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[P]
Kindness in the heart of darkness

By Silent Chris in Culture
Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:05:25 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

What's it like to navigate a city already jittery from terrorism... when you can't listen to the news to find out what's going on, can't reach friends or family, and can't get home?  Here's a first-hand account from a normal, everyday IT Joe who slept on the streets.

Additionally, if you were part of this, please add your own experiences in the comments.


Thursday afternoon was like any other for an average IT worker.  Take the tapes out, put them in, administrate the system, etc.  The boss of my 2-man IT group was getting ready to start a vacation the next day, and we were going through last-minute practices and procedures for when he was gone.

Suddenly, part of the office went dark.  Then another part went brown.  The lights flickered in some areas.  My boss's lamp glowed beige.  Walking around the small not-for-profit I work for, some of the 50 computers were either turned off, had blinking LEDs or were on with fizzing and fading screens.  Something was clearly wrong.

After 10 minutes we decided to pull the plug on the servers running on UPS.  It's not uncommon to have blackouts and brownouts in New York City, but they normally last under a minute, if not a second.  Anything past 10 minutes is cause for concern.

After consulting with the CEO, we recommended everyone go home.  I had to make my way back to New Jersey from New York City, and decided to make part of the trek with some coworkers heading uptown to their apartments.

When I hit the streets, it looked like this.  With heat reaching the mid 90 degrees, people chose to leave the high-rises in droves for air.

The scene was eerily reminiscent of the immediate hours following 9/11, when thousands of people were on the streets of New York City at once.  The difference, though, was there was more of a calm.  While things were initially hectic, people were making every effort to stay patient.

Alongside the road, entrepreneurs attempted to make money.  A few reasonable souls sold us water for a $1.  This price quickly escalated to $5, $10 and beyond down the road, when only the richest yuppies could afford a drink.  I made my way along with the other thousands up to the Port Authority Bus Terminal: a place where hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of commuters use to get in and out of New York daily.  It was closed.

As I sat outside the massive terminal, I realized I didn't actually know what was going on.  So few radio and television stations were up and running, and the few radios that were tuned were quickly losing battery power.  I stopped to sit down next to a low rider that had its radio turned up on one of the few news stations up and running.

When President Bush came on, and later that night Michael Bloomberg (the mayor of New York City) we were initially afraid of a possible attack.  It's hard not to imagine circumstances similar to what happened, being executed by a group who wanted to disrupt and paralyze a metropolis housing millions of people.  Fortunately, as it stands right now, it appears to have been an accident.  A devastating accident, but an accident none-the-less.


While crowds got silent as their leaders talked, it was clear New Yorkers already knew what to do.  After the speeches ended, people took to the streets with compassion and, in some cases, bravery.

I walked from the Port Authority to the Lincoln tunnel that connects New York and New Jersey.  My initial plan was to walk through the tunnel, but I was stopped by police officers.  First, they said, it was pitch dark in there.  Second, if you were to make your way into the darkness, the fumes would probably kill you because the ventilation system wasn't running.  With that, I sat on a side wall overlooking the tunnel with hundreds of others, contemplating what I should do next.  Helicopters hovered overhead taking pictures for the media.

To the side I saw an ordinary businessman voluntarily directing traffic.  In front of me, cars would pick up anyone who needed a ride and drive them across the interstate border.  Police officers, demonstrating their usual patience, handled the few befuddled by the heat calmly and rationally.  The Red Cross handed out water, and a baby was delivered to a panicking mom on 41st street.

Finally, after an hour, an empty bus drove by.  Several dozen people ran in front of it, and we asked the driver to take us.  "Where?" he asked.  "Anywhere in New Jersey!" we said.  After debate, he let us on with an eruption of cheers.

The tunnel was pitch black, as the police officer described.  Amazingly, no cars appeared to get into any accidents.

When we got to the other side, the driver let us off in Hoboken, New Jersey.  I was closer to home, but still many miles away.  I started walking.  After 5 1/2 hours of walking, beleaguered and dehydrated, I went to the side of the road and sat down.  I'm not used to extensive walking in the heat, and I'm sure many other commuters aren't either.  I fell asleep on the side of the road, and very apparently I wasn't the only one.

A few hours later, in complete darkness, I got a chance to look at the city.  It looked much like this, with tiny spots of light from water vessels running on batteries.  The light pollution from New York City is intense, so I was amazed to see many stars in the night sky I had never seen before.  Much of New Jersey, including where I was, was pitch black.


I realized, at 1:00 at night, that I should probably find shelter of some kind.  I had not been able to reach my family that entire day, and they were relieved to hear from me.  I quickly learned that we had a friend of the family not far from where I was, so I walked the remaining distance and was greeted by someone calling my name and waving a flashlight.  I was relieved to have a soft bed to sleep in and some water to drink, and consider myself fortunate in comparison to many others who had less.

That night, I got to talk with our friend for several hours by candlelight.  She had survived the World Trade Center attacks, amazingly helping a blind man escape the building.  I asked her what she thought about the blackout, and she said, "I think we're more humble, now.  We handled this with patience, dignity, and respect."  I was happy to hear this, and had a peaceful night's sleep.

I just made my way into my own apartment an hour ago.  I've showered (water wasn't available in our friend's apartment) and turned on the news to see what I had been a part of.  What I've learned: people do care, I'm extremely fortunate to have air conditioning, and I'm looking forward to a long weekend's rest.

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Display: Sort:
Kindness in the heart of darkness | 226 comments (206 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1 FP (3.04 / 22) (#6)
by Corey Haim on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 02:16:22 PM EST

It reminds me of when I was a street punk in NY in the late 70s.

Me and a few buddies were in a street gang called "The Warriors". We took it pretty seriously - we had leather waistcoats with our logo on the back. Anyway, all the gangs in NY were called to a big meet in the Bronx to hear Cyrus (leader of the Riffs, biggest gang at the time) speak. Thing is, Cyrus got whacked!! It was mayhem.

Anyway, the cops arrived and hundreds of gang members split. Everyone was trying to get home. But then rumour spread that the Warriors were responsible! Imagine if your IT company was getting the heat for the power cut!

We had to make it all the way back to Coney Island with thousands of punks trying to get us. We got into brawls with the Baseball Furies, The Orphans, the Turnbull ACs... we even got jumped getting our freak on with a gang of broads.

Anyway, cut a long story short, we made it back to the beach where there was a knife fight and we got our asses saved by the Riffs who found out the real culprits. And Don Henley played a nice tune for us as we walked off into the dawn.

can you dig it! (none / 0) (#71)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:19:31 AM EST

i love that fucking movie

broadway gays in kiss makeup make believing they are gangmembers

my fav gang were the two-tone face ballplayers- wtf was that?!

"nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide..."

btw, it's based on a greek legend of a band trapped in foreign lands and their stories of making it through hostile lands back home to greece... seriously, it really is

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Jason and the Argonauts [NT] (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by Corey Haim on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:18:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I've been grappling with this for a few minutes. (3.53 / 26) (#9)
by Alarmist on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:08:39 PM EST

This is big news. A whole lot of people are without power, during the summer, in urban areas. It's going to get hot and messy, and it will be difficult to deal with.

But I don't care.

When this happened in my town a few weeks ago, not too many people noticed. Most of the city has power back now, but it took a lot of time and in the end, the feds declared us to be in a disaster area.

I don't have much sympathy for New York right now. It has barely been a full day for you guys; I didn't have power for nine days. If you don't care what happens where I live, why should I care about what happens where you live? Because your city is bigger than mine? Because there's more stuff there? Those are silly reasons. Your place might be important on several scales, but don't expect me to care about it more than I care about where I live.

I imagine that some people think I'm being whiny and bitter, and they're right to some extent, but I think that the thing irritating me most is that this story is getting the attention that it is because New York is one of the hardest hit places.

-1. Diary entry.

Exactly how large an area (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by TubeShoot on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:13:49 PM EST

and how many people were without power during "your" outage? This outage affected millions of people in two countries. Since you recently went through the same ordeal (if not a bit longer.....so far), you really should have a little more sympathy/empathy for those going through it now.

Really....I thought more of you sir.

Good day.


"Quote thyself..........I do."--TubeShoot '03
[ Parent ]

Well, no. (3.30 / 10) (#11)
by Alarmist on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:19:50 PM EST

Look at what I wrote again: if they can't be arsed to care about us, why should I care about them?

About 75% of my home town lost power, some of them for as long as two weeks. Are we talking about millions of people? Heavens no. But I should think that if the United States, as a culture, likes to pretend that we root for the underdog and the little guy, then we should stop assigning importance to mere geographic regions. The real reason why everyone is kissing New York's ass over this is because it's New York.

The magnitude of the event does not impress me. The fact that the goddamned President went on the air with a fucking speech about a power outage really bothers me, though. If people think that I'm going to sympathize with New York because the lights aren't on over there, then they really need to think again.

[ Parent ]

It's not just magnitude, it's importance (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by ph317 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:47:29 PM EST


If a small town goes without power, it's really just a human factor.  On an individual level it causes discomfort and the possibility of medical complications, and that's about it.  When New York loses power, there's much more to it than the scale increase in population affected.  New York with no power means stock markets are closed, the united nations building is closed, etc, etc, there's probably a list of 500 things you could put here that are fairly important to this country or the world at large, which operate on electricity in New York.  Add to that that aside from the simple population scaling of the human problem, in New York you're running a real chance of mob violence, rioting, and looting breaking out if the outage lasts too long, which can cost everyone a lot of money and possibly lives.

[ Parent ]
It sucks for them. (3.12 / 8) (#27)
by Alarmist on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:46:32 PM EST

But I maintain my position: I do not care.

[...]in New York you're running a real chance of mob violence, rioting, and looting breaking out if the outage lasts too long, which can cost everyone a lot of money and possibly lives.

This is true in any metropolitan area that goes without power. Why is New York different? Are they special?

