Panic Blog

Copywriter: Cabel.

Yay! 4th of July Fireworks 2011!

(Note: last year, Blogger turned off ‘FTP Publishing’, sadly disabling my personal blog. The good news? I’ve officially scheduled a migration to WordPress in 2017. The bad news? This blog post, which has nothing to do with Panic, will have to live here for now. Enjoy the distraction! —Cabel)

“Hey, Gabe! Nice to see you. You gonna take more photos this year?”, asked the friendly Blackjack Fireworks owner with the large, silver handgun strapped to his waist.

I guess that makes this a tradition, then!

Welcome to my 5th annual look at funny fireworks. (You can get up to speed with 200720082009, and 2010.) These Chinese-designed and American-targeted fireworks from Brothers, Alien, Boomer, and more, hold a very special place in my design, marketing, and explosive heart. I hope you enjoy them also.

Stunning Stock Photography

The lady in the bottom right can’t help but smile every time she hears “You’ve Got Mail!”.


Most accurate “baby boomer” photo ever. Also, please read the “Performance Description”.


Sports dudes: do these guys say “Americana” to you? (I honestly don’t know.)


Surprising Graphic Design

Time from File > New to Save as PDF: 7 minutes.

Exactly how I imagine Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft went down.


Shotgun shells? Pool cue? Or is this baby chicken a suicide bomber? What is going on?

Questionable Concepts

PERFORMANCE: An eerily accurate simulation of what happens to me when I drink a grande latte.


That seems like an exceptionally bad idea.


Who can forget the classic Biblical passage where all God’s creatures die in a fire?


It just seems like a really specific thing to be blowing up is all.


Hot eats, cool copyright infringements.


So, so close.


“And this is my brother, Breaker.”


Classic! Another digital fantasy interrupted by a pop-up window that says “500 GRAM”.


The Grand Finale

Tucked in the corner of the shop, I see this. It’s like they knew I was coming.

Computer? Yes please. What could this possibly be? Stumped, I drew in closer, and discovered the secret…

This firework “laptop” actually hinges open.

Yes. The Windows key! The cursor nub! And this amazing desktop picture:

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s over — there’s no need to design any more fireworks. “Computer” has been made.

Bonus Movie

Here’s what happens when you light “Computer” on fire. Happy 4th of July, people!

Posted at 12:36 am 57 Comments

The computer it’s like the real thing!

“Computer”… hilarious! How much does something like that go for?? :-D (But really… shouldn’t the fuse be on the Windows key??!)

Score x10 for the video soundtrack! :)

Paul D. Waite

7/4/2011 4:50 AM

I’m not even American, and I’m feeling a little misty-eyed and patriotic now.

“Nice screensaver. I love the way the smoke seems to be coming off the top of it.”

I’m surprised that Brothers actually has a website listing all their fireworks (with spoiler videos in glorious RealPlayer format):

Just like the “Panic Sale!” video of yore, it’s the Kleenex box that really puts “Digital Fantasy” over the top.

I love this series. Keep it up,

Steven Frank

7/4/2011 10:57 AM

Shoots flaming balls and… reports??

Craig Hockenberry

7/4/2011 11:08 AM


Amazingly this is exactly what my MacBook did when I first installed Windows XP on it ;)

Love the little Apple logo on the Recycle Bin icon.

Wow, thats just like my old Sony Vaio. Except it charred the carpet, not the parking lot.

Brad Choate

7/4/2011 3:57 PM

If PC manufacturers would make _that_ the method of “recycling” a laptop, sales would go up a million percent.

Kris Hunt

7/4/2011 4:19 PM

Is that a comma between “July” and “4th” in the lower right corner of the screen?


7/4/2011 4:25 PM

@steven frank: it’s the FOX news ideal!

The only thing that could have been better would have been if they had stolen the Transmit truck icon and used it on the fake desktop image :)

Awesome, Fluffy. The IT Crowd for the win. :)


Sounds like a Fox News broadcast.


7/4/2011 5:33 PM

Nice. A glimpse into the future of Chromebooks.

