THE BALL IN TIMES SQUARE
December 30, 2013
New Year’s is a time for parties, fun and great traditions, some of which go back more than a century. Among them is the famous “dropping of the ball” in Times Square, an event which is broadcast to millions of people every New Year’s Eve. With 2014 nearly upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look at the history of this popular New Year’s Eve festivity.
The idea began in 1907 at what was then the New York Times building at One Times Square. The newspaper’s owner, Adolph Ochs, had been celebrating the New Year with fireworks since 1903. He wanted make the event even more remarkable, and added the ball in December of 1907 to welcome in the New Year. The first ball was designed by Artkraft Strauss, who made it out of iron, wood, and light bulbs. It took six men to hoist the ball up the building’s flag pole; once midnight struck, the tremendous ball was carefully lowered, and all were allowed to marvel at it.
Since then, the ball has undergone many changes in materials and design, and even the New York Times has moved to another building. But the tradition remains and the ball has dropped over One Times Square ever since. Today, the ball is electronically controlled, and uses LED lamps for its construction: designed by Waterford Crystal and weighing in at over 1,200 pounds.
A number of television broadcasts have helped carry the event over the years, but by far the most famous is “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which first ran in 1972. The show was created and hosted by Dick Clark, who became a staple of the event as much as the ball itself. Clark hosted the show every New Year’s Eve from 1972 until his death in 2012. Since then, it has been hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who shared hosting duties with Clark starting in 2005.
Whether you’re watching the ball drop on TV or have some other New Year’s Eve plan in mind, we here at BZ Dependable wish you nothing but the best for 2014. Have a safe and happy New Year!
December 23, 2013
Holiday greetings from BZ Dependable! We hope you are having safe and pleasant season, enjoying your favorite traditions for this time of year. We wish you the very best, and we thank you for your business this year.
In honor of the season, here are some fun facts about one of everyone’s favorite holiday movies: It’s a Wonderful Life.
For years, one of the enduring December traditions in the United States was watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life playing almost nonstop on numerous television stations. No matter the time of the day, you could turn on the TV set, flip through channels, and discover It’s a Wonderful Life playing. Whenever you needed him, you could find Jimmy Stewart shouting, “Hello, Bedford Falls!”
But now… It’s a Wonderful Life only appears on broadcast television a few times during December, and most families instead choose to watch the movie on video. What happened?
The reason goes back to the film’s initial wide release in January 1947. (That’s right, it opened after the holiday season. It was not even promoted as a holiday film.) It’s a Wonderful Life was a box-office disappointment at the time, and its studio, RKO Radio Pictures, lost more than half a million on it. The movie’s production company, Liberty Films, was sold to Paramount to avoid bank foreclosure. (A bit ironic, considering the movie’s plot.) In 1955, the National Telefilm Associates (NTA) took over the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life, which included the television syndication rights.
However, NTA failed to properly renew the copyright in 1974 because of a clerical error, which allowed the film’s images to enter into the public domain. Although the movie’s plot was still under copyright protection because it was adapted from a published story called “The Greatest Gift,” television stations across the world could now broadcast it with only minimal royalty payments.
In 1993, Republic Pictures, which now owned the NTA library, tried to enforce their claim to the copyright of the film, as they possessed the rights to “The Greatest Gift.” Republic Pictures succeeded, and licensed exclusive television rights to NBC. Suddenly, It’s a Wonderful Lifevanished from local television stations, and NBC made the movie’s broadcasts—usually twice during December—into major events. As of 1998, Paramount again has the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life… 43 years after they lost them.
It’s still easy to make It’s a Wonderful Life a part of whatever traditions you observe during the holidays, whether through home video or television broadcasts. Despite its lackluster initial reception in 1947, Frank Capra’s film is now an inseparable part of December in the United States.
Have a great holiday week!
December 17, 2013
If you have started to experience clogs occurring more frequently in your drains, you should consider calling a professional plumbing company and schedule a thorough drain cleaning. Occasional clogs can occur from objects getting stuck in drains, but when the problem becomes common it usually indicates a build-up along the inside of the drainpipes that won’t go away unless you have professionals perform a drain cleaning. Even if you aren’t suffering from clogs, a drain with too much build-up will cause an increase in water pressure, which can lead to leaking and other problems.
But is it necessary to hire plumbers for this task? Why can’t you rely on liquid drain cleaners from a store that you can pour down the sink? After all, aren’t those “drain cleaners”?
Yes, you do need professionals for drain cleaning. We’ll explain why calling a company like BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc. for drain cleaning is the best way to go for the health of your plumbing.
First, let’s address the chemical “drain cleaner” issue. You should never use those on your drains at all. The caustic action of the chemicals can damage your pipes, and they will create harmful fumes. The toxic residue left in the bottles gets into landfills and can cause environmental damage.