Help me out here. I'm really trying to understand.

[ Parent ]

New York is not special ... (none / 0) (#165)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:31:37 PM EST

New York is not special, except that it happened to be the biggest metropolitan area that was hit by the outage. Yes, there were other cities that were affected (particularly Cincinatti, OH) but none which have either the human nor the economic significance that New York City does.

If this power outage had happened in the Midwest, and knocked out power in, say, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Missourri, I'd be willing to bet that most of the news coverage would be of Chicago. It's not because we somehow feel 'more sorry' for the people in Chicago then we do for those in Kansas City, or in West Bumfuck, Iowa, it's just more significant on a national scale.

New York is the second largest city in the world, and the largest in the United States. It's a world hub for finance and trade, and home to some 21 million people. When the lights go out, a lot of people are going to care. Some because they know someone in New York, and others because they have a financial or economic interest.

Stories don't make the news because they're 'important' in some sort of abstract sense, they get there because they matter to a large number of people. That's why there was so much media coverage of the NYC blackout, and vice versa is why there probably wasn't any national media covering your blackout.

How many people live in your town? How many people live in NYC? I'm willing to bet there's a difference of probably 3 orders of magnitude. That's why it's on CNN.

[ Parent ]

If they're so important.. (4.33 / 6) (#36)
by Mysidia on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:12:57 PM EST

Then they should have redundancy. So the stock markets are closed for a day, again.. who cares?

The UN building is closed for a day... who cares?

A few million people are slightly inconvenienced and cut off from the world for a day... who cares? I've had 3-week outages... no computer.. no internet, it sucks, I agree

HOWEVER, 1-2 days is nothing to write home about, even if it is a million people, there's nothing special about it. They don't deserve special treatment.

If anything, the crisis is that the local authorities aren't prepared for outages to happen. For instance, not being able to run bus terminals in the event of a power outage would seem to be a major flaw in their LOCAL infrastructure.

But until people are dying or in serious danger, we shouldn't really care, it's not particularly newsworthy except LOCALLY.



-Mysidia the insane @k5
[ Parent ]
How many people were affected? (4.00 / 4) (#52)
by randinah on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:52:39 AM EST

A few million people are slightly inconvenienced and cut off from the world for a day... who cares? I've had 3-week outages... no computer.. no internet, it sucks, I agree

sorry but...a few million people? Try fifty million people. I realize that this story has two sides. The insiders who experienced it, and the outsiders who are saying, "who cares?". As an insider, (in toronto), it was a little more chaotic than, "a few million people didn't have internet for a day". If you needed food, if you needed water, if you needed anything, there was nowhere to go. No news either, just rumours. the radio and tv stations were off the air. All the information we had stated that the entire eastern seaboard was out of power. It was a big deal. It wasn't as if you could drive to the next town to find power. Highway 401, the biggest east/west freeway in ontario was paralyzed because of people out of gas in the middle of nowhere because the pumping stations weren't working.

Stating all of that, nobody is going to say it was a tragedy either. It was just crazy. And worth noting. And those of us involved want to share our stories.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Well then. (4.20 / 5) (#53)
by Alarmist on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:07:50 AM EST

And those of us involved want to share our stories.

That's why we have the diary section.

[ Parent ]

woot (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by randinah on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:03:18 PM EST

And those of us involved want to share our stories.

That's why we have the diary section.

......or maybe that's why this story got voted to front page.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
because NYCers spammed it up? [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by infinitera on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:18:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by randinah on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:02:45 PM EST

But if it's so important to you, it wouldn't be hard to find out where everybody who voted it up is from.

I for one, voted it up, and I'm in Toronto. It's not a big difference, but it seems as long as the Anti-NYC'ers are fixated on that one city alone in this thread, there is a big difference.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
don't mind me (none / 0) (#163)
by infinitera on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:16:22 PM EST

The opportunity to be snide presented itself.

[ Parent ]
Whatever (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by ph317 on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:20:41 PM EST


Seriously dying or in danger?  The last time New York was involved in a major power outage, decades ago, there was mass chaos, rioting, looting, fires burning everywhere, it turned into an urban hell.  There you have that many people packed into that small a space pissed off without power and their facilities all shut down and authorities overloaded, shit happens that doesn't happen in smaller circumstances.  Luckily that didnt happen on any large scale in New York this time, but some looting did happen in Canada I think.  But certainly with what happened last time, it was worth worrying about until it was over.

The news this morning covered New York's estimated financial loss due to the outage, I don't remember the exact numbers, but there were double-digit millions lost directly, and another double-digit million figure in tax revenue.

You can't pawn that type of event off as a minor inconvenience.

[ Parent ]

Don't care. Really, Please don't care. (none / 0) (#106)
by xigxag on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:02:06 PM EST

Perhaps you shouldn't care, who cares?

But if you're truly, honestly looking for reasons, here are a couple.

  1. Since the blackout involved 50 million people, more or less, there's a good chance someone you know or care about was affected by it.
  2. Chances are there will be some kind of repurcussions which affect you.  Either reduced economic output or greater infrastructure investment which means your tax dollars.  The fact that "the whole world is watching" might also lead, indirectly to repurcussions.  The way this situation is handled may somehow affect the standing of the United States in the world.  (For example, widespread looting and chaos might've caused a severe dropoff in tourism, leading to less investment down the line.)
  3. The magnitude of the situation lends itself to more interesting stories.  If you're in a smallish to medium-sized city, chances are relatively few people had to get evacuated from subway tunnels, or got stuck on the 53rd floor of some building, or had to walk across three counties on foot to get home.  There are just more people, more permuations, more oddball situations.


[ Parent ]
Important differences (4.00 / 4) (#19)
by godix on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 06:58:46 PM EST

You don't specify what town your in but you talk as if it were small. Presumably it would take you less than 24 hours to make your way from work to home without power. Presumably you don't have literally millions of people stuck on a island who will starve if transportation can't get food in on a regular basis. I assume your town doesn't host important things like the world headquarters for the UN, the stock market, or central offices of some of the largest businesses in the world. It's safe to say you don't have to go to another freaking state to find a place with power or walk 5 1/2 hours to find a place to sleep. I imagine your power outage wasn't multinational and didn't affect more people than some countries have.

These are of course all guesses. The one thing I KNOW for a fact is that you didn't write an interesting story of 'the average joe' stuck in what may be the largest power outage ever.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

mmh, strange, (3.25 / 4) (#20)
by vivelame on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 07:01:51 PM EST

i thought the official party line said the UN were obsolete??

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Actually. (3.75 / 8) (#25)
by Alarmist on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:39:18 PM EST

The one thing I KNOW for a fact is that you didn't write an interesting story of 'the average joe' stuck in what may be the largest power outage ever.

Technically true. I wrote a story about what it was like to be stuck in a power outage that knocked out 300,000 homes and businesses in the United States' 17th largest city.

It got voted down. People said it was a diary entry.

That's cool. Regional news isn't interesting to the majority of the planet. So tell me again why I should care about a region that happens to include New York City. Is the economy going to go into the shitter worldwide? Are national governments going to fold up and die? Will millions of lives be lost?

[ Parent ]

Not much difference between diary and FP (4.00 / 2) (#42)
by godix on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:20:50 AM EST

I quit beating the 'should be a diary' drum except for stories that ONLY effect the author and his small circle of friends. In theory FP/SP should be for well researched and supported articles and diaries are for random rants but the only real difference I see between them is that diaries get 'abused' more.

Regardless of that, yes there actually was a possiblity the economy would go into the shitter. It's not going to happen because the power back quickly but if this had gone on as long as your hometowns outage did then there would be worldwide economic effects. National governments aren't going to fold up and die, but then again they aren't going to over Michael Moore either and that made FP. Millions of lives could have been lost had the power outage lasted longer. Consider the state NYCs transportation was in and ask yourself what would happen in a few days if transportation remained that much a clusterfuck and food wasn't able to be transported into NYC. New York and other mega cities like it are very fragile things and are always just a few days away from mass starvation.

"Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
[ Parent ]

Good points. (4.50 / 4) (#55)
by Alarmist on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:20:53 AM EST

It's not going to happen because the power back quickly but if this had gone on as long as your hometowns outage did then there would be worldwide economic effects.

If a power outage in one city can have worldwide economic repercussions, then there is a serious problem with the global economy.

New York and other mega cities like it are very fragile things and are always just a few days away from mass starvation.

I doubt very much that the federal government would have let New York fold up and starve to death. While transportation would have been a major issue, it's one that could have been solved. Need a clear roadway? Tell people to move their cars or they'll be treated as obstacles and removed. Toss the food into National Guard trucks, with armed guards if the situation has gotten that bad. Send the trucks to distribution centers. Repeat as necessary until the power comes back on.

I don't think many people would have died of starvation. Civil disturbances would be a bigger issue - I'd expect to see looting and a rise in all manner of violent crimes.

[ Parent ]

You're just having sour grapes :) (2.00 / 1) (#109)
by TheModerate on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:35:40 PM EST

Here's a hint, if you write an actually interesting and thoughtful article, unless you press all the right buttons, don't post it to K5.

This place is a sham and democracies are blind. More people vote based on whether the article was too long to read or if the first paragraph or so of the article has the right number of hotwords that people enjoy ranting about. Its not necessary that the article is well-reasoned or free from obvious bias, only that the writing is biased in the right way to appeal to the majority of people here on kuro5hin.

But even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day and this article is actually pretty good. More articles like this and I might actually begin to care about this website.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Narrow minded (2.00 / 4) (#22)
by randinah on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:13:22 PM EST

You saying that the eastern seaboard should care about your little town is like saying, well, my grandma died yesterday. She was in terrible pain for months, and New York didn't care. Why should I care about 9/11?


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Expectation vs. reality. (3.50 / 4) (#26)
by Alarmist on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:41:58 PM EST

I'm not saying that the eastern seaboard should care about my town. I'm saying that they shouldn't expect me to care about them if the reverse isn't also true.

