Sue's List

Sue's List

Sue’s List #23


From dazzling fireworks that paint the sky to the mesmerizing sight of driverless EVs cruising the streets in Vegas, we've got it all. And if you're up for an adventurous escape, join the Rowayton River Ramble, where nature's beauty dances alongside your every step.



For Statistics

Firework Fever Explodes: Sales Soar to New Heights, Surging $100 Million and Lighting up the Sky!

Get ready to light up the night sky and make your eardrums tremble, because consumer fireworks sales are about to soar like a rocket shooting for the moon! According to Julie Heckman, the executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, we're looking at a whopping $100 million boost in sales this year. That's a spicy 4.4% increase from last year, folks! Talk about explosive growth!

But hold on a second, let's rewind to the start of the pandemic. Remember how we were all stuck at home, watching reruns and missing out on those dazzling professional firework displays? Well, while the big shows took a hit, demand for the smaller stuff went through the roof like a skyrocket on New Year's Eve! Snaps, sparklers, and all those fantastic novelty devices saw a jaw-dropping 90% surge in sales compared to 2019. Who knew we had so much pent-up pyrotechnic energy?

Now, let's talk big bucks. Last year, large firework sales made an epic comeback from their pandemic-induced slump. We're talking sales topping a mind-blowing $400 million! In 2020, it was a measly $93 million, but we bounced back like a phoenix rising from the ashes. And in 2021, we already hit a cool $262 million. 

But here's a fun fact that might surprise you: 98% of those fabulous backyard fireworks we adore are actually made in China. Yep, that's right, the Chinese pyrotechnic wizards are the masters behind the magic. However, it hasn't always been a pretty picture. Manufacturing conditions were often unsafe, and for way too long, children were not only part of the manufacturing process but sadly, also the victims of deadly accidents. It's a good thing things have changed.

Nowadays, U.S. importers make sure child labor is a big no-no. They're like superhero inspectors, frequently jetting off to visit those Chinese factories and ensuring that the little ones are nowhere near the production line. Safety is key, my friends! There's even an American Fireworks Standards Laboratory with boots on the ground, testing products, hosting safety seminars, and making sure those factories are following the rules. No child labor allowed! We're keeping the sparkle and joy without any unwanted shadows.

So, get ready to ignite the night and embrace the explosive fun, knowing that safety is a top priority. With skyrocketing sales and a world of pyrotechnic possibilities, it's time to celebrate with a bang! Let the fireworks frenzy begin!


For Unusual

Scent-sational Sensors: Lunchbox-sized Guardians Sniff Out Fires Before They Ignite!

Imagine small, lunchbox-sized sensors hanging on light poles and scattered throughout wildfire-prone communities, acting as the newest line of defense against devastating fires. These sensors possess a unique ability to "smell" the chemical components of a fire before it even starts, something that traditional surveillance methods like drones and satellites cannot do. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken the lead in deploying hundreds of these fire sensors in areas where urban and wilderness landscapes intersect. By detecting volatile organic compounds and gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxides, and particulate matter, these sensors offer a promising early warning system. Field tests are currently underway in Virginia, Oregon, Washington, California, and Canada, and so far, the technology looks highly encouraging. These sensors, which are a thousand times more sensitive than your average smoke detector, operate differently from typical optical sensors and can identify fires at their ignition point rather than after they have already started. The goal is to notify authorities with minimal delay, potentially preventing future catastrophic fires. With their non-camera-based systems, these sensors can operate in any conditions, such as rainstorms or even when visibility is hindered by smoke. While there are challenges to overcome, including false alarms and the logistics of initial deployment, the potential impact of these sensors is significant. As "fire weather" conditions become more prevalent, having an efficient and reliable early warning system is crucial. The ultimate vision includes integrating fire and flood sensors with navigation systems in cars, providing alerts while driving. Commercial applications are also on the horizon, with possibilities ranging from incorporating the technology into home security systems for insurance discounts to even transforming humans into mobile sensors. With a robust network of these sensors, we can bolster our preparedness and response to potential fire hazards, ushering in a safer future for all.


For Explore

Driverless EVs Arrive in Las Vegas

Get ready for a taste of the future in Las Vegas! Now, if you're in need of an electric vehicle (EV), you can have one delivered right to your doorstep without a driver. That's right, no chauffeur necessary! Halo.Car, the trailblazer in this cutting-edge technology, has been testing the remote delivery of on-demand electric cars since 2022. And guess what? Their technology has advanced to the point where they've bid farewell to the backup safety driver. So, imagine this: an empty car pulls up, and you simply hop in and drive away. Behind the scenes, a skilled remote pilot, located miles away, expertly controls the vehicle using a steering wheel, foot pedals, and other controls. Video and sensor data stream in real-time, ensuring a smooth ride. Thanks to T-Mobile's 5G network, with AT&T and Verizon as backups, you can enjoy a reliable connection with low latency. Just summon a modified electric Kia Niro SUV through the Halo app, and when it arrives, control is handed over to you. When you're done, you switch control back to the remote pilot, exit the vehicle, and it moves on to the next lucky customer or heads to a charging station. While Halo.Car's vehicles are currently followed by employees in a chase car for safety, the plan is to expand the fleet and coverage area in Las Vegas, with other cities joining the revolution in 2024. Welcome to the era of driverless EVs, delivered at your convenience!


For Small Peeps

Rowayton River Ramble

Every July, the Rowayton Civic Association throws a fantastic event at Pinkney Park that is brimming with laughter and excitement for both kids and adults. The park transforms into a haven of amusement, guaranteeing a memorable time for everyone involved. Children will be overjoyed as they encounter the delightful petting zoo, where they can cuddle adorable animals and experience the wonder of nature up close. The thrill continues with pony rides, as little ones embark on magical adventures atop these gentle creatures. For those seeking a refreshing escape from the summer heat, water slides beckon with their slippery slopes and thrilling splashes.

Sat Jul 8, 2023 from 11a-3p

Location: Pinkney Park, Rowayton, CT

All ages and free admission

Thanks for reading the entire list!

Happy 4th and see you next Tuesday-



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