'Blade Runner' opening redone with aerials of illegal Los Angeles fireworks

Fireworks are illegal in Los Angeles, but that doesn't stop the whole city from shimmering with home-grown displays on July 4. Thanks to a recut by Mike Dent, KTLA's viral footage of this year's especially impressive showing looks a lot like the classic Blade Runner opening. Read the rest

LA cityscape with fireworks goes full Blade Runner

Video editor Mike Dent posted this video to Twitter showing the LA skyline on July 4th, fireworks ablaze, to the tune of Vangelis' 1982 Blade Runner soundtrack.

The footage was from KTLA.

More LA as real-world Blade Runner. [H/t Laurie Fox]

Read the rest

Government safety video reminds us that fireworks are no joke

This new safety video put out by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows the many ways fireworks can spoil your Fourth of July. But, as you're probably aware, it's good advice for any ol' night these days. In my Bay Area neighborhood, we've been hearing bottle rockets in the morning and M-80s at night. (Don't even get me started on how freaked out my kitty gets with all the loud bangs.)

Despite the heavy messages, the video is still a fun watch:

- Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.

- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.

- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.

- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

- Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.

- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

(Neatorama)

screengrab via U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Read the rest

Cannabis dispensary giving free CBD dog treats to reduce fireworks anxiety

The Toledo Hemp Dispensary in Ohio is offering free CBD dog treats this week to help reduce animal anxiety triggered by fireworks. Every treat contains 10 milligrams of CBD. Good for the dogs and for the business, it seems.

"Most people come back every year and tell their friends so they come and try it," dispensary manager Payton De Moe told 13ABC. "Most people if they try it on the first, come back and get a bag for the next few days because with it on the weekend people are going to be doing (fireworks) the whole weekend."

Ooooh. Ahhhh.

image: modified version of "Kintamani dog white" by lmk0278 (public domain) Read the rest

Pandemic-frazzled dog goes on anti-fireworks rant

As many parts of the United States have seen huge upticks in spontaneous evening fireworks, one anxiety-filled dog has finally had enough in this cute Late Show cold open. Read the rest

Crazy video of fireworks shooting from car as it's speeding down highway

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.

(via Fark) Read the rest

Visiting a China trade show for fireworks manufacturing machines

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

Brave try at world sparkler record fails on technicality in Wyoming

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

Watch the world's largest firework explode in Steamboat Springs

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:

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.

Read the rest

Watch this dazzling fire at a fireworks store

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:

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.

Read the rest

Celebrate July 4 with this classic fireworks stop motion animation!

"Fireworks," a classic by PES. Happy Independence Day!

Read the rest

Gorgeous, illustrated Japanese fireworks catalogs from the early 1900s

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. Read the rest

Senko hanabi: Japanese sparklers light the summer nights

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

Roman candles are best when held by terrified children

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

Buzzkill alert: The thousands of illegal fireworks over L.A. cause air pollution

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

Watch the insides of a firework explode in super slo-mo

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

This mini fireworks stand has real working explosives

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

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