Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Eve in New York

Why NYC Drops an 11,875 Pound Ball on New Year's Eve



By Conor Friedersdorf
The tradition dates back to December 31, 1907, though the balls have changed along with technology.
On New Year's Eve, a number of word class cities will harken in 2013 with giant fireworks displays. In New York City, a giant ball suspended above Times Square will slowly descend at midnight.
Until 1903, the largest New Year's Eve gathering of New Yorkers took place at Trinity Church on Wall Street and Broadway. The New York Times described the scene in 1897: "The crowds came from every section of the city, and among the thousands, who cheered or tooted tin horns, as the chimes were rung out on the night, were many from New Jersey, Long Island, and even Staten Island." Things were much the same for another half-dozen years. But as December 31, 1904 approached, many party-goers were persuaded to attend a different celebration far uptown. Until that time, the area where 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42 Street met was called Longacre Square. The Detroit Publishing Company sells a print showing what it looked like back in those days:

That narrow building rising all by itself, then the second tallest in New York City, is the just-finished headquarters of The New York Times newspaper. Its publisher, Alfred Ochs, had successfully lobbied city leaders to change Longacre Square's name to Times Square earlier that year. He then resolved to throw a New Year's Eve celebration that would be the talk of the town. "An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the tower," according to an official history published by the Times Square District Management Association, "and at midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, thirty miles north."
An annual event was born -- but two years later, the city prohibited the fireworks display. "Ochs was undaunted," the official history continues. "He arranged to have a large, illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908." Thus the origin of today's celebration.

One Times Square has been home to a ball drop ever since, save in 1942 and 1943, when wartime light restrictions caused it to be canceled. The ball itself has changed with technology. The original ball of iron and wood was replaced in 1920 with a 400 pound orb of all iron. In 1955, an aluminum replacement weighed in at a considerably lighter 150 pounds, and was adorned with 180 light bulbs. The New York Times ran a photograph of that ball in 1978, (six years after Dick Clark starting broadcasting in Times Square). It's my favorite of any I've seen:

Though its bulbs were changed in the 1980s to make it look like an apple, that ball more or less survived until 1995, when it was "upgraded" with aluminum skin, rhinestones and computer controls. Are rhinestones ever an upgrade? Perhaps not. The new ball didn't last long. Did Y2K play any part in that first computerized ball's 1999 replacement? Despite some searching I couldn't find a definitive answer. In any case, a new ball of crystal dropped to mark the millennium.

In 2007, "modern LED technology replaced the light bulbs of the past for the 100th anniversary of the New Year's Eve ball." (pdf) And in 2008, today's gaudy orb debuted in its permanent location atop One Times Square (the Times sold the building way back in 1961).  The current owner of the building is also the owner of the iconic ball, and can visit it on this roof:
Weighing 11,875 pounds, today's ball is technically a geodesic sphere with a 12 foot diameter, covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles with various designs invisible to the spectators below.

The triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules, each of them containing red, blue, white, and green LEDs ("light-emitting diodes," if you'd started to wonder). Says an official fact sheet (pdf), "The 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." Most experts put the maximum number of colors distinguishable by the human eye at 10 million. If an 11,875 pound crystal ball is displaying many millions of colors no one can see are they really there?
How I lost 12 Kilos
Health to happiness

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Christmas is a great time to take family photo's and record them in scrapbooks or memory albumns.
It doesn't matter if you are an avid Scrapbooker it is easy to look online and find some ideas.
Unlock the secrets to scrapbooking books are available or Fast Scrapbooking layouts ideas as well.
Scrapbooking can also be digital some of the wonderful sites out there where so many people have put together kits available at reasonable prices and often have freebies.

I took on th task a few years ago of Scrapbooking my children's photo's from birth until they left high school.
It was quite a task as a lot of my older photo's were on slides.  But I managed to get a lovely memory albumn together for my children for their birthday's that year.

I was thinking this year I would start a Christmas memory albumn to record just Christmas photo's and with our family growing there will be quite a lot of shots to choose from, from the sleepyheads in the morning, opening of presents, Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas lunch, washing up (all hands on deck) more sleepheads and so on.

