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Definition #81 Drop the Ball

Fibonacci created the math Jeanne created the colors

Fibonacci created the math
Jeanne created the colors

My ball is changing

through time-energy converts

human to divine!

  • The first Times Square Ball was made of wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was lit by a hundred 25-watt bulbs.
  • Now, it’s made of Waterford crystal, weighs almost six tons, and is lit by more than 32,000 LED lights. The party in Times Square is attended by up to a million people every year.

    Other cities have developed their own ball-dropping traditions.

  • Atlanta, Georgia, drops a giant peach.
  • Eastport, Maine, drops a sardine.
  • Ocean City, Maryland, drops a beach ball, and
  • Mobile, Alabama, drops a 600-pound electric Moon Pie.
  • In Tempe, Arizona, a giant tortilla chip descends into a massive bowl of salsa.
  • Brasstown, North Carolina, drops a Plexiglas pyramid containing a live possum; and
  • Key West, Florida, drops an enormous ruby slipper with a drag queen inside it.

Definition #67 COBOL Pronounced “cobble”



It’s the birthday of one of the people who helped invent the modern computer: Grace Hopper, born in New York City (1906).

She began tinkering around with machines when she was seven years old, dismantling several alarm clocks around the house to see how they worked.

She was especially good at math in school.

She studied math and physics in college, and eventually got a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale.

Then World War II broke out, and Hopper wanted to serve her country. Her father had been an admiral in the Navy, so she applied to a division of the Navy called WAVES, which stood for Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service.

She was assigned to work on a machine that might help calculate the trajectory of bombs and rockets.

She learned how to program that early computing machine, and wrote the first instruction manual for its use.

She went on to work on several more versions of the same machine. In 1952, Hopper noticed that most computer errors were the result of humans making mistakes in writing programs.

So she attempted to solve that problem by writing a new computer language that used ordinary words instead of just numbers.

It was one of the first computer languages, and the first designed to help ordinary people write computer programs, and she went on to help develop it into the computer language known as COBOL, or “Common Business-Oriented Language.”

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