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by Junior Intern Lena Melland, 1999



Fig 1.1: The source of the problem.

In many cultures, festivals and celebrations have been accompanied by fireworks and similar shows for centuries, and around the world the lights on the night sky are synonymous with the start of a new year and leaving the problems of the last year behind. Although it is an aesthetic and entertaining way to celebrate various events with a flair, it brings with it many consequences that are unfortunately often ignored by people.

Fireworks are primarily explosives being thrown to great heights. There were cases where falling sparks caused fires and injured people. But even not taking this for consideration, those with pyrotechnic skills preparing such shows are also at risk of random and uncontrolled explosions. Not to mention the environmental damage arising from heavy metals and toxic chemicals used to produce such materials.

Besides from that, the sudden noises and flashes of light produced from fireworks have negative effects on many animals, which unaware of what is happening, become traumatized, or even worse, die in an attempt to escape from perceived threat that in fact does not exist.

With all of that in mind, I think that this is a problem that Prometheus Laboratories should be concerned by, especially with the upcoming year 2000 and celebrations that are likely to be larger than before.



Fig 1.2: A depiction of a fireworks show in 1749 that resulted in the deaths of three people.

If you think about it, every problem with the usage of fireworks is a consequence of their one major feature: their realness. Due to their existence in the physical world, they produce heat, sound, light and explosions that are the direct cause of all the previously mentioned undesirable effects. If this factor was removed, the entire aftermath of their use would be eliminated with it.

Anomalies and perceptual effects are known to mankind since the dawn of time, and in the last century the field of memetics has experienced significant developments in both knowledge available to researchers and memetic techniques. The most rightfully created memetic effects are able to convince someone's senses that they are experiencing events that are not happening, so in other words: do not exist. Therein lies the nub to the solution of the problem with fireworks.

I contacted anartists known to me from my teenage years from the Are We Cool Yet? collective and they were able to create a working prototype of "perceptual fireworks" in a few weeks, which I personally tested on myself. They are not perfect yet and the image quality leaves much to be desired, but they are working and can be administered in a controlled manner by a freely chosen memetic vector with a compatible composition.



Fig 1.3: An example of an interested party. The picture shows my dog, Banan.

The main interested parties in the product will obviously be people who enjoy watching fireworks, but who also suffer from problems as a result of their shows, including pet owners or people sensitive to loud noises and intense lights.

The product could also be donated to various environmental organizations and foundations, Wilson's Wildlife Solutions or Manna Charitable Foundation immediately come to mind.

With the exception of financial benefits, contact with charitable organizations that are very well perceived by the public will have positive influence on the current image of Prometheus Laboratories, especially in communities that had no contact with anomalous world since 1998.

To further eliminate the problem, Prometheus could start sponsoring larger festivals and provide them with appropriate supplies of the product.


The most important expenses related to the proposal will obviously be associated with perfecting and ascertaining the safety of the distributed memetic effect. To achieve this goal we would need specialists in the fields memetics and perceptual sciences, most preferably from the Laboratories' Perceptual-Conceptual Division, as well as individuals with high-level cognitive resistance to test the limits of the memetic agent. Additionally, it would be a good idea to contact with special effects experts to improve the visual design of fake fireworks generated by the agent.

I estimate that the costs of the development of the project will not be too high compared to the possible distribution costs, due to the already acceptable, but not perfect, state of the agent's operation. But I would prefer to improve it to a state of perfection until its final public release.


Due to the nature of the solution, there might be individuals who are reluctant to use the product in fear of permanent changes in their sensory perception. It is understandable because of the recent disclosure of the existence of anomalous memetic effects to the general population. Of course, such effects would only exist if the project was shipped to public use unfinished or if visible mistakes in its memetic composition were ignored.

Also opposed to the concept might be companies producing pyrotechnics, which could start to lose existing sale profits and would be likely to put pressure on Prometheus regarding the above-mentioned fears.

Both problems could be solved or at least suppressed by properly prepared and directed information campaigns.


From: R. Richmond [central management]
To: L. Melland
Date: 21.10.1999
Subject: Re: Project 1999/AF/17

Dear Miss Melland,

As much as I think your project is good and intentions are sincere, it is not something Prometheus Laboratories can afford to do in its current situation. Our company barely survived 1998 and only because the Foundation and Global Occult Coalition saved us from collapsing. Our funds are fully dependent to them and we cannot waste them on something that would almost certainly give us less profits than loss.

However, I am able to offer an alternative.

I will arrange a meeting with representatives of WWS and MCF, just like you I think that they would be interested in such a project. If they agree to cooperate with you, I will be able to sponsor the project with my own money, although obviously then it will be on a much smaller scale than you would like. The only question left is, will you agree for a such solution.

P.S. Please send more photos of your dog. I love dogs so much.

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