Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Disney Goes Boom!

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the time-on-target dept.

Toys 198

BoomZilla writes "Reading Disney's alliteratively titled Practically Perfect Pyrotechnics introduces the latest in firework launch technology. Gone are the 'light blue touch paper and retire a safe distance' days. Shells are now launched using compressed air. No burning black powder means no smoke drifting over the residential neighborhoods, plus a safer show. Best of all the new system is more precise and can launch shells higher than black powder, enabling spectacular new effects. An additional article: The future of theme park fireworks covers some of the pros and cons of compressed air launch systems." We mentioned this earlier.

cancel ×

198 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Full of hot air (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133331)

...just like Disney.

Re:Full of hot air (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133467)

- Fireworks in Disneyland


- Mozilla changes a page

- All encryption is useless

- Clown is angry

- Native American gets a hard-on

Slashdot digest of today: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133480)

- Fireworks in Disneyland

- Mozilla changes a page

- All encryption is useless

- Clown is angry

- Native American gets a hard-on

Prevent Disney from going "Boom" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133336)

Save Slashdot from Michael (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133451)

Dupes and crap all the time. Sometimes dupes of crap.

Looks Great, Less Smogging (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133337)

I'm not sure the launch charge contributes too much smoke, as I've found the charge which distributes the firework to create more -- usually evidenced by a series of greyish clouds carried away by higher winds. Grand Finales have had so much smoke at heights to obscure some of the fireworks themselves. Then there's the matter of where I live having a chronic fog/marine layer problem which has rendered the most fantastic displays only so many noisy, colorful blurs. Even they cute smiley ones, like the mouse pattern Disney is so fond of.

The air in the Los Angeles/San Bernardino area can be pretty awful, which probably has a lot more to do with their efforts to decrease smoke. I visited the Grand Canyon years ago and heard sometimes the visibility, in the summer is so poor you can't see across the canyon, thanks to smog from San Diego and Los Angeles/San Bernardino, hundreds of miles to the west. (Fortunately I was there in winter, which I highly recommend (South Rim open only), with 200+ miles of visibility.)

A word of advice: Try to avoid a down-wind position for fireworks as sulpherous ash may drift down into your eyes and it burns like H2S.

Re:Looks Great, Less Smogging (1)

cbelt3 (741637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133374)

Agreed- The advances that Disney has either driven or inspired involving the use of compressed air/water 'charges' are another example of improved controllability. The 'singing waters' fountains made so popular are also cases in point. Now if I can take that 'stomp rocket' that my kids use, and duct tape a little C-4 to the top of it- cool !

INteresting fact (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133474)

LA has half the pollution and four time more cars then it had in 1970's.

Re:Looks Great, Less Smogging (4, Interesting)

RWerp (798951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133541)

So what? The worst environmental hazard connected to fireworks are elements like barium needed to make those colorful flames. This Disney technology won't change it.

Re:Looks Great, Less Smogging (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133548)

and it burns like H2S

Or onions.

WHY WONT SLASHDOT POST THIS STORY? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133568)

LIES, LIES, LIES (1)

Commander Trollco (791924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133580)

You haven't ever been to Southern California, have you?

The Los Angeles basin does not have appreciable smog, except when the Santa Anas kick in, and even then it is just a thin brown layer. Certainly not a major impact on visibility. And this marine layer you speak of has this tendency to, say, BURN OFF from ~~10am, without returning normally until early morning, typically after most displays are finished.

Next fallacy. Can't see across the Grand Canyon? This Grand Canyon that is separated from any smog source by hundreds of miles? Yeah, right, all of Orange County sends its fog to the Grand Canyon, without any dispersion.

"Sulpherous[sic] ash may drift into your eyes". The only ash, or solid product of a gunpowder shell, comes from the paper+glue casing. The (minimal) amount of Sulphur in gunpowder is converted mostly to Sulphur Dioxide, a gas.