[ Parent ]
Reality (2.00 / 2) (#34)
by randinah on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:57:37 PM EST

when exactly did the eastern seaboard actually ask for your empathy?

Do you think everybody stranded in New York, Toronto and other places are sitting in the hot sun, watching their meat spoil, and in some cases begging for water are thinking to themselves, "well, at least the world is sending their best wishes!"? Of course not.

The media is covering this event to the extent it is only because of the first part of your very first comment. It sucks. It through a monkey wrench in three metropolises, seven states, and two countries. It's amazing news.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
This is not a witty or insightful subject line. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by Alarmist on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:15:43 AM EST

when exactly did the eastern seaboard actually ask for your empathy?

Note the story sitting on the front page. Is this or is this not a request for attention and empathy?

The media is covering this event to the extent it is only because of the first part of your very first comment.

I'm not sure how much I agree with this idea. I've had a suspicion since 2001 that any news featuring something remotely like a disaster and New York will get top billing because everyone is eager to kiss N.Y.'s ass these days. Shades of the whole "we are all New Yorkers" sentiment that I first saw not quite two years ago.

[ Parent ]

I certainly noticed... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by GavalinB on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:15:42 AM EST

That it took pretty much until Friday morning before the major 24-hour news outlets started showing footage from anywhere but New York City.

That was pathetic. I mean, when suicide bombers strike halfway across the world, we get footage. But we can't get a camera aimed at Toronto?

However, I'm of the opinion that it was less a desire to kiss the city's ass, and more a desire not to have to go farther than the studio doorstep to cover this major breaking international news story. In other words: Laziness and cost-savings. Mostly laziness.
---
The Future is Prologue: Join Our Sagas Today!
[ Parent ]
Media & Empathy (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by randinah on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:26:34 PM EST

Note the story sitting on the front page. Is this or is this not a request for attention and empathy?

This story is not a request for attention or empathy. It's a story about a guy who had an amazing day, knows fifty million other people had an amazing day, including a likely large percentage of kuro5hin users. He wanted to share his story, and requested that others across America and Canada who were affected share their stories.

Here's a question for you: Is your parent comment simply a request for attention and empathy? Your basic point is, "look at me, my community lost power for two whole weeks and nobody cared. So therefore I'm going to criticize everybody involved with this power outage who wants to share their story!"

I'm not sure how much I agree with this idea. I've had a suspicion since 2001 that any news featuring something remotely like a disaster and New York will get top billing because everyone is eager to kiss N.Y.'s ass these days. Shades of the whole "we are all New Yorkers" sentiment that I first saw not quite two years ago.

I'm not really familiar with what the American media has been doing to cover the blackout because I'm in Canada. Up here the media is mostly following Toronto's progress but Ottawa gets substantial coverage too.

If the American media is fixating on New York's trials unfairly and leaving Cleveland and Detroit (who have far more serious issues to deal with than New York did), it's not surprising. Nor is it fair. But does that mean that you have to throw sour grapes into our discussion? You're like the little boy who didn't get picked to be on the softball team so you decide to boo the game.


"Why waste time learning when ignorance is instantaneous?"
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#133)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:44:47 PM EST

I was trying to relate the story of the people and events I saw around me more than anything.  I know people have it far worse than I had it everyday and my intention certainly wasn't to garner attention.  I simply wanted to tell what I saw.

[ Parent ]
I don't expect you to care (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by Merc on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:44:39 PM EST

If you don't care, ignore the story. I wasn't affected directly but my whole family was, and most of my friends were.

I just don't understand the logic of posting to the story saying "I don't care". You can vote the article down before it gets posted. You can post editorial comments saying why you're voting it down. If it gets posted you can ignore it. Anything more than this is just whining about how we don't care enough about you.



[ Parent ]
Memphis, TN (4.50 / 2) (#41)
by khallow on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 11:11:25 PM EST

It took me a while to figure out what "town" you were talking about. Unfortunately, I'm familiar (from a few storms that hit parts of North Carolina) with the type of damage that can be caused to power lines and how long it takes, when the power company never did the proper maintenance in the first place.

The similar SC/NC events were when Huricanes David and Fran blew through. Duke Power (now know as Duke Energy and coat with some gunk from that California trading scandal) managed to bring the power up in two to three days for most places. Other power companies took longer (more than a week for some) because they never trimmed trees that overhung power lines. So there was a lot more damage to clean up. Sounds like your power company was similarly deliquent.

I'm surprised that Bush didn't declare the area a disaster area on day one. That sort of thing is pretty obvious IMHO. At least, Federal funding for disasters comes through anyway so your area should be covered pretty well.

No offense about the media coverage, but there were 50 times or more people effected than in your case. New York City has more media sources than the whole Southeast, so of course, it got the attention.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Memphis (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by Alarmist on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:17:35 PM EST

The Memphis mess has stirred up a bit of ire at the mayor (W. Herenton) and at the local utility monopoly (MLGW).

Herenton is getting flak because he went on a fundraising trip to Little Rock, AR a couple of days after the storm. He's standing for re-election in Memphis, which makes me wonder why he was having a fund raiser in Little Rock.

MLGW is getting flak because they're a convenient target. A lot of MLGW line workers got praise for doing their jobs on 16 hour shifts night after night. MLGW management got scorn because people thought that they were not being honest with their restoration schedules (full power restoration always seemed to be expected by next week) and because their rationale for which areas were to be restored first didn't make much sense. A few people I know suggested that there were racial issues involved. The race card is still a very big deal in Memphis and no one likes to talk about it much without raising a fuss.

Downtown Memphis never lost power because all of the lines are underground there. MLGW says it would cost something like $1 billion to put all the lines in the city underground, and also says that they won't do it. Curiously enough, they will be increasing our rates as soon as possible. I'm sure there's some kind of reason for that, but it's hard not to think of it being the work of a monopoly that will gladly screw its customers.

[ Parent ]

alarmist, i cared about you and about memphis (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by massivefubar on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:16:01 AM EST

I voted for your very important story about what happened in Memphis, and I still don't fully understand why it wasn't put on the front page.

I was without power for a week after Tropical Storm Bill.

I have the same issues of anger that you have. Although our state supposedly voted for Chimpy in the 2001 selection, and we have a Republican governor, the Resident and therefore FEMA refused to recognize our area as a federal disaster area -- even though, in past years, smaller disasters were recognized.

Our city has protested the lack of federal disaster aid but to no effect.

After Hurricane Claudette, I heard that areas of Texas had the same problem.

Were you able to get any FEMA help in Memphis? Did Chimpy take any time out of his busy vacation schedule to offer any comfort?

I am very angry about our lack of national leadership and caring.

As for New York, Chimpy didn't give a flying you-know-what about them either. He was barely sober 4 hours after the blackout started, and his "speech," which was edited, still showed a shambling, drunken bum who had no idea of what he was talking about.

"Rolling blackouts?"

Our national leaders don't care about any of us, and you are right to be angry.

But other people on the ground do care. We are just not entirely sure what to do about it yet. I think you should put your Memphis story on another site, even if only on Diaryland, because it belongs on the internet.

I apologize to those who are offended by the tone of this post, but I refuse to use a title of respect to a "leader" who quite literally does not care if I live or die and would not lift one finger or say one kind word in the aftermath of our disaster.



[ Parent ]

Good for you. (none / 0) (#96)
by Work on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 01:22:11 PM EST

And likewise, nobody cares about you or what you think either. Reciprocity. Good day, sir.

[ Parent ]
who cares if you don't care? (none / 0) (#143)
by the77x42 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:11:53 AM EST

it was a good, interesting, well-written story and deserves FP.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 0) (#197)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 06:20:04 PM EST

I feel their pain, but they were without power for ONE DAY! In the summer! In the IceStorm of 2002 in Kansas City, I was without power OR HEAT for SEVEN DAYS! Some people were out for a whole month! I don't mind this story being on FP, but your Memphis story, which affected people much more severely, also belonged on FP!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
canada (none / 0) (#216)
by wrax on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 09:25:15 AM EST

Two words, Ice Storm.

Canadians have this "power outage in NYC" beat. Although I do sympathize with you in Memphis, a few years ago we went through a week without power, in winter, average temp -30 degrees C.

You think you had it bad.
--------------------

I don't know whats worse, the fact that people actually write this crap or the fact that people actually vote it up.
[ Parent ]

whatever... (2.22 / 9) (#13)
by rmg on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:50:38 PM EST

i was there. it was no 95 degrees. it was one of the nicest days of the summer.

i managed to get out of town before the looting started, but i didn't see all that much brotherly love or whatever. i couldn't even get a discount at haden-daaz. what the hell is up with that?

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

3 words for you buddy (3.33 / 3) (#14)
by Corey Haim on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:56:55 PM EST

WARRIORS... COME OUT TO PLAY...

[ Parent ]
Umm.. (none / 0) (#50)
by gooberguy on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:03:25 AM EST

Isn't that four words? Also, I don't get it.

[ Parent ]
movie reference (none / 0) (#62)
by the sixth replicant on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:28:09 AM EST

http://www.imdb.com/Title?0080120 "The Warriors"

[ Parent ]
sounds like I got out just in time (3.50 / 6) (#17)
by pb on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:55:51 PM EST

I was living in the area for about a year (not too far from Hoboken), and recently moved, managing to miss both 9/11 and this most recent outage, and for this I am quite grateful. Sorry, Silent Chris, and all the rest of you northern residents who got caught in this one.

People are far too dependent on electricity and all of their modern conveniences. I'm not going to suggest that everyone have a giant supply of camping equipment and whatnot, (but my government might) but I think it's important to know how to live off the grid.

Now, I think much of this is just common sense, but maybe I'm biased; growing up, I didn't always have electricity. I lived for years in a one-room cabin with kerosene lamps and a wood stove. Eventually we got a telephone, and we always had a small black and white TV that we'd run off of car batteries, but we were totally off the grid.

