Slow crackers at the Rapids

I went with some family to see the Rapids play the Chicago Fire tonight – this is soccer, in case that needs said.  We lost 2-1; it was a disappointing game, as much because it felt like we deserved to lose as because we did.  For half the game, the guys just didn’t seem to be able to control the ball – instead of low, one- or two- touch passing, they’d punt it, someone from the Fire would get it, and they might just do the same thing.  There are times for kicking the ball high, but not on every pass.  There was a pretty bad (lack of a) call by the refs toward the end of the game – someone on Fire fell trying to get the ball from Casey, flailing his arms at the ball (looked like a hand ball).  Casey kept control anyway and was fouled by another Chicago player, who tripped him so he about fell on his face, with no call from the ref in either case.  This was right around the 18 and should have gotten a card for the Fire player or a kick for us.  If we had gotten the call and scored, it would’ve been a draw.

There was a fireworks show after the game, or at least there was supposed to be.  Our section, along with a bunch of others, went down to sit on the field for the display.  It started off alright, but after an opening sequence the fireworks slowed to the point where they were launching individual crackers with 10-second delays between them, if not longer.  We left early (along with half the audience, judging by the traffic jam), but were told that the show was paused for “technical difficulties.”  I’ll say – they were boasting before the game that this would be the biggest fireworks display in the state.

Also, there was no synchronization whatsoever between the music on the loudspeakers and the timing of the fireworks.  That kind of cheapens the show.  I hope they at least meant for it to be synchronized.

I do wonder how firecrackers work.  There are the commoner ones that start off one color when they burst, then change while they’re falling, or the ones that sparkle like glitter.  One pair tonight looked like a cluster of wheat stalks upside down, and another looked like a sort of rocket launcher – first it shot up in a wavy zigzag, then just when it had almost lost its momentum, an offshoot leapt from the end of it and exploded while the original flare faded.  I wonder about the chemistry that’s going on that makes each firecracker look the way it does when it bursts.  What elements are used and how are they made to explode when and how they do?

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