You made all of this up, didn't you?

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133662)

Next fallacy. Can't see across the Grand Canyon? This Grand Canyon that is separated from any smog source by hundreds of miles? Yeah, right, all of Orange County sends its fog to the Grand Canyon, without any dispersion.

You haven't been to the Grand Canyon on a high-smog day, have you? True, you can usually see across the canyon itself, but you can't look down the length of it, and side canyons may be obscured.

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (1)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133713)

Sure, it may be smoggy, but blaming this on LA is pretty farfetched... the smog will dissipate in the hundreds of miles of desert between the two... hell, it's not smoggy in the desert 50 miles from LA.

That said, the guy above was either joking or trolling... I recently climbed a nearby mountain, and you could see the smog band pretty distinctly...

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (3, Interesting)

smclean (521851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133696)

The Los Angeles basin isn't what the poster was referring to IMO, but east Los Angeles, and San Bernadino. Have you ever been out to Ontario or Riverside at 3pm on a stagnant July afternoon? I lived in Ontario for 2 years, and I'm not surprised in the least at the fact that San Bernadino county has the worst smog in the United States. Driving out there from Los Angeles in the summer, every single day you could see a thick blanket of black smog hovering above Pomona.

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (1)

digitac (24581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133760)

This was true in the mid 90's when I was growing up, and going to school out there. We used to have a lot of smog alerts and some days you couldn't see the nearby mountians. It's really gotten a lot better, I don't recall seeing a smog alert in recent years, much less a higher level one. The the progress that has been made in recent memory can continue, then hopefully smog will be something we complain about because of the very sensitive meters and not because we can see it. ::Digitac

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (1)

smclean (521851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133869)

Interesting. I lived out there in 1998, having moved there from North LA county, it was quite bad. I seem to remember smog alerts, though I wasn't particularly attentive of such things. I just went out to Fontana not too long ago and it really wasn't that bad, but I had assumed it was just a fluke. Why is it getting better? Was all the pollution before the result of industrial pollution? Because surely there are more cars on the road.

Re:LIES, LIES, LIES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133848)

I live on the coastline in North San Diego County, and let me tell you - the marine layer burn off by 10am you refer to can only be relied upon in mid to late summer. The rest of the time, count on being socked in. Sometimes I think it's like living in the Seattle area... just without the pesky wetness.

As long as the boom is still there... (2, Informative)

ianbnet (214952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133342)

I'm pretty excited about eventually seeing one of these shows in action. I don't think I'll miss the smoke of the rockets, as integral as that might be to a traditional show.

As long as the big boys still make that oh-so-satisfying "BOOM" when they go off, I'll be thrilled as ever.

So you know it's a dupe... (-1, Redundant)

databoing (259158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133347)

WHY THE @#$@#% did you post the story, then?!?!?!?

Re:So you know it's a dupe... (1)

Ianing (715094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133529)

Because the extra links at the end inform better then the orignal.

Re:So you know it's a dupe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133659)

Update the original story then.

Change is Bad! Very Bad! (4, Funny)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133348)

No burning black powder means no smoke drifting over the residential neighborhoods, plus a safer show. Best of all the new system is more precise and can launch shells higher than black powder, enabling spectacular new effects.

But I like watching the billows of smoke drifting across the river! And if the fireworks go any higher, I won't be able to watch them from my computer desk! They'll be blocked by the balcony of the apartment above mine!

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (5, Funny)

Private Taco (808864) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133387)

Perhaps Disney would give you some of their leftover black powder pyrotechnics and you could take care of that upper balcony.

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133388)

No powder used to lift the shell, means much more explosive powder that can be used in the shell. If you used 25% of the weight of the shell to lift it before, (I'm making numbers up.. anyone know the real numbers, please correct me) then now you can have a 25% bigger boom.. (roughly).. which makes me happy, i like to see big explosions..

