Frederick Douglass: What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

1852: "This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day." Read the rest

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

Watch this timelapse of illegal 4th of July fireworks over L.A.

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Happy Fourth of July Timelapse Tuesday! The best fireworks are in the hood. They are technically illegal, but that doesn't stop much of the city from getting down. This is a blend of a short video and an hour long timelapse made up of 800 photos on a Rokinon 50mm and Canon 6D. The music is from my super talented friend ARWon (check my profile for his SoundCloud). . . #westcoast_exposures #WeOwnTheNight_la #wheream_i_la #intheheartofthecity #igbest_shotz #igpodium_night #ig_color #ig_masterpiece #instashooterz #ig_exquisite #ig_shotz_le #allmediumsaccepted #ABC7Eyewitness #discoverla #dtla #global_hotshotz #jaw_dropping_shots #losangeles_city #losangeles_la #longexpoelite #losangeles #lastory #best_timelapse #conquer_la #nightphotography #night_shooterz #NBC4You #heatercentral #uglagrammers #in_losangeles

A post shared by Kevin Greene (@thekevingreene) on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:02am PDT

Photographer Kevin Greene created this amazing timelapse using photographs of illegal Fourth of July fireworks going off in Los Angeles. To get the series of shots, he traveled to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook seven miles out of town.

Wondering why the city in the front doesn't have much action?

Kevin explains,"The foreground is Culver City. Culver City Police Department is super strict about fireworks. Those houses are relatively expensive and in Los Angeles the best street fireworks tend to be in the hood."

Check out all his cool night shots on his Instagram. Read the rest

Home Bartending: Celebrate July 4th with these 1776-era cocktails

Although the word "cocktail" wasn't coined until the 1800s, mixed drinks were all the rage when America got its independence. Many were made with rum or whiskey, and punch was the term du jour. Both refreshing and timeless, why not toast the weekend with these 3 smashing cocktails of yesteryear? Read the rest

Redneck Fireworks: DIY launcher shoots 8,500 bottle rockets

“This contraption makes an awesome firestorm.”

Dogs and cats hate holiday fireworks. Here are 3 tips to protect your pet on July 4th.

Advice from the Humane Society that might save your pet's life.

Can Chumbawamba be replaced with a sequel to Independence Day?

So, incredibly bummer summer news, you guys: Chumbawamba, a band that has actually been around for 30 years and became fleetingly famous for exactly one song that made sense only to people from the UK, has announced that they've broken up. And this means that something needs to fill the void of "ideas and melodies, endless meetings and European tours, press releases, singalong choruses and Dada sound poetry."

I can think of no better filler than another Independence Day movie. Who's with me? Read the rest