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6 Other Things Dropped on New Year's Eve

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The most famous New Year's Eve “drop” is the 11,875-pound icosahedral geodesic sphere that descends the flag pole at One Times Square in Manhattan. But New York isn’t the only place where objects are dropped on New Year’s Eve (and no, we’re not counting your drunken uncle’s trousers in this list). Here’s what folks elsewhere around these United States will be watching as they count down the remaining seconds of 2010:

1. Georgia’s Peach

Atlanta’s Peach Drop draws about 100,000 people downtown every year, while several million more watch it from the comfort of home via the America One television network. The 800 lb. peach, which is repainted and refurbished every year, is made from Fiberglas and foam, the same materials used to manufacture most commercial surfboards.

2. The Buffalo Ball

Buffalo, New York, has been dropping its own ball since 1988. Accompanied by a massive fireworks display, the ball falls from the top of the Iskalo Electric Tower on Washington Street in downtown Buffalo. Last year’s event was almost canceled due to the economy and the ethics of a cash-strapped city spending the $40,000 necessary for security and sanitation crews, but local businesses opened their wallets and the show went on as scheduled. Unlike its sister in Times Square, the Buffalo Ball takes a full 58 seconds to descend, which helps to build the crowd tension to fever pitch once the final 10 second countdown begins.

3. Marsupial Moment

To some of us, they are pointy-nosed sharp-toothed nuisances who nest in our garages and are a step-cousin once removed from a rat. But to the residents of Brasstown, North Carolina, the opossum is a New Year’s Eve icon. The tradition started in 1990 when Clay Logan, owner of the Citgo station on Greasy Creek Road (honest!) in this small Appalachian town said (in that true “can-do” American spirit), “If New York City can drop a big ball on New Year’s Eve, why can’t we drop a ‘possum?”

So each year around November 30, Mr. Logan captures a live opossum in a DNR-approved trap and feeds it top-quality cat food until New Year’s Eve, when he transfers the ‘possum to a Plexiglas box, which he lowers via rope from the roof of his gas station just seconds prior to midnight. The last seconds of the year are counted down with appropriate ceremony by Logan and the assembled crowd of hundreds as the opossum descends to the ground. He is then released back into the wild, perhaps a bit confused by his brush with celebrity.

Of course, any occasion involving a live animal is bound to get noticed by PETA sooner or later, so in recent years Mr. Logan has obtained both state and federal permits for his ‘possum drop, and all concerned authorities have observed, inspected and agreed that the little varmint was treated humanely.

4. Peep Show


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania’s New Year’s Eve tradition is fairly young, just like the 25 lb. illuminated Fiberglas baby Peep they’ve been lowering from a crane since 2005. If a Peep seems more in keeping with Easter, keep in mind that Just Born Inc., the company that makes the confection, is headquartered in Bethlehem and is one of the city’s major employers outside of the health care industry. A freshly-emerged baby chick is certainly a happier and more optimistic symbol of all things new than, say, a papier-mâché aspirin.

5. Reelin’ in the Year

There is always something fishy going on in Port Clinton, Ohio, the Walleye Capital of the World. And the town has been packed to the gills every New Year’s Eve since 1996, when Wylie the 20-foot, 600-pound Fiberglas walleye (constructed by a local taxidermist) was first lowered at the stroke of midnight. The festival includes everything from walleye sandwiches to walleye wine to walleye popcorn on sale for those willing to shell out a fin or less.

6. From Olive Us in Oklahoma

The small northern Oklahoma city of Bartlesville is home to the 221 foot high Price Tower, the only realized skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. And it is from the top of this building that a giant olive is lowered into a martini glass to ring in the New Year. Although the public is invited gather outside to watch the actual Olive descent for free, the overall indoor celebration is definitely upscale, with a five-course dinner served including prime rib, Maine lobster, grilled Alaskan halibut, blackened Ahi tuna Caesar salad, a selection of gourmet cheeses and fine champagne. Sounds like the type of crowd that prefers not to be shaken or stirred.
* * * * * *
Anything interesting being dropped at midnight in your neck of the woods?

