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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Howling Mob and Drone Surveillance at the Three Rivers Opticon

9/27/2013 #227 28m
A magnificent day for riding. Started with S at the Bastille in the early afternoon.

Stopped in the Strip District, encounted this historical marker. I had never heard of the Howling Mob or the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 (aka the Great Upheaval) before. The marker is rather interesting, I don't think it's an official State of PA writeup.




This is an image from the Aug 11, 1877 Harpers magazine, "Steeple View of Pittsburgh Conflagration" of the burning of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Union Junction, which took place in 21-22 July 1877. The phrase "the howling mob" was written by the Harpers writers, as explained by the Howling Mob Society.




The things you learn in Pittsburgh!


Rode to Lawrenceville and the BikePgh office to make a delivery and pick up some t-shirts. Checked on the ongoing Doris the Sea Serpent sculpture at the Octopus Garden.

Went to Shadyside and located this new mural at 5583 Ellsworth:


Quite by surprise, encounted this mixed-mural-sculpture on the side of the Mendelson Gallery, 5874 Ellsworth:



Saw something remarkable, my first exposure to a game changer while on the bikepath on the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, overlooking this scene:


And what caught my eye was a tiny object that flew out from the shore and over to the Duck. It was a small hobby drone, and a very nice one, even had an anti-collision blinkie. This fellow was operating it from the shore:


And this is a close-up of the device:



There were photographers scrambling to get into a good position to take pictures of the media event, but this gentleman just stood on the shore. He sent the drone out over the Duck, to a position astern the Duck for some pictures, and then he sent it out in front of the duck for the front view. I don't know if people in the crowd understood that this thing was flying over them, it really didn't make any noise.

It was my first brush with Independent Citizen Drone Ops. Certainly the local television stations had larger aircraft circling overhead a little bit higher, but this was just different to watch. It was amazing how the drone moved over crowds and the people never noticed it.


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