Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2016

If you look down, you'll see Barking

Reality TV is a genre that truly has no boundaries. Like the universe, it can only expand endlessly until eventually, one day, it collapses in on itself. We've seen reality TV shows about animals. And we've seen plenty which challenge people to try things they've never done before. But a show which challenges canine contestants to fly a plane? It was thought to be outside the Hubble bubble. Until now. This week, I watched the culmination of the Sky TV show Dogs Might Fly , which ended with a pitbull cross managing to execute a figure of eight in UK airspace. The mutts involved in the selection process - who were all rescue animals - went through an arduous training course involving makeshift simulators on the ground. Lifted up in a harness to prevent them putting too much weight on their front paws, the dogs were taught through Pavlovian-style rewards to turn the steering wheel left and right. The would-be Luftwoofe pilots were then acclimatised to the turbulence of

They would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids...

Two stories from different sides of the Atlantic recently highlighted how crime fighting and investigation really can be child's play. In the UK, cops in Surrey were astonished when a group of kids formed a human arrow to point a police helicopter in the direction of two alleged criminals. As the suspects in a farm burglary case made their way across fields to escape the arm of the law, the enterprising youngsters laid themselves on the ground to act as a signal. All it took was a quick radio message from the chopper and the fleeing men were apprehended. As a number of commentators have pointed out, it seems like something straight out of Enid Blyton's Famous Five or Secret Seven stories, to which I was addicted as a kid.  It's true to say that choppers didn't feature much in Blyton. Her young sleuths were from a bygone era in which the village bobby would have been plodding by on his pushbike. And the arrow kids from Capel were on an Easter egg hunt in the