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133427)

Fireworks are launched by a classic blackpowder mortar system: there's a lofting charge in the launch tube (basically, a bag of gunpowder), and the shell (usually consisting of a bursting charge, a number of "stars", and filler to give it a spherical shape). Changing the lofting mechanism from gunpowder to compressed air won't make a bit of difference for the shell.

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133843)

and filler to give it a spherical shape

There are two major types of Class B fireworks in the world: the spherical (mostly Asian made) and the cylindrical (mostly American/European made). The Asian style uses a pre-fabricated hard casing so that filler is unnecessary for the shape of the shell; filler is used mostly for keeping the shell balanced in flight and to keep the stars spread out (helps with the nice round bursts). The American style uses a soft paper casing around a cardboard form. This is then wrapped with string and paper mache. The filler is required to stop the casing and form from collapsing when it is strung and glued.

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (5, Informative)

jnaujok (804613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133519)

A typical 8" shell weighs about 3 pounds, of which about 1 ounce is the lift charge. Most of the weight comes from the shell casing (pressed glued paper) that holds the burst charge and the stars and keeps them together long enough for the stars to ignite when the timing fuse burns through to the burst charge. Disney is probably using 4" shells for most of their stuff, so figure a pound of shell with a tablespoon of lift charge.

For reference, the largest shell ever fired (the 36" Fat Man) weighed 800 pounds and was lifted 1400 feet in the air by 1/2 pound of black powder.

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133846)

The thing about air lifting a charge farther is complete and utter bullshit.

Most of the LARGE shells use under an ounce of powder to lift them 300+ feet. That's not alot to lift an 8lb projectile that high.

Seriously, you could put as much in the tube as you thought would leave the tube and the mortar intact... The only probelm is you'll put it up WAY too high to be enjoyable. Air dosen't make a lick of difference.

Re:Change is Bad! Very Bad! (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133862)

You bring up a very intereting point about more boom.

I wonder how this boom is going to affect all the stucco houses in the area?

Once the stucco is fractured, water gets in, and the stucco rapidly deteriorates.

I've often wondered if a homeowner close by one of these venues which emit loud booms like this can hold the emitter of those booms responsible for damage to their house.

Of course, actually proving the monetary damage to your house may be as much of an inexact science of proving monetary damage from people making mp3's out of the CD's they bought.

They may take away our encryption... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133353)

...but we'll always have dupes (and Paris).

Too Easy... (5, Funny)

Alaren (682568) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133357)

So now when people say Disney sucks, I can say, "Well, I don't know about that..."

"But their fireworks sure blow."

Re:Too Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133422)

Are you here all week? And should we try the veal?

Re:Too Easy... (3, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133448)

And should we try the veal?

Skip the veal. Go for the fish.

Argh! (4, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133363)

Disney Goes Boom!

You get my hopes up, then no chapter 11. :-(

Re:Argh! (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133391)

You get my hopes up, then no chapter 11. :-(

Thanks to Michaels Cooking the books and some finagling they had a pretty good looking quarter, last report, mostly due to the theme parks. They've been hemoraging cash on movies though, which should warm your heart.

Re:Argh! (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133417)

They've been hemoraging cash on movies though

But now, they save money on the cost of matches!

Disney is losing. (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133694)

They've been hemoraging cash on movies though

Darn right:

  • Disney has shut down its cel animation studios and switched to a CG format (ever noticed how Mickey and Minnie tilt their heads down when facing the camera?), under a misguided belief about how the Pixar co-productions beat Disney's recent cel-animated productions at the box office. Disney will already be bleeding by the time its animation division realizes that Pixar's movies had a plot.
  • Pixar has only two movies left with Disney, titled The Incredibles and Cars. Once these complete their theatrical and home-video runs, Disney will be bleeding even more.
  • Disney relies on its back catalog for revenue. Watch Disney start bleeding again in 2023 when the Supreme Court invokes three strikes (hinted at in the Eldred opinion) against the Chastity Bono Act and a revamped Mickey Mouse joins the supporting cast in other animation studios' films. (Trademark law potentially bars other studios from casting Mickey in a leading role.)

boom (-1, Offtopic)

ramsac (809598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133370)

disney on the forefront...of firework technology...microsoft beware...

on a different note

As everyone have probably heard, there are 2 sites, 1 offering Free Flat Screen TVs, and 1 offering Free I-pods. Basically you sign up and complete one offer, and get 8 people to complete an offer as u as the referrer.

