FastCompany Magazine

The official Tumblr of Fast Company.

Fireworks used to be different. A single rocket would fire into the stratosphere. It would explode with sparks that filled the night sky. The audience would ooh and ahh. And after a few moments of silence, the cycle would repeat.
That’s not just your childhood memory at work. Fireworks shows really were slower and fueled by bigger explosions just a few decades back. Today, shows tend to pack in more, smaller fireworks to make up scale in bulk. There are a variety of intersecting anthropological and financial reasons for that, explains Doug Taylor, the president of Zambelli Fireworks (a company that will put on roughly 600 fireworks shows across the country this holiday weekend). People live closer together, safety regulations have gotten tighter, and if you don’t have size, fireworks are exciting in sheer densityHow McMansions murdered big fireworks

Fireworks used to be different. A single rocket would fire into the stratosphere. It would explode with sparks that filled the night sky. The audience would ooh and ahh. And after a few moments of silence, the cycle would repeat.

That’s not just your childhood memory at work. Fireworks shows really were slower and fueled by bigger explosions just a few decades back. Today, shows tend to pack in more, smaller fireworks to make up scale in bulk. There are a variety of intersecting anthropological and financial reasons for that, explains Doug Taylor, the president of Zambelli Fireworks (a company that will put on roughly 600 fireworks shows across the country this holiday weekend). People live closer together, safety regulations have gotten tighter, and if you don’t have size, fireworks are exciting in sheer density

How McMansions murdered big fireworks

As part of our #Unplug series we asked, “What do you miss (if anything) about life before the digital age?” Here are some of our favorite responses:
"The art of conversation, mystique and actually getting to know a person at a natural rate than via online presence… and of course privacy…” —Bree Williams 
"Peacefulness and serenity." —Henry Johns
"The happy ignorance of not knowing how genuinely crazy some of my friends and family are.” —Todd Wilson
"People actually having to work to stalk you." —Daisuke Iwamura
"Wonder. Before the Internet you would wonder about everything. Now you can just look it up." —Matthew Green 
Here, a few more things we miss about life before the digital age

As part of our #Unplug series we asked, “What do you miss (if anything) about life before the digital age?” Here are some of our favorite responses:

  • "The art of conversation, mystique and actually getting to know a person at a natural rate than via online presence… and of course privacy…” —Bree Williams 
  • "Peacefulness and serenity."Henry Johns
  • "The happy ignorance of not knowing how genuinely crazy some of my friends and family are.” —Todd Wilson
  • "People actually having to work to stalk you." —Daisuke Iwamura
  • "Wonder. Before the Internet you would wonder about everything. Now you can just look it up." —Matthew Green 

Here, a few more things we miss about life before the digital age

What (if anything) do you miss the most about life before the digital age?

"Face to face conversations. Children playing outside." -Richard Saling

"I miss actual phone conversations. People only want to Facebook and text! No one wants to have phone conversations anyone it seems.” -Angel Spikes

"QUIET movie theatre experiences….and yes…vinyl records (which I still collect)." -Greg Hale

"Seclusion" -Brian Tromburg

Wonder. Before the Internet you would wonder about everything. Now you can just look it up. -Matthew Green

"The happy ignorance of not knowing how genuinely crazy some of my friends and family are." -Todd Wilson

More of what our readers miss from before the digital age

  • Charles Dickens was a proponent of strict routine—and walking. He worked from 9.a.m. to 2.p.m, without fail, and needed complete silence. At 2.p.m. he would go for a 3-hour walk and returned, the book notes, bursting with energy and ideas.
  • Maya Angelou likes writing in hotel rooms. She talks about checking into her sparse hotel room and working from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., accompanied by a dictionary, a Bible and a bottle of sherry.

The daily rituals of the world’s most creative people