Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ashikaga Yoshiakira's Birthday, Independence Day, and All That

Turns out that 1005 Boxelder Drive is a pretty good place to set up chairs and watch a public fireworks display. As long as there's enough wind to discourage mosquitoes, of course.

The Lemming notes that today is American Independence Day, the anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's publication and Pactum Sicardi, Trois-Rivières founding day, and Ashikaga Yoshiakira's birthday.

A whole bunch of other stuff happened, too, but the Lemming figured that was enough history for one post.

Speaking of rabbits, the Lemming strongly advises against using furry animals as launch supports for bottle rockets. The animals don't like it, singed fur smells bad, and they're nowhere near as steady as a bottle. Un-furry animals aren't much better, really, now that the Lemming considers the matter.

Oddly enough, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not warn against lighting firecrackers in one's nose, or eating lit sparklers.

They do, however, seem to think that bottle rockets shouldn't be associated with bottles ("...never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers) — which inspired the Lemming's effort to prevent a serious human-rabbit misunderstanding.

A bit more seriously, here's what the USCPSC says about not visiting the emergency room for the holiday:
"Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. 230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday."

"Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community."

"Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
  • "Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • "Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • "Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • "Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • "Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • "Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • "Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • "Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • "Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • "After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • "Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them."
(Fireworks Information Center, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
That's remarkably sensible advice, actually.

The Lemming is forgetting something important. Let's see — the stove isn't running but the refrigerator is, a stitch in time still saves nine, AHA! July fourth is Rube Goldberg's birthday!

More July-Fourth-or-thereabouts posts:

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