**Heres the trick** When they ask you to signup for a service, signup for the one free month of Netscape. Once you complete the signup, call netscapes 800 number and cancel your account, and you wont get billed a dime. 1-866-541-8233 is the 800 number. I got credit for the complete and so did the other people I have told about this.

Free Flat Screens Without my Referer ID [freeflatscreens.com]

Free I-pods With my Referer ID [freeipods.com]

Free Flat Screens With my Referer ID [freeflatscreens.com]

Free I-pods Without my Referer ID [freeipods.com]

There are 4 links, u can use me as a referal or not, im not trying to spread this on for everyone.

Re:boom (0, Offtopic)

ramsac (809598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133399)

*i am trying to spread this on for everyone to use

Re:boom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133421)

You should work for Amway [cocs.com]

BEWARE PYRAMID SCHEMES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133403)

Someone always loses. Most likely it will be you.

so.. (0, Offtopic)

makeyourself (704660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133371)

you weren't supposed to get close before?
say what?
can't hear ya!

Wait... (4, Funny)

still_sick (585332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133376)

We still hate Disney, right?

Or do we like them now? Or do we like thier fireworks - but feel immediately compelled to qualify that statement with BUT DISNEY STILL SUCKS...

I'm so confused.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133413)

Considering that they have decided to donate the patents on this invention to a non-profit group I would say that we should all like/respect Disney at least a tad. That's a great move.

Naa... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133651)

It would have been great if they didn't patent it at all. You'll likely still have to pay this non-profit (which means shit BTW) group to use it.

Re:Wait... (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133670)

Before you start fellating Disney for their kindness; keep in mind they get a nice tax write off for it.

Re:Wait... (1)

xenlab (658576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133827)

And they're gave $5,000 each to employees that lost property in Hurricane Charley. Not a loan or anything... A friend of my mom's got one of them.

I respect them for that.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133416)

I'm so confused.

That's because you're a mindless sheep who needs others to tell you what to think. Get your head out of your ass.

Slashdot is not a hive-mind (3, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133518)

Obligatory response pointing out that Slashdot is comprised of many people, some of which like Disney, some of which don't.

One thing we all agree on, though, is that the "Do we hate ________ today?" joke is fucking tired.

Sincerely,

TU

Re:Slashdot is not a hive-mind (3, Funny)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133733)

So do we hate "Do we hate X today" jokes today or not?

Re:Slashdot is not a hive-mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133857)

Obligatory response pointing out that Slashdot is comprised of many people, some of which like Disney, some of which don't.

You're new here, aren't you...

Re:Slashdot is not a hive-mind (3, Funny)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133872)

Obligatory response pointing out that Slashdot is comprised of many people, some of which like "Do we hate _______ today?" jokes, some of which don't.

Obligatory response pointing out that Slashdot is comprised of many people, some of which like recursive jokes, some of which don't.

Well that ought to wrap that up. Move along.

Beer-can mortars anyone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133386)

I know Im not the only kid who did this, the best ones were with a propane air mixture and a spark plug to ignite the gas electrically.

Re:Beer-can mortars anyone? (5, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133492)

Oh yeah. The old-style beer cans were perfect tennis ball size. What's really cool is soaking the tennis ball with lighter fluid first. About 1/2 the time, it comes out on fire.

