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An Art of Air and Fire: Brazil’s Renegade Balloonists (2014) (theappendix.net)
23 points by morsch 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments





Here's a video of air traffic control dealing with the release of a number of balloons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWrYfQTKn9c

Ah, the memories of childhood. Once I went to a winter June's Party. Saint John's popular parties all over Brazil. This was a huge "clandestine" Big Deal ballonists, many were cops, my primary school mate's father was a cop, and he took us there, crossing the 13 kilometers Rio de Janeiro-Niteroi bridge at night, that huge 3 meters or so tall ballon came down in flames from the sky, my friends father stopped the car in the same middle of the bridge and went out the car to recover the balloons mortal remainings. The "Bucha" , what means the "sponge", a square of Parafine Wax mixed with Cloth fibers and Kerosene, that was the combustion torch of the aircraft was still half unburnt. Half the "silk" paper of the fuselage was still good too, ;D He smashed everything in the trunk of the car we we went on our way to fishing and explode firecrackers by Rio State coast. At That winter party we went that time, I have myself "hand-launched" a 1.5 meters ballon with the other kids. The adults lauched ballons 10, 15, 20 meters tall, full of firecrackers and fireworks that have time-control devices so they ignite and launch the fireworks when they were at a nice attitude on the sky. It was a really a piece artisan craft tech. Sometimes caused fires in Oil Refineries and Collateral Civilian Facilities Damage. This guy would bring to our primary school an Album similar to an Baseball Card Album, but instead it was an Balloon Cards Album, so I think they even sell cards of those things for kids. I remember the most famous/heaviest at time was called "The King of the Kings" and it was more than 20 meters if I recall and was never recovered, they say it went to Space : D This Ocult Art still exists, but is much more clandestine now, When a young "Boss" of a Tactical Standing Point of the Rio de Janeiro's Cartel army dies, the guys in the Favela will launch huge balloons full of fireworks, and shoot bursts of tracing bullets like those from the first Iraq War trough the sky. Sometimes an inloved Boss would launch a big Baloon for his girfriend. But it's not allowed to play like before. It's like the Brazilian Art of WarKites, that uses a mix of fine-ground Glass with wood-glue spread along the line of the kite to cut everything on it's way, preferably other people's kites, but sometimes other people's necks. People still die from it. But is still goes on. Cannot fight with wild people, must civilize step by step ; D



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