Happy Scrapbooking hope those who take it on have fun and find lots of interesting sayings, frames and so on to embellish your memory albumns.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


A week to go and it will be Christmas. I have one more present to buy and that is it but this person has everything and my budget is not huge. So I went in search of some ideas I had a look amazon 
they had heaps to choose from but a kindle was one thought seems to be gaining in popularity.  A kindle in case you do not know is an e-reader for books.  And there are a lot of free e-books available which is an added advantage.  Then I came upon this interesting site aquaexplorers  they have among other things a book about A Shipwreck.  Now that is something different.  These guys are into scuba diving and treasure hunting. Next I found the ultimate geek pen a biro as well as a stylus, I do like that idea very much as I find typing on my i-phone a little tedious as I keep hitting the wrong keys.  But I like the kindle so I will either buy on line or check out the local shopping centre.

Happy Shopping.

animated bell

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Seems a Company on the Gold Coast are causing a stir with the Government by selling stickers to cover the new 'plain packaging' which was introduced this year. Not sure why they call it plain packaging nothing plain about it at all but full of photos of what will happen to you if you smoke. Well I can't see the problem because if smokers want to cover these packets they can do so in many ways. Buy a cigarette case, buy other plastic cases in which the whole packet can be inserted or make there own stickers. I also wonder how high the prices are going to go - people still smoke and will find a way to buy tobacco, cigarettes etc regardless of the price. Maybe is a deterrent to some. But what about those smokers who have tried to give it up and would really would like to give it up but it just gets so bad when they do. Who end up feeling so depressed, anxious and physically sick that they cannot cope. The life of a smoker is made more and more difficult. I wonder what research the anti smoking groups have undertaken in relation to an alternative to smoking other than kicking the so called habit or nicotine addiction, if that is what it is that people smoke for. I wonder if we have some exsmokers out there who can identify with these feelings and would like to share with us how they did beat the nicotine habit. Did they beat it by using alternative drugs like Nicorette gum or Nicorette patches or did they go 'cold turkey'. And one thought is there any benefits of using nicotine?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Walk that Walk

Haven't been walking much lately so decided got to get back into building up my daily steps.  I have put on a few kilo's since being away on holidays so now need to get myself more active.  My diet is going okay and I am now woofing down my mufah's!! Let you now how they go.  Still trying to get some cultured vegies and activated nuts should be able to next time I am in he city.

Anyway back to the walking.  My daughter calls it 'The Nanny Walk' so what is the the Nanny Walk? It is building up the number of steps a day with the target being 9000.  First thing in the morning I walk 2000 steps around the house or inside the house, in and out of rooms up and down the passage. This takes me about 15 minutes. Don't have to worry about how you look, dogs in the street barking or jumping on you and you can shake it up as you go.  I try to make it as fun as possible. Then again before morning tea, and again before lunch, and again around afternoon tea. Not necessarily all in house just where I fancy. Depending on the day if I achieve these 8000 steps just by going through my daily routines I will add between 2 and 4000 steps.

So who is going to join me? 

If the 4 times a day is too much just two is going to increase your steps to start with or maybe you would prefer to break it into 3 lots of 3000.  Put on some music and move it, don't forget keeep your back straight, head up high and swing those arms. Using a pedometer is a great idea. There are many to choose from that clip on like the York Pedometer Pedometer which measures steps, distance, calories, time, and speed or Weight Watchers Pedometer with Points Tracker and Motion Sensor up to the more advanced like Nike Plus Sportband 2 Pedometer.

'Let's do the Nanny Walk'

Benefits of Walking

"Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. Walking can help you:
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage your weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging."

What Does Walking Do To Your Body?

"Regualr walking, like most aerobic activities, is good for you because cardio-vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness.
Together with diet and other exercise plans, it can also help with weight loss and tone up muscles.
Dr Craig Williams a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter is a firm believer in the benefits of walking, and says: 'It can improve muscle endurance as well as muscle strength, especially in the lower body.
'It is good for bones and improves the body's cardiovascular system. It also helps boost circulation.
'Power-walking - keeping a brisk pace at moderate to high intensity - can burn the same amount of calories as jogging or running. So it is useful for helping with weight loss.'
And, he adds: 'Because it is lowimpact, it does not have the same potential for injury as jogging. Yet it can offer all the benefits.'"

Walking improves your brain power

" A study of people over 60 funded by the National Council on Aging, published in the July 29, 1999 issue of Nature, found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program."

Walking improves mood and relieves stress

" Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body's natural happy drugs - endorphins. Most people notice an improvement in mood. A Nov. 9, 1999 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed that university students who walked and did other easy to moderate exercise regularly had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously."

And who knows what else walking can help with seems the list goes on and on so come on join me and do

'The Nanny Walk'  

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