So what do you need to survive? Well, obviously you'll want light of some sort, so you can see what you're doing. Matches, candles, lamps and flashlights are good for this; try not to set your house on fire. Of course you'll want to have a source of water; if you have a well or know someone who does, then that's great. Otherwise, you might want to buy water, or go somewhere where you can get water. You'll also want a heat source, for cooking and perhaps warmth if needed. Stoves (or camping stoves) and fireplaces are good for this. If--on the other hand--it's too hot, then open a window, get some ice, or find a place to bathe.

Or I suppose you could buy a generator, or drive to somewhere that has power and find a hotel, but it wouldn't surprise me if other people have had that idea as well.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

A View from Albany, NY (4.44 / 9) (#18)
by HidingMyName on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:57:02 PM EST

Here I lost power in my lab at 4:10, and we had a brown out before all power shut down. Since my lab has a backup generator support, it came back on in a few minutes, and our group initially thought that it was a local glitch, but we could not raise the repair folks on the phone. Later we determined (by going on-line) that the failure was much more widespread. At that point, we turned off all machines but laptops, in case additional failures were forthcoming. My daughter was at daycare, my wife picked her up and came over to pick me up. We drove to pick up my mother-in-law who was at work, and tried to buy some ice and a flashlight (we had plenty of batteries, ironically). EVERY vendor was closed, since they lacked the electricity to process the transactions. Fortunately we had some leftovers at home and were able to eat, but others who had electric stoves could not cook, and were firing up their grills. Unfortunately, unlike when we have a local power outage, there was no restaurant that you could go to get a prepared meal, nor could you buy a meal at a store. The phones did work (if you used an old corded model which drew its operating power from the line, our cordless model did not work since the base station required power).

People were out and friendly, police directed traffic up here (not civilians) but there are people up here who still lack power, and some places had rolling brownouts/blackouts today, although I've had power. The state govt. had its offices closed by our governor (who has not had any good answers) to conserve power to try to avoid inducing more blackouts.

Don't be quick to judge (3.62 / 8) (#28)
by Golden Hawk on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:17:29 PM EST

You shouldn't be so quick to make any attribution to the plane crashes of 2001.  This was hardly a desaster.  People remained perfectly calm.

It's nice to think one's self deserves some kind of credit for making it through some huge tragedy, but the truth is the same situation was experienced in all the other places that this incedent effected.

People grumbled about it, people filed out and wandered around peacefully toward home.

Quite frankly I regret the (likely unintentional) insinuation that those in my Provence's massive capital city Toronto would be any less calm during a crisis just because none of them have been squished by airplanes recently.
-- Daniel Benoy

Well... (none / 0) (#32)
by GavalinB on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:41:58 PM EST

He did invite people like you to write about their experiences. I doubt he could write with any authority about life in Toronto, unless he was there. So, rather than take offense at an unintended slight, just follow his advice: Tell us how it was handled, from your perspective, in Toronto.
---
The Future is Prologue: Join Our Sagas Today!
[ Parent ]
Offensive remarks (none / 0) (#218)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:33:45 PM EST

So, rather than take offense at an unintended slight, just follow his advice: Tell us how it was handled

I don't pick and choose what offends me.
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

Toronto (none / 0) (#87)
by MKalus on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:37:08 AM EST

Actually was pretty calm, we were sitting out on the rooftop, BBQing and watching the stars, people came out and set up street theaters etc. etc.

All in all I think most people didn't really mind, it took some adjustment in the beginning, but my cellphone for example worked just fine, most mobile phones in fact did so people could call home.

None of us at work was in a hurry (minus the ones with kids at home) and we ended up going for some beers while we waited for the traffic jam to clear up. In fact I never was so quickly at home, it took me all of 10 minutes to get home, on a bad day it can take me 1 1/2 hours.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

photos.. (4.66 / 9) (#29)
by molo on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:18:17 PM EST

For those interested, I've posted a number of photos on my site.

http://chris.ruvolo.net/pics/blackout/

If you have any to add, please post a reply with a URL.  Please don't hit this machine too hard, its just my little DSL line (256kbit upstream).

-molo

--
Whenever you walk by a computer and see someone using pico, be kind. Pause for a second and remind yourself that: "There, but for the grace of God, go I." -- Harley Hahn

Essential Services (4.50 / 6) (#30)
by monkeymind on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:33:25 PM EST

I have herd it said that the human race is always three meals away from barbarism. Imagine if you will that it wasn't an accident that could be fixed in 24 hours and that the power did not come back on.

Where is our modern society then?

Also ponder the fact that in modern war the first target is usually the essential services...

So how did it feel to be the other guy for a day?

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.

It's been more than 24 hours... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by GavalinB on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:40:00 PM EST

And still not everyone has power. This ain't what-if fiction, I'm afraid. It's reality.
---
The Future is Prologue: Join Our Sagas Today!
[ Parent ]
Movie (4.00 / 2) (#33)
by bugmaster on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:54:37 PM EST

There was an excellent movie about this, but damned if I can remember the title.

The movie featured a young couple who have a baby daughter. Just as their friend comes to visit, the power goes out... and it doesn't come back on. In about a week, we see human society deteriorate from "here, have some of my water" to "I will kill you all for this loaf of bread"; our protagonists are no exception.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about ? I really liked this movie (even though I saw it on TV); the slide into total anarchy was so slow and measured, it was frighteningly believable... The movie really makes you emphatize with the characters, so when they pick up that shotgun and walk outside, you are almost wishing you could be there with them -- until you realize what it is you're wishing for.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Twilight Zone (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by jjayson on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:08:56 PM EST

It was a Twilight Zone episode.
--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
No (5.00 / 1) (#38)
by bugmaster on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:42:51 PM EST

It was a feature-length movie, and in color, natch. I think it played on HBO or Cinemax or one of those.

If this jogs your memory: the movie opened (and closed) with a voiceover of the mother reading a nursery rhyme to her child.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Don't know the movie (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by monkeymind on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:39:56 AM EST

But I agree with the idea. I have had a story along those lines bouncing around my head for a while. Possibly a space based EMP that takes out all electrics in one half of the globe. No power, no transport (car electrics gone too).

How quickly things would fall apart.

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Make sure to include transsexual robots (none / 0) (#74)
by Poor Yorick on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:22:32 AM EST

If you have hopes of running it through the fiction queue.

[ Parent ]
fiction queue (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by monkeymind on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:29:18 PM EST

Most everything here is fiction. I still don't understand why some of it needs its own section.

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

"The Trigger Effect" (5.00 / 3) (#59)
by the sixth replicant on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:19:57 AM EST

http://www.imdb.com/Title?0117965

I remember that it had Kyle guy from twin peaks in it. Hope it was this one.

Ciao

[ Parent ]

Yeah that's the one (none / 0) (#190)
by bugmaster on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:54:25 AM EST

Thanks ! Though the IMDB commenters are right: the ending is indeed too sappy.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
Uhm no. (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:46:16 PM EST

Actually, going with electricity is fairly easy.

To somebody who even has a passing clue of how the natural economy works, living without electricity or running water is very easy and could be fairly comfortable.

It's living in a polluted environment that is the real problem.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 0) (#114)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:04:26 PM EST

In the industralized world, electricity is needed to clean water supplies/air.  Without it, we would die.

[ Parent ]
Hello, what universe do you live in? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:22:37 PM EST

Our environment isn't that polluted yet.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

umm, New York City? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by Rahaan on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:26:13 PM EST

Cities that large could not continue to exist without electricity.  If power were cut from now til never, there would be a mass exodus to more arable lands.  Which, naturally, would wreak all sorts of bad on the rest of the world.  It's really easy to laugh at citydwellers who are unable to function without electricity when you're living in a rural area with wells and land ready to grow food on, but the fact is, cities akin to the ones we have today without some readily available source of power.

Want proof?

Look at some graphs showing the correlation between big city-growth and the rise of everyday electricity.  It's not a coincidence.


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

The Cities (none / 0) (#167)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:20:21 PM EST

Maybe this is just demonstrating that I have no clue how the 'natural economy' works, but IMO a modern megacity is not going to be able to function very long without power.

Modern cities are built with the assumption that electricity will be available. I think you would have a tough time redesigning New York to support as many people as it does, without electricity. No elevators, no mass transit, no refrigeration. And that's just electricity -- I don't want to begin to imagine what it would be like with open sewers and pump wells.

Yes, you can have a functioning urban society without electricity or running water, but you definitely can't maintain the population density that we've built up in the last 100 years. So when the power goes off, you need to get it back on quickly; otherwise, a lot of people either need to move out of the city or die.

[ Parent ]

Neat theory, but wrong. (5.00 / 2) (#138)
by Akshay on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:19:28 AM EST

I have herd it said that the human race is always three meals away from barbarism. Imagine if you will that it wasn't an accident that could be fixed in 24 hours and that the power did not come back on.
A poster on /. earlier said that in 1995, Auckland (New Zealand's biggest city, for the geography-challenged) went five days without power.

Now, admittedly NZ has more sheep than people, and yes, those Kiwis are suckers for rugby, but really, you wouldn't want to call NZ as 'barbaric', even during those five days.

I'm willing to bet that whoever said "I have herd it said that the human race is always three meals away from barbarism" was a turn-of-the-century COBOL programmer with l33t date-changing skills and a penchant for hype.

[ Parent ]

Night? (4.00 / 5) (#37)
by Stereo on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:15:53 PM EST

With all the lights out, you must have been able to see the milky way from Time Square. You must have been able to see a couple of late perseids, Mars shining next to the moon.

*sigh* that must have been great


kuro5hin - Artes technicae et humaniores, a fossis


Before/After night map (5.00 / 4) (#39)
by Stereo on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:51:48 PM EST

Replying to my own comment, I know.