HEY WAIT! You featured Blond Joke in your 2009 roundup… and the box is the same! Clearly you’re slipping, Mr. Sasser!

(I kid. This is an annual highlight. Thank you.)

I installed Linux on my “Computer,” and it blew up way better.

Brian Peat

7/4/2011 6:12 PM

Anyone notice a pattern here? Why aren’t they just called “The Flaming Balls Company” ? :)

Robert M

7/4/2011 6:19 PM

Hey… you found a vintage PowerBook 5300!

John Temple

7/4/2011 6:24 PM


Ty Sarna

7/4/2011 6:29 PM

That video of “Computer” is actually quite accurate to the Sun 3/60 workstation I had once, when the flyback transformer shorted to the monitor’s metal chassis. It was spectacular!

I bet the firework smelled better though.

John Gruber

7/4/2011 6:49 PM

I own all intellectual property rights to anything involving flaming balls. Prepared to be sued, China!

Matt Deatherage

7/4/2011 7:16 PM

@John Gruber: You know, they offer topical creme now for that…


7/4/2011 7:42 PM

this is super funniness. thanks for sharing the joy.

Zach A. Thomas

7/4/2011 8:19 PM

Titanic crackling!

Eric Peacock

7/4/2011 8:55 PM

As always, thanks for posting these.

“Computer” is probably going to be challenging to top come next year. That made my day.

I set a NeXTcube on fire once. It looked remarkably similar to ‘Computer’. (

James Ratcliffe

7/4/2011 9:10 PM

They have a Canadian hockey player (Calgary Flames) hoisting the Stanley cup on the “Americana” package.


7/4/2011 9:40 PM

@James Ratcliffe – He’s actually Steve Yzerman from the Detroit Red Wings. But it’s true, he is in fact Canadian.

Steve Wiedemann

7/4/2011 9:48 PM

Dell already did that laptop with Sony Li-ion batteries. Hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

The web site listed on Computer’s display is not that of World Wide Fireworks, but instead of (apparently) a domain squatter — which makes it that much more special.

Eric Swinson

7/5/2011 1:03 AM

Now we know what Sony did with all those recalled notebook batteris

Clearly that laptop had Flash installed on it.


7/5/2011 1:05 AM

Damn, was going to say “saw a dell do that once” but Steve Wiedemann got there first.
Love the facepalm on Baby Boomers.

Stephane Ruscher

7/5/2011 1:46 AM

Cancel that new MacBook Air release, I want this !

Ian Gillespie

7/5/2011 4:41 AM

I’m surprised that pressing the “Begin” button didn’t ignite it.

Cheesehead Dave

7/5/2011 5:20 AM

The last one would be more accurate if it were a PowerBook 5300…

Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell! (puff, puff, pass)


7/5/2011 8:41 AM

My desktop needs a “commence” button.


It should’ve had the BSOD printed on the screen. Ctrl + Alt + “BOOM!”

Aaron Kay

7/5/2011 8:01 PM

“Is it really done?”

“I hope…”

Best part of the whole post!

Very cool.

But do I detect that the guy who owns the fireworks stand doesn’t actually know your name?

The real question is: Can it run Crysis?

looks like the next iPhone killer.

Looks just like the P-P-P-Powerbook! (Google it!)

bromo brown

7/7/2011 1:14 PM

One of the best entries yet, however, I have to take exception with what you consider to be the “Most accurate ‘baby boomer’ photo ever.”


12/13/2011 6:10 PM

“Get a Mac!”

fireworks Greece

3/29/2012 11:12 PM

Very excellent post as usuall,very innovative fireworks


6/1/2012 9:54 AM

The blue clit mouse and butt-ugly trackpad suggest it’s ripped off directly from Dell’s Precision line. They’re good laptops. Really!

Dana Pfanstiel

12/10/2012 9:28 PM

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ManM Fireworks

2/18/2013 9:51 AM

The pictures on the fireworks are very funny. Blond Joke and Baby boomers are nice fireworks.
Be safe guys.