Monday, July 6, 2009


As I watched the beautiful fireworks last night (yes, they were on July 5th), it made me wonder once again why such a spectacular sight is marred (in my opinion) with the loud booms. Is it really necessary? The most enjoyable fireworks I ever saw was 15 years ago when I was in the hospital after having our son. We were able to watch them from the nursery window and we couldn't hear the noise. It was perfect! Anyway, when I got home from the majestic show last evening, I did what I always do when I am pondering such a question - I got online.

This is what I found:

Fireworks were invented in China more than a thousand years ago, when the explosive substance called black powder-a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur-was developed. For centuries, fireworks were little more than small rockets that exploded with a loud bang. It wasn't until the nineteenth century that the chemistry and physics of fireworks were studied in earnest, giving rise to the kind of spectacular, colorful displays we now enjoy on the Fourth of July and other occasions.

I thought the history of fireworks was interesting and I found my answer regarding the noise also:

When the last stage of the rocket explodes, atoms of aluminum, magnesium, or titanium are heated to extremely high temperatures, causing the metal to become incandescent. The incandescent metal gives off radiation across a wide portion of the visible spectrum, producing a bright flash of white light. The high temperature causes the nearby air to expand rapidly, producing a loud bang.

It definitely is a case of not being able to have the good without the bad. I will try to remember this in the future and not complain about the noise.

Yesterday was apparently a "pondering" day for me because the other question I asked myself was why the Japanese baseball player Ichiro Suzuki, who plays for the Seattle Mariners, has his first or given name on his jersey instead of his last or family name. The three Japanese players who play for the Boston Red Sox all have their last names on their shirts. Once again, I headed for the internet and found the answer. Apparently in Japan, the custom is to put the first name on the jersey and Ichiro wanted to continue that. Major League Baseball granted his request.

Isn't the internet an amazing thing? The information you can find is mind-boggling. I can get answers to most of my ponderings. Want to know when to use affect or effect? There is a paper online that explains that. Want to know what song that lyrics came from that you can't get out of your head? You can find that online too.

What are you pondering about today?

Here's to the internet and answers!


  1. Why has every GD ant in the LA area moved into my house????

    Hallie :(

  2. I like the booms from fireworks. But then the downfall to that one is that all my neighbors seem to think that it will be fun to do 4th of July celebrations for three weeks before and three weeks after the 4th. (After the first night...I. AM. OVER. IT!!!)
    I missed all fireworks this year. (except the sillys around the hood) The town that displays the big ones I see at our lake cabin decided to do theirs on the I was driving up to see them.
    Oh well.
    No ponderings for me yet this morning...I don't have enough coffee in me yet.

  3. isnt it amazing how we can find answers so quickly in todays world???

  4. Farmie's nephew was asking me how fireworks worked and I googled it for him. Instant correct information!

  5. A) on the fireworks....we either view from afar or most of the big shows around here are set to music...that they broadcast on the radio and you can sit in your car with the windows up (and AC on) and listen to the music. :-)

    B) I would have guessed that there were problems putting "Suzuki" on the back of a sports jersey as it could be interpreted as Suzuki (the car and motorcycle manufacturer) being a free sponsor of the team....and they pay big bucks for those sponsorships.