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As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, August 23.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

Zmodo 720p HD WiFi Wireless Home Security Camera System Two Way Audio Night Vision Motion Alerts 115 Degree Viewing Angle (4 Pack) - Cloud Service Available for $119.95 (list price $159.99)

1STPLAYER Firerose Ergonomic Waterproof Chroma LED Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for $44.99 (list price $69.99)

Sades Over-Ear Stereo Bass Gaming Headphone with Noise Isolation Microphone for Xbox One PC PS4 Laptop Phone for $23.99 (list price $39.99)

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Anker SoundCore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Better Bass, 24-Hour Playtime, 66ft Bluetooth Range, IPX5 Water Resistance & Built-in Mic — Dual-Driver Wireless Speaker for iPhone, Samsung etc for $33.59 (list price $89.99)

IGIDIA IPX5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speakers, Outdoor/Shower Wireless Speaker with Enhanced Bass(Blue) for $32.99 (list price $99.99)

TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones, Sweatproof Wireless In Ear Earbuds, Sports Magnetic Earphones with Built in Mic (IPX5 Splash Proof Rating, aptX Stereo, Up to 7 Hours of Talk Time, Ceramic Antenna) for $25.99 (list price $69.99)

TROND Prime Mini 2-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip with USB Charger (5-Port Smart, 40W/8A, Latest DoE Level VI Energy Efficiency), 5ft Power Cord, for Home, Office, Hotel, Nightstand & Dresser for $23.99 (list price $36.99)

elago AirPods Stand [Dark Grey] - [Charging Station][Long-Lasting][Cable Management] - for AirPods Case for $9.99 (list price $13.99)

Ideashop® New Vosicar Retro Leather Fashion Bamboo Wooden Watch Japan Movement Quartz With Genuine Cowhide Leather Band Casual Watches Creative Gifts For Men for $19.99 (list price $29.99)

Bluetooth Speaker, ELEGIANT Portable LED Lighting Speaker Stereo Magic Cube Mini Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with Microphone for Smartphones iPhone iPad Samsung Tablet Laptop MP3 CD Player for $21.99 (list price $48.87)

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine for $229.99 (list price $249.00)

Holga 120N Plastic Camera for $29.95 (list price $39.99)

KITCHEN

Aosbos Reusable Insulated Lunch Box Tote Bag (Macloon White) for $7.99 (list price $16.99)

Ceramic Cat Measuring Cups/ Baking Bowls for $25.95 (list price $34.50)

Greenco Chrome Paper Towel Holder, 6" W x 13" H x 5.75" D for $9.54 (list price $18.24)

LEGO Lunch Box, Blue for $13.99 (list price $18.51)

Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included) for $10.99 (list price $18.99)

ZENS Portable Travel Double-wall Glass Tea Set, 100% High Borosilicate Glass Teapot with Built in Infuser, 2 Clear Insulated Glass Cups, Yellow EVA Bag for Travel, Outdoor Picnic for Flower Tea for $49.99 (list price $69.99)

4 piece Japanese Cast Iron Pot Tea Set Black w/ Trivet (10 oz) for $23.99 (list price $39.99)

Now Designs Utensil Crock, Ivory for $11.19 (list price $14.00)

Talisman Designs Get Real Solid Beechwood Measuring Spoon, Woodland Design, Set of 4 for $11.99 (list price $14.99)

Zoku Fish Pop Molds for $19.99 (list price $24.99)

Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Food Storage Bag Holder, 2-Pack for $8.49 (list price $10.40)

Chef Craft 9 Piece Silicone Set, Assorted for $27.61 (list price $30.50)

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way for $49.00 (list price $89.50)

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Amrapur Overseas | Goose Down Alternative Microfiber Quilted Reversible Comforter / Duvet Insert - Ultra Soft Hypoallergenic Bedding - Medium Warmth for All Seasons - [Queen, Oatmeal/Dusty Blue] for $22.99 (list price $32.99)

GlowBowl A-00452-01 Motion Activated Toilet Nightlight for $9.86 (list price $24.99)

Luxury Modern 12” Silent Non-Ticking Wall Clock with Rose Gold Frame (Feminine White) for $39.99 (list price $99.00)

OXO Good Grips Toothbrush Holder for $15.99 (list price $19.99)

InterDesign Rain Dental Center Toothbrush and Toothpaste Holder/Case - Clear for $11.49 (list price $15.73)

Levoit Elana Himalayan Salt Lamp Natural Himilian Hymalain Pink Salt Rock Lamps(8-11 lbs,7.5-10" Height), Premium Quality Wooden Base,Touch Brightness Dimmable Control,3 Bulbs,UL Cord & Gift Box for $39.99 (list price $69.99)

2017 ASAKUKI Premium Touch Sensitive, Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ML-5 In 1 Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Fragrant Oil Vaporizer , Purifies and Humidifies The Air, Auto-Off Safety Switch, 7 LED Light Colors for $19.99 (list price $99.99)

Collapsible Storage Bin Basket [3-Pack] EZOWare Foldable Canvas Fabric Tweed Storage Cube Bin Set With Handles - Brown / Gray For Home Office Closet for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

SONGMICS Entryway Coat Rack with Storage Shoe Bench Hallway Organizer 18 Hooks and 3-Tier Shelves Metal Black URCR67B for $45.99 (list price $71.73)

