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Fireworks Facts

Photo by Yuiizaa September on Unsplash

Hope you have a happy Fourth of July. If you’re like me, you will probably see a ton of fireworks. There’s something fascinating about those splatters of light in the sky –something that tugs at the emotions and captures the imagination.

Everyone in my family has a favorite. A nephew especially enjoys the salutes. My aunt likes the ones that twinkle as they fall.

Ever wonder how these displays came about? Here’s what my research turned up:

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

1. Most people trace the invention of fireworks/gunpowder to an unfortunate Chinese alchemist who unintentionally heated sulfur and salt peter (potassium nitrate). It was an explosive discovery.

2. The Chinese call gunpowder “huo yao,” which means fire chemical.

3. Early fireworks gave off more bang than light. As they exploded, people saw only a brief golden light.

4. Apparently the Chinese made the first fireworks by shoving gunpowder into bamboo reeds. They exploded them during their New Year’s celebration in hopes of frightening away evil spirits.

5. It’s believed that Marco Polo introduced gunpowder to Europe.

6. Around 1830, Italians began to add trace amounts of metal into the gunpowder, which “colored the explosions.”

7. Copper, for example, creates blue tinted light.

8. Aluminum and magnesium make a golden light.

9. Not surprisingly, other metals make other effects. Zinc creates clouds of smoke and titanium causes sparks.

10. Although onlookers have always enjoyed fireworks, they continue to be dangerous. May 16, 1770, is the date of one of the biggest fireworks tragedies. A fireworks display celebrating the marriage of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette went awry and caused a stampede, which killed some 800 people. Not eight or eighty but 800!

11. Even in recent years, the danger element hasn’t disappeared. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that “fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 8,800 injuries treated in the U.S. hospital emergency departments during the calendar year 2002.”

12. Here’s an interesting statistic. Three times as many males are hurt in fireworks-related incidents than females, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

13. Although I enjoy watching fireworks, I don’t encourage people to set off their own. My suggestion: Consider attending fireworks displays put on by professionals in local parks or on lakefronts.

Correctly handled, fireworks can be a stunning way to celebrate special events. In the United States, we’ve used fireworks to celebrate Independence Day since 1776. 

That’s when John Adams declared, “The day (Independence Day) will be the most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. … It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”

But I’d like to hear about your holiday. Are you planning to see the fireworks? Which ones impress you most?

Sources

http://www.fireworks.com/safety/trivia.asp

http://www.factmonster.com/spot/fireworks1.html

http://www.cpsc.gov/

http://search.cpsc.gov/query.html?qt=fireworks+injury&charset=iso-8859-1&col=pubweb

Checking Out the Local Geese-13 Facts

Lately, I’ve had fun watching geese parade goslings around our local park. Perhaps you have some geese near you, and you might be interested in the facts I’ve gleaned about them.

  1. In 2015, the geese population in North America 2015 was between 4.2 and 5.6 million.
  2. Geese like to eat grass, but they’ll also wolf down seeds, berries, skunk cabbage, and eel grass.
  3. Believe it or not, but more than one site reported that geese really enjoy blueberries.
  4. Many experts believe Canadian Geese mate for life.
  5. After they hook up, they like to build nests on the ground in a slightly elated area that is near water.
  6. Many times, they make their nests on lawns. You might see them on golf courses. They prefer short grass heights because it gives them an unobstructed view so it’s easy for them to spot predators.
  7. Their nests are bowls of weeds, grass, and sticks that they line in down.
  8. Goose moms lay about 2-8 creamy white eggs.
  9. Mom incubates these eggs for 42-50 days, while Dad guards her.
  10. Hatchlings are born with their eyes open and covered in yellowish down.
  11. After only a day or two, they can toddle out of the nest.
  12. At about four weeks old, the gosling’s wing and tail feathers sprout. They’re black, but the gosling hasn’t lost the fluffy yellow down on his back.
  13. A baby goose won’t be about to fly until they are seven to nine weeks old. At which time, he’s lost his yellow feathers, and grown. He resembles his parents. Even though he looks like mom and dad, he will likely remain with them until he’s around a year old.

Do you like to watch geese? Or do you find them annoying? I know several of my neighbors do. They ask me not to feed them. Don’t worry. I don’t, but I will confess to photographing them. Here a few of my favorite shots.

Sources

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/canada-goose

http://www.about.lovecanadageese.com/gosling.html

The Safest Lies–A Goodreads Review

The Safest LiesThe Safest Lies by Megan Miranda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Safest Lies
Although Kelsey goes to high school and has a part-time job, she knows her life is the farthest thing from normal. She lives in a gated fortress that her mom hasn’t left since Kelsey’s birth. Apparently, Kelsey’s mom is afraid the bad people who kidnapped her so many years ago are still searching for her, so she trains Kelsey in survival techniques including bomb-making. Kelsey’s mom has only one friend, her therapist, who studies Kelsey and her mom to gain data on whether fear can be inherited.


