“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.” ~James Agate
The New New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square, another Waterford Crystal piece of art, was outfitted with tons of little changeable LED lights. Super-bright, colorful, energy efficient ones by Philips. Another step toward a greener planet. Yes, a huge, completely unnecessary decoration to celebrate an arbitrary numbering system is now more energy efficient.
I’m just joking. I like The Ball. It’s fancy.
Point of fact, they’ve been dropping The Ball in Times Square for 100 years. Well, actually, they took two years off during WWII when patriotic people across our fine nation saved electricity for the betterment of the country. I wonder if people could be convinced again to save energy for the betterment of the country? Apparently it’ll take more than a war.
While I’m on the subject, I just heard from Joe Biden that the war in Iraq has produced more amputees than any war since the Civil War and more traumatic head injuries since WWII. And with the military healthcare problems and the US healthcare problems … oh, what am I talking about? They’ll be fine.
Back to The Ball. Apparently, in the early days, the spectators would have a moment of silence at the stroke of midnight then they’d sing or kiss or cheer. I’m not sure. I got stuck at the “silence” part. Silence in Times Square at midnight on New Years eve? That sounds as crazy as some of my kooky anti-war / energy saving ideas.
I really do appreciate the green features of The New Ball. Turns out, upgrading The Ball is as much of a tradition as unpopular wars. (I’m sorry, I can’t help it.) The first ball was iron and wood and weighed 700lbs. In subsequent years they tried various things to make it lighter, but it wasn’t until 1955 when they managed to slim it down to 150lbs by using aluminum. People were really in love with aluminum in the 50s. Who could blame them, what with its applications for TV dinners and all?
I’m establishing that The Ball has reflected the times in both material and design. Consider the commercialized 80s when they turned it into an apple to honor the “I Love New York” campaign. Ah, the shameless 80s. Nothing went without the bedazzler and a commercial tie-in. At least they didn’t turn it into a New Coke can.
In 2000 Waterford classed up the place with this fancy number, The Ball equivalent of formal wear:
And now, here’s another shot of The 2007-2008 Ball:
Yikes. Should we be worried? I mean, on one hand, the energy efficiency is a small victory. On the other hand, the ball was so bright, it could have doubled as a beacon to another world. And the colorful light show? Well, I guess if any other worlds saw it, at least they now know we’re ready to party techno-style.