Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July

So we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the fourth of July. So how does that equate with fireworks? Does anyone know why they connect?

Fireworks are crazy to begin with. Who even thought of inventing that? I bet that was one of those inventions created by accident. Bright explosions in the sky... isn't that too similar to warfare, something we try to avoid (or try to avoid, for the most part...)?

Wikipedia has given me some insight on fireworks, however. They were first used in China to ward off evil spirits with their loud sound. They made their way over to America with the early settlers. They were used for celebrations and after battles. When America first celebrated Independence Day in 1777, they had a fireworks display. So maybe it's just tradition to always have fireworks on July 4th. Even George Washington's inaugeration had fireworks. Interesting huh? I wonder how simple they were back then compared to the elaborate display today.

Anyway, enough of history. I was curious about pyrotechnics and those who are in charge of fireworks shows. Is that someone's full-time job? I wouldn't even know where to hire someone to put off a fireworks show. They must earn a certain permit to perform (since fireworks are illegal in New York State), so how does one get this permit? Does one need any schooling or training? And how would one get that? Is this enough to support someone with a job? Or is it part-time?

And, are these harmful in any way to the environment? I mean, they're giant explosions in the air. They have to be harming something, right?

The shows all seem very organized. I bet each firework is called a different name that gives away the kind of explosion it will give off after it explodes. I'm just amazed at the technicality, even though it seems like simple explosions, one after the other. They're exciting shows, and you want them to go on forever. I could watch fireworks every night, but they're good treats. When I watched a psychological study on the History Channel (or Discovery Channel, but same difference), the study showed that brain stimulation jumps to an insane amount when we watch fireworks. The needles skyrocketed. So fireworks really are exciting to the human mind!

My favorite ones have to be the gold ones that explode and hang down like willow trees. Last night, they had a firework that erupted into little parachutes that sailed down the sky until they hit the water. They were lit up at the top and flashing. It was so creative. The fireworks with the bonus follow-up fireworks are awesome too. It's a surprise when you don't expect it!

And, so many people are proud to hang up American flags. It's not a bad thing. There is a lot of patriotism in this country, especially after 9/11. I saw a couple people dressed in military uniform too. This country is proud of their Independence Day. It is one of the most ignored holidays (meaning not celebrated by its citizens), in my opinion anyway, but a lot of people DO take it seriously and celebrate it. What do you think? I'm just throwing out ideas here.

So, for whatever reason celebrating independence has to do with fireworks, it's still cool by me. It's an excuse to have a summer party to drink beer and grill hamburgers and hot dogs and watch a cool fireworks display. Especially when they're set off over the water, as I watched last night in Lake George, they're incredible. And if you live near Lake George, don't go to their fourth of July celebration. The traffic is just not worth it. Repeat: don't go. Not worth it. Seek fireworks elsewhere.

So what do you think of this celebration? And what do you think of fireworks? Which are your favorites?

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