Gavle Goat is on Fire!

Gävlebocken brinner 27 dec 2015

Gavle goat burning the dec 27 2015. A red letter day, as far as goat burning goes.

Yay! The old goat caught on fire today, happy days (for me). According to the webcam time, the goat was set ablaze some time between 03:13:24-03:13:30, because the webcam is updated every five seconds.

Let me start by saing that I have been looking forward to this since last november when I set up my Python script. The reason I did it was to fetch the images from the Gävlebocken webcam and to record it burning. Because it didn’t burn last year, I had to come up with other things to do with the 30GB of image data I had on my drive.

To see what I did, see deconstructing-the-gavle-goat. The goat itself is built using straw on a metallic skeleton. The city of Gävle have tried to add flame retardant chemicals to the straw, but somehow those things never work. The goat weighs 3.6 tonnes and it is 13 meters tall. I have never seen it in person, but I might someday.


Last year I had some problems with my script, for instance, I had to downgrade the browser to Firefox version 31, which is just a hassle because some addons don’t support version 31. I also had to refresh the browser now and again, otherwise it would get stuck and only save the same frame over and over. This is probably due to the library I was using and not the server sending me the images. To circumvent this I added a refresh code in my script.

This time I also used a virtual machine, Ubuntu. In this way I don’t care about which version of Firefox I use, because it is in a virtual machine. By doing this I noticed another issue. If you move files using “shared folders” in a virtual machine, the EXIF metadata is overwritten on the host. This means, I have “no” clue when the images was taken. I had no space left so I decided to move the files to my other disc from the virtual machine and I realized that all the files metadata was updated to “today”. A copy in this case is simply “create file on host, copy the data from guest, delete file from guest”. I already have the correct order for each file, because of the naming, but I’m unable to use my Matlab script to create the sub directories, like I did last year. For the next version I will simply put the date in the name of the files, much simpler.

Anyway, I got my burning goat and I made a short video. Enjoy and leave a “like”:

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