing what the human body can endure when you set a goal, motivate yourself with a higher calling, and push forward with a group of like-minded people.

At least that’s what I learned when I jumped headfirst (completely untrained and honestly a little bit out of shape) into the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge this past summer.

An organized hiking effort in Yorkshire that covers 24 miles and more than 3000 feet of climbing, this isn’t exactly your everyday walk in the park or scroll down to the corner shop to buy some tea.

No, this is an effort for serious athletes and amateurs that want to push their body just as far as they can for a great cause. Everything sold and all of the proceeds for the event go directly towards the British Heart Foundation and the amazing work that they do all over the UK for children and adults dealing with heart health issues.

What have I gotten myself into?

That was the first question rushing through my brain after I hit the enter button and registered to attend the event in 2014. In hindsight I could have made it easier on myself by getting into shape before hand.

I had never hiked 24 miles before, had certainly never climbed 3000 feet previously, and didn’t even own a pair of hiking boots! In fact, the farthest that I’d ever “hike” was up to the top of the hill during a festival so that the girl I had just met and I could enjoy a little bit of time away from our group of friends on a blanket together.

Obviously, I needed to start off with the right gear

Jumping on Amazon, I combed all of the different reviews for hiking boots and other hiking supplies understanding that if my feet were going to be so important for this endeavour I had better get them the very best of the best.

I read maybe 100 or more different reviews before I even started to pay any attention to the products they were reviewing, just so that I could soak up the key criteria that I should focus on. Most people talked about fit, comfort, durability, and support – so that’s where I based my purchase off of.

Starting back at the first page of results, I went through each and every one of the top 30 different hiking boot options (what can I say, I’m dedicated), looking specifically for hiking boots that people fell in love with for fit, comfort, durability, and support.

I found a pair I was happy with (and a pair that wouldn’t cause my bank account to break wide open after I bought them), and then grabbed a couple of pairs of socks, some good shorts and athletic wear, and got ready for my voyage.

The actual event itself was amazing

First of all, if you’ve never undergone the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, you’ll have a chance to do so in 2015 – and you need to do it!

Armed with a compass and map, you’ll be able to navigate rocky paths that wind through the countryside, boggy and swampy areas, and even straight up (or what felt like straight up) climbs like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.

Thanks to my new boots everything went off without a hitch, and while I (understandably, I think) quite sore still it’s an experience that I wouldn’t have traded for anything.

The fact that my registration fee (as well as everyone else’s) goes towards the British Heart Foundation is just icing on the cake!

Why Everyone Should Have An Old School House Party

There is nothing better than a large, mildly-loud house party along the beautiful streets of London. House parties are great for reconnecting with old friends and building friendships with new. But even more, house parties are a great opportunity to remember to the good ole’ days through music.

Old school music, London, and Friends – the perfect mix for a great school reunion party. To prevent confusion, the party was held on Friday night, while the reunion was scheduled for Saturday night. That was literally the entire idea behind my roommate and mine’s last house party. The atmosphere was laid back but exciting and featured the biggest names from London’s historic rockers. We based the idea around the 80’s and 90’s, since that was the last time either of use remembered actually feeling young.

An Ode To The Flip Flop

There was a whole lot of awesome at that party, but the thing I can most clearly remember (which is saying something) was our awesome DJ. After a lot of debate on the subject and some pretty sketchy reviews from friends about their past DJ experiences, we decided to go for the unknown and hire somebody off of Craigslist. We figured worst case scenario we get murdered after the party ends. The DJs name was intriguing, DJ Blue Snow. First off, how does that not just rock.

About fifteen minutes early, a woman showed up sporting some of the best 80s rave girl clothes I have ever seen complete with a side ponytail. I offered to help her carry in what I only assumed was a couple thousand pounds of DJ equipment but what really turned out to be an awesome laptop and just a few additional boxes.

As she set up I couldn’t help but ask her questions about her line of work. She showed me her software, the Atomix  VirtualDJ Pro which looked to be about the most complicated but wholly awesome thing ever invented. She slung around a couple of 80s old skool tunes that made me swoon and before long guests started to arrive.

You Say Permit Like I Should Know What That Is

Shockingly, we actually did have a permit. I mean, we already dated ourselves by saying we were young in the 80s, we know how local government works. We rent our house, had gotten permission from the Landlord (who when the cops showed up was ruling a Keg Stand) and had filled out the paperwork. Our party not only rocked, it was fully sanctioned. Something a more sober version of my roommate would have explained to the nice officer. Instead, he pretended to speak only Russian, or what I assume he thought sounded like Russian, however was much closer to Dolphin Speak. I do have to give the cop credit though, he was endlessly patient.

A Happy Ending

I can honestly say that our party the night before blew the actual reunion out of the water. Our DJ was better, we learned to speak dolphin, and there was alcohol – We were proud.


North London Mugging Leaves One Man Severely Injured

A young man considers himself to be quite lucky after his mugging at knife point. The incident occurred on Bordesley Green during the early morning hours on Thursday, when the 34 year old man was walking back to his flat after visiting with friends and family.

The man did not notice anything amiss as he was walking, but remembers that a lone man wearing dark trousers, a dark long sleeve tee, and black tennis shoes approached him from the opposite direction.

“I did not notice anything suspicious about the man as he approached, I just thought we were walking in the same area”.

However, when the man was quite close to him, the mugger reached out to yank on his laptop backpack. When the young man refused to give the bag up, the robber pulled a large knife out of his trousers, and told him to hand it over.

The victim continued to fight with his attacker in an effort to protect his belongings, and try to get the knife away from the attacker, but to no avail. The victim explained that within seconds the attacker stabbed him several times, including in the arm, thigh, and finally in his chest, which resulted in the victim releasing his laptop backpack.

The victim is currently receiving treatment for his wounds in hospital due to the large amount of blood lost during the attack. The victim lost a brand new laptop, as well as a rather large sum of money, jewelry, and other valuables that he was carrying in his backpack.

The victim is still considered as being in critical condition, but was in good spirits when we spoke with him earlier today. He said that he is “thankful for his life, but hopes that the attacker will be caught so that his belongings can be recovered.”

Police are requesting information

Police are urging anyone with information to come forward to prevent this kind of attack on other innocent people. Due to the sudden increase in muggings across North London as of late, officers are also stepping up their nighttime patrols. Additionally, they are urging people to make sure that they remain alert and aware of their surroundings, and try to ensure that they always travel with at least one other person when walking at night.

The increase in muggings in this area is leading many to wonder whether it is the same man, or group of people who are carrying out these attacks. There have been several victims who were stabbed during their muggings, and each was carrying a laptop backpack or similar carryall. Police in the area are hopeful that they will figure out who is responsible for these attacks, before anyone else is seriously injured or killed.

If you have any information concerning this or any of the other attacks that have taken place lately, you are urged to contact police so that these muggers can be apprehended before they cause any more injuries or worse.