Friday, January 01, 2010

Testing the Times Square Ball

This year I had to work on December 30, 2009. I was happy about going to work on this particular day because being in the office meant I would be able to watch the test of the New Year's Eve ball drop. From the 30th floor of the Times Square office building where I work, I had a great view of an event which very few people get to see. Naturally I took a few pictures.

Here, the unlit ball is resting at the bottom of the pole behind the Toshiba sign.

Here's a closer view of the ball, showing one of it's many colored patterns.

The test of the ball went well, as you can see below. Using iMovie I was able to splice together several short video clips taken with my digital camera. The background music is Ramsey Lewis playing What Are You Doing New Year's Eve. Have a look!

(Tip: the video quality is better if you don't go to the full screen view. It's a rather old camera.)

Two years ago I wrote about the 100th Times Square Ball-Drop. Last year a new ball was installed. The Times Square Alliance website describes last year's ball as follows: "The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square."

For the 2009 ball drop, the new 2008 ball was modified to include 288 new Waterford crystal panels. The clear glass panels have a swirling Celtic design with a colored icon in the center. The YouTube video below offers more details and shows closeups of the panels.

Twenty-Ten... 20-10... It has rather a nice ring, don't you think? It's a number that is fun to say aloud. (Remember how pleased you were when you realized you could count backwards?!) We can't turn back the clock. I'm not even sure we would want to. (Ok, I lied - maybe we could turn it back just a little bit!!) All kidding aside, though, hopefully 2010 will be an upbeat year in which we take more joy from the basic, simple pleasures of life and focus on what's really important.

Happy New Year!

© 2010, Linda Mason Hood
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