Happy 5th!
July 5, 2006 7:38 AM   Subscribe

5000, no, 20,000 --- wait 30,000... oh, what the hell.. 45,000 Bottle Rockets. (sorry, a day late) (youtube links)
posted by empath (33 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Of course, I skipped the first three and went for the 45,000. Pretty neat.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:44 AM on July 5, 2006

You'd think that, if you go to the trouble of setting up 45K bottle rockets, you'd go to the trouble of, say, setting up a tripod for the moment of truth.

Maybe they gave the money to Inez and didn't have any left over for such things.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:52 AM on July 5, 2006

Dear Sirs,

Considering all the trouble you must have went through to string together 45,000 bottle rockets I'm surprised that you didn't take two minutes to think of the best way to film this.

Holding a camera while shaking like an 8.1 earthquake makes for disappointing results.

Another guy who likes to blow things up.
posted by unixrat at 7:52 AM on July 5, 2006

They didn't actually string them together.

He used pegboard and put in two bottle rockets in each hole, then threw a sparkler on it, The exhaust took care of the rest.

btw, I think the 30,000 rocket one is the best.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM on July 5, 2006

As A: a dear and solid fan of bottle rockets, and B: a citizen of a state that has outlawed firecrackers, this is a beautiful sight to behold.
posted by gcbv at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2006

Thanks. Now i can post this:

16000 firecrackers! No! 3.3 million firecrackers!! (Higher quality embedded WMVs: 16k - 3.3m)
posted by loquacious at 8:00 AM on July 5, 2006

Err, sorry. 3.2 million. Eh, what's a 100k firecrackers.

Fuck it, man. Let's just blow up the factory.
posted by loquacious at 8:08 AM on July 5, 2006

Loquacious: Holy god.
posted by empath at 8:09 AM on July 5, 2006

I'd like to buy the internet a tripod.
posted by ladd at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2006

Screw it. We're gonna blow up the whole lake. Sodium party!!
posted by loquacious at 8:13 AM on July 5, 2006

Loquacious: The comments to the factory explosion one say that the cameraman didn't survive. Anyone know if that's true?

Also: Wow.
posted by Skorgu at 8:18 AM on July 5, 2006

3.2 million

Is it just me, or would anyone else rather see a hundred good-sized roman candles?

The factory, though... whoah.
posted by dreamsign at 8:29 AM on July 5, 2006

It's interesting that in both of the 30k and 45k bottle rocket explosions, it's like it kicks into overdrive three-quarters the way into it.
posted by crunchland at 8:48 AM on July 5, 2006

crunch: I think that's when the pegboard the rockets are in catches fire.
posted by empath at 8:53 AM on July 5, 2006

I would love to know more about that factory.
posted by Mr. Six at 9:14 AM on July 5, 2006

"The Enschede fireworks disaster, called Vuurwerkramp (Literally, 'fireworks disaster') in Dutch, was caused by a fire which broke out in the S.E Fireworks depot on May 13, 2000 in the eastern Dutch town of Enschede. The fire led to an enormous explosion that left 22 people dead and thousands of families homeless. The extent of the damage was estimated at half a billion euros."

Outraged commentary:
That the facility stood in the middle of a housing estate for over 20 years has caused a sensation. The initial assumption—that the factory had been there first and the housing settlement only later built around it—was soon refuted. The estate, built in the 1920s, is inhabited mainly by foreigners, students and the unemployed. Approximately 2,500 people from 10 nations—including Turkey, Ghana, Morocco and the former Dutch colony of Surinam—reside there. The attempt being made to shift responsibility for the suffering onto the victims themselves can only be met with indignation.
(If you're curious, the town's name is pronounced en-skuh-DAY, or for extra credit substitute the -ch- sound as in Bach for the -k-.)
posted by languagehat at 9:29 AM on July 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

Wikipedia. Be sure to check out the aerial photos of before and after in the external links at the bottom.

Detailed article from the Word Socialist Web Site.

Google string I used.

