Mother Nature fails to dampen final-round fireworks during 70th playing of the Piedmont Triad’s annual PGA Tour event
Magnate Interactive has just released Liberty Boom [App Store], a cute little timing / obstacle game that challenges you to put on a fireworks show that pleases the crowd across a variety of skylines throughout the U.S.
Superficially reminiscent of Xbox LIVE's Boom Boom Rocket, but without a rhythm element, Liberty Boom requires detonating each rocket within a certain window of the sky while avoiding airplanes, blimps, and UFOs. It's all about keeping an eye on the crowd meter and keeping the audience happy. (And the audience finds falling, flaming blimps a real turn off…) The longer you wait to detonate within the window, the more points you'll score, and you often need to fire early to avoid hitting a passing aircraft. It's tap to detonate within each of the four columns of the sky, and tilt to control the speed of the passing aircraft.
The list of night skylines available include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Sedona and Washington D.C., and the developer is accepting skyline photo submissions for future updates. Six original musical tracks accompany the aerial pyrotechnics.
Liberty Boom provides a nice bit of simple, fun timing-based gaming. And, for a limited time, it's available at the introductory price of $.99.
See the developer's video for a closer look. Positive points are shown in green, while negative scores are shown in red.
In the view of Independence officials, legalized fireworks have proved a largely positive experience for the city.
One fireworks-related injury was reported over the Independence Day holiday, and the fire department responded to two fireworks-related blazes, both involving residences. One caused $20,000 worth of damages, the other $8,000.
Yet the new fireworks ordinance allowed police to use their resources more effectively, because they weren’t responding to so many fireworks calls.
“The ordinance significantly increased police efficiency,” Brad Halsey, a department major, told City Council members Monday night.
The ordinance, approved in January, allowed the legal sale and use of certain fireworks within city limits. The city issued 12 vendor licenses to nonprofit agencies. Those vendors sold “almost half a million dollars worth of fireworks,” said Jim Harlow, city finance director.
Of the reported $448,359 in revenues, the city received $5,044 in sales taxes.
That, combined with $9,750 realized from non-refundable $250 application fees, meant the city ultimately generated $14,794.
If the council continues the program, said City Manager Robert Heacock, sales tax receipts could be designated in coming years for programs such as fire education or police overtime during the Fourth of July holiday.
Police officials noted a significant decrease in the number of calls this past Independence Day, said Halsey, and a similar decrease in overtime costs. In 2008 the city paid out nearly $4,500 in overtime during the Independence Day holiday, compared to less than $800 this year, Halsey said.
Fire officials, meanwhile, experienced no enforcement problems with the vendors, said chief fire inspector Gene Gould. On some occasions, vendors set up too close to buildings. On others, vendors would leave their storage trailers open and unsecured.
Fire department personnel made about 200 inspections, Gould said, and all vendors were cooperative when alerted to issues.
Council member Jim Schultz, noting that many vendors seem to be clustered in south Independence, wondered whether placing an equal number of booths in all four council districts could stimulate the economy in more locations.
He also wondered whether it would be more fair to limit nonprofit agencies to one booth. Although the vendors were selected by a random process, some wound up with more than one license.
After Halsey noted that bottle rockets, not allowed by the ordinance, were still used in Independence, council member Will Swoffer noted that the general din on Independence Day told him that not all fireworks used in Independence complied with the ordinance.
Some “sounded to me like a half a stick of dynamite,” Swoffer said. “Those are the things that can cause severe damage to structures or people.”
But Swoffer said the ordinance had many benefits. “I endorse it,” he said.http://www.kansascity.com/news/neighborhood/independence/story/1405008.html
By Bob Depoutot, Northfield
I have been in charge of the fireworks for the Pittsfield Balloon Rally in the cemetery for more than 20 years. All vehicles, foot traffic and firework guns are on the roads only. The only grounds we walk on are near the river and only the river. I am a veteran myself and lost fellow Marines in Vietnam. I respect the dead.
There is no self-enrichment here. I work hard to promote the balloon rally every year. I work endlessly at my expense to bring the thousands of people to Pittsfield. This benefits all the kind people of Pittsfield, all the businesses that badly need the money to get by, and the Rotary, which uses the money to reinvest into the town.
I work at this every day of the year to help Pittsfield and am now working on the show for 2010.
When the show is over, the cemetery is cleaned to the littlest tack - perfect!
I have a close friend who is buried in Floral Park Cemetery. He was a friend to all in Pittsfield - Sen. George Freese Sr. - and gave me permission more than 20 years ago to use the cemetery. His wife and two boys, Gef and Rob Freese, say to me after every show, every year, "Thank you, Bob, because our dad is looking down from heaven with a big smile and applauding. Thank you."
This brings me to say our final resting place is with God.
Published by :Tracey Parece
Love is many things. It's hot and cold, hard and soft, easy and difficult. The poet Robert Burns said that "love is like a red, red rose That's newly sprung in June." Pat Benatar sang that "Love is a Battlefield."
Love is bringing your mate breakfast in bed, watching Jay Leno together, holding hands like teenagers, paying attention, making each other laugh, knowing when to forgive, knowing when to let go . . .
Love is like a fireworks display.
1. In the right hands, it can be a beautiful thing.
2. In the wrong hands, someone could get hurt.
3. No matter how long it lasts, you always wish it would last just a little longer.
4. You always get excited when there is an encore.
5. If you are not careful, you could end up badly burned.
6. It doesn't happen every night. So when it does, you'd better be in the right place at the right time
7. It can get loud and noisy.
8. It can fizzle out without a bang.
9. Sometimes, it explodes out of control and doesn't turn out as planned.
10. The people who are the safest are the ones who are farthest away.
What a hoot. The Chinese Communists invaded Washington on Monday demanding not that we sacrifice our freedoms but rather that we balance our budget. Creditors get to make that kind of call. And the Marxists of Beijing, who have turned out to be the world's most prudent bankers, are worried about their assets invested in our banana republic.
"China has a huge amount of investment in the United States, mainly in the form of Treasury bonds. We are concerned about the security of our financial assets" was the way China's assistant finance minister put it. Briefing reporters at the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, he added, "We sincerely hope the US fiscal deficit will be reduced, year after year." Quite sincerely, one suspects, given a US budget shortfall this year that is slated to reach $1.85 trillion.
Suddenly, it was US officials who were promising deep reform to their disgraced economic system rather than demanding it from incompetent foreigners. President Barack Obama's economic team of Clinton-era holdovers, who a decade ago had hectored China on the virtues of fiscal responsibility, now were falling over themselves to reassure the Chinese that their $1.5 trillion stake in US government-issued securities is safe, and that they should buy more at this week's $200 billion Treasury auction. If they don't, we're in big trouble.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised to behave, saying the US is "committed to taking the necessary measures to bring our fiscal deficits down to a more sustainable level once recovery is firmly established." Now let's hope that the Chinese Communists and their natural allies among congressional deficit hawks will be able to keep him to his word.
And don't blame any of this on peacenik liberals. The new conciliatory—nay, deferential—tone toward China precedes the Obama administration, having begun in bilateral talks during the last years of the Bush administration as the US economy began its ignominious downfall. It was George W. Bush's treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who set the course when the former Goldman Sachs chairman realized how dependent were his Wall Street buddies on Chinese goodwill.
But from all of this adversity may come something good: recognition that the United States is not the repository of all wisdom. Maybe the Chinese have found a model different from ours that also works? Might there not be an Arab, Latin or Indian one that also qualifies and need not be overthrown?
The tone of this week's talks, ironically held at the Reagan Building and co-chaired by Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, finally signaled the end of the cold war assumption that regimes with labels like communist and capitalist could not form profitable partnerships. On the contrary, as Secretary Clinton noted, it is time to move from "a multipolar world to a multipartner world." And President Obama in opening the conference made clear that the partnership between China and the US is decisive: "The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century, which makes it as important as any bilateral relationship in the world."
by Robert Scheer
Mark it as a historic Rip van Winkle moment. For those who recall the rhetoric of the cold war, the idea that we would someday be cooperating with Chinese Communists because they had humbled us economically rather than militarily is a startling turnabout. How did they get to be better capitalists than us, and being that they are good capitalists, why are we still spending hundreds of billions a year on high-tech military weapons to counter a potential Chinese military threat when the weapons they are using are all market-driven deployments?
A recognition that our tension with China is not military in nature came at this week's conference in an announcement by Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of the US Pacific Command, that agreement had been reached with his Chinese counterparts on improving relations: "A statement was made by a Chinese delegation official yesterday [Monday] that no country can develop sound policy if they try and do so in isolation. And I think that's a great way of addressing the sense that all of us feel, the desire, to get back together again and discuss exercises, discuss personnel exchanges, discuss responses to humanitarian assistance crises and the provision of disaster relief."
Not bad for a start, and maybe we can help solve our economic problems by selling our latest high-tech weapons to China as we do to the rest of the world. Or better yet, we could do some serious damage to our deficits, and our dependence on the Chinese, by sharply cutting expensive weapons programs now that the cold war is finally over.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111362500