The Late Movies: Fireworks Around the World

To celebrate Independence Day in the US, I've collected fireworks displays from around the world. Can't find a good fireworks show in your neighborhood? Just make these fullscreen and crank up the speakers.

New Year's Day 2012 - London

BBC One's coverage of the fireworks display in London for New Year's 2012, complete with an over-the-top musical medley. Now you know what Big Ben looks like spouting rockets. Set this one to HD and be amazed.

Disney's Crazy Star Wars Fireworks Display

As part of "Disney's Last Tour to Endor," this fireworks show was staged in Orlando, Florida featuring the John Williams score and miscellaneous dialogue from the films. Remember that last seen in Jedi? This is nothing like that. Warning: contains tons of spoilers for the movies (on the bright side, it spoils the prequels too).

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary

Just over a month ago, this happened.

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration from KFOG Radio 104.5/97.7 on Vimeo.

Kim Dotcom's New Zealand Fireworks Display

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom put on a half-million-dollar fireworks show for the people of Auckland, New Zealand. Without getting into Dotcom's legal situation, this is kind of awesome:

Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

This display highlights individual fireworks, and is much more restrained than most displays I've seen.

Omagari, Japan (?)

The location of this is just a guess based on YouTube comments. Regardless, this is beautiful -- and a real contrast to the previous Japanese video.

2011 Disney World Christmas Show

Near Orlando, Florida.

July 4, 2010, Austin Texas

They say everything's bigger in Texas -- and for your sake, I hope your subwoofer is sufficiently powerful to handle all the bass in this display.

Virtual Fireworks

This display was created using FWsim, a fireworks simulator. This is why we have computers.

Afternoon Map
8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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