When it goes all the way down the street, and rolls under a neighbors car, still on fire...the decision to go get it or run is a tough one.
(don't ask how I know this)

Re:Beer-can mortars anyone? (4, Interesting)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133497)

My potato guns use a customized ignition like what you're describing. The guns themselves are PVC, and the ignition is a camera flash circuit wired through a car ignition coil, which goes into a spark plug. Hairspray shoots the potatoes a good 150 yards if you wedge them in there enough.

Slightly more on-topic though, a friend of mine has a real nice compressed air potato gun that has an electronically triggered poppet valve. Despite the fact that his gun cost much more and is so much more complex, mine shoots more rapidly, farther, and louder. They both get a nice cloud of smoke out the barrel after the shot though. His because of the rapid decompression, and mine because of the burning hairspray. Surprisingly, we have mutual respect for each other's designs and we don't really compete with each other so much as help with design and construction problems.

My next gun will be compressed air, and once I figure it out with PVC, I'm moving on to stainless steel to hopefully get a supersonic potato (or other projectile) gun :-)

Re:Beer-can mortars anyone? (1)

RWerp (798951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133528)

My next gun will be compressed air, and once I figure it out with PVC, I'm moving on to stainless steel to hopefully get a supersonic potato (or other projectile) gun :-)

"The right to bear arms..." --- does it say anything on potatoes?

Re:Beer-can mortars anyone? (1)

nigelc (528573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133854)

Atually, the BATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, what more do you need?) explicitly do not classify a potato cannon as a firearm requiring a license. Here's some kid's copy of the standard letter [ucsb.edu] but the meat of the matter is this:

The Bureau has previously examined devices known as "Spud Guns, Potato Guns, or Spudzookas" and have determined that such devices, in and of themselves, are not firearms as defined in Title 18 United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 44, S 921(a)(3) or 26 U.S.C., Chapter 53, S 5845.

What? They use Bluetooth? (2, Interesting)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133393)

Is it really true that they use Bluetooth for shell detonation? I thought the range was limited. And it seems rather expensive compared to fuses. But I guess it's Disney... :-)

Re:What? They use Bluetooth? (1)

Honor (695145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133574)

I don't know, but it doesn't seem likely to me. It would be a stupid idea for other reasons then money - seems to me it would be a very attractive opportunity for hackers! Just imagine, a warehouse full of them going off in the warehouse...

Re:What? They use Bluetooth? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133649)

a warehouse full of shells blowing up inside of an even larger warehouse? Interesting.

Dupe, but a funny one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133394)

Well, since the article is a self-admitted dupe, we may as well repost the funniest comment from last time around [slashdot.org] too.
"What's the fun in fireworks if there's no boom when they're shot?"

The celebration of freedom will now instead contain the Looney Tunes sound of "FWOOMP!"

Which tragicomically seems a good fit, given the world today.

odd timing on this... (5, Insightful)

wintermute1000 (731750) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133401)

I just find it amusing that Disney released all this news about their revolutionary, wonderful new launch system and then proceeded to roll out a new pyrotechnic show at Disneyland that, by all accounts, is disappointing at best compared to the one it replaced. Sure, it may be less polluting, but it's also a lot less fun.

Sure, there are other factors that caused the switch in shows, but the timing was unfortunate. They basically managed to associate environmentally friendly fireworks with totally boring fireworks, which, by an inspection of their description of the new launch technique, really isn't the case at all.

Re:odd timing on this... (1)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133753)

I don't know much about this other than an article I read a few weeks back, but I think it's possible they are starting carefully (I would). If things work as well as expected, they'll probably gradually increase the quality of the show.

That said, the fireworks I saw at Butchart Gardens [butchartgardens.com] are so amazing I can't do them justice.

I imagine... (3, Interesting)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133402)

I imagine someone in a location where fireworks are legal could rig up a poor mans version using something similar to a Potato Cannon (the pneumatic type).

