Happy Fourth of July! We know that our non-Yank readership doesn't care about our special day, especially you Brits. In fact, Stephen Merchant has explained why our holiday of independence rankles his British self—and how things would be better had Britain won. (If you're in the UK, the language is NSFW; if you're in America, crank the volume up all you want—those silly British curse words don't mean anything over here.)
But since the UK came up second best in that particular contest, we are free to launch fireworks on this special day. Unfortunately there's no prerequisite for intelligence when doing so. For one thing, my fellow countrymen, please don't launch fireworks while your dog is off-leash. In the following video this dog appears to have been trained by Al-Qaeda, though thankfully things do not end badly:
Another example of fireworks gone awry, thankfully with no bodily harm caused, is the infamous San Diego Big Bay Boom show from 2012. This computer-controlled fireworks show was supposed to parcel out 7,000 fireworks over 17 minutes, but a corrupted file caused HAL to launch everything at the same freaking time (warning, turn your volume down):
Of course, fireworks displays gone wrong aren't the sole province of America. In this clip from a fireworks festival in Kumano, Japan, they mess up the countdown timing of the inaugural shell—but holy cow is it surprising when that damn thing goes off:
In any case, today we Americans will watch an American-style fireworks show, which is to say it will be visually bombastic. We all know what that looks like, having been raised on that spectacle; but to see a very different style, check out this "Digital Starmine" show held last year in Atami, Japan:
If it doesn't rain here in NYC today, maybe we'll give 'em a run for their money.
Happy Birthday America!