Tag Archives: July 4

Fireworks Tip

This one caused minor burns & @Maile_wilson's clothe... on Twitpic

I waffled on the “Should I go to the town Fourth Of July fireworks?” decision long enough that the decision became a simple one, if you follow. At which point I was able to tell myself that staying at home was the best plan all along. I’m frustrated by poor signal-to-noise when it comes to travel and excursions. Fireworks are thirty minutes of fun, bookended by an hour of milling around with nothing to do on side and an hour of being stuck in traffic on the other side. That’s the price of getting to and leaving a small patch of land that’s being targeted by thousands of other like-minded individuals.

So here I am: close enough to hear the booms, and nowhere near enough to see the lights.

But I made a nifty discovery just now. I came upon a July 4 blog post with an animated GIF image of real fireworks. And what do you know? The sounds and the image sync up realistically.

Which is to say that they don’t sync up at all. It’s just like being there!

It’s actually kind of uncanny. I’m guessing that my brain is flipping the “Real” indicator light because the sound is a more important convincer than the visual. I get to see video and photos of fireworks year-round. But the CRACKLE and SSSSSSS and BOOOM is one of those “You had to be there” experiences, what with the bass response.

I’ll have to remember this trick. Perhaps next year, I’ll drive to the very edge of the parking nightmare, open up my 15″ notebook, sit through the whole thing, and then be one of the first people to throw the car into reverse and make it out of the apocalyptic exodus of people carrying beach chairs, coolers, and kids who won’t stop screaming until they’re thoroughly convinced that the world didn’t just end.

Auguste Bartholdi, of Paris, France. DESIGN FOR A STATUE

This is the year that Apple’s intellectual-property litigation became just as flashy and innovative as some of its products. And today’s the day we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of America.

So there’s nothing more geeky or appropriate than to read the text of the patent filing for the Statue of Liberty:

Specification forming part of Design No. 11,028, dated February 18, 1879; application filed January 2, 1879.

[Term of patent 14 years.]

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, AUGUSTE BARTHOLDI, of Paris, in the Republic of France, have originated and produced a Design of a Monumental Statue, representing “Liberty enlightening the world,” being intended as a commemorative monument of the independence of the United States; and I hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exacrt description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying illustration, which I submit as part of this specification.

The statue is that of a female figure standing erect upon a pedestal or block, the body being thrown slightly over to the left, so as to gravitate upon the left leg, the whole figure being thus in equilibrium, and symmetrically arranged with respect to a perpendicular line or axis passing through the head and left foot. The right leg, with its lower limb thrown back, is bent, resting upon the bent toe, thus giving grace to the general attitude of the figure. The body is clothed in the classical drapery, being a stola, or mantle gathered in upon the left shoulder and thrown over the skirt or tunic or under-garment, which drops in voluminous folds upon the feet. The right arm is thrown up and stretched out, with a flamboyant torch grasped in the hand. The flame of the torch is thus held high up above the figure. The arm is nude; the drapery of the sleeve is dropping down upon the shoulder in voluminous folds. In the left arm, which is falling against the body, is held a tablet, upon which is inscribed “4th July, 1776.” This tablet is made to rest against the side of the body, above the hip, and so as to occupy an inclined position with relation thereto, exhibiting the inscription. The left hand clasps the tablet so as to bring the four fingers onto the face thereof. The head, with its classical, yet severe and calm, features, is surmounted by a crown or diadem, from which radiate divergingly seven rays, tapering from the crown, and representing a halo. The feet are bare and sandal-strapped.

This design may be carried out in any manner known to the glyphic art in the form of a statue or statuette, or in alto-relievo or bass-relief, in metal, stone, terra-cotta, plaster-of-paris, or other plastic composition. It may also be carried out pictorially in print from engravings on metal, wood, or stone, or by photographing or otherwise.

What I claim my invention is —

The herein-described design of a statue representing Liberty enlightening the world, the same consisting, essentially, of the draped female figure, with one arm upraised, bearing a torch, while the other holds an inscribed tablet, and having upon the head a diadem, substantially as set forth.

In testimony whereof I have signed this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.



C. Terinier

The bad news for Apple: the iPad is unpatentable. See? There’s prior art on this whole “device, tablet-style, surface of which used for the communication or presenentation of data of an informational, reference, or artistic nature.”

The good news: the patent expired over a hundred years ago. So they don’t need to worry about Bartholdi’s heirs seeking an injunction against the iPad’s sale.