Sunday, 15 January 2012

NEW HEIGHTS

Today, the hit-counter on my blog went from this...

To this...


So, since a little celebration is clearly called for, I thought some fireworks might do the job!

Below is how, two weeks ago, the Venetians saw in 2012 on the Bacino San Marco.

There's a slightly overlong, boring, bit about 1:30 in when there seems to be nothing much going on except a puddle of light on the waters of the lagoon (about as effective as reported accounts of the 'river of fire' on the Thames at the Millennium), but it soon picks up again and ends with the usual blitzkrieg of dazzling whiteness that everyone expects.



An amusing postscript: the 31 December 2011 edition of Venice Word made the following announcement...
NEWS - To avert the annual risk of animals being frightened, literally, to death by the deafening noise of fireworks, major Italian cities are limiting traditional midnight fireworks displays or, as in Turin, banning them entirely. There is also hope that the reduction will lower the number of injuries to humans due to the improper use of the gunpowder. Venice will be among those imposing limitations.
I didn't see this year's firework display (it was too far for me to walk to a vantage point, so David went and filmed it), but sitting in our favourite restaurant, I certainly heard them - as, presumably, did the city's animal populace!

Quiet fireworks? Hmmm... Not sure – even in our politically correct society – that they're ever going to catch on!

7 comments:

A Snow White Sanctum said...

400,000 and counting! Congrats on another blogger milestone.

I do feel for the frightened animals, but silent fireworks would be like watching digital fish on your computer screensaver. Interesting at first but they kind of pale in comparison to the real thing.

docnad said...

Congratulations, Brian, on your new milestone! Please don't slow down now.

scb said...

Well done, Brian! You're on your way to 500,000... no limits to the possibilities.

Suzanne said...

Silent fireworks - an interesting concept! Maybe they should try letting them off somewhere in the stratosphere (do I mean stratosphere?)
baladong: an alternative noise for fireworks

Boll Weavil said...

Congratulations on the blog ! It's an integral part of my day and something I always look forward to reading.

Elena said...

Congratulations for your blog!
There are also fireworks (I'm not sure this is hte correct term in English, here they call them "botti") that only make a loud noise and nothing to see, so I guess a limitation of these would be beneficial.
Many cities followed Turin in their ban; most of them decided at the last moment (with various reasons; here in Milano for example they were forbidden to limit air pollution) , so people had already bought the material and obviously used it...
The ban was not respected (unsurprisingly), but I think some positive result was obtained...As usually here I would start hearing "botti" from the very early afternoon of the 31st December to the late morning of the 1st January, whereas this year they were all used only around midnight, and after about an hour everything was silent again...My cat was not particularly scared, actually (nothing comparable to the truck that washes the road every week!) and maybe concentrating all the noise in a short period avoided a longer stress on animals..
Anyway casualties were high, as usual, with 2 dead and more than 500 wounded (many of them children).

Brian Sibley said...

Suzanne – Currently having a Hobbit/TLOTR mind-set, I can't help thinking that 'baladong' is a bit like a Balrog only not quite as vicious...

Boll – Gawsh! Thanks, Boll!

Elena – I understand how alarming the noise of fireworks can be for animals, but my experiences of them in Europe (Italy, Portugal and Greece) has been that what is even more dangerous is the way they are (literally) handled: I've seen rockets - and huge mortars - being let off from the hand and at a firework display in Guimarães (Portugal) multi-Catherine-wheels were set off on poles above our heads - when they finally fell over, you had to jump out of the way!

After the best firework display I ever saw: Redentore in Venice (see my post A Feast to Remember, we were covered with the black ash from burnt out fireworks!

But then I suppose all beauty comes with its inherent dangers... :)