Re:I imagine... (5, Funny)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133537)

I imagine someone in a location where fireworks are legal could rig up a poor mans version using something similar to a Potato Cannon (the pneumatic type).

Correct. These are the same people you read about in the Darwin Awards.

Re:I imagine... (1)

Mr.roboto (112555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133622)

probably, but most pneumatic potato guns are fired with a rain bird solenoid valve used in sprinkler systems. Very easy to use remotely, heck wrig you computer up to set em off =)

Re:I imagine... (2, Funny)

switcha (551514) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133632)

...could rig up a poor mans version using something similar to a Potato Cannon

To be followed immediately by the blind and fingerless mans version.

Re:I imagine... (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133667)

I don't get how you think this all means death. First off, many people launch potato cannons, and unless you look down the barrel, not much is going to hurt you. Added fireworks, its still safer than the same person launching one normally (no fire during liftoff). And as someone pointed out, it wouldn't be incredibly hard to rig it up electronically. Nothing with fire and bang will ever be 100% if you DIY, but its still probably safer than just shooting it off normally...

With high explosives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133404)

Pyrotechnics are done with black powder, which is a low explosive.

Re:With high explosives? (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133443)

Not when they're launched 200 feet up in the air =)

OLD NEWS!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133420)

When I read the first few words I was thinking, I have read this before, nit sure if it was or on the sightseeting area of www.firingsquad.com but here's an old link about this samwe thing.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/thisweek/st ory/0,12 977,1078149,00.html

What if.... (2, Funny)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133429)

What if I'm allergic to the air that will spread to the residential area ??

Does Eisner know about this...??? (2, Interesting)

COBOLgrrl (715134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133447)

From the article: The air-launch technology is such a revolutionary step forward that Disney has decided to share it with the pyrotechnics industry as a whole. The Walt Disney Company plans to donate the seven patents produced for the air-launch process to a non-profit group that will license the technology to the rest of the pyrotechnics industry. Cool article, shocking conclusion. Must now re-evaluate opinion of Disney...

Re:Does Eisner know about this...??? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133676)

Hang on, by licensing the technology, no matter if free or not means that the company has to have Disney on the books somewhere.

Whether or not money is involved, its still a business exposure.

Or am I just being too cynical?

Fireworks... let me think... (3, Funny)

Lac (135355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133473)

Fireworks shmireworks. I find this Disney merchandise [victoriassecret.com] much more worthy of my undivided attention. Oh well... Priorities, I guess.

aww.... (1)

CatDogLordOfTheRoot (778170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133513)

No burning black powder


Is it just me or is it not lighting fireworks without the gunpowder smell and the soot all over your hands?

Re:aww.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133877)

Yup... my family was in the fireworks business for years. I grew up selling class C fireworks, working crowd control, and explaining the process to people. Sometimes I miss those days. Nothing takes me back like going to a show and getting to smell the black powder.

The Smallest Revolution (1)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133530)

"Gone are the 'light blue touch paper and retire a safe distance' days.

You go ahead and stand next to the mortar if you want, but there are plenty of other ways for that round to cook off prematurally, not to mention what'll happen if a compressed air hose (enough to send a hefty shell 200+ feet into the air) bursts. Sure, the accident ratio will probably drop dramatically, but I'll keep my distance just the same.

Besides, normal ignition techniques will still be around for some time to come, if only because it's loads cheaper to fuse the bad boy than to lug around an expensive high performance compressor and the marginally more complex fusing in the shell itself.

old news twice over (5, Interesting)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133540)

When I read this article the first time [slashdot.org] , I emailed it to a friend of mine who works in the Pyrotechnics division at Disney World, and he replied saying that he didn't know what prompted them to write that article when they did -- Disney has been using that technology for several years now. Oh well, I guess old news is still news. Maybe it was just a slow news day the first time /. had that article, and an even slower news day this time...

Re:old news twice over (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133746)

I wonder if this news story has been released as a (forgive me) smokescreen to cover the bad press about the changes to this years firework show.