NOAA satellite shows difference in light coverage over NE US before and after the blackout here [yahoo]. Link found on fark.

kuro5hin - Artes technicae et humaniores, a fossis


[ Parent ]
I was looking for that (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:21:37 AM EST

That's the first thing I thought about (after a good night's rest): what the satelites saw.  Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Still light pollution (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by Jad LaFields on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:13:05 PM EST

I was hoping to see more stars myself... while it was humorous to see the life-long Manhattanites get all excited about being able to see the Big Dipper, the sad fact was that Northern New Jersey seemed to have gotten its power back before it got really dark out, and the light pollution it pumped out still blocked all but the brightest stars on the western half of the sky from where I was (in Chelsea, around the twenties)

[ Parent ]
[rusty is a stupid faggot] wow.... (1.14 / 35) (#43)
by rmg on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:31:26 AM EST

this is boring.

like really boring.

if this makes it to the front page, i'll have to write an article about my dog. surely that will make it.

i mean, my dog is actually kind of cool.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

remember what your mom said (none / 0) (#70)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:14:09 AM EST

if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all

it's a human interest story

as in i'm a human, i'm interested in the experiences of other humans

understand the concept?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

no, i don't (4.20 / 5) (#88)
by rmg on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:54:14 AM EST

i am also a human. why do i not also have your interest in stories like this one?

frankly, it is only a small minority of humans in whose experience i am interested.

the fact that the story involves humans does not make it interesting.

for example:

one time i got up to go to class.

my alarm clock had not gone off.

as a result, i was already thirty minutes late.

i decided to get up anyway.

i got myself ready.

by the time i was ready to go, i was fifty minutes late.

and still tired.

i decided not to go to class.

instead i went back to sleep for another three hours.

***

you see, circletimessquare, that was not interesting. and neither was this story.

and i still don't have any hagen-daaz.

but i take your point. a story about a dog would not likely fly in this forum.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

you're a moron (none / 0) (#94)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:47:01 PM EST

it's the biggest blackout in the history of north america

affecting 2 countries, dozens of cities

dude, get your head out your ass, this is news, and at the very least worth talking about, even if just for those affected by it, like myself

besides, even if, in your strange demented world, this isn't interesting to you, well then i can say to you

WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT/ UNIMPROTANT

with equal volume that you seem to be saying to me, capice?

if you say I DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS STORY

well then SHUT THE FUCK UP AND MOVE ON

otherwise, you seem to be a hypocrite: you scream at us about how uninteresting this is to us

well, it seems to me the definition of someone who is uninterested in a story is to move on and forget

dude, don't troll me, i'm the biggest baddest fucking troll you can find here, besides turmeric of course, go ahead, ask around

you're just a freak without social skills

sucks to be desperately lonely i guess

go out, get off the internet, talk to a breathing human being

because a real breathing human being wouldn't put up with your toddler-level temper tantrums


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

no *you're* a moron. /nt (3.00 / 6) (#98)
by rmg on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:04:03 PM EST



_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

i don't have to troll you (none / 0) (#170)
by circletimessquare on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:58:39 PM EST

you troll yourself

at a kindergarten level


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Question. (4.00 / 3) (#44)
by kitten on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:33:12 AM EST

I watched some of the coverage at work, and of course I've seen the pictures, but the question that plagues me is, why the fuck was everyone getting out of their cars and walking?

Maybe I don't know enough about the New York infrastructure - are there roads that simply cannot operate without electricity?

Atlanta has lost power several times in the past couple years (nothing this serious, but due to various ice storms and so forth, it's been known to happen). Traffic sucks even more than usual, but it doesn't just stop. You take turns at the intersections, like they're four-way stops. Eventually you get where you're going.

Even if traffic could not move, I still wouldn't abandon my car. If you're looking for shelter, why not just stay in the car? I'll be damned if I'm going to abandon a multi-thousand piece of machinery, leaving it open to vandalism or theft, on the vague notion that I can come back and pick it up later.

Someone explain to me what this was all about.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
people dont abandon there cars.. (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by Suppafly on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:52:06 AM EST

people weren't abandoning there cars, the people you see walking are the people that normally take the subway trains for atleast part of there daily commute..
---
Playstation Sucks.
[ Parent ]
"their" (2.33 / 3) (#136)
by Merc on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:09:35 AM EST

The parent post spelled it right, why did you feel the need to change it?

Sorry, but there/their/they're you're/your misuses annoy me.



[ Parent ]
Yup (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 06:05:57 PM EST

It makes me loose my mind!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Abandoned cars? (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by tricknology2002 on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:53:29 AM EST

I didn't see anyone actually get out of a car and abandon it. I assumed that all of the people on foot were walking across the bridges since the subways weren't working.

[ Parent ]
Others correct, to elaborate (none / 0) (#61)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:24:18 AM EST

Most people don't get in and out of the city using their own cars.  First, there are laws about that that spring up from time to time (you couldn't enter the city in the first few days after 9/11 unless you were part of a carpool).  Second, the traffic is absolutely horrible, and trains and buses get their own special rails and lanes to speed things up.

That said, you knock out the power, you knock out almost all public transportation.  That was one of the major problems for all of us commuters: how do you travel 20+ miles on foot?

[ Parent ]

Makes sense. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by kitten on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 01:04:42 PM EST

It just didn't occur to me. In Atlanta, public transit is virtually nonexistant - there's MARTA (the rail) which is a complete fucking joke and goes nowhere, and a series of MARTA busses which sit in the same traffic as everyone else.

In this city you pretty much have to have a car to get anywhere. So when I saw the streets flooded with people, I just kind of assumed they had gotten out of their cars - didn't occur to me that they were the subway takers or whatever.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Mass Transit (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by Jad LaFields on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:07:33 PM EST

I know a number of people who have lived in Manhattan all their lives who don't have driver licenses.  

Why should they?  Driving in the traffic would quickly become unbearable, and the subway system is one of the best in the world (very large, relatively reliable, not spotlessly clean but usually clean enough).

There were also a massive number of people who couldn't take the train home to Long Island or New Jersey... they don't drive because parking is nearly non-existant, bridges quickly become packed, etc.

Thats one of the things I've always liked about NYC, its a very walking/public transit based city.  People get out somewhat more often, and come into contact with each other more often, although maybe that's why we've gotten such a reputation for being cold and distant from each other -- we can't shut ourselves away in our cars like you can in Atlanta, and ignoring everybody around you is sometimes the only way to deal with having you face pushed only a couple inches away from several total stranger's faces in a crowded subway system.

(PS. oh yeah -- my first K5 post!)

[ Parent ]

and get shot more often... -nt- (none / 0) (#162)
by Suppafly on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:06:59 PM EST

People get out somewhat more often, and come into contact with each other more often,
---
Playstation Sucks.
[ Parent ]
It's often said that Americans should travel more (5.00 / 2) (#128)
by pde on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:34:20 PM EST

Go to Europe, get yourself a Eurail pass, that sort of thing...

:)

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

Or come to Guatemala (none / 0) (#228)
by floydian on Thu Aug 28, 2003 at 12:23:16 AM EST

To be crushed in a camioneta (a discarded school bus from the States that passes here for public transportation), standing in the same space with 50 other passengers.

No, no exaggeration there. It's pretty typical.

[ Parent ]

Answer (3.75 / 4) (#122)
by fluxrad on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:52:45 PM EST

how do you travel 20+ miles on foot?

Um...I'll take "You walk your fat ass home" for $500, Alex.

I mean, hey...it's sad that people have to walk 10-20 miles but that should only take about 3-5 hours depending. Drink some water, walk your ass home, and be thankful that the power will be up in a few days. If you're fat, well that's your own damned fault. If you're bitching 'cause it's 90...then move to some place that's actually hot and grow a sense of proportion.

Otherwise, why the hell weren't people just staying at work? I work 13 miles from home and if I were faced with the proposition of having to walk home or wait a day, I'd probably just grab some sleep under the old cube.

I'm not surprised that people were really nice to eachother in NY..they just keep the tough guy attitude to fuck with the tourists. I'm equally un-surprised at the fact that people in America are complete and utter pussies when it comes to doing "without."

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Problems with your brilliant anaylsis (5.00 / 1) (#126)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:30:51 PM EST

First, people couldn't leave the island on foot.  All tunnels and most bridges were closed.

Second, it isn't as simple as 20 miles as the crow flies.  If you attempt to stay on any major roads, it becomes more like 30+.  Considering the average marathon is around 20 miles, and it takes the best runners in the world 3 hours to complete, imagine what it takes us "fat asses"?

Third, the heat didn't really matter.  What mattered was that, in the most densely-populated area in the world, people didn't lose their civility and riot as happened before in cities that lose power (and, in fact, happened in NYC in the 70s).

[ Parent ]

Ahem? (3.75 / 4) (#147)
by fluxrad on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:04:35 AM EST

First, people couldn't leave the island on foot. All tunnels and most bridges were closed.

I knew the tunnels were closed because of lack of ventilation, but which bridges?

Considering the average marathon is around 20 miles, and it takes the best runners in the world 3 hours to complete, imagine what it takes us "fat asses"?

Actually, a marathon takes the best runners in the world about two and a half hours and it's 26 miles, not 20 (read: distance from Athens to Marathon)1. Stay with me here: averaging a 15 minute mile (walking) you can do 20 miles in 5 hours.

What mattered was that, in the most densely-populated area in the world, people didn't lose their civility

Ok, I hate to nit-pick but, Tokyo and Paris have New York beat by a wee bit when it comes to population density. Click for more info.

Secondly, why would I give people credit for doing something they're supposed to do? You're supposed to obey the fscking law. Am I expected to give NY'ers some sort of congratulations on the fact that they didn't riot? Sorry but I don't buy that schtick for a second. Or could you please try to more accurately explain the virtue of living in a city where anarchy after something like a power outage is expected!

