[ Warning: this post is largely frivolous and non-technical, so please don't read on if that is likely to bother you. :-) ]
Yesterday was August 1st, the Swiss National Day. During the afternoon, we (my wife, our 2 year-old son and I) visited my wife's parents at their place in the hills just outside Neuchâtel. My father-in-law gave me a fantastic present that I'm yet (but impatient) to play with: an Apple Newton in mint-condition.
In the evening we went down to St Blaise, on the edge of Lake Neuchâtel, to watch the town's annual firework display. The last few weeks have been particularly hot here, but last night was cold and windy.
Anyway, there is a reason for me mentioning all this... last night was my introduction to cubic fireworks. I don't know if that's their proper name, but basically these are fireworks that, on exploding, form a 3D wireframe of a cube. I'd seen cylinders and spheres before, but cubes were new to me (although I checked on the web, and sightings seem to go back to at least the middle of last year).
This got me thinking. If it's possible to make cubes, spheres and cylinders, could it also be possible to make arbitrary 3D models from fireworks? I don't know whether you'd need to combine fireworks or you could make a single one that exploded into a complex 3D form... then you just need to hook up your design system to a rapid prototyping system that creates the fireworks automatically from the model...
... and you end up with the world's largest 3D display, although admittedly with the world's slowest response time. :-)