Amid heightened security in Times Square an estimated one million people armed with selfie sticks stood in freezing temperatures and avoided going to the bathroom for hours to watch a ball drop. Today was the 110th anniversary of the first formal New Year’s Eve celebration in the square. 1904 was also the same year the city renamed the location Times Square. The New York Times moved into its eponymous headquarters building the following year.
Elsewhere, other things were dropped on the stroke of midnight, from a giant crab to a live possum.
For many, tonight was the party of the year around the world. In London, watching the fireworks by the banks of the Thames was by ticket only for the first time, with Mayor Boris Johnson’s office tweeting: “If you don’t have a ticket, the best place to watch the #londonnye fireworks will be live on the BBC.”
Sadly, a stampede during a new year’s eve celebration in Shanghai killed at least 35 people and injured many more.
As for what we can expect from the next twelve months, The Telegraph thinks 2015 will be the year of the apology, Bloomberg the year of the Putin dictatorship, and for Forbes it’s the year of the enterprise selfie.
The winner, though, is The Guardian’s Random Prediction Bot.
Venture Capitalists tell TechCrunch what’s in store for the new year, Forbes predicts the economy, Goldman Sachs predicts the economy, MarketWatch predicts the economy, Businessweek predicts the economy, while the Huffington Post predicts that most predictions will suck.
Business Insider looks at some big geopolitical events on the radar, while in looking forward, The Atlantic looks back at what US intelligence thought 2015 would be like in 2000.
There’s a raft of new year’s honorees, including a knighthood for the scientist who developed Viagra, presumably so the Queen can say “Arise, Sir Simon.”
The new year seems to bring a threefer in Chinese New Years, being one or all of the Sheep (green/wooden or otherwise), Goat or Ram. They all arrive on February 19.
The new Star Wars is the most anticipated movie of 2015, which of course was the setting for Back To The Future II, an auspicious omen for fans of hoverboards and the Chicago Cubs, who coincidentally recently appointed Emmett “Doc” Brown as their new manager.
(image: Fox Chicago)
* WORLD * Perhaps encouraged by a heightened global profile thanks to The Interview, Kim Jong Un may be open to a summit with the South, the North Korean leader said in his New Year address. Seoul had proposed re-starting a dialogue earlier this week.
* BUSINESS * Talking of The Interview and the unprecedented weirdness surrounding the recent Sony hack, latest speculation is it may be the work of a former employee, while others are less convinced.
* MEDIA * Here’s the most popular British newspaper front pages of 2014, via BuzzFeed. Hopefully the Beeb’s Nick Sutton and Neil Henderson – on whose #tomorrowspaperstoday tweets the list is based – will continue their outstanding work in the coming year.
* SPORTS * Well, there’s a surprise. Looks like Frank Lampard won’t be starting New York City FC’s inaugural season stateside after all, after Manchester City extended his contract with the Premier League champions until the end of the English season. NY fans, predictably, aren’t happy.
Wherever you are, have a safe, peaceful and joyous 2015.