Go New Yorkers! Way to not shit where you live! Hell, I haven't broken a window since the Broncos won Superbowl XXXII. I should get the freakin' Congressional Medal of Honor.

1Technically 24.85 miles, but is run at 26 miles in modern times.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Looting (none / 0) (#168)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:41:25 PM EST

The last two big power outages in NYC (to my knowledge, correct me if I'm wrong) were in 1965 and 1977, and there was a significant amount of looting in '77.

The reason there was so much news discussion of looting this time was because people basically wanted to see whether history would repeat itself.

Information on the 1977 Blackout, including a Time Magazine article [PDF] about the riots and looting.

[ Parent ]

Long walk (none / 0) (#195)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:51:02 PM EST

Actually, a marathon takes the best runners in the world about two and a half hours and it's 26 miles, not 20 (read: distance from Athens to Marathon)1. Stay with me here: averaging a 15 minute mile (walking) you can do 20 miles in 5 hours.
But could the average "fatass" maintain a 15 minute miles for 5 hours? In 90+ degree heat? I haven't walked for 5 hours in years, and I'm in better shape than most of my cow-orkers. I'm sure I could DO it, but a lot of people couldn't!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Huh (none / 0) (#214)
by Surly on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 07:17:32 AM EST

Ok, 4 miles per hour is possible and easy on county roads, you try it on a city street when you have to wait for the walk signal at every light...then try it when all the power is off and chaos rules most intersections.

Idiot boy.

[ Parent ]

Idiot Boy? (none / 0) (#226)
by fluxrad on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 10:49:35 AM EST

Check your facts fucknut.

click

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Not feasible (none / 0) (#215)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 08:07:53 AM EST

I'm 22, walk and hike a helluva lot, and yet I can tell you this isn't feasible. No sane person would attempt 20 miles in 90 degrees without water stops and rest stops. And there wasn't water, from what I hear (I'm a Londoner). No sane walker would attempt said walk without proper boots and socks. I covered 50 miles on hilly terrain with a huge pack a while ago, but I wouldn't even have thought about it in the knee-high boots or wedge-heeled shoes I wear for work. And don't try telling me I should wear my Timberlands to work every day in case I have to walk 20 miles back. Also, five hours does seem even to me, a seasoned hiker, to be a bit of a trek without any preparation - no food, no water bottle and begun after a hard day's work rather than immediately after a good night's sleep. And yes, office work is tiring. You have more mitochondria (for respiration) in your CNS cells than in any other ones in your body. Mental work can be exhausting.

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

My Experience (4.00 / 7) (#47)
by Juppon Gatana on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:53:51 AM EST

I am a college student and I live just below Midtown in Manhattan with my parents. I was in my room, making some corrections to my father's website when we lost power. I had turned my air conditioner off about 2 minutes earlier because I was about to leave, and so I didn't notice anything immediately, but then I heard the air conditioner in our living room (where my dad was) die. I tried switching it back on and toggling the "energy saver" button, but that made little difference. Shortly after, I attempted to use a portable pair of speakers I had recently bought, but I couldn't get them to turn on. "Oh," I thought, "we must've blown a fuse." But then I realized our elevator was out too, so I walked down the eight flights of stairs to go deposit a check at the bank. Once I got outside, it became obvious that our building wasn't the only place suffering from a power loss.

The streets were extremely crowded, and as I rounded the corner from my block, I noticed that shop windows were dark as far as I could see. Though there was definitely a lot of anxiety in the streets, there was also a sense of controlled calm that was missing on September 11th. When I walked back up the stairs to our loft, the people on the fifth floor had their door open, and asked me if I had heard anything over the radio. They wanted to know, predictably, if terrorists were behind the power outage. I told them I doubted it. My gut instinct just told me it wasn't.

After the power went out, I had to go pick up my dog, Arthur, from the groomer's, and during the mile-long walk I saw the streets crowded and some pedestrians conducting traffic. I also saw some drivers offer rides to others, or pull over and run their car radios extra-loud so passersby could listen. The worst part for me was having to carry all 37-pounds of Arthur up the hot eight flights of stairs; he has a bad back and walking so many stairs is not good for him. When my dad and I went out at midnight to walk the dog, there were several groups of people out on the street, clearly stranded in the city, sitting in office chairs and drinking. Some were lying down on the sidewalk and trying to sleep, with or without sheets. Some people were on edge, perhaps remembering the rioting that occurred in '77, and when my dad shined his flashlight into a van parked in front of our house, the man in the driver's seat, who was with at least 5 other people (probably his family) yelled out the window, "You fuckin' want something, buddy?!"

Somewhere in the middle of the night, the water tower on top of our building ran out of water, and since it is filled through electrical pumps, we were without water until we got power back at around 9:10 this evening (8/15). Dealing with the lack of power was not particularly bad, but the lack of water made things really difficult really fast, and dirty dishes accumulated incredibly quickly. The only real problem that the power outage caused for us was the heat. I went to bed at midnight sweating, woke up at 4:30 sweating, and then drifted in and out of sleep for some time, all the while sweating profusely. Things were still livable though, and it was only when we lost water that I realized it would be a disaster if things didn't improve for a week or two. So it was a relief to get power back tonight and to be able to wash my hands and flush the toilets. People in the city coped incredibly well, and except for a few drunken buffoons yelling from their rooftops, our neighborhood was very quiet and orderly without power. I was really impressed with how sedated and orderly people were. It was heartening.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
It's not some great "experience" (2.69 / 13) (#48)
by Mister Pmosh on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 01:07:29 AM EST

The power goes out all the time all over the place. This wasn't extraordinary except in it's size. Except for the people stuck in elevators and subways, the best you can write about it, "I couldn't use my computer and I saw a bunch of people in the street."
"I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" -- Carl
And that doesn't surprise you? (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by MKalus on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:28:43 AM EST

The European press had a field day with this.

I grew up on Germany and I can't remember ONE power outtage in 23 years I have lived there, then I was living for a year in the States and we had almost weekly power outtages.

Then I moved up to Canada and up until Thursday I never had a power outtage here.

It is interresting that the "blame game" is played and most of it is put onto Canada (in the US) and vice versa. Personally I think the US infrastructure is grossly outdated and something really has to be done. How can a "first world nation" like the US let things like this happen?
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

There's the secret (4.33 / 3) (#142)
by Mister Pmosh on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:29:16 AM EST

The U.S. is not a "first world nation" in all respects of the word. This country is as religiously fundamentalist as any middle eastern dictatorship. It has a caste system based on wealth rather than merit, which is hard to move up in. Then there's the point that greed is the primary motivation, even if it means a person will ultimately destroy the lives of themselves or their loved ones. This is why the power grid is outdated; people would rather save the millions of dollars to buy fancy home theatre systems and using 100 watt bulbs in all of their lamps without thinking about the power infrastructure they rely on. Also, the power failure is definitely the fault of someone else, because it's their rights as Americans to leave their lights on in every room all night. We bombed Iraq so we could stay free to leave the porch light on all night.
"I don't need no instructions to know how to rock!" -- Carl
[ Parent ]
Why the Grid's like it is (5.00 / 2) (#169)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:56:22 PM EST

Although I resent your pompous attitude, I think you do have a point.

The power distribution infrastructure in the U.S. is grossly outdated, and generating capacity isn't nearly what it should be. However, you miss out on the reasons why.

The biggest reasons are that nobody in the U.S. wants to live near a powerplant, substation, high-tension wireline, etc., but still want to "leave the porch light on all night." Also, there is an opposition to almost any form of power generation: nuclear, fossil fuel, hydro, waste-to-energy, are all non-starters politically.

In NYC, one of the major problems is that it's difficult to run more distribution lines down from Connecticut (and thus from Canada, where the power comes from) because they have to go through the extremely wealthy Westchester or Fairfield counties, where there is huge local opposition, because power lines would decrease property values.

All that was supposed to be solved by running a large (300+ MW) cable under Long Island Sound, but that's become another political mess under the guise of environmental concerns.

If anything, hopefully this blackout will serve as a wakeup call to the state of the electrical infrastructure in New England, before a California-like energy crisis sets in.

[ Parent ]

Ah well now.... (none / 0) (#184)
by MKalus on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:03:35 PM EST

... I think you are getting to a point here, it is the almight dollar once again.

Toronto's Mayor is an idiot, only good for entertainment, but I am wondering if they put one of his lines onto CNN:

'Have you ever heard the United States take the blame for anything? Their power went off at p.m., ours went off, I thought, at 4:10'

Oh well, I am sure that we'll never know the truth, you know "National Security" and such, still waiting for the proof about 9/11.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

"except in its size" (3.50 / 2) (#131)
by Merc on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:58:50 PM EST

And that isn't enough?



[ Parent ]
Meanwhile... (4.52 / 19) (#56)
by Richard Stallman on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:22:21 AM EST

Two billion more people still without any electricity, one billion subject to weekly blackouts.

Of course (none / 0) (#125)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:26:56 PM EST

Do any of these 1 billion have clusters of, say, 10 million people living in a few square miles?  How about living on an island that no one was able to enter (all tunnels and bridges coming in were closed)?

[ Parent ]
About millions of people in one place.. (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by mikael_j on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:04:47 PM EST

Yes, they do have large cities..

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

If I am going to be horribly honest myself (none / 0) (#179)
by andamac on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:25:27 PM EST

I'd say that one of my favorite parts of all this was reading about Iraqis saying "They think it's hot THERE" and "I hope you aren't planning to let your own government fix that, trust me, they couldn't get reliable power set up if their own money was at stake and I am speaking from experience."

(paraphrasing is mine)


[ Parent ]

The Cause (4.00 / 2) (#57)
by freestylefiend on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:59:37 AM EST

Fortunately, as it stands right now, it appears to have been an accident.

Why does it matter what caused it? The actual result was just as bad as an attack would have been. Why was the situation fortunate?

