On Friday night, someone driving on a Saskatoon, Canada highway was sure having a blast. Watch the CTV News video above.
According to the newscaster, "Saskatoon police have not confirmed whether they are investigating." At least they haven't confirmed that they aren't investigating.
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Above, a visit to a building in Liuyang, China where stacks of roman candle tubes and pop-its cover the floor. This is a fireworks machine trade show, where companies purchase contraptions for cranking out explosions of all kinds. Liuyang is commonly known as the fireworks capital of China. Here are some of the captivating machines that make (or break) July 4th and New Years Eve in the US.
(Props to Tasick Media on YouTube)
And as a bonus, here's a video of another machine that was used for manufacturing M-80s before they were outlawed in the US in 1966 (unless you have a license):
(Credit goes to displayfireworks1 on YouTube) Read the rest
In Wyoming, an attempt to break the world record for the most sparklers lit at one time failed on a technicality. Bummer. Read the rest
The night sky looked like day for a few moments at Colorado's Steamboat Springs Annual Carnival Saturday night with the world's largest firework on record.
From The Denver Post:
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At 7:56 p.m., fireworks expert Tim Borden successfully captured the world record for the largest single firework when the 2,797-pound behemoth illuminated the crowd during the Night Extravaganza at the annual Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.
The 62-inch shell was launched from a 26-foot long mortar from atop Howelsen Hill, reaching nearly a mile in the air when it detonated, putting on quite the show.
A fire outside Davey Jones Fireworks and the House of Fireworks in Fort Mills, South Carolina resulted in a massive and unexpected fireworks show. From WCNC:
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According to Capt. Jeff Nash with Flint Hill Fire Department the fire began at around 5:45 a.m. and started in the Connex Storage containers. Nash said those containers had dozens of cardboard boxes holding fireworks.
Deputies confirmed the storage units where the fire started belonged to Davey Jones Fireworks. The cause of the fire was under investigation, and no injuries were reported.
Deputy Fire Marshal Charles Williamson told NBC Charlotte that they believe the fire was intentionally set.
According to officials, because of all of the explosives, it took crews about 45 minutes to put out the fire.
"Fireworks," a classic by PES. Happy Independence Day!
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The Yokohama Board of Education has posted scans of six fantastic catalogs from Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks, dating from the early 1900s. The illustrated catalogs are superb, with minimal words: just beautiful colored drawings depicting the burst-pattern from each rocket.
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Summer in Japan isn't summer in Japan unless there are fireworks—and lots of them. Cities and towns, temples and ports; somewhere near you, on one of these hot and outrageously humid summer nights, there will be a fireworks show. It will be loud, and it will be incredible.
The quiet side of summer pyrotechnics, though, is called senko hanabi. Senko in Japanese meaning an incense stick, and hanabi (literally flower fire) is the word for fireworks. The senko hanabi is one cool little dude with a lot of meaning and charm packed into a very short and very serene ten seconds.
First, one of these delicate sparklers looks like a roughly 20 centimeter long, tightly twisted, rainbow-colored piece of tissue paper, with one end not so tightly twisted. That’s the top. There’s no stick inside, so the way to burn one is to pinch the top, holding the senko hanabi vertical, while you light the bottom. After a second or two, a molten bubble will form. Here’s where you have to have a steady hand. If you’re not careful, that tiny shimmering ball of fire will drop off and the show is over. If, however, you can hold it very still, you will be able to enjoy the serene, mesmerizing, indeed almost hypnotizing beauty of a Japanese senko hanabi.
This beauty is divided into five stages that go like this:
1. Bud. The fire bubble looks like the bud of a flower.
2. Peony. When the first burst of sparkles appear, breaking the surface of the tiny molten ball, the shape is said to look like a peony. Read the rest
Give your kids Roman candles to use in a confined space. What could go wrong?
Sure, they might drop them in terror. Yeah, the sparkling, white-hot explosion of entertaining color that pours out of the firework could cause them life-altering injuries, but it’s totally cool. Just enjoy the colors.
Enjoy. Those. Colors. Read the rest
It brings me no joy to write this, as I love me some fireworks (including the amateur ones) on the Fourth of July. However, it seems the thousands of (mostly illegal) fireworks set off over Los Angeles each Independence Day are causing bad air pollution.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Americans’ fervor for Fourth of July fireworks has some unfortunate side effects.
There’s a jump in fires, gruesome injuries and runaway pets spooked by the noise.
But there’s also a more widespread hazard from the yearly outburst of pyrotechnics: It spikes air pollution so sharply it becomes dangerous for everyone to breathe.
Independence Day and July 5 consistently have some of the worst air quality of the year. With so many fireworks going off at once, levels of fine-particle pollution — a stew of tiny, lung-damaging specks of toxic soot, smoke and ash known as PM2.5 — surge several times higher than federal health standards across Southern California, air monitoring data show...
Fourth of July pollution may pose even greater risks compared with typical smog because it contains higher concentrations of toxic metals like barium and copper that are used in fireworks to generate bright colors, said Jun Wu, a professor of public health at UC Irvine who has studied the effects of air pollution.
Previously: Watch this timelapse of illegal 4th of July fireworks over L.A. Read the rest
Ever wonder what the inside of a giant firework looks like as it explodes? This super-slo mo footage shows what happens when a shell that's been cut in half gets lit. Read the rest
Not sure what inspired Mav Vasquez to craft this miniature fireworks stand but I'm glad he did. He not only took the time to make each tiny papercraft firework look realistic, he also made them fully functional. Yes, each one is packed with powder and blows up!
Want to make your own? See his behind-the-scene photos over at Imgur.
Though, for $155, he'll make a replica of the stand for you (although its fireworks won't be functional).
(MAKE) Read the rest
Brimstone & Glory is a new documentary about the annual National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, a ten-day orgy of sparks and sulfur. Almost everyone in town manufactures fireworks, so the festival is beyond the beyond. Read the rest
Japan's many summer fireworks festivals have inspired enthusiasts who specialize in photographing hanabi (literally "flower-fires"), and Keisuke is emerging as an Instagram favorite thanks to works like these. Read the rest
Last year, MIT News editor Maya Weinstock submitted her Women of NASA minifigures design to LEGO Ideas. LEGO has just approved the idea and laster this year or early 2018 will release an official minifig set of these five inspiring women in science:
Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist: While working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. She is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.
Katherine Johnson, mathematician and space scientist: A longtime NASA researcher, Johnson is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon.
Sally Ride, astronaut, physicist, and educator: A physicist by training, Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences.
Nancy Grace Roman, astronomer: One of the first female executives at NASA, Roman is known to many as the "Mother of Hubble" for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA's astronomy research program.
Mae Jemison, astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur: Trained as a medical doctor, Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.
(via Laughing Squid)
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Set off in Zurrieq, Malta late last year, this impressive chain-reaction firework is believed to be the biggest single firework ever, although it’s rivaled by a display in Kounosu, Japan from 2014. The Daily Mail has more details about the Matla display. YouTube user Janet Reed originally captured the massive single firework as well some of the show around it (the single firework begins at 1:36):
[via maria-ruta.tumblr.com] Read the rest