My favorite part of this book is the beginning when, after swerving off the road to avoid another vehicle, Kelsey and her car are dangling over a cliff. Ryan, the guy from her trigonometry class, tries to calm her from the backseat. This worries her because he wasn’t in the car earlier. He explains. He’s a volunteer firefighter and he repelled into her car to save her from plummeting to her death. This also worries her because he’s likely flunking math and her rescue would be a practical application of the very subject he struggles to comprehend. I’m not going to tell you what happens but this whole scene sets the bad guys on Kelsey’s trail. Soon they attack the fortress, and Kelsey’s mom disappears, leaving Kelsey and Ryan to fight off or evade the villains while piecing together what happened to Kelsey’s mom.


I loved All the Missing Girls and this tale is similar in that the characters must unravel the what happened in the past to save themselves and those they love in the present. Lots of danger and action occur as the characters put clues together.


My least favorite part of this story was the end as parts of the wrap up disappointed me. Still, I enjoyed the action and intrigue at the heart of the story and would recommend The Safest Lies to readers, who like carefully planned mysteries and page-turning suspense.



View all my reviews

Happy Mother’s Day!

Every woman is like a beautiful flower.

We all bloom differently, and that makes for an exquisite bouquet. Happy Mother’s Day!

Jane Barton

Other Than Book Tour

We are super excited to be part of the Book Tour for OTHER THAN, a thrilling gaslamp fantasy by Mia Jo Celeste. The new audiobook version is now available. Check it out!
Other Than
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Paranormal Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
Other Than #PNR A purgatory as dangerous as Dr. Moreau’s Island with zombies and romance.
It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh.
Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Bound to her by cords stronger than death, Lord Victor Lowell is both the man of her dreams, and her darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess. Drawn to the compellingly gallant and vulnerable soul behind his mercurial humors, Evie can only watch as protecting her forces Victor to sacrifice yet more of himself to the ancient evil long tethered to his soul.
Trapped in an ever-escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will to do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. Battle lines drawn, the soul mates resolve to find redemption or die trying.

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from April 15 – 27, 2019.
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Other Than Book Page at Book Unleashed.
Other Than Tour Graphic

About Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste
Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise when she chose to pursue both careers. She grew up watching horror movies and reading romances. To her, the two genres go together like salty and sweet in kettle corn.
Social media links: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Giveaway

WIN $5 AMAZON GIFT CARDS
Other Than Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Five (5) $5 Amazon Gift Cards
Contest runs from April 3 – 27, 2019.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Other Than Is An Audiobook!

Other Than
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Paranormal Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 27, 2017
Other Than #PNR A purgatory as dangerous as Dr. Moreau’s Island with zombies and romance.
It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh.
Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Bound to her by cords stronger than death, Lord Victor Lowell is both the man of her dreams, and her darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess. Drawn to the compellingly gallant and vulnerable soul behind his mercurial humors, Evie can only watch as protecting her forces Victor to sacrifice yet more of himself to the ancient evil long tethered to his soul.
Trapped in an ever-escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will to do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. Battle lines drawn, the soul mates resolve to find redemption or die trying.

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from April 15 – 27, 2019.
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Other Than Book Page at Book Unleashed.
Other Than Tour Graphic

About Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste
Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise when she chose to pursue both careers. She grew up watching horror movies and reading romances. To her, the two genres go together like salty and sweet in kettle corn.
Social media links: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Giveaway

WIN $5 AMAZON GIFT CARDS
Other Than Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
Five (5) $5 Amazon Gift Cards
Contest runs from April 3 – 27, 2019.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Baskets for the Write Touch Conference

The Write Touch Conference is April 5th and 6th. This weekend, Wisconsin Romance Writers were busy packing baskets for the silent auction, where proceeds will go to Literacy Services of Milwaukee.

Here are some of the baskets.

Other Than is now an Audiobook!

Heads Up! I love listening to stories. For many years, my dream has been to write a novel that could be turned an audiobook. Well, my dream has become a reality.  The most wonderful narrator Keira Stevens brings the characters in Other Than alive.

I’d love for you to hear it! And take part in the cover reveal celebration, which you can find at this link—

https://bookunleashed.com/books/other-than/

If you’d like to sign up for the tour, you can find details at this link—

https://bookunleashed.com/post/blog_tour/sign-up-other-than/

Also, to add to the party, we’re offering the digital version for $ 0.99 and the audiobook for $7.49.

Featured On Bound To Be Me

I’m honored to be featured on Bound To Be Me!

Snowmageddon


Bob Warner’s Snowmageddon

With all the snow lately, you might need something to keep your spirits up. Here’s a picture my friend created and posted. It made me smile. Hope it has the same effect for you.