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Fireworks On Chinese New Year 2009

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Fireworks On Chinese New Year 2009

25th January 2009

Photographer : Mr. Raymond Lee @2008 | Web Design : Vincent Yong

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Fireworks

A firework is classified as a low explosive pyrotechnic device used primarily for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places. Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with colored flames and sparks. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.

Fireworks were originally invented in ancient China in the 12th century for entertainment purposes, as a natural extension of the Chinese invention of gunpowder. Such important events and festivities as Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival were and still are times when fireworks are guaranteed sights. China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world.

Fireworks are generally classified as to where they perform, either as a ground or aerial firework. In the latter case they may provide their own propulsion (skyrocket) or be shot into the air by a mortar (aerial shell).

The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube or casing filled with the combustible material, often pyrotechnic stars. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of sparkling shapes, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework, although the first skyrockets were used in war. The aerial shell, however, is the backbone of today’s commercial aerial display, and a smaller version for consumer use is known as the festival ball in the United States. Such rocket technology has also been used for the delivery of mail by rocket and is used as propulsion for most model rockets.

Improper use of fireworks may be dangerous, both to the person operating them (risks of burns and wounds) and to bystanders; in addition, they may start fires after landing on flammable material. For this reason, the use of fireworks is generally legally restricted. Display fireworks are restricted by law for use by professionals; consumer items, available to the public, are smaller versions containing limited amounts of explosive material to reduce potential dangers.

History

The earliest unequivocal documentation of fireworks dates back to 12th century China,[1] where they were first used to frighten away evil spirits with their loud sound (鞭炮/鞭砲 biān pào) and also to pray for happiness and prosperity.

Eventually, the art and science of firework making developed into an independent profession. In ancient China, pyrotechnicians (firework-masters) were well-respected for their knowledge and skill in mounting dazzling displays of light and sound. Fireworks may have also led to the use of military rockets in China. A record in 1264 states that the speed of the rocket-propelled ‘ground-rat’ firework frightened the Empress Dowager Gong Sheng during a feast held in her honor by her son Emperor Lizong of Song (r. 1224–1264). By the 14th century, rocket propulsion had become common in warfare, as evidenced by the Huolongjing compiled by Liu Ji (1311–1375) and Jiao Yu (fl. c. 1350–1412).

Since then, any event—a birth, wedding, coronation or New Year’s Eve celebration—has become a fitting occasion for noisemakers.

Amédée-François Frézier published a “Treatise on Fireworks” in 1706, covering the recreational and ceremonial uses of fireworks, rather than their military uses. The book became a standard text for fireworks makers.

Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 to celebrate the peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which had been declared the previous year.

In the United States

America’s earliest settlers brought their enthusiasm for fireworks to the United States. Fireworks and black ash were used to celebrate important events long before the American Revolutionary War. The very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777, six years before Americans knew whether the new nation would survive the war; fireworks were a part of all festivities. In 1789, George Washington’s inauguration was also accompanied by a fireworks display. This early fascination with their noise and color continues today.

In 2004, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, pioneered the commercial use of aerial fireworks launched with compressed air rather than gunpowder. The display shell explodes in the air using an electronic timer. The advantages of compressed air launch are a reduction in fumes, and much greater accuracy in height and timing.

House Warming – PhotoTech

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House Warming

Photographer : Mr. Raymond Lee @2007 Web Design : Vincent Yong

Location : Sri Putramas 2 Condominium, Jalan Putramas 2, Kuala Lumpur.

Natural Plants Malaysia-Beautiful Natural Plant

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Natural Plants Malaysia-Beautiful Natural Plant

Photographer : Mr. Raymond Lee @2006 Web Design : Vincent Yong

Location : Jalan Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Plants provide nourishment for our bodies and souls. With the help of protists and fungi, plants provide the oxygen we breathe and the food that sustains us — either directly or indirectly, by feeding other animals. Plants provide shade over our heads and cool carpets under our feet while surrounding us with beautiful colors and marking the change of seasons.

Prominent plants give us a handle on ecological communities. Descriptions such as “Redwood-Tanoak Forest” or “Oak Grassland” indicate not only the plants we may find there but the animals, fungi, and climate as well.

Classification of the plant kingdom can be especially confusing to the amateur naturalist. For example, according to modern botany:

  • A palm tree has more in common with a blade of grass than with other trees.
  • A strawberry plant is more closely related to an apple or apricot tree than to a clover or geranium.
  • A Ginko (Maidenhair) tree is so different from other plants that it is in a phylum by itself. But if you have to group it with other plants, it belongs with conifers such as Pine trees.

