San Diego steps up rivalry with Seattle

Seattle and San Diego: two beautiful port cities anchoring the western corners of America, whose names both begin with an S.

You may not be aware – and this will get to a point, I promise – but for all their similarity, Major League Baseball declared the Mariners and Padres interleague rivals, like the Cubs and White Sox; Giants and Athletics; Mets and Yankees. If you ever hear someone complain that public transportation in this country sucks, do remind him that we have a Subway Series 1,500-miles long.

You might imagine that MLB declared the teams rivals because they share a Spring Training facility, Seattle is something like the most church-free city in the country while the Padres are friars, or they ran out of teams that made sense to match up (such as the Cubs and White Sox; Giants and Athletics; Mets and Yankees).

But you would be wrong: the Mariners and Padres are rivals because their respective cities are rivals.

The two have much to bicker over: Northwest vs. Southeast. Beautiful summer vs. Beautiful weather year-round. Canadian drug problems vs. Mexican drug problems. Baseball and football and futbol vs. Baseball and football.

And now, firework debacles. Earlier this evening, San Diego took the bitter rivalry to the next level:

Or, in case you’re not sure what you just saw/you prefer words:

Those watching the Big Bay Boom in San Diego’s Glorietta Bay witnessed what was either an accidental fireworks display — or a very disappointing fireworks show.

Port District authorities said a “technical difficulty” resulted in all the fireworks going off at once.

About 5 minutes before the show was supposed to start, a sudden burst of fireworks shot into the air near the bay. Throughout downtown San Diego, a large rumble could be felt just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday night.

It appeared that hundreds of fireworks were set off at the same time. The explosions lasted a few seconds.

– Big Bay Boom indeed: San Diego fireworks go up all at once, 7/4/12, MSNBC

This monumental screw-up was obviously meant to shame Seattle’s own claim to firework infamy:

Or, in case you’re not sure what you just saw/you prefer words:

A corrupted computer file is to blame for the three-minute delay to last night’s start of the fireworks show at the Space Needle.

Two technicians had to press buttons to manually set off about 5,000 fireworks.

About a minute before midnight, technicians with California-based Pyro Spectaculars realized that the computer program that controlled the display was not going to work, said Mary Bacarella, a spokeswoman for the Space Needle. They rebooted twice, then decided to do the show by hand.

“It was like, well, should we go for it, or should we shut it down? And we decided to go for it,” she said.

Usually, technicians press a single button to start the show, then run outside to watch it. This time, they had to manually start 1,582 “queues,” the lines of computer code that control the choreographed show. The fireworks couldn’t go off simultaneously as planned, so the show lasted 11 ½ minutes instead of 8 ½. The music sequence ran as scheduled, so it was not in sync with the fireworks.

– Glitch mars fireworks, 1/2/08, Seattle Times

Seattle: your move.


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