Because (5.00 / 6) (#63)
by arvindn on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:38:32 AM EST

Because it means Bush won't be taking out another country and killing thousands.

At least, not because of the blackout.

So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]

And because (none / 0) (#194)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:38:36 PM EST

if it HAD been terrorists, I don't think they would have stopped at a blackout. I think there would have been shooting/bombings in the powerless streets!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
OH NOOO! (4.14 / 7) (#64)
by debacle on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:24:44 AM EST

They took our electricity! Whatever shall I do now? My pale white skin cannot handle the sun's powerful rays and I simply cannot walk, anywhere! Especially without air conditioning!

Power went out, it happens. I made it just fine, we set up tents in the back yard and I slept out on the hammock under the stars.

You can't always do that in this day and age, and I took it as a well needed reprieve from all the shit we go through.

It tastes sweet.

That's nice, but (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:09:29 AM EST

You appear to have money.  You have money to purchase things like hammocks and tents, and likely have enough money for a house and a car (extrapolating here).

In most commuters' situations, mass transit is the only means to and from our jobs, and many of us live in apartments.  Imagine being on an island with 10 million other people, no means to leave, and when you finally did get home you couldn't go outside anyway (most people with apartments don't have a backyard to sleep in).

Again, like I said in the story, I was very fortunate to even had what I had.  Many people had far less.

[ Parent ]

I am pretty poor (4.50 / 2) (#82)
by debacle on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:42:13 AM EST

Self-made hammock, and my tent is probably the most expensive thing I own, 200 bucks.

It doesn't take money to be intelligent.

I think it's just the opposite.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

hmm? (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by Delirium on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:10:29 AM EST

Buy some candles and read a book.

And make yourself a tuna fish sandwich.

Seriously, power goes out for days at a time not infrequently. Houston's been without power due to tropical storms for 2-3 days on occasion, and Memphis was without power for nearly a week this summer. You don't see any of that on the news for days on end.

[ Parent ]

Questions (none / 0) (#151)
by Silent Chris on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:08:20 AM EST

Is Houston on an island?  How many people live in Houston?  How many commute into and out of Houston daily?  Is it 10 million and 1 million respectively?  Of those who commute in and around Houston, do the vast majority have to take mass transportation?  What happens when that transportation fails?  How do you get essential emergency vehicles onto the streets when they're filled with several 1000 people -- each?

[ Parent ]
some answers (none / 0) (#175)
by Delirium on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 05:04:00 PM EST

Island? No.

People? Around 4.5 million.

Commute in and out? Around 1 million.

Transportation? Mostly cars and buses.

In any case, if NYC really can't operate without power, a lot more emphasis should've been put on backup power systems. NYC isn't unique in its density or reliance on public transportation -- London, Paris, Athens, Tokyo, and a dozen other cities could qualify, and they all seem to manage just fine.

[ Parent ]

i live in times square (4.46 / 15) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:56:40 AM EST

and work near the united nations

as it is, i left work at 4:05 on thursday (the power went out at 4:14)

i walk to work/ from work, and as i made it back towards home i notived an alarm going off in an upscale store on fifth avenue, and people streaming out of the store

but the time i made it to the end of the block, i thought it was kind of funny

"ha ha! the whole block went out"

but as i walked onward, the streets began to seriously fill up with people

then the traffic lights stopped working

then there were the lack of cell phones, people queueing up at payphones

i noticed a lack of atms

a guy ran by red faced and flustered "toronto's out!"

oh shit, this is huge

i got home and tried to call the office, no answer, they probably all scattered

i couldn't raise my gf- she was cell phone only and traveled a lot in the outerboroughs for work, so there was no way of me knowing exactly where she was

walking up and down to my apt without elevator was "fun" (i live on the 11th floor)

i half joked with my super whether it was the windows wonder worm, al qaeda or just the heat

i was able to parlar with the folks, they were elsewhere in the country unaffected, i told them to call other relatives and tell them i was going to barricade myself in my apt for fear of C.H.U.D. (my family are fanatically rural and anti-city living... and i live in times square, like some sort of insane family heretic, and any opportunity i have to reinforce their horrors of city living i relish with gusto ;-P)

i found a radio i had used to take to the beach like 4 years ago, and the batteries still worked! god bless the everready bunny

listened to an account of mayor bloomberg getting booed as he tried to relive a previous mayor's famous walk over the brooklyn bridge during the last outage deades ago, then to much applause. apparently he was blocking pedestrian traffic with his entourage and security, and people just wanted to hoof home, so they booed him out of the way. pr move hastily aborted

i tried to go buy batteries for my flashlight from some guy on music row, he wanted $5 per d cell- ah, the entrepreneurial gouging spirit, gotta love it

oh well, no flashlight for me, it was candlelight radio and, heaven forbid, book reading, can you imagine? for me that night

food was instant tea from jugs of water i wisely filled before the water pressure disappeared, and peanuts that night

i made my way back down to times square, wondering if i could help, feeling pangs of guilt as i was relatively ok while others were going to have to spend time in the street, but i didn't know how to break international tourist language barriers and convince anyone i wasn't really just trying to get them in a back alley to mug them, so i assuaged myself to the fact that everyone seemed pretty happy and chatty in fact. there was almost a party atmosphere in effect, and no menace or fear anywhere

in fact, the two bars below my place on the street were doing gangbuster business- it seemed like the whole stranded businessman crowd was using the blackout and the inability to get home as an excuse to get royally sloshed

so i made my way back upstairs, worried about how long my aquarium fish could make it without their electric filter/ air lifeline- they were busy gulping at the surface, so i made amental note of giving them a day of no power before i would have to do something drastic for them

i made a few more calls to my friends and family, finally got to my gf who called me on a landline, who would be stranded in the outerboroughs, being as there was no way she could get back into the city with the bridges and tunnels mostly down, the traffic lights out, and the gridlocked traffic

a few more pages of that strange, pre-internet antique called a "book", some attempt at creating a cross-breeze by opening windows that had been closed for months, and a curse at the loud diesel-powered ventilation for the broadway theatre across the street (why was it on? who was doing a broadway show tonight?), and it was a slow drift into sleep in the candle-flickering darkness for me

oh shit, the candles!

got up, put those out... idiot ;-P

and then it was a night of frequent waking and strange dreams

i think i had a late night nightmare of C.H.U.D. breaking into my apartment in the looming darkness... serves me right, karma payback for trying to scare my rural family

power went back on, for me, at 7:45 am, but i woke up earlier to go the roof and watch the weirdest thing i have seen in times square since the last blizzard when i saw a cross country skier going it alone down the middle of broadway in between strange mounds that might or might not be cars... pitch darkness

no city-powered orange glow, as usual

no stars though (it was overcast, that was a disappointment, i washoing to see the milky way in the middle of times square, which would have been tre cool)

it was... strangely peaceful as dawn broke

the rest of the morning with the power back was spent watching dueling news crews and their legions of white satellite dish equipped vans

cnn's bill hemmer looks a lot older in person

friday was spent getting in touch with my boss, and since i was the only one in the city in easy foot distance, getting into work and powering servers back on and things like that

and then it got normal again


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

What does C.H.U.D. stand for? -nm (none / 0) (#107)
by TheModerate on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:04:34 PM EST

nm

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by drivers on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:34:25 PM EST

C.H.U.D. dvd review

[ Parent ]
not 'tre', (4.00 / 2) (#182)
by rodoke3 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:14:35 PM EST

It's très.

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
Before & After (4.90 / 11) (#66)
by ad hoc on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 08:59:20 AM EST

20-hours before:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/nightlights/blackout081403-20hrsbefore-text.jpg

7-Hours After:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/nightlights/blackout081503-7hrsafter-text.jpg



--

thanks for the linkage. [mt] (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by kpaul on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 08:51:34 PM EST


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]
Prophecy (3.25 / 4) (#67)
by evilpenguin on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:06:53 AM EST

Funny, that.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
A point (4.25 / 4) (#68)
by ad hoc on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:10:48 AM EST

What I'm interested in seeing unfold in the weeks and months to come is this. The electric companies, who fought so long and hard to be deregulated and privatized, and won, so that they are now responsible for their own destinies. If, as news reports say, the Erie grid is troublesome and in dire need of upgrades, are the electric companies going to come crying to government (read: taxpayers) to finance this (probably enormously expensive) upgrade? Or are they going to invest and do it themselves, as any private industry (like, say, cable or telephone) would do? They've had a century of sucking at the teat of taxpayers, has a decade of deregulation and privatization cured them of that?


--

A whole bucket of contradictions (3.60 / 30) (#69)
by Poor Yorick on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:13:45 AM EST

So the power was out for a few hours. Is it really that harrowing of an experience? Do you know that the last time a hurricane ripped through here (a much warmer clime, by the way), we were without power for three days? Did I write a Kuro5hin article about it? No. Because it was not that big of a deal.

You pansy New Yorkers will make a harrowing experience out of fucking anything, because of your undying beliefs that

  1. New York is the world, there exists none outside it.
  2. Therefore, everyone in the whole goddamn United States cares and empathizes with you, you poor people without your computers for a couple of hours.
  3. The world owes you something after September 11.
Second, New Yorkers are not compassionate. This is another bullshit tale spun by those inside of the Reality Distortion Field known as New York City. It even shows up in this guy's article. "Compassionate souls" sort of contrasts with "A few reasonable souls sold us water for a $1. This price quickly escalated to $5, $10 and beyond down the road, when only the richest yuppies could afford a drink." Folks, he doesn't even see the contradiction here, because, being from New York, he's caught up in the RDF in a big fucking way.

Meanwhile, other things that anybody anywhere would've done are considered acts of heroism in New York because, realize this again, a whole lot of New Yorkers are unaware of the existence of the world outside of New York, and what's considered common decency elsewhere is such a deviation from the standard asshole behavior of New Yorkers everywhere that people could've only been completely stunned. But it's nothing to write to the world about.

