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Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!!

Each year on New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, a time ball made of crystal and electric lights is raised to the top of a pole on the One Times Square building and then lowered to mark the coming of the New Year. It is an event that is watched by people around the world[citation needed] on television. The Ball descends 77 feet (23 meters) over the course of a minute, coming to a rest at the bottom of its pole at 12:00am. The electronic screen below the Ball counts down to midnight as well. Every year thousands of people gather in Times Square to watch the Ball drop, and millions watch the event on television. The descent of a time ball each New Year’s Eve is a ritual derived from a common visual synchronization procedure once used primarily for navigation and astronomy. This practice evolved long before the age of electronic communications, but after mechanical timekeeping had reached a high degree of accuracy. In 1829 the first time ball was installed in England for visually synchronizing the chronometers used in navigation. 1907 – The New Year’s Eve Ball first descended from a flagpole at One Times Square, constructed with iron and wood materials with 100 25-watt bulbs weighing 700 pounds (318 kg) and measuring 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. 1920 – The Ball was replaced with an iron material Ball and weighing less than the original, only 400 pounds (181 kg). 1942 – 1943 – During World War II, the descending of the Ball was stopped. 1955 – The Ball gets replaced with a lighter Ball weighing 150 pounds (68 kg). 1981 – 1988 – Due to I Love New York campaign, there are red light bulbs and green stem in a design of an apple. 1989 – The traditional white bulbs again get put on the Ball. 1995 – The Ball gets computerized, aluminium coated, rhinestoned, and has strobe light system. 1999 – The aluminium Ball gets replaced. 2000 – 2007 – The Ball gets an overhaul for the new millennium celebrations with a design from Waterford Crystal and new technology. It weighs 1070 pounds (485 kg), measures six feet (1.8 m) in diameter and installed with 504 crystal triangles, illuminated externally with 168 halogen light bulbs and internally with 432 light bulbs of clear, red, blue, green and yellow colors. Each year there is a theme in the Waterford crystal concept with a particular chunk of designed crystals being called something, and in previous years there have been for example “Hope for Fellowship,” “Hope for Wisdom,” “Hope for Unity,” “Hope for Courage,” “Hope for Healing,” “Hope for Abundance” etc. There are strobe lights and mirrors to create bursts of excitement and special effects for the audience. 2008 – For New Years Eve 2008, the ball is getting a makeover in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the New Years Ball drop in Times Square. The ball is still a Waterford Crystal ball as in 2000-2007 (described above), but brand new state of the art LED lighting provided by Philips is being featured instead of the less efficient halogen bulbs. The new LED fixtures produce over 16.7 million colors and can be programmed to create special effects. Waterford Crystal has redesigned the crystal to feature a new "Let There Be Light" crystal design. The ball features 9,567 energy-efficient bulbs that consume the same amount of electricity as only ten toasters. The 2008 ball was redesigned by a New York City lighting design firm called Focus Lighting. Up to a million people go to watch the ball drop each year. Therefore, New York Police Department (NYPD) must have strict control over the crowd so as to prevent crushes and stampedes. The technique used by NYPD is dividing Times Square up into sections, commonly referred to as "pens." As people arrive, usually in the afternoon, people are directed into the pens. NYPD starts with the pens closest to 43rd Street, and as these pens get full, NYPD closes these pens to further people and works their way back toward Central Park. Once inside the pen, people may leave, but will not be able to reenter the pen. Also, access to Times Square is extremely limited during the course of the celebration. Those staying in hotels in the area need to prove with NYPD that they are in fact guests at these hotels. Also, no alcoholic beverages are permitted (as per NYC's open container laws), and there are no portable public restrooms available.

1 comment:

CandyandLadybugs said...

I kept thinking of A being there last year! :) It looked much colder there this year than it was last year.

Happy New Year my friend!