Vintage Chinese firecracker label-art

MrBrickLabel has a Flickr set of absolutely gorgeous vintage Chinese firecracker labels.

I have been collecting firecracker and firework labels since I was 5 years old (1968). I appraise, buy, sell and trade firecracker labels. Everything you see here could possibly be for trade. I will try to post everything eventually. Hopefully more collectors can do the same and we can use this as a trading and sharing tool...

My Collection of Chinese Firecracker Labels

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Switzerland is one gigantic booby-trap

Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG has been exploring the bizarre world of Swiss self-destructing infrastructure, documented in La Place de la Concorde Suisse, John McPhee's "rich, journalistic study of the Swiss Army's role in Swiss society." It turns out that the Swiss Army specifies that bridges, hillsides, and tunnels need to be designed so that they can be remotely destroyed in the event of societal collapse, pan-European war, or invasion. Meanwhile, underground parking garages (and some tunnels) are designed to be sealed off as airtight nuclear bunkers.

To interrupt the utility of bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, Switzerland has established three thousand points of demolition. That is the number officially printed. It has been suggested to me that to approximate a true figure a reader ought to multiply by two. Where a highway bridge crosses a railroad, a segment of the bridge is programmed to drop on the railroad. Primacord fuses are built into the bridge. Hidden artillery is in place on either side, set to prevent the enemy from clearing or repairing the damage...

There are also hollow mountains! Booby-trapped cliff-faces!

Near the German border of Switzerland, every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and to the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides are ready to slide...

Read the rest

HOWTO: "Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives"

As the Forest Service makes ready to explode a cabinfull of frozen cows, we could all benefit from refreshing our frozen livestock explosion know-how with this official USDA Forest Service memo, "Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives."

The following examples illustrate partial obliteration (dispersion) for a horse that weighs about 1,100 pounds (453.6 kilograms). In the first example, urgency is not a factor. Perhaps a few days are expected before the public is to visit the area, or perhaps bears will not be attracted to the carcass. In any case, in this example, dispersion is acceptable. [Figure 1]

Place 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) of explosives under the carcass in four locations (Figure 1). The carcass can then be rolled onto the explosives if necessary.

Place 1 pound (.45 kilograms) of explosives in two locations on each leg.

Use detonator cord to tie the explosives charges together.

Use water bags to hold the explosives close to the carcass if it is impractical to place charges under the carcass, for example when the carcass is laying in water.

Horseshoes should be removed to minimize dangerous flying debris.

Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives

(via JWZ) Read the rest

Forest Service contemplates exploding remote cabin full of dead frozen cows before they thaw

An AP story describes a plan to explode a group of frozen cow-carcasses in a remote mountain cabin in Colorado. The cows, which were roaming free in Gunnison National Forest, were caught in a cold snap and sought shelter in the cabin. Now that the thaw is coming, there is no easy way of getting them out of their frozen death-chamber. If the cows are allowed to thaw and decompose, they could contaminate the forest's hot-springs; and bringing in trucks would violate the forest's preservation rules. The plan, then, is to explode the cows while they are still frozen, turning them into manageable frozen chunks that can be more readily removed.

Carroll praised the Forest Service for trying to remove the animals while doing the least damage. He said burning down the cabin or packing out the carcasses are probably the best solutions.

"They need to use the minimal tool to get the job done. They don't want to leave the land scarred," he said.

Segin said the Forest Service occasionally uses explosives to destroy carcasses of animals that can't be retrieved.

"We've used them as a means of disposal to remove dead horses, elk and other animals in areas where it's impossible to get them out," he said.

Forest Service Considers Blowing Up Frozen Cows That Died Inside Of A Colo. Mountain Cabin

(Image: Cold water fountain, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from sbeebe's photostream)

(via JWZ) Read the rest

G20 hacker: cops dig up back yard in space-suits

Denise Balkissoon reports on a new twist in the trial of Byron Sonne, the Toronto security researcher who's been trapped in a kafkaesque nightmare ever since he was arrested on a raft of stupid "terrorism"-charges related to his efforts to point out that the billion-plus-dollar G20 security emperor had no clothes. Denise writes:

Byron Sonne (G20 Hacker) case got reopened for 60 minutes this week, so the Crown could terrify us with the knowledge that he had more potassium chlorate than they thought. It was dug up out of his old backyard during a media circus last week. They said they were going to explode it, but it didn't explode, so instead they made a boring fire.

Crown Attorney petitions to re-open Byron Sonne trial

(Thanks, Denise)

(Image: cropped, downsized thumbnail from a larger image by Tyler Anderson/National Post) Read the rest

Exploding manure terrorizes America's hog farms

The manure pits on pig farms across the United States have been invaded by a mysterious foam—at Ars Technica, Brandon Keim describes it as "a gelatinous goop that resembles melted brown Nerf". It's probably the byproduct of some kind of biological process, though nobody knows exactly what. The larger problem, though, is that the foam is rather explosive. Read the rest

HOWTO farm with dynamite, the Art Nouveau edition

Lakelady sends us, "a complete online text for how and why farming with dynamite is a good idea written by E.I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Company. Published in 1910. Note the lovely art nouveau embellishments on some of the pages."

Farming with Dynamite Read the rest