Posts Tagged ‘Fireworks’

Enjoy the 4th — But Keep it Safe

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

It’s impossible to picture July 4 in America without fireworks. But they can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.

Of course, it’s always best to attend a community celebration where fireworks are handled by the pros. But if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

°    Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.

°    Read and follow all warnings and instructions.

°    Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

°    Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials.

°    Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

°    Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.

Keeping it Real, Beijing Style

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008


I guess I shouldn't be shocked to learn that the adorable little girl whose song melted hearts during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was lip synching — and that the girl who did do the singing was yanked from the show "for the national interest" at the last minute because she was considered not cute enough.

Nine-year-old Lin Miaoke was simply doing the old Milli Vanilli act and lip-syncing to the voice of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi (who is pretty darned cute, by the way).

“The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s musical director, in a state radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.” The decision was made at the highest levels, Chen said.

“We had to do it,” he added. “We’d been through several inspections. They’re all very strict. When we rehearsed at the spot, there were several spectators from various divisions, especially leaders from the Politburo, who gave the opinion it must change.”

Few who watched the Olympic ceremony realized the deception. "Tiny Singer Wins Heart of Nation," read the headline in Tuesday's China Daily newspaper.


As a parent (and simply as a person with a heart) I feel sad for young Yang Peiyi, who must have been crushed to realize, at the eleventh hour and after what must have been many hours of rehearsal, that she would not appear in the opening ceremony.

But given the way China de-values women and girls in general, I can't say I'm shocked that only (perceived) "perfection" would do in this case. After all, this was a carefully orchestrated presentation for the world. The only happy ending here is that Chen Qigang and his buddies "at the highest levels" were found out in the most public way.

Well, at least we know that spectacular fireworks presentation that we all saw on TV was the real deal.

Oh, wait. I guess not.