Etekcity Air Mattress Elevated Raised Blow Up Bed Inflatable Airbed with Built-in Electric Pump, Height 22", Queen Size for $98.99 (list price $229.99)

SONGMICS Entryway Bamboo Shoe Bench 2-Tier Shoe Rack Organizer Brown ULBS04Z for $28.00 (list price $35.99)

OFFICE, SCHOOL, AND CRAFTS

KABB Modern Digital Mechanical Retro Flip Dоwn Clock wіth Internal Gear Operated (White) for $44.98 (list price $89.99)

Tomons Swing Arm Desk Lamp, Natural Wood Designer Table Lamp for Living Room, Bedroom, Studio, Study and Office - Green for $29.99 (list price $39.99)

Etekcity Dimmable LED Desk Lamp, 4 Lighting Modes, 5-Level Dimmer, Multifunctional Touch-Sensitive, 5V/1.5A USB Charging Port, Ultrabright Lamp for Office and Living Room (Black) for $25.99 (list price $49.99)

Shappy Multicolor Paper Clips Creative Animal Shape for Bookmark Office School Notebook Agenda Pad, 12 Stlyes, 60 Pieces for $8.69 (list price $13.69)

Bankers Box Classroom Magazine File Organizers, 4-Inch, Assorted Colors, 6 Pack (3381901) for $9.23 (list price $18.97)

OHTO Needle Point Knock Ballpoint Pen Horizon Eu 0.7mm Ballpoint Yellow Body (NBP-587H-YL) for $9.97 (list price $13.60)

OHTO - Tasche Black Fountain Pen - 0.5mm - Writing Color: Black for $12.70 (list price $18.50)

Pshine Large 48 Slots Colored Pencil holder- Pencil Case-Pencil bag-Pencil pouch-Pencil wrap with Zipper (Pink) for $10.99 (list price $14.99)

Shuttle Art 120 Unique Colors (No Duplicates) Gel Pens Gel Pen Set for Adult Coloring Books Art Markers for $15.97 (list price $29.99)

Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 3" x 3", Miami Collection, 5 Pads per Pack, 90 Sheets per Pad (654-5SSMIA) for $8.01 (list price $10.97)

Avery Rectangular Color Coding Labels, 1 x 3 Inches, Assorted, Removable, Pack of 72 (06722) for $0.98 (list price $4.99)

AT-A-GLANCE Monthly Planner, January 2018 - March 2019, 8-7/8" x 11", Black (7026005) for $13.71 (list price $21.59)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength, Burpless, Non-GMO, NSF-Certified, 180 Counts for $29.97 (list price $44.97)

PURA D'OR Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo (Gold Label), Effective Solution for Hair Thinning & Breakage, NEW & IMPROVED PUMPS, 16 Fluid Ounce (Packaging May Vary) for $29.99 (list price $39.00)

Majestic Pure Teeth Whitening Activated Charcoal Powder - Natural Teeth Whitener with Coconut Charcoal, 4 oz for $11.95 (list price $31.50)

QQcute Cordless Waterflosser Professional Rechargeable Portable Oral Irrigator 3 Pressure Settings IPX7 Waterproof With 2 Interchangeble Tips Use at Home&Travel for $39.95 (list price $59.95)

Viva Naturals Cold Pressed and Hexane Free Organic Jojoba Oil - Golden, 4 oz for $12.62 (list price $16.93)

Purell 3903-36-CMR Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Travel Sized Jelly Wrap Bottles, Aloe (Pack of 36) for $24.08 (list price $41.34)

KEDSUM 6.8" 10x Magnifying LED Lighted Makeup Mirror,Bathroom Vanity Mirror with Strong Suction Cup,Rotates 360 Degrees,Daylight Color,Battery Operated for $19.99 (list price $39.99)

VIKTOR JURGEN Heated Hair Straightening Brush Hair Straightener-Fast and Simply Straight Hairbrush-Professional Style Hairstyling Tool for $17.95 (list price $99.00)

Blackhead Remover Mask, Anti-wrinkle Peel Off Black Mask, BONVITA Bamboo Charcoal Peel Off Mask and Brush Kit for Women & Men for Face Nose Acne Treatment Oil Control for $13.49 (list price $15.99)

Castile Soap (Unscented) 16 Oz. (473ml) [Health and Beauty]- 2-pack for $21.99 (list price $21.99)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Streamline Rainbow Color Wheel Umbrella for $23.99 (list price $26.81)

Stanley Growler Classic Vacuum Growler 64 oz and Adventure Stacking Steel Tumblers 12 oz, Hammertone Green - (4 Pack) Gift Set for $53.72 (list price $75.00)