I hadn't really thought about it until now, but upon looking at that last big explosion in the video, yeah, the camera man probably died. :
Having all those airburst mortars going off in your face all around you is one thing, but that last blast was enormous and had a hell of a shockwave racing in front of the fireball. It takes a lot of juice for an explosion to raise that much debris that quickly. You can literally see the buildings nearest the explosion vaporizing in the shockwave.
posted by loquacious at 9:32 AM on July 5, 2006

Damn you, languagehat!

Also, that was odd. That : was supposed to be a :/ but with a \.
posted by loquacious at 9:33 AM on July 5, 2006

The fourth link in that Google search is also quite good, via some sort of industrial fire index.
posted by loquacious at 9:38 AM on July 5, 2006

The fourth link in the Google search suggests the camerman (men?) are still alive.
posted by Mr. Six at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2006

Well, as long as we're talking about blowing stuff up, we can talk about somebody who does it with some artistry: Cai Guo-Qiang.

His Transient Rainbow and the APEC Cityscape Fireworks are a couple of the many examples of his very interesting artwork.
posted by dseaton at 9:47 AM on July 5, 2006

This is my favourite bottle rocket...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:56 AM on July 5, 2006

There's another exploding fireworks factory video here.
posted by snofoam at 10:05 AM on July 5, 2006

Its horrible to think that the appropriate governments not only allowed it but didn't even seem to know about it. Yikes. Using water to put out a magnesium fire... Double Yikes.
posted by Skorgu at 10:06 AM on July 5, 2006

dseaton: Holy. Fucking. Shit!

That Transient Rainbow video is amazingly beautiful. I love how it sounds totally different from different locations, like you could synchronize music from fireworks, like the Large Hot Pipe Organ, whose main site seems to have vanished or been hijacked.

And the APEC Cityscape one is astounding in size, complexity and choreography.
posted by loquacious at 10:07 AM on July 5, 2006

Also, it's interesting how similar the bottle rocket and firecracker videos are to the fireworks factory disasters. Lots of small stuff popping off here and there then a critical mass is reached as more and more stuff ignites, not at all unlike the "mousetraps+ping pong balls" demonstration of fission, or fission itself.

Note to self: If happy fun firework factory begins to emit fumes and sparks, do not grab video camera and stand around gaping - run away and seek shelter!
posted by loquacious at 10:41 AM on July 5, 2006

I normally pass on youtube posts, but couldn't resist this one. It reminded me of the classic sparkler bomb, but on a much larger scale. I wonder how much 50K bottle rockets cost? I might need to start saving up for next 4th of July.
posted by TedW at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2006

I have a dream... that one day, my great-great-grandchild will smuggle cigarettes onto the Fireworks Planet.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:28 PM on July 5, 2006 [2 favorites]

The slow burning start and intense crescendo are impressive even via YouTube and crappy laptop speakers. It must be quite thrilling to witness. That last laugh on the 45,000 clip is a perfect, if all too short, example of an acid laugh. :-)
posted by persona non grata at 12:40 PM on July 5, 2006

Ok, I am soooo making a sparkler bomb.
posted by ninjew at 2:56 PM on July 5, 2006

Ninjew, its not at all hard, but be sure to do it in an area where a ball of red hot twisted wires can sit for a while and cool off. It also is over quickly, so make sure everyone is watching when you light it up.
posted by TedW at 7:55 PM on July 5, 2006

My first thought was the same as jimmythefish and unixrat - if you went to the trouble, and had the money to have a tripod and the knowledge of how to upload to the net - you couldn't spend the money for a tripod??? WTF? Best vid goes to the 20,000 for showing the rig in daylight then what the shoot looks like with additional audio humor of the crowd. 45,000 gets best of show for the boom, but major suckage points for crap video and no shots of what the rig looked like in daylight. Here's a tip kids, put the thing on the tripod and zoom in - remember, you can still grab the tripod and cam and run if need be. Shakey cam is sooo last century.

And now to go watch the other more historical somber links in this thread. Strangely I used to live near a fireworks factory in northern Alabama and people always told me that it would blow up periodically. It wasn't in a very populated area though. Meanwhile great post and comments!
posted by batgrlHG at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2006

« Older A single tear graced her cheek.   |   Popular Delusions and the madness of the hivemind Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments