Trump's Fourth Of July 'Salute to America' now includes Air Force One flyover of Mall

It's not supposed to be a political campaign ad. But it will be.

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

Easy-to-make frozen bananas for Fourth of July

A frozen Independence Day treat that’s a whole lot healthier than a Bomb Pop.

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Wonderful and weird collection of vintage patriotic and Independence Day photos

In celebration of Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., Robert E. Jackson, esteemed collector of vernacular photographs, shares a selection of wonderful and odd patriotic vintage snapshots.

"I hope these photos from my collection give a brief, optimistic pause during this patriotic holiday and show a positive and somewhat humorous side to patriotism," writes Jackson.

See more at the Humble Arts Foundation blog! Read the rest

The geometry of fireworks

“Enjoy the parabolic envelopes that form while those bright, sparkling, parabolic curves are etched into the sky tonight.”

Redneck Fireworks: DIY launcher shoots 8,500 bottle rockets

“This contraption makes an awesome firestorm.”