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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

••◊ Happy Birthday America!

For those in the USA July 4th is Independence Day.  It officially commemorates the signing of The Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776.  The congressional vote took place on July 2nd, but the exact date of the signing of the declaration is a source of dispute among historians.  Some claim that the declaration was actually signed on August 2nd.  What isn't in dispute is that the declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson.  Just to briefly change the subject, but stay on the topic of birthdays, below is a picture of a t-shirt worn by my photog friend Kevin at our little Independence Day party.  He shoots for Jinx clothing so he was wearing what he sells.

Last year I took a trip to Washington DC for an honorary award reception at NASA for our involvement in the NASA space elevator challenge. After the reception I bravely walked a few bone chilling blocks over to the Capitol Building and took a tour.  Somehow they let me in with my virtual arsenal of photography gear, tripod and all - which was somewhat unexpected given that capitol security gave me a hard time about my tripod at the WWII memorial with no one else around.  The guard must have thought I was a 5150 given the early morning winter temperature.  The capitol tour guide took us into the room where, legend has it, Thomas Jefferson perfectly positioned his desk inside the dome ceiling room such that he could hear any whisper inside the room because it was the center point of acoustic reflection. The legend also claims that he would pretend to nap at his desk just to listen in on other's legislator's conversations!

But what is Independence Day really all about? EXPLOSIVES!  ...um, I meant firework displays.  When I was little I used to love lighting off my own fireworks but they are pretty much banned in SoCal.  M-80's, Saturn Missiles, Roman Candles, firecrackers, tanks, whistlers, snakes, sparklers (Tim Allen grunt implied);  of course we drank out of the garden hose too, so take of it what you will.  In San Diego we have to relinquish our once a year desire to blow stuff up.  Below are some firework photos from Del Mar (...sigh...) from a safe distance.

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