In other news, the United States bans apple pie

As security measures increase for the upcoming Olympic games in China (why are they being held there again? To reward China for their great gains in granting basic human rights? No, that's not it? Something about their giant economy or something? Oh, it's just totally unclear? Swell), there comes this notice about China banning fireworks in and around Beijing. Now, banning fireworks in Maine is one thing. We're not the brightest bunch and we can barely be trusted with sparklers. But the Chinese kind of invented fireworks and take a national pride in them: A Chinese monk named Li Tian, who lived near the city of Liu Yang in Hunan Province, is credited with the invention of firecrackers about 1,000 years ago. The Chinese people celebrate the invention of the firecracker every April 18 by offering sacrifices to Li Tian. During the Song Dynasty, the local people established a temple to worship Li Tian. [tangent]Anybody else send away for M-80s when they were kids and then stick them inside lego-built cars and light the wicks just as you rolled the cars off the roof so that the cars blew up into a thousand lego shards in mid-air?[/tangent] So, in the name of security, the Chinese government are taking away the equivalent of, like, jazz music (the only enjoyable thing I can think of right now that we Americans invented). If they're really worried about keeping people safe, maybe they should stop executing 1,000 people a year.