Archive for July, 2008

I Live… Again…

Well, I survived another quarter of law school. I can’t say that I did more than survive this quarter, but I’ll leave those details for another post. Right now I am settling into full-blown relaxation mode. Though I have a few plans for productivity over the break, I plan to be a bum for a good portion of it. I’m borrowing an XBox 360 from a friend (no plans at this juncture to purchase one, unfortunately), I have several books that I plan to devour over the next couple of weeks. I plan to see some movies during matinee showings, and will be watching many more in my home theatre. It will be a grand break, indeed.

Further reports as events warrant!

The Finest Rockets Ever Seen Burst in Colors Blue and Green

They should do a bit about his fireworks:

The finest rockets ever seen
Burst in colors of blue and green
Then after that were silver showers
That came falling like a rain of flowers.

Oh no that doesn’t to them any justice.

I can sympathize with Mr. Gamgee on that. Last night, my family went and saw the fireworks show put on by The Woodlands, and we had pretty much the best view in town. They set off the fireworks very near where my wife works, just across the street, in fact. We were able to park in her parking garage, and go up to the top floor (about ten stories up) to watch the fireworks. They were incredibly close, seemingly nearly overhead. In fact, they were so close that you could feel the concussions from the shells bursting in your chest.

What’s more, the fireworks display featured some of the most interesting and exciting fireworks that I’ve ever seen. At one point, they sent up just one firework at a time, but they exploded in heart-shaped patterns. A bit later, a couple exploded in cloverleaf shapes, and there were plenty of “Saturn-ring” fireworks. For a time, they sent up only the kind that whistle and spiral down, which was very exciting. My favorite came near the end, though. They started sending up all-golden fireworks that were simply breathtaking. It was interesting, because the explosions weren’t as bright as the others, but the golden streaks stayed in the sky longer which was a really cool effect. They finished off the night with the most amazing grand finale that I’ve ever seen.

The grand finale - some being launched.  It just doesn\'t do it justice.

The grand finale - some being launched. It just doesn't do it justice.

Normally, the finale is only a few seconds, but this one lasted for at least 60 seconds, maybe two minutes. By the middle of the finale, the actual fireworks were partially obscured by the smoke lingering in the air from those that had just exploded (and it was a breezy night, too). The sound was incredibly loud and it felt like a drummer was using my chest to practice. Being able to see fireworks from launch to explosion enhanced the overall experience, too. I’ve seen fireworks in Washington, D.C. from the Mall, but this was simply the best display of fireworks I’ve ever seen.

It makes me think that being a fireworks designer would be an interesting job, and probably much more complex than it seems on the surface. You probably have to have knowledge of chemistry, etc., to know how to create the different colors, but that they can figure out how to cause them to explode in certain shapes is fascinating.

I hope that everyone’s Fourth ended as good a way as mine did!

Update: Here’s a much better picture of the finale; it gives you a better idea of the number of fireworks going up at once, as well as the intensity of the smoke cloud. It was amazing.

Check out the number of rockets going up, and the size of the smoke cloud.

Check out the number of rockets going up, and the size of the smoke cloud.

To Crush Your Enemies

As previously discussed here, Prof. K (or “The Commodore,” if you believe OHB) extensively discussed with us the concept of “Crushing the Competition” in the first quarter of law school. It first became a source of humor, then a mantra, then an overused phrase, synonymous with “studying.” Today I have discovered new meaning for the phrase. The true meaning.

Those that frequent the Student Lounge at BLS, and specifically, the ping pong table, are aware that recently my roommate, The Blizzard King, has introduced the “Possibly Weekly Very Arbitrary Ping Pong Power Rankings.” The rankings have taken the ping pong playing population by storm, creating debate and controversy about who should be ranked where. Pressure has increased whenever anyone else is around; players fear that word of a mistake may make it back to the ears of The Blizzard King. One top player recently relayed the story of a match with another top player in which no one was around. He noted that it was the best game he had played in such a long time, because no one was there to watch the match and scrutinize his play. The rankings have inspired a new level of competitiveness, with aspiring players pushing that much harder to make the Power Rankings. Today, I saw the true depth to which The King holds sway over the BLS ping-ponging universe. As he walked up with his lunch, one of the players (and a good one to boot) saw him out of the corner of his eye and fanned completely on a routine hit. The Blizzard King, by the simple act of walking into the room, increases the pressure and intensity of ping pong. He has made himself top dog of the ping pong world without ever even picking up a paddle.

That, my friends, is crushing the competition.