Sunday, July 9, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Fireworks vs Drone Light Show

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
by Peggy Robin

Now that we've had our Fourth of July fireworks during one of the highest air pollution weeks in the history of the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, it's time to consider whether there's a better way: A light show in the sky, put on by computer controlled drones.

The YouTube video below give a good overview of how it works:

Now take a look at this six-minute drone light show over Sydney harbor.:
And this is in a country that's been scorched by wildfires, worse than anything currently burning in Canada. The drone light show added nothing harmful to the air down under -- but the variety of patterns and formations was far more creative than anything that can be done with fireworks.

On the other hand.....

There's that irreplaceable thrill that comes from "the real thing" -- the gigantic explosions of color, and yes, the noise and the smoke, too.  Take a look at this real fireworks show over the East River in New York City:

You can see why there are those who would say, it's not really the Fourth of July without honest-to-goodness, real fireworks.

Feast your eyes on this sampling of amazing photos taken at this year's Fourth of July fireworks show down on the Mall - all submitted by contributors to the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang:

Here's one more great shot from this past Fourth of July, from Kevin Ambrose, tweeting as DCStormChaser:

You'll never get THAT image from a drone show!

On the other, other hand, a drone light show won't....
  • terrify dogs and small children
  • start fires, damage property, and injure or even kill people, when things go wrong
  • as already mentioned, cause the particulate matter to soar into the "unhealthy" range
  • cause confusion and even panic when flash-bangs get mistaken for gunfire -- or just the opposite, cause some people to think,"it's just fireworks," when it actually is gunfire.
So....should we stick with the real thing? Or move on the a 21st century style technological display in our skies for next year's Fourth?

There are 361 days left to decide!

Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays, but occasionally on Sundays. 

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