Why don’t you boys go outside and fly a kite or something?

Well after just over six months in our tiny little flat, we are finally moving somewhere a bit more permanent. We are moving next week into a real house – no more apartment living for us (we say yet again)!!!

But living on the 18th floor definitely has it advantages if you like to watch the world go by, at the moment its school holidays in Sao Paulo, so some kids in a building near us went to fly their kite.

Here is their kite:

And here are the kids:

The best thing is they are thirteen stories up, so their kite is really really really high (kids and kite highlighted):

Here they are another day, this time with an afternoon flight departing from Congonhas airport:

As you can see in that picture, they sky is quite grey on the horizon, aparently because its July, one of the driest months of the year so there is no rain to wash the pollution away.

Talking of departing flights, here is one of neighbours coming home from work (or maybe a hard days shopping, it s hard to tell from here:

Another great thing is the evening views; here is a time exposure shot I got of the evening traffic near our place (including the lights from a passing plane in the top right hand corner)…

We are really going to miss the view, but we sure aint going to miss the twenty four hour traffic noise!!


3 Responses to Why don’t you boys go outside and fly a kite or something?

  1. Ray Adkins says:

    Blue Sky Science

    Scientists of NPL’s Optical radiation measurement team, led by Dr Nigel Fox, have ensured that Expedia’s blue sky explorer, Anya, was able to observe the world’s best blue sky and unequivocally assign a set of internationally accepted colorimetric coordinates so that it can be fully defined.

    Summary Report ( PDF, 425 kB) | Full Report ( PDF, 2.28 MB)

    Anya took a spectrometer (an instrument used to measure the full spectrum of light and analysing its shape compared to standardised values) with her on her travels so that she could make measurements of the sky around the world! NPL ensured that the spectrometer was calibrated, thereby providing reliable measurements at each location. All data from the measurements made with the spectrometer, were sent back to NPL via email for processing and analysis.

    and the winner is…

    The sky colour can be specified as: x = 0.2775 y = 0.2842 and is equivalent to a “colour temperature” of 10,637 K (10,910 °C). A tungsten lamp has a colour temperature of around 3000 K. The test pictures from Brazil are shown below.

    Test pictures from Brazil

    Full Results
    The summary of the spectrometer based results, and the Best Blue Sky Ranking, is shown below. The centre of the chart shows each destination’s chromaticity coordinates, on an extract of the chromaticity diagram. The pictures around the outside show the fisheye photographs of each destination in order of which has the Best Blue sky, running clockwise around the chromaticity diagram, starting with Brazil with the Best Blue Sky and San Francisco with cloudy hazy sky!

    Summary of the spectrometer results

    The National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
    NPL is the UK’s national measurement institute and is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of all physical measurement quantities e.g. the kilogram, second and the metre. Any measurement made in the UK is ultimately traceable to NPL including light and colour.

    The concept of colour and the ability to describe it in standardised terms dates back to 1931 and is based on work carried out by scientists at NPL in conjunction with Imperial College London during the 1920s. This colour system was adopted internationally and although refined, still remains the basis of modern colorimetry. (Colorimetry is the science that describes colours using numbers, or provides a physical colour match using a variety of measurement instruments).

    If you require further information (beyond that contained in the reports above) please contact the NPL Helpline.

    Further Information on the NPL website
    Beginners Guide to Colour.
    Beginners Guide to Light.

    About NPL

  2. Greg Newman says:

    do you think that those boys kite was called Anya?
    they are right though, its definitely blue at the top, and also definitely brown around the edges in Sao Paulo….

  3. Ray Adkins says:


    Yes, I have noticed the brown edges, actually, not only me, this is a well know climatic effect in Sao Paulo during the winter months when there is very little rain.
    Everyone knows about this, you haven’t discored a big secret.
    If you followed the local news at all, you would have noticed that “Air Polution in the winter months”is mostly ALL they talk about in Sao Paulo.
    Sao Paulo has nearly 20 million people and many of them have cars, not to mention the Buses and Trucks, and during the winter months there is little rain and pollution tends to accumulate in the atmosphere above the city because the metropolitan area is surrounded by mountains which locks in the polution.
    Just rain will clean it away…so until the next rain, deep blue on the top and grayish brown in the lower layers of the sky…
    I am sure you won’t see this problem in New Zealand…


    Ray Adkins

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