Professional plumbers come equipped with technology that’s not available to most consumers. Among the devices the professionals use for drain cleaning are motorized drain snakes and hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting does a thorough job of blasting away grease, fat, and other deposits from the interior of drain pipes while not causing any damage to the pipes themselves.
Some plumbing companies use special biological treatments to clean drains, such as BioSmart. These are environmentally-friendly, non-caustic cleaners that use the natural action of enyzmes and bacteria to eat through clogs and cleanse the inside of pipes. These cleaners also remain in your plumbing for weeks after they are used, which helps keep the build-up from returning.
At BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc., we’re proud to use BioSmart as part of our Drain Maid Maintenance Program. Our plumbers have all the advanced tools and the knowledge of how to best use them to give your drains a thorough cleaning. Leave the acidic chemicals on the grocery store shelf and go with BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc. today for your Teaneck, NJ drain cleaning.
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December 9, 2013
Rust is the principle enemy of metal: the contact of water, oxygen, and iron results in oxidation that weakens metal until it crumbles and flakes away. Any appliance in your home that contains both metal and water is at risk of rust that will severely damage it. If your boiler begins to rust, it will turn into a serious problem that will put your whole heating system at risk.
So the short answer to the question, “When should I be concerned about rust on my boiler?” is all the time. If you see rust on any part of your boiler, you need to have it remedied with as soon as possible. Corrosion spreads, and if not stopped and the source of the problem dealt with, you may end up needing to replace your entire heating system.
At BZ Dependable, we have many years of experience working with heating, as well as plumbing, so we know all about rust: what it can do, how to eliminate it, how to stop it from starting. If you need help with rust occurring on your boiler in Bergenfield, NJ, contact us right away.
The source of boiler rust—and its consequences
Boiler manufacturers design their products to resist rust as much as possible, so that if you keep your boiler in good repair with regular check-ups you shouldn’t have much trouble with corrosion issues. The main way that boilers fend off rust is through anode rods at the top of their water tanks. These rods prevent rust from entering the tank by “sacrificing” themselves to rust away first. (For this reason, they are often called “sacrificial anodes”). But when an anode rod finally rusts completely, corrosion will start inside the tank.
There are two principal dangers from rust in a boiler. The first is that it will imbalance the temperature in the tank (rust acts as an insulator) which will lead to overheating and high pressure. The second is that it will weaken the metal in the tank and begin causing leaks. Both situations can eventually ruin your entire heating system.
Routine maintenance will make sure the anode rod in your boiler receives regular replacement so rust will not infiltrate the tank. If you notice rust starting on your boiler, repair technicians can often remove it if it is still superficial, or replace the parts affected. However, you can’t delay these repairs: if you wait too long, you may need to have the boiler tank completely replaced.
BZ Dependable performs many services that will help your boiler in Bergenfield, NJ stay free of rust and corrosion. Sign up for boiler inspection and routine check-ups from our heating experts and you should have a boiler that will keep you warm for many years.
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December 2, 2013
Here’s a surprise you never want to run into in the morning: a shower that won’t get warm enough, or that loses its hot water after only minutes. But a decrease in hot water will be a nuisance throughout your home, any time of the day. Lack of hot water makes it harder to clean and cook, and it affects appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines. When you find that you aren’t getting enough hot water, it’s time to investigate.
But where to start? We’ll offer a few pointers. However, if you cannot discover the reason for your loss of hot water, or if it’s a problem beyond your ability to fix, call in professionals to solve the problem. BZ Dependable has a solid reputation for quality plumbing in Englewood, NJ, so make us your first call.
Check the following when you start losing hot water:
If you have an electric water heater, make sure it is still connected to a power supply. An electric water heater uses heating elements inside the tank to directly heat water, and without a power supply, you won’t get any hot water. One of two of the elements may have burned out: if you have only lost some of your hot water, it may be because one element has died—and this will require professional repair.
If you have a gas-powered hot water heater, look to see if the pilot light has gone out. Sometimes a draft can blow it out, and you will have no trouble relighting it. If this still doesn’t solve the problem, then you’ll need to contact a technician.
Another thing you can check on a gas-powered water heater is the “dip tube,” a pipe along the side of the water heater that forces cold water to the bottom of the tank and allows the heated water to leave from the top. If the dip tube breaks, cold water will be mixed near the top of the tank over the hot water, and only the hot water above the break will leave the tank. This will cause the hot water to run out rapidly. Contact a professional to have the broken dip tube replaced.
If you cannot determine the reason for the loss of hot water, it’s possible that the water heater is too small for your needs. Before making any serious decisions about a replacement, bring in a technician with knowledge of water heaters to find out what the trouble actually is.
BZ Dependable delivers reliable service that will restore your hot water. We also offer regular maintenance that will provide your water heater with a yearly tune-up to help it avoid trouble in the future from broken heating elements, failed pilots, corrosion damage, and other threats to your crucial supply of hot water. For all your needs for heating and plumbing repair in Englewood, NJ, call BZ Dependable.
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