No Juice

Aug 15, 2003

Of course, the biggest news story of the day and the week and, likely, the summer, is the lack of electricity flowing in much of the country right now. New York, Detroit, Cleveland, and some of our friends in Canada sat in the dark last night, feverishly lighting candles to stave off the black of night.

The initial reports have been interesting. They are more focused on what didn’t happen than what did. Yesterday, we were told that it wasn’t terrorism. Today, we learn that it’s not related to the internet worm that has been making its digital rounds. One of these days they will get a handle on what actually caused the problem.

My personal interest in the matter centers not on the chaos but on the smaller stories amid the mass exodus of Manhattan and the thirsty folks of Cleveland. The “human side” of the story, as the news likes to say, really makes the outage something to watch.

Some people failed to be unique in their troubles. They were trapped in one of the thousands of elevators in New York. They were stuck on the subway, deep underground. Many found that Manhattan isn’t the easiest place to escape.

Others were more creative. Some folks looking for a little fun were caught on amusement park rides. When exactly will this coaster start to go down? A lady on the news proclaimed she was in the dentist chair when the lights went out. Sorry, I think we’re done drilling now. The radio this morning metioned that vehicles in Detroit were stuck in the car wash.

I’ve even heard rumors that this whole power outage has made accessing the internet a challenge for much of the Northeast. It seems that this whole “electricity” thing does something to make to make computer screens light up around the world. Now that sounds like a travesty.

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