Fun Friday: Links And Fun for 7/4/2014


US Declaration Of Independence

US Declaration Of Independence

Image from Nathional Archives

Happy Fourth Of July!

For my US readers, that’s Independence Day.

For my non-US readers, that’s just the fourth day of July.

In both cases, I hope you have a great day.

4th Of July For Non US Readers

History

If you aren’t from the US, here’s a quick primer of why the day is significant for
those of us in the US.

This is the day we celebrate the greatest break-up letter in history.

On this date our Declaration Of Independence was signed and sent on its way
to King George of England.

Here’s my quick paraphrase:

Dear England,

This is hard to say, but we’ve grown apart. It’s like we don’t even know each other
anymore.

Sometimes it’s best to just go our separate ways.

We just feel like we owe you an explanation.

We have tried to get you to work things out. Every step of the way, we’ve asked you
to make some changes, but Noooo.

It’s no use trying to talk us out of leaving.

We’d really like to be friends, but if you insist we can be enemies.

Sincerely,

#John Hancock

(Other, smaller signatures)

Tradition

History is why we celebrate, but how do we celebrate?




Grilled Meat

Many of us build a fire of one sort or another and grill an animal of one sort
or another.

For me it’s hamburgers and hot dogs over charcoal. I like grilling lots of things,
but on the 4th I want a burger and/or hot dog, because ‘Merica.

Grilling Is Not Optional


This was last year. Rain tried to dampen (ha! see what I did there?) our spirits, but I said, “No!
We must grill!”

Fireworks

No tradition is more American than blowing stuff up.

These days we mostly go for fireworks either lame or spectacular.

Many states have laws regulating the sale of fireworks. This is an attempt to
prevent:

  • House Fires
  • Forest Fires
  • Car Fires
  • High Speed Digit Deletion (the explosive removal of fingers)

In these states it is a tradition for a fair percentage of the population to travel to
the nearest state with a more liberal view towards the desires of its citizenry to
burn down their neighborhoods and remove unwanted fingers.

In my state (Georgia) we allow only lame fireworks. Here is a chart to help determine if
fireworks are lame or awesome.

Lame

Sound: Pfft

Potential Damage: Small, localized fire. Easily extinguished by stomping on it.

Awesome

Sound: VWA-BOOOOOM!!!!!

Potential Damage: Large, neighborhood engulfing conflagration. Extinguished only by concerted
effort of two or more governmental agencies.

In bygone days when fireworks were hard to come by, it was a tradition to do the next best thing.




Explosive Launching Of Anvils Into The Air

Anvils are heavy. That’s kind of their thing. You can’t really pound heated metal over
a lightweight object.

I find it sad that the practice of launching of 2-300 pound metal objects has largely fallen
out of favor. The closest many of us have come to the experience is Lawn Darts.

Here’s a great video to showcase the concept:



Indeed most of us only know of anvils thanks to the tireless work of Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.

I say Wile E. is the embodiement of America. He never quits. No amount of personal injury or failure has
ever stopped him from his pursuit of life, liberty and fast, flightless birds.

So here’s to you, Mr. Coyote, and here’s to you Mr. Wilkinson. May your anvil adventures
never end, and may your freedom to pursue failure, folly, and awesomeness ever endure!