At least four classification systems are in common use: Plants are classified into 12 phyla or divisions based largely on reproductive characteristics; they are classified by tissue structure into non-vascular (mosses) and vascular plants (all others); by “seed” structure into those that reproduce through naked seeds, covered seeds, or spores; or by stature divided into mosses, ferns, shrubs and vines, trees, and herbs.

All of these higher-level groupings are decidedly lopsided: the vast majority of the 270,000 plant species are flowering herbs. The categories listed below provide slightly better balance: the largest phylum has been split while the other phyla are grouped according to one or more of the methods described above.

Mosses and Allies (Bryophyta and allies)

[icon: moss] Mosses are non-vascular plants — they cannot transport fluids through their bodies. Instead, they must rely on surrounding moisture to do this job for them.Though small in stature, mosses are very important members of our ecosystem. They lay the foundations for other plant growth, prevent erosion, and contribute to the lush green appearance of many forested areas.The 24,000 bryophyte species, sometimes grouped into a single phylum are now grouped in three phyla: Mosses (Bryophyta), Liverworts (Hepatophyta) and Hornworts (Anthoceraphyta). They reproduce by spores, never have flowers, and can be found growing on the ground, on rocks, and on other plants.

Ferns and Allies (Pteridophyta and allies)

[icon: ferns] [icon: fern allies] Ferns and allies have a vascular system to transport fluids through their bodies but like the mosses, they reproduce from spores rather than seeds. The main phylum, the Ferns (Filicinophyta = Pteridophyta) includes around 12,000 species.
Three other phyla are included as fern allies: the Horsetails (Sphenophyta = Equisetophyta, 40 species; right, accompanied by an orchid), Club mosses (Lycopodophyta, 1,000 species), and Whisk ferns (Psilophyta, 3 species)

Conifers and Allies (Gymnosperms = Coniferophyta and allies)

[icon: conifers]The gymnosperms add the next level of complexity to plant evolution: they reproduce from seeds instead of spores. The seeds, however, are “naked” (Greek: gummnos) — not covered by an ovary. Usually, the seed is produced inside a cone-like structure such as a pine cone hence the name “conifer.” Some conifers, such as the Yew and Ginko, produce their seeds inside a berry-like structure.Conifers are fairly easy to identify: In addition to the aforementioned cones, these trees and shrubs typically have needle-like, scale-like or awl-like leaves. And they never have flowers.

Approximately 600 species are counted as conifers including the pines, firs, spruces, cedars, junipers, and yew. Species within the conifer ranks give us pine nuts — pesto’s magic ingredient — as well as juniper berries for gin.

Conifer allies include three small phyla containing fewer than 200 species all together: Ginko (Ginkophyta) with a single species: the Maidenhair Tree (Ginko biloba); palm-like Cycads (Cycadophyta) ; and herb-like cone-bearing plants (Gnetophyta) such as Ephedra.

Flowering Dicot Plants (Angiospermophyta, Class Dicotyledoneae)

[icon madrone] Angiosperms add the final improvement to plant reproduction: they grow their seeds inside an ovary (Greek: angeion = vessel) which is, itself, embedded in a flower. After it is fertilized, the flower falls away and the ovary swells to become a fruit.Angiosperms in the class Dicotyledoneae grow two seed-leaves (cotyledons). In addition, foliage leaves typically have a single, branching, main vein originating at the base of the leaf blade, or three or more main veins that diverge from the base.The vast majority of plants are Dicots. Most trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers belong to this group of around 200,000 species. Most fruits, vegetables and legumes come from this class.

(Angiospermophyta is also called Anthophyta or Magnoliophyta)

Flowering Monocot Plants (Angiospermophyta, Class Monocotyledoneae)

[icon: narcissus] Monocots start with one seed-leaf. The main veins of their foliage leaves are usually unbranched and nearly parallel to each other. Around 30,000 plants are classified as monocots including many of the prettiest members of kingdom Plantae: orchids, lilies, irises, palms and even the Bird-of-Paradise plant. The grasses which carpet our lawns and meadows are also monocots.Monocots provide us with our primary sources of nutrition, supplying us and the animals we eat with grains such as wheat, oats, and corn, as well as fruits such as dates and bananas.