Here dynamics were used to blow up a planet Death Star style. By emitting particles form a curve a great shockwave effect was created. While the planet blowing up was created using your average volume emitter and the intriguing shattering of a solid object. I really loved the overall effect created in this tutorial.
Yet more sparkles can be seen with the spinning Catherine Wheel below. This is an example of per point emission. A series of points identified on a curve and then particles are emitted from those points and give just enough of a lifespan to create a nice trail of sparkles.