Independence Day celebrations are known for packing a punch when it comes to fireworks displays. People show up in droves at local parks to see colorful and magnificent pyrotechnics that usually last for several minutes. That was not the case in San Diego this Fourth of July.
What was meant to be an 18-minute show lasted only about 15 seconds when a technical glitch caused every single firework to ignite at once. The crowd of thousands of onlookers at the show, which is one of the biggest in the country, was shocked as people figured out something must have gone wrong. Videos uploaded to YouTube were accompanied by audio of bewildered revelers, with one person saying, "Is that supposed to happen?"
People also expressed their frustration and confusion on social media. One tweet summed up the disappointment many felt: "I waited 3 hours in the cold and paid $12 for parking and got one little explosion?"
According to the official website for the "Big Bay Boom," as it is known, five minutes before the show was set to begin a signal was sent to the barges holding the fireworks to mark the timing for the event. But so far it's unclear what caused the fireworks to ignite all at once. The website also has an image depicting what the event was supposed to look like -- though some have said that it just serves as a disappointing reminder of an outing that was ruined.
A 14-year-old Maine resident is proving that one voice can make a difference. Julia Bluhm won a battle with Seventeen magazine over digitally altered images. The eighth-grader became frustrated with the images she saw throughout the magazine, and she grew concerned about the effect the images were having on members of her ballet class. Julia often heard her classmates compare themselves to the girls in the magazine and call themselves "fat" by comparison. So she decided to do something about it.
On April 19, Julia started an online petition at Change.org. "For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I'm stepping up," she wrote. "I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be."
Julia's cause picked up steam quickly, acquiring almost 85,000 signatures in four days. Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket invited Julia and her mom to her office. A meeting was held in which magazine staffers signed a "Body Peace Treaty," pledging to "never change girls' body or face shapes" and to be "totally upfront" about what goes in the photo shoots.
Julia is not stopping there. She's already started a petition to stop the digitally altered images of models appearing in Teen Vogue. She is again asking the magazine to represent "real girls" and to follow Seventeen's "pledge not to alter any model's body or face and to celebrate beauty in all its forms."
The online response has been overwhelmingly positive. So far, the new petition already has more than 10,000 signatures toward its goal of 15,000.