THE 20TH COMMONWEALTH GAMES GLASGOW 2014

What: Commonwealth Games 2014
Where: Celtic Park, Glasgow
When: 23rd July 2014 – 4th August 2014

Over 40,000 spectators will shortly be taking their seats for one of the biggest events Scotland has ever seen.

With the TV coverage reaching another billion watchers, already the 20th Commonwealth Games has been at the centre of some controversy, after a plan was launched to blow up five of the remaining six red road tower blocks as part of the opening ceremony using a massive 2755 pounds of high explosive was quashed after an online petition to raise awareness of the cultural significance of the 1960s style accommodation attracted thousands to sign up to keep the iconic skyline.

Over the next 40 days, 6500 athletes from 71 nations will battle it out while onlookers on site will be able to get a clear view of the games on Europe’s biggest TV screen. Weighing in at a gargantuan 38 tonnes, the 100 metre wide-screen, covering a whopping 1020 square metres, it is sure to bring all concerned closer to the action. The “window on the world”, as it has been dubbed, will connect the games, the people of the city and the commonwealth together, although just how this will happen is being kept firmly under wraps. David Zolwer Head of ceremonies and artistic director who has been overseeing rehearsals is keeping shtum, adding to the building anticipation.

What is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a voluntary intergovernmental association of 53 member states formed in 1949 which have been either directly or indirectly ruled by Great Britain or our Monarch at some point.

Queen Elizabeth II remains the reigning monarch for sixteen of the members, five members having their own monarch with the remainder being republics, each having a common language, history, culture, democracy and human rights.

But let’s face it, it’s the fireworks we are interested in but even with our contacts in the industry we know very little about the pyro that will be fired, such is the secrecy concerned with this event. The little information we have been made aware of, we dare not mention at this point or “heads will roll”.

Here is a clip of the last Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi just to give you an idea of what to expect.

We hope all the competitors perform to the best of their abilities and Good Luck to everyone concerned

Greener ‘Blue’ Fireworks

Over the last few years, chemists, scientists and of course pyrotechnicians from around the world have been looking towards producing greener and cleaner fireworks.

It was the efforts of an US army team of firework specialists what discovered a chemical compound, long ago dismissed as ‘inert’ that was actually up to the task of replacing the chemical ‘Barium’ which usually produces the green in fireworks.

Barium is not a carcinogen but in higher doses can affect the nervous system causing anxiety, depression and tremors as well as affecting heart rhythm and has been recorded as a poison due to the number of deaths it was identified in.

Jesse Sabatini, Chemist at the Picatinny Arsenal in the US state of New Jersey, was tasked with replacing the green colouring in the hand-held flares used by the military in conflict zones as well as being incorporated into the training regime of the military to simulate gunfire and explosions. As such, they would regularly use higher than safe amounts of Barium and run the risk of exposing soldiers to it too so something had to be done.

It had to be cheaper to produce, cleaner and of course safer than Barium.

Initially, they looked to Boron but as it is a fast burning element it lost light too quickly to consider using in its original state. However, the discovered that by adding Boron Carbide to amorphous boron they could successfully lengthen the burn time and the colour was very good.

This is of course excellent news for the firework industry as it costs a great deal less than Barium too. They applied a similar theory when replacing the red flare compound but they knew that creating the ‘Blue’ might be a little more taxing. The blue in fireworks is firstly the most expensive to produced and uses copper chloride but it being a perchlorate, is known to affect the function of the Thyroid but one of the real issue was that everyone was of the opinion that copper perchlorate was the only possible ‘blue’ producing flame.

The tried a similar approach to the one adopted with the green and red flames and found they achieved a very good, bright and rich ‘blue’ using Copper (i) Iodide.

Great …. So they found a cleaner, greener, less harmful alternative which is non toxic but the cost at the moment still keeps it out of the reach of the pyro industry but the search continues.

I for one am delighted that there are some efforts being put into this particular field of science. That said, I do question why it has taken more than 200 years, since the Italians added the salts and metals used today into fireworks to make colour, for this field to see any real move forward but watch this space – we will keep you appraised of any further developments.

Rewind Scotland

What: Rewind Scotland
Where: Scone Palace, Perth
When: Friday 18th July – Sunday 20th 2014

Over this coming weekend prepare to travel back to the 80s, as the Rewind Scotland enters its third year.

Happy memories of the 80s will surely come flooding back to those of us of a certain age, as the biggest bands of the decade take centre stage. Familiar names like Billy Ocean, 10CC, Heaven 17, Midge Ure, Go West, Hall & Oates, ABC, T’Pau and Johnny Hates Jazz to name just a few.

So popular is this annual event it has mostly sold out, although tickets are available for the Sunday starting at a reasonable £55.00 for adults and £27.50 for children.

There will be a huge array of entertainment on offer including:

• 80s themed bars
• funfairs for all ages
• street entertainers
• karaoke
• a quiet area to sit and chat with friends whilst enjoying the entertainment
• and of course the pinnacle of the event in our eyes: Fireworks.

We here at Epic HQ would love to have been able attend, most of us being children of the 80′s but work comes first, we don’t want to disappoint the customers who will be collecting their fireworks for their own celebrations, weddings, birthdays etc. over the weekend.

Planning your own music revival? , we can help, having the UK’s biggest range of fireworks fully stocked all year round at better than half price offers and the best quality pyro available, don’t take our word for it, read what our customers have to say at http://epicfireworks.com/testimonials

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