April 9, 2008
On April 28, Madonna's final album for Warner Records - her home base for 25 years - debuts. The first single, a duet with Justin Timberlake titled "4 Minutes," has rocketed up the Top 40 Countdown meter faster than any song in the chart's 38-year history. It is No. 1 on iTunes. Perhaps most significantly, Ellen DeGeneres shimmies to it every day on her TV show. (Ellen now equals Oprah in shaping cultural cravings. If either of these women says, "Buy it! Love it!" - millions do.) So Madonna's swan song for Warner might be her biggest hit ever.
October 28, 2004
Woodlawn High School was evacuated twice yesterday, the first time after a firecracker was set off in a stairwell and then after small fires were set in two trash cans, police and school district officials said. Administrators were breaking up a fight among four girls in the cafeteria about 7:45 a.m. when someone set off at least one firecracker in a stairwell, creating smoke, according to police and school district officials. About 10:30 a.m., two small fires were set in trash cans, said Baltimore County school district spokesman Charles A. Herndon.
July 3, 1999
The sound hits the ear with explosive force. The vibrations ride through the ear canal, blow out the ear drum, and when they reach the cells critical to hearing, cells so sensitive that they can detect the sounds of a fly's wings, the noise shears them to pieces.For all the dangers firecrackers pose this holiday weekend, experts say the most underappreciated risk may be hearing loss.If set off close enough, a firecracker can permanently damage hearing in an instant. The sound, rather than arriving as vibrations lapping ashore in gentle waves, smashes the ear like a tidal wave.
May 2, 1999
IT HAD to be a firecracker. .....The quick popping sound that interrupted our seventh-grade English class could be nothing else. It was Jan. 20, 1983, a Thursday, and my classmates and I were sitting through a grammar lesson. There were 10 minutes to go until lunch.Our school, Parkway South Junior High, was an orderly, well-regarded place ensconced in a western suburb of St. Louis. The pupils were predominantly middle-class and, on the whole, we took our budding educations seriously. In our community, a bang in the distance meant a firecracker, a cap gun or a backfiring engine -- petty fractures in the white noise of suburban life.
June 30, 1998
Supersports Arena in Eldersburg will sponsor a Firecracker 500 Bicycle Race and Family Fun Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.Bicycle races for all ages are available. Activities start with races by experienced, licensed riders at 8: 30 a.m. Spectators can also race, and medals will be given through third place.During the afternoon, children age 2 and older can participate in age-graded races. Cost is $10 for ages 11 and older, free forchildren younger than age 11.Races start about 2: 15 p.m. and are one-quarter mile for ages 2 to 5, one mile for ages 6 to 10, and five miles for ages 11 to 17, 18 to 34 and 35 and older.
March 26, 1998
Singer, songwriter and musician Lisa Loeb had her first hit single before she even recorded her first album."It was a mixed blessing," says Loeb, who has just released her second album, "Firecracker." The hit single in question, "Stay," first released on the soundtrack for 1994's "Reality Bites," propelled Loeb into the spotlight. "I had written it without entertainment-industry interference. It was done in a pure way."But with the single's success came tour dates and a slew of marketing responsibilities that did not allow Loeb time to get to work on her first album for nearly a year.