Category Archives: adventure

40 Foot Long Dragon Skull Found

A 40-foot-long dragon skull was found washed up on a British beach. Beachgoers in Dorset were surprised to come across a skull the size of a London bus. It suddenly appeared on Charmouth beach, part of Dorset’s Jurassic coast, famous for its dinosaur fossils.

Alas, it’s not a real dragon skull—it’s an ad from movie and TV streaming service BlinkBox, which is celebrating the arrival this week of the third season of HBO’s epic Game of Thrones on its site. It took a team of three sculptors more than two months to design, construct and paint the skull, which was dreamed up by Taylor Herring, the same PR company that built the giant Mr. Darcy earlier this summer.

The skull—perhaps the coolest Game of Thrones-related marketing since the dragon-shadow newspaper ad—was inspired by the scene in the series when Arya Stark discovers a dragon skull in the dungeons of King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

Tandem Skydiving

tandem skydivingI recently went tandem skydiving for the first time. There were four tandems jumping in my group. We were the first out of the plane at 13,000 feet (about 2 .5 miles high) Dropped 8,000 ft (app. 1.5 miles) at 120 m.p.h. Did a couple of circles.
Chute opened at 5,000 ft (1 mile).  Glided down with a few turns.


Here are my thoughts on the experience:

I was fearless when I jumped out of the plane, but immediately after I was free from the plane I thought “What did I just do! I just jumped out of a perfectly good plane while it was still airborne! I am hurtling toward earth at a speed of 1 mile every 30 seconds!”

“Everyone was right! Why would I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane miles above the precious ground? Wait a minute! There is a trained jumper attached to my back. At least I think he is still attached to me! Oh good! I can see one of his hands! He is making a video of this jump!”

Then I realized how great it was. I could see for miles and spinning  slowing in circles gave me quite a panoramic view. The rush was too powerful to describe. This free fall lasted about 50 seconds.

Then the chute opened!  Now the experience was different! I was no longer in free fall but drifting toward the ground. Now everything was slow (relatively) and controlled. My instructor even let me steer the parachute for a while. When we landed, my feet were raised, so he took a few steps on the landing area and we were done. It was very smooth.

The place I went to  was Skydive Phoenix inc.  I am not advertising them, but that is where I went. They have their own runway and fly zone so you don’t have to worry about other traffic.

Would I do this again?  You bet!

Skydiver vs Pilot


Skydiver vs pilot. Story is after the pictures.
skydiver1 Skydiving Accident skydiver3 skydiver4 skydive 5

This event happened at a small Florida airport when an 87 year old man was practicing his take offs and landings. A skydiving plane had just unloaded about a dozen skydivers. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?

The plane carrying the skydivers went on the local radio frequency shared by pilots and the airport to call in the usual warning –- that jumpers were in the air, so pilots in the area should exercise caution for the next several minutes.  Apparently this pilot did not pay attention to the skydiver attempting to make a landing.

Even though this looks like it could be fatal for one or both of the parties, neither was seriously injured. Even though the skydiver was flung to the ground, he was treated and released from the hospital. (He may have also needed to change his underwear).

The 87 year old pilot  showed no serious injuries but was held at the hospital for a while for observation. (and probably to change his underwear)

Ironically, the collision happened on National Parachuting Safety Day

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Skydiving adventure

sky divingA skydiving adventure is exactly what is in store for my sister in law, Josie, and yours truly.  I already purchased the vouchers. We have yet to pick a date, but it will happen sometime this month. We are looking forward to this venture. It is both scarey and exciting. Who could ask for anything more?

This is what happens, according to the website of Skydive Phoenix, where we will be going:

skydiving 2After exiting the aircraft, you free fall face first to earth at 120 m.p.h. for approximately 50 seconds. The main parachute billows open at 5000′. After the parachute opens, you have a 5-minute canopy ride, during which time your instructor assists you in steering the parachute toward the landing area. The high performance square gliding parachute lands much like an aircraft, flaring to a soft landing. After landing, your instructor debriefs you on the jump, answers any questions, and presents you with a certificate as proof of your accomplishments.

The website for Skydive Phoenix, Inc (if you are interested)

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