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Heavy Duty Swing Seat - Swing Set Accessories Swing Seat Replacement for $19.99 (list price $26.99)

Swimming Goggles, PHELRENA Professional Swim Goggles Anti Fog UV Protection No Leaking for Adult Men Women Kids Swim Goggles with Nose Clip, Ear Plugs, Protection Case and Interchangeable Nose Bridge for $12.99 (list price $16.99)

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Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71 X 53-Inch (Colors May Vary) for $14.59 (list price $19.99)

VicTsing Grill Cover, Medium 58-Inch BBQ Cover Waterproof, Heavy Duty Gas Grill Cover for Weber, Brinkmann, Char Broil, Holland and Jenn Air for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

APIE Portable Wireless Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker IPX6 Waterproof Dual 10W Drivers, Enhanced Bass, Built in Mic,water Resistant,Beach, Shower & Home for $39.99 (list price $159.99)

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Eva Medical Pedal Exerciser Chrome Frame (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, no tools required) for $32.99 (list price $54.99)

ikris Garden Hose Splitter 2-way with Rubberized ComfortGrip for $7.99 (list price $29.99)

MeeQee High Power Monocular Telescope 10×42 Dual Focus Optics-Wide Angle and HD Zoom Monocular Scope, Waterproof, Low Night Vision Handheld Scope for Bird Watching/Hunting/Outdoor/Camping/Surveillance for $47.99 (list price $149.99)

TOOLS

Hitachi C10FCH2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker for $99.99 (list price $159.97)

Pet Grooming Brush Effectively Reduces Shedding By Up To 95% Professional Deshedding Tool For Dogs And Cats (Blue) for $14.97 (list price $31.97)

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NoCry Safety Glasses with Clear Anti Fog Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around Lenses and No-Slip Grips, UV Protection. Adjustable, Black & Green Frames for $9.39 (list price $10.49)

Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator with Digital Display for Home (110V) and Car (12V) - 30 Litres/Min for $69.99 (list price $79.99)

Prime-Line Products U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock, 3 in. Stop, Aluminum Construction, Satin Nickel Anodized Finish for $16.97 (list price $17.99)

Wheeler Scope Mounting Kit Combo, 1-Inch/30mm - 545454 for $76.39 (list price $99.99)

Shappy 3 Pack Security Wall Mount Indoor and Outdoor Mount Bracket Adjustable for Arlo, Arlo Pro, Arlo Cam and Other Compatible Models (Black) for $9.99 (list price $13.99)

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TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
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This Just In
A Connecticut Farm Purchased by Mark Twain for His Daughter, Jean Clemens, Is Up for Sale
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TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Mark Twain—whose wit was matched only by his wanderlust—had many homes throughout his life: a small frame house in Hannibal, Missouri; a Victorian mansion in Hartford, Connecticut; and "Stormfield," a country estate in Redding, Connecticut, just to name a few. Now, the Connecticut Post reports that a farm adjacent to Stormfield, purchased in 1909 by Twain for his daughter, Jean Clemens, is up for sale.

“Jean’s Farm,” as Twain nicknamed the home, is priced at $1,850,000. In addition to a storied literary legacy, the refurbished five-bedroom estate has a saltwater swimming pool, a movie theater, and a children’s play area. It sits on nearly 19 acres of land, making the property “well-sized for a gentleman's farm, for horses, or as a hobby farm,” according to its real estate listing. There’s also a fish pond and a 19th-century barn with an extra apartment.

While scenic, Jean’s Farm has a bittersweet backstory: Jean Clemens, who had epilepsy, enjoyed the pastoral property for only a short time before passing away at the age of 29. She lived in a sanitarium before moving to Stormfield in April 1909, where she served as her father's secretary and housekeeper and made daily trips to her farm. On December 24, 1909, Jean died at Stormfield after suffering a seizure in a bathtub. Twain, himself, would die several months later, on April 21, 1910, at the age of 74.

Twain sold Jean’s Farm after his daughter’s death, and used the proceeds to fund a library in Redding, today called the Mark Twain Library. But despite losing a child, Twain’s years at Stormfield—his very last home—weren’t entirely colored by tragedy. “Although Twain only spent two years here [from 1908 to 1910], it was an important time in the writer’s life,” historian Brent Colely told The Wall Street Journal. “Twain was always having guests over, including his close friend Helen Keller, hosting almost 181 people for visits in the first six months alone, according to guestbooks and notations.”

Check out some photos of Jean’s Farm below, courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com:

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

 Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Jean’s Farm, a property in Redding, Connecticut that author Mark Twain purchased for his daughter, Jean Clemens, in 1909.
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Connecticut Post]

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