Happy 4th Of July

July 4th, 2009
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Independence day! The day the US declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. Of course, it would be a bit longer before that Independence was actually won. Traditionally celebrated with barbecues and fireworks. Many a schoolboy has blown his hand off on this day in recognition of all this country stands for, and also dangerous amateur use of explosives.

My favorite joke for this time of year: If you’re an American, ask a non-American friend, in a rather naive kind of way “Do they have the fourth of July in The UK/Canada/Australia/Japan/Other country?”

When they respond that of course they don’t, it is, after all, the celebration of American independence and therefore they wouldn’t have it in other countries, you can respond “Oh, wow. That’s really weird. So they have the 3rd of July and the 5th of July but not the 4th? What happens? Do they have two third of Julies or two fifths? Or do they just go into some kind of time warp and skip the day entirely?”


This entry was posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009 at 2:01 pm and is filed under Announcements, History, media, Misc, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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13 Responses to “Happy 4th Of July”

  1. 1
    DV82XL Says:

    To you and all of my American friends, a very happy Fourth of July. Your country has been a beacon for democracy throughout the world, and even those of us like Canada, and Australia that won our independence diplomatically only did so because you had previously demonstrated the magnitude of the error in trying to stop it militarily.


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  2. 2
    Kirk Sorensen Says:

    Happy birthday America! I miss you as I sit in the midst of your former colonial masters… *sniff*

    Everything I achieve in my life I owe to brave men and women who went before me and threw open the doors of liberty, often at the ultimate price…


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  3. 3
    Chem Geek Gregor Says:

    Happy 4th.

    If you want to see the ultimate in tokenism, the bastard kill joys of the world are trying to make everyone feel bad about enjoying fireworks on the 4th (or ever):

    http://www.greenandsave.com/green_news/green_science_and_technology/fireworks_produce_over_60000_tons_of_emissions_each_year_in_

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Science/story?id=7996623&page=1

    Yeah… complaining about the co2 from fireworks. meanwhile plants are burning thousands of tons of coal per day. Could you possibly imagine a smaller contributor from humans than fireworks? It’s probably lower than cigarette lighters or patio touches. What’s next? Birthday candles are too sinfully co2-producing to use.

    Also, that crap about “toxic” and “harmful” chemicals from fireworks is bull**** as well. Barium is found in fireworks, but it is after all, found in the enviornment and plenty of places have barium compounds in their soil to begin with. These amounts are pretty trivial in the enviornment even compared to other activities. Coal burning would be the big one (it releases nearly every toxic element you can think of).

    Will these self-appointed fun-police ever lay off of ANYTHING? Jesus Christ! It’s just once a goddamned year and with all the crap going on now from economic problems to political turmoil, for christ sake, please just let everyone enjoy the damn fireworks without being made to feel guilty about it!


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  4. 4
    Giant Pulsating Brain Says:

    Hope everyone had a happy 4th.

    In response to Chem Geek’s comment:

    Where the hell is this going to end? Going to see a fireworks display for the 4th or for any other occasion is an example of good clean fun, especially for families. It’s something that everyone can enjoy regardless of income and having a fireworks display is a great way for communities to celebrate events and bring people together. It’s sickening that this, for all it’s negligible cost in Co2 or whatever is being picked on. Nobody should have to apologize for something as innocent as taking their family to see a fireworks show! This is sickening to me. What percent of human emissions do fireworks account for? .000001%? Or do I have to add more zeros?

    Is there any parade that these bastards won’t pee on?

    What’s next? Model rockets? The Olympic torch? Those cracker things that they have at Christmas? How about breathing? Yeah, lets all make everyone feel guilty for breathing!


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  5. 5
    Soylent Says:

    “Where the hell is this going to end?”

    Well. I’ve seen a greenie-weenie decry Adam Savage of the Mythbusters for using a few cans of matt black auto primer while making a replica maltese falcon. He almost had an aneurism when I dared suggest that the most likely propellant is dimethyl ether and the most likely solvent is acetone, both rather benign substances, and that likely he did more harm to the environment spending a few hours on his computer.


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  6. 6
    Brad F Says:

    In 1984 the US Coast Guard tall ship “Eagle” spent July 4th away from home, in port at my hometown in Canada. Fortunately as it turns out, our July 1st Canada Day fireworks had been rained out and the weather was much better on the 4th so we had a good excuse for another party. I think the crew appreciated it and a good time was had by all.

