We spent most of New Year’s Eve watching the Tansformers movie and didn’t bother switching over to watch the ball drop in New York City until about 10 minutes before it was due to happen. So I missed all the hype around the fact that the even marked its 100th anniversary and that the ball has become more energy efficient:
The new 6ft (1.8m) ball, weighing about 1,100lbs (500kg), is covered with 9,576 light-emitting diodes that use the same amount of electricity as 10 toasters.
The LEDs are more than twice as bright as the previous bulbs and are capable of creating a palette of 16m colours.
The original ball was dropped down the flagpole at One Times Square in 1907.
Made of iron and wood, it was 5ft in diameter and lit with 100 25W light bulbs.
That’s pretty cool and shows that LED lighting is probably going to be a growing trend this year. It’s already well underway as I noted there were a lot more LED Christmas lights being offered this season over the last one and for less money too.
On a related note it just so happened that when we paused the movie to watch the ball drop we landed on ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve or whatever the hell it’s called. I had gotten up to use the bathroom when the switch over occurred so I first heard Dick Clark prior to actually seeing him and I thought for a moment that he must be drunk based on his slurred speech. I was completely unaware that Clark had suffered a stroke back in 2004 and, in fact, missed that year’s broadcast of the show (Regis Philbin hosted it instead). Since then the show has been co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest who has, in my humble opinion, all of the charisma of fish bait.
Apparently I’ve not bothered to watch the show since Clark had his stroke as this was the first time I’ve heard him speak and I felt bad for the guy. He really looked like he was having a hard time of it and my only thought was that they should just let the guy retire instead of dragging him out every year to co-host what is really a big hype machine for standing around in Times Square in the cold for 60 seconds of excitement at midnight. I’m told, however, that Clark wanted to participate and that his speech has actually improved quite a bit since his return to the show for 2006. So I suppose that’s a good thing, but I still felt for the guy.
Word has it that once Dick Clark is incapable of hosting the show any longer (presumably because he’s dead) that Ryan Seacrest will officially replace him. Maybe that is what’s driving Dick Clark to keep doing the show despite his condition. He’s trying to save us from that lameness that will be Ryan Seacrest’s Rockin’ New Years Eve. In which case, may the non-existent deity bless you Dick Clark.