In the article, they describe using this year as a "test-run" for next years big birthday.

A poster earlier in the discussion mentioned something about this years show as being disappointing at best (http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=12026 0&cid=10133401 [slashdot.org] )

old news? (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133544)

I could of swore a few years ago a friend told me about alternative rocket launching abilities. She lived in some hot desert place in America (Texas maybe..) and said they used compressed air or something similar to launch rockets because black power was too dangerous in the heat.

Why does it matter if Mickey mouse is now doing it? I was under the impression people at Slashdot were beyond Disney's target audience..

Saw it July 4th, first day they revealed it. (2, Insightful)

The Panther! (448321) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133545)

I took my wife and kids to Disneyland in Anaheim to check out the display. I have some video of it that isn't quite ready for web display (or should I say, I'm too busy :-), but suffice it to say it's a different show. They actually had two displays on July 4th, with slightly different timings and effects.

After seeing the same sort of fireworks for decades, I think it was more interesting than the old fire up and go boom. The most noticeable change is they can do much higher quality synchronized launches. One effect (a little overused) fired off a bunch of streamers in sequence at different angles, and because the flaming bits are not powered after launch, they have a nice regular parabolic trajectory. Nice effect.

However, they have a great Grand Finale either way. It's also nice to know my $150 worth of tickets went to something donated to the public (patents).

From matchlock, to airgun, to railgun? (1)

flamingspinach (668085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133554)

Practically Perfect Pyrotechnics? In practice, it's probably even more imperfect than it looks on paper. >_> Now what they should really do is create railgun launchers for fireworks. Apparently the USA military is already in the process of developing missile launcher technology based on the electromagnetic railgun - an civilian applications would be both profitable and fun! >:) -fs

and they open-sourced it! (1)

Blue Lang (13117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133555)

bottom of the article says they donated all the patents to an NPO for relicensing. that's.. unusually cool of them.

we've had these for years (1)

Mr.roboto (112555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133578)

it's called pneumatic potato guns, a hillbilly's delight if you will. www.xinventions.com

you FAjIL it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133599)

Hmm, compressed air plus explosives... (1)

snarkasaurus (627205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133604)

I'm thinking there's just something about that combination that sounds so wrong.

Am I the only one? (1)

graveyardduckx (735761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133612)

Am I the only one that immediately thought terrorists blew up Disneyland when I read the subject?

Like others... (1)

Caraig (186934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133613)

...I found the title sadly misleading. No Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Disney. ;_;

However, that being said... even though Disney is still an evil corporation and amongst the most evil, this is a nice gesture on their part to make the compressed-air technology available to everyone.

What I'd like to know, however, is why they didn't release it into the public domain? Then again, this is Disney; they abhor the public domain, so it oprobably stands to reason that they wouldn't dare touch that prospect.

Re:Like others... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133853)

Then again, this is Disney; they abhor the public domain, so it oprobably stands to reason that they wouldn't dare touch that prospect.

Not necessarily so. They open-sourced their Panda3D game engine [cmu.edu] , used most notably for their game Toontown Online.

Here's a bit from their FAQ:
Panda3D was originally developed at the Disney VR Studio. Disney VR used a proprietary IRIX-specific system called DWD (Disney's World Designer) to create several DisneyQuest Virtual Reality Attractions, such as "Aladdin's Magic Carpet VR Adventure", "Hercules in the Underworld", and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Buccaneer Gold", between 1997 and 2000. In 2000, Disney VR embarked on the Toontown Online project, and decided to build a new engine that contained many of the DWD design principles, but would be more modular, so it could be ported to more platforms, and more easily change over time. The new engine was dubbed "Panda3D", ostensibly standing for "Platform Agnostic Networked Display Architecture".

