Imagine a giant glass ball — a geodesic sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing 11,875 pounds — and it’s ready to bring in the new year in New York City’s Times Square. Now imagine you are one of millions of people, either standing in the Big Apple watching it in person or sitting at home in front of a TV. The excitement builds as the clock nears midnight.
And here are some more mind-blowing numbers: That giant glass ball has 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles bolted to 672 LED modules attached to an aluminum frame. It’s illuminated by 32,256 LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 LEDs — 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white — for a total of 8,064 of each color.
The celebrating crowd chants down the seconds as the ball starts its descent at 11:59 p.m. Some 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns are creating a wonderful kaleidoscopic effect. Wow!
My family gathers with others at a friend’s house beforehand, and the party menu includes meatballs with pasta, chicken parmigiana and lasagna. Then it’s time to find a place in front of the television to watch star-studded performances before the ball drops. When midnight nears, we join the countdown as the ball descends. Once midnight strikes, the kids blow their horns and scream “Happy New Year,” and the parents pour champagne for themselves.
Sometimes, my family stays home on New Year’s Eve. When we do, I like to watch “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on television and jam out to the performing artists. When I was younger, my sister and I would nap until 11:45 p.m. Then my parents would wake us up. When midnight struck, I would pop the small confetti cans, blow on a horn and yell “Happy New Year” before kissing my parents on the cheek. At the same time, in Times Square, over a ton — or 30,000,000 pieces —of confetti, blasted from the tops of seven building surrounding Time Square, shower the more than 1 million people down below,
Now I wish you a Happy New Year. If you haven’t seen the Times Square ball drop as it ushers in a new beginning and a time for resolutions and reflection, I urge you to do so. And then it will be your turn to say “Wow!”
Manoli Figetakis is an iGeneration Youth reporter living in New York, USA.
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