Cats and dogs may not be fans, but for most Americans, the defining feature of any 4th of July celebration is fireworks. Behind the spectacular explosions, of course, is science – physics and chemistry. Julia Greenberg gives a brief explanation of what’s inside fireworks at Wired (gunpowder, glitter and starch, basically), while Scientific American’s Science Buddies blog offers a kid-friendly tutorial on making sparklers in various colors. But keep in mind, fireworks can be dangerous! Drew Magary at Deadspin rounds up readers’ best fireworks horror stories for your horrified holiday lolz.