Matters are not helped in the least by the fact that major national news outlets are based in New York, inside of the insidious RDF, now inspiring people like me to give you shit because the talking heads on CNN and every major network can't help but wail about it, try to instill panic in the populace and generally give it far more airtime than it really deserves.

Get off your high horse, get some perspective, and get off the fucking TV.

good troll, here's a scrap (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:21:26 AM EST

it's a human interest story, that's all it is, get over it

no one said you had to comment, or read, or even make believe you are interested


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh, give it a rest (3.00 / 4) (#75)
by Poor Yorick on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:31:28 AM EST

I can be critical of the New York attitude if I damn well feel like it.

[ Parent ]
it's not about new york (4.37 / 8) (#76)
by circletimessquare on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:37:03 AM EST

it's about toronto, detroit, etc. too

no one said you had to care

but since you obviously don't care, i am here to tell you to shut the fuck up ;-)

how's that for attitude fuckface?

smooches!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Nobody here cares about human interest stories (2.00 / 2) (#116)
by Mike Green Challenge on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:00:43 PM EST

Sorry pal but k5 is not the place for any type of human interest story what-so-ever. I mean I have spent the past few days educating the fine citizens of Kuro5hin about the ups and downs of Michael Green's Challenge and I have received nothing but resent and foul comments.

Some have even gone as far as to joke about the subject of non consensual homosexual relations with Mr. Green. This type of behavior is out of line and should not be tolerated.

Cheers to you, Mr. circletimessquare for realizing that people here need to understand the feelings of their common man at least occasionally. Maybe they are too busy polishing their knob sitting in front of a computer all day to realize what real life is all about.

--
Aspies for Ron Paul
[ Parent ]

when spam and troll meets (nt) (none / 0) (#171)
by circletimessquare on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:59:32 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Responses (4.20 / 5) (#79)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:18:22 AM EST

So the power was out for a few hours.

Actually, it was out for more than 16.  For some people it's still out.  

Is it really that harrowing of an experience?

No, although for many middle-aged commuters around me, sleeping in strange towns on the ground was a new thing.

Do you know that the last time a hurricane ripped through here (a much warmer clime, by the way), we were without power for three days? Did I write a Kuro5hin article about it? No. Because it was not that big of a deal.

I imagine, being that you're in a warmer climate, that you are more used to that sort of thing.  I would think if a hurricane hit New York (without being weakened, which is what usually happens when they travel up the east coast) it could be devastating.

To put things in perspective, a few weeks ago I was on the Jersey coastline and we lost power for 3 days (storm).  Was it as bad as this?  No.  I was at home, with my family.  It was very localized (only about 15,000 people lost power, not 50,000,000).  Transportation, for the most part, ran smoothly.

You pansy New Yorkers will make a harrowing experience out of fucking anything, because of your undying beliefs that New York is the world, there exists none outside it...

Actually, I'm not a New Yorker.  I'm a New Jerseyan.  I don't think anyone in this area was thinking about being the center of attention on Thursday afternoon; quite frankly, how would we have known.  No one had any idea that the media was covering this, or how far reaching it was.  It wasn't until I got home and saw the pictures that I thought "Wow".

[ Parent ]

Not thinking about media attention at all, eh? (2.44 / 9) (#80)
by Poor Yorick on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:33:03 AM EST

"I don't think anyone in this area was thinking about being the center of attention on Thursday afternoon; quite frankly, how would we have known."

Contrast this, if you will, with this statement from the story:

"With that, I sat on a side wall overlooking the tunnel with hundreds of others, contemplating what I should do next. Helicopters hovered overhead taking pictures for the media."

Uh huh.

In any event, you might as well live in NYC, though that's not absolutely required, seeing as you have already proven your region-specific propensity for crying for attention at the slightest hint of disaster. Do you children need the government to air drop cookie rations to keep you from throwing a tantrum while they restore power in the big city?

[ Parent ]

Actually, regarding the choppers (4.20 / 5) (#84)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:55:19 AM EST

I thought those were normal traffic choppers.  We see those every morning on the way to work (there's usually 3-4 in the air) so I thought they were monitoring the traffic around the tunnel.  

It was only afterwards that I learned they were being used to take pictures for media such as CNN.  Same as when I reference Bloomberg in the middle of the story (I actually didn't hear his speech until the morning after, when the apartment I was staying in got electricity).

You seem to have a lot of issues about the New York area.  Did you have a bad experience with someone here?  I feel the same way about Boston sometimes, but I think it's only because I broke up with an ex-girlfriend there.  It's not good to generalize.

[ Parent ]

Hurricane? Gigantic disaster! (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by alakon on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:05:18 PM EST

A large hurricane in New York would be much worse than September 11th. More than 70% of New York City residents have never experienced an intense hurricane, and the geography of the harbor makes the storm surge much more powerful. A 1998 Army Core of Engineers report stated that a storm surge may be as high as 30 feet, and as critical infrastructure, such as the subway system, has entrances as low as seven feet above sea level. The subway system would not only be paralyzed, but commuters already in the trains may drown. See an excerpt from a Time magazine article of Sep 7 1998, Vol. 152 Iss. 10 pg 62-67:
One of the darkest scenarios, however, envisions a powerful storm of Category 4 or higher making a direct hit on a major city like New Orleans or Miami. Surprisingly, hurricane researchers now consider one of the most vulnerable targets to be downtown New York City. They made the discovery by accident, in the course of a routine storm-evacuation study begun in 1990 by the Army Corps of Engineers, the kind of study done for every large community on the nation's hurricane-prone coasts. "We were all shocked," says Allan McDuffie, the Corps' study manager.

They discovered that the city has some unique and potentially lethal features. First, they realized that its major bridges, like the Verrazano Narrows and the George Washington, were so high they would experience the advance winds of an approaching hurricane several hours before winds of the same velocity were felt at ground level. These critical escape routes would have to be closed well before ground-level highways.

Even more surprising, however, were the results of computer models done with a federal computer program called SLOSH, which stands for Sea, Lake and Overland Surge from Hurricanes. The program, the backbone of all evacuation studies, takes into account storm tracks, local landmarks and coastal geography to calculate the effects of a hurricane storm surge, the dome of water pushed ashore by strong winds. Such surges can be the deadliest aspect of a hurricane. An immense surge overflowed the city of Galveston, Texas, in 1900 and killed more than 8,000 people, and possibly as many as 12,000. A surge raised on Florida's Lake Okeechobee in 1928 killed 1,836.

The SLOSH analysis of New York City revealed that the sharp bend in the Atlantic coastline where New York and New Jersey meet, the New York Bight, would amplify the effects of a storm surge to the point where even a modest hurricane could generate deadly flooding in lower Manhattan. "That right angle, believe it or not, can cause 30 ft. of storm surge above normal tide conditions," says Donald Lewis, a hurricane-evacuation expert based in Miami who worked on the New York City study. "The same storm in other parts of the country might cause only a 14- or 15-ft. surge."

Suddenly the project took on a new urgency. The researchers concluded that the surge from a Category 4 storm would put John F. Kennedy International Airport under 20 ft. of water. Seawater would pour through the Holland and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels and into the city's subways throughout lower Manhattan. The flooding would be especially disastrous if people seeking to escape torrential rains and falling debris were to take shelter in subway stations. The report didn't estimate casualties, but observed that storms "that would present low to moderate hazards in other regions of the country could result in heavy loss of life.



[ Parent ]
Roger Waters said it best... (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by synaptik on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 01:43:42 PM EST

<quote>"And a doctor in Manhattan saved a dying man for free.   It's a miracle."</quote>

--synaptik
warning C4717: 'WORLD3D::operator=' : recursive on all control paths, function will cause runtime stack overflow
[ Parent ]

Media != all of New York (none / 0) (#104)
by xigxag on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:48:30 PM EST

The reason why disasters which happen in New York get so much attention is because a lot of major news organizations are headquartered in New York.  Plain and simple.  If CBS was headquartered in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, you'd see the camera crews out there instead.  Not difficult to understand.  

So don't think just because reporters are self-centered worms and believe their personal traumas belong to the whole world that all New Yorkers really give a fuck whether or not somebody in Butte, Montana is crying over the blackout.

[ Parent ]

A hurricane huh? (3.80 / 5) (#108)
by Merc on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:20:58 PM EST

So you're saying the sky whas blue then suddenly, within seconds, the hurricane hit at full force? Wow, that must have been scary, being hit suddenly by something like that, with no adva...

What?

You had advance warning?

You had a chance to board things up, buy supplies and prepare?

Hmm... seems a bit different to me. If NYC had had even 3 hours warning that the power would be going out, I don't think there would have been a story. The fact is, that within 5 minutes, things went from normal to "no power" for 50,000,000+ people.

Good troll though.



[ Parent ]
Bite me, you non-NYCer (3.40 / 5) (#110)
by abulafia on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:12:54 PM EST

Sure, we're rude, difficult, and focused on the almighty dollar.

You just seem to have a problem with large metropolitan areas.

Here's a hint - nobody who actually lives here wants anything for Sept. 11. All the lobbying is from people who live elsewhere.

Meanwhile, you're dead wrong about what happened. After the power went out, I went to a local bar, who was giving away drinks. Eventually, I went on a quest to find an ATM on a generator, so that I could handle things if the outage went on too long. Along the way, everyone I ran into was amused, sweaty, and in much better spirits than normal.

The pizza place on the corner of my block has a grandfathered coal fire oven, and was making pizza until after I went home, at 1 AM. They were feeding the neighborhood, not to mention cops who were taking pizza to the Sooper Seckret Underground Bunker where the mayor hangs out.

There's a lot to be proud of in NYC today. Everyone I saw was just fucking awesome. I don't know or care where you live, but shut up about NYC. you simply don't have a clue.

[ Parent ]

Pansy New Yorkers? Okay, (none / 0