    So yes, we do have July 4th in Canada. And sometimes we even celebrate it.


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  7. 7
    Q Says:

            Brad F said:

    In 1984 the US Coast Guard tall ship “Eagle” spent July 4th away from home, in port at my hometown in Canada. Fortunately as it turns out, our July 1st Canada Day fireworks had been rained out and the weather was much better on the 4th so we had a good excuse for another party. I think the crew appreciated it and a good time was had by all.

    So yes, we do have July 4th in Canada. And sometimes we even celebrate it.

    Do you make everyone feel bad about the “carbon footprint” of the fireworks – on either the 1st or the 4th?


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  8. 8
    Brad F Says:

            Q said:

    Do you make everyone feel bad about the “carbon footprint” of the fireworks – on either the 1st or the 4th?

    Most of us don’t. But there are idiots everywhere.


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  9. 9
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Q said:

    Do you make everyone feel bad about the “carbon footprint” of the fireworks – on either the 1st or the 4th?

    It seems that kind of mentality is found to one degree or another in just about all industrial countries these days.


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  10. 10
    Calli Arcale Says:

    Also, that crap about “toxic” and “harmful” chemicals from fireworks is bull**** as well. Barium is found in fireworks, but it is after all, found in the enviornment and plenty of places have barium compounds in their soil to begin with.

    It’s not completely bull. My asthma gets markedly worse every July 4 because of the stuff in the air from fireworks, firepits, and outdoor barbecues. Mainly just fine particulates; it doesn’t really matter *what* it is so much as that there’s a whole bunch of it in the air. Fortunately, a good rainshower or a few days wait clears it out. I’m pretty much fine again now.

    The “toxic chemical” that’s become a big boogeyman right now isn’t barium but rather various perchlorates. This is what they’re talking about when they breathlessly claim that “there’s rocket fuel in baby formula!” They’re used in lots of other things, though, because if handled properly, you can store them for a very long time. Solid rocket motors, car airbag devices, fireworks, oxygen candles, emergency flares, other pyrotechnics, and so forth. They do have pharmacological properties; medicinal perchlorates are used to treat hyperthyroidism (e.g. Grave’s Disease), so it can be expected that if you have too much in the environment, it would start causing problems. In particular, a healthy person getting too much perchlorate should have trouble getting iodine into their thyroid, potentially leading to goiter.

    Perchlorates do occur in nature (with probably the most “definitely not human-related” example being on the planet Mars), and although recent studies have shown unexpectedly high levels in cow’s milk in certain areas, it is not at all clear how much of this has anything to do with fireworks or other human-related contamination. (Exception: there are a few sites where there has definitely been improper disposal leading to industrial contamination.) Nor is it clear that this would have an adverse affect on any humans. All in all, as with many low-level contaminants, the problem has been hyped out way out of proportion to the science. Personally, I don’t feel there’s any reason to worry.

    That said, some companies have devised perchlorate-free fireworks. Although they *could* capitalize on the fear of perchlorates, they actually did it for a different reason — creating impressive pyrotechnics which produce very little smoke and which can therefore be used indoors. The indoor entertainment industry has pretty much consumed their entire production capability, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t start producing some for the consumer market, capitalizing on the scaremongering.


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  11. 11
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Calli Arcale said:

    It’s not completely bull. My asthma gets markedly worse every July 4 because of the stuff in the air from fireworks, firepits, and outdoor barbecues. Mainly just fine particulates; it doesn’t really matter *what* it is so much as that there’s a whole bunch of it in the air. Fortunately, a good rainshower or a few days wait clears it out. I’m pretty much fine again now.

    Uh oh! Anecdotal evidence alert!

    That being said, I don’t doubt that there may very well be something to that, but I also tend to think it’s more likely to be barbecue grills and bon fires and that kind of thing than it would be fireworks.


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  12. 12
    Chuck P. Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Uh oh!

    Anecdotal evidence alert!

    That being said, I don’t doubt that there may very well be something to that, but I also tend to think it’s more likely to be barbecue grills and bon fires and that kind of thing than it would be fireworks.

    You’ve never been in Hawaii on New Year’s have you?
    It get’s pretty smokey and I have no trouble believing someone’s asthma getting agrivated. The nice thing about Hawaii is that the trade winds clear it all out by the next morning.


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  13. 13
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Chuck P. said:

    You’ve never been in Hawaii on New Year’s have you?

    I’ve never been to Hawaii period.


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