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Celebrate Independence Day with your Mac


Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US, which we celebrate by drinking alcohol, eating outdoors, and blowing things up (in that order). Here's how you can get your Mac in on the fun:

Mix the Drinks

Bargenie puts 24,000 drink recipes on your Mac. Set it up next to your bar (being careful not to spill, of course), and amaze your friends with your skills. If you prefer a more portable option, you'll be glad to know that Bargenie works with your iPod as well.

But there's more to it than preperation. You can add your own concoctions to the Bargenie database, add photos with your iSight (commemorate that perfect Black and Tan you poured) and even make use of the blood alcohol level calculator. It costs $19.99US and requires Mac OS 10.4 or later.

Spend a little less money on Pocket Bar & Grill ($10US), which lets you choose from hundreds of drink and grilling recipes.

Finally, the simplest solution has got to be the Bevy Bottle Opener ($15US). This combination keychain/iPod case/bottle opener will have you popping beers with the best of 'em.

Grill the Meat

Macgourmet is a recipe organizer that we've written about a number of times. Create shopping lists, pair food and wine, backup to .Mac and even share with your friends. A single license will cost you $24.95US. Macgourmet is universal and requires Mac OS 10.4 or later.

YummySoup! is another recipe manager for the Mac that features .Mac backup and restore, photos, wine reference and Smart Groups (think Smart Folders). You can pick up a copy for $20US. YummySoup! requires Mac OS 10.4 and is universal.

Fire up the Fireworks

The Fourth of July means flashy explosions. Skyrocket is a screensaver for Mac OS X that renders explosions and smoke quite nicely, and even lets you zoom in on the action. Skyrocket is universal and free.

Finally, you can create your own virtual fireworks display with Virtual FireworX. Generate 3D particle animations, smoke and sound effects, plus streaming tails, adjustable settings for the "sky" and more. Virtual FireworX is universal and comes with 5 free effects ($5US unlocks more). Virtual FireworX REQUIRES Mac OS 10.4 or greater, and the following graphics hardware: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX and later, or any AGP-based ATI RADEON GPU. A minimum of 16MB VRAM is also required.

And above all, have fun!

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