In 2002, Disney VR decided to make the engine open source, so they could more easily work with universities (such as UNC) on Virtual Reality research projects. However, the system, although quite usable by the team that developed it, was not quite "open source ready". There were several interested users, but building and installing the system was incredibly complex, and there was little in the way of documentation or sample code, so there was really no significant open source community right away.

In 2003, Jesse Schell left the VR Studio (on good terms, he claims) to join the faculty of the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center [cmu.edu] . The ETC was looking for something like Panda3D -- a 3D engine powerful enough to create compelling experiences, but also open and flexible. Since then, ETC students have been working to make Panda3D usable at the ETC and by the world at large.

Black smoke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10133644)

Having watched the fireworks from the 7 story parking garage across the street from Disneyland I can say there is still a lot of black smoke. And it doesn't help that Fantasmic ends with fireworks 10 minutes before the main event. Thank god I don't live around there.

Yes my fellow Americans (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133685)

It has been confirmed that the evil terrorist state known as Disneyland does have the means to produce weapons of mass combustion.

Black powder has its advantages (2, Interesting)

seanscottrogers (565312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133686)

The one thing I did like about black powder is the ability for controlled burns, allowing a much slower ascent for fireworks which light up on the way up. I don't think that's possible with this technique.

Re:Black powder has its advantages (1)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133804)

Yes it is, they use electronically timed fuses now. They gained a lot of precision with the new technology. Having seen it just 2 nights ago, the synchronization of the explosions with the music was near perfect.

Government funded? (1)

loqi (754476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133695)

I remember hearing something [eatthestate.org] about the Department of Energy giving Disney a big fat grant for brighter fireworks... I wonder if this is related?

Some Clarifications - And More Info (4, Informative)

mistermund (605799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133783)

Here's some additional info that the articles don't mention.

The WDI spokeswoman says "Disney isn't sure when its Central Florida theme parks could install or start testing the new fireworks launch system."
Actually, the air-launched fireworks are not completely new, but Disneyland is the first time they're using air for the whole (or majority of the) show. The first use was at Epcot down at Walt Disney World for the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth show - where the first "comet" effect that screams over the lagoon is air-launched from on top of one of the pavilion buildings. If you're walking in that area around 15 minutes before the show starts, they rope off the main pathway that passes under the launch area. You do hear a big fwoosh when it goes off. The last time this bit made Slashdot, some comments were debating the gas used - in this case they're compressing plain air.

The new Wishes fireworks show which has been playing since last Fall at the Magic Kingdom at WDW also planned to use the air launch, but the cost of the installation was too much and traditional fireworks have been used. Unlike WDW where there's a sizable land buffer between residences and the parks, Disneyland has large neighborhoods of people surrounding it, and they exert pressure on the local government to make things more difficult (and expensive) for Disneyland. Wishes also introduces the concept of firing shells from within the park off buildings in Fantasyland, which makes for some spectacular effects if you're watching from back in that area.

Also related, Disney is working with a top national lab on fireworks that look just like normal pyro, but burn with much less smoke. While some shows use the smoke the fireworks produce for great effect, eliminating it could be nice for others. Another technology that has been slowly introduced is the use of shells that contain a sacrificial computer chip that syncs its timing upon launch and fires an electronic fuse when up in the air to obtain much more precise ignition timing than could be accomplished conventionally.

Overall, there's some very cool tech going on, but whether Disney chooses to use it all over the place is more of a question of practicality than simply because they have it, so it's good to hear they're donating some of the tech.

Damn, Title Misleading (2, Funny)

Merlinium (678576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133806)

I was hoping that Disney actually did go boom, and blowed the hell up. After RTFA, I find out its just some nonsense about fireworks and how to make them go higher.

paux on you, I curse thee, for raising our hopes then dashing them on trivial crap.
May the fleas from a 1000 camel infest your armpits.

adios tink (5, Funny)

mmmmmhotpants (800341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10133823)

Now with improved accuracy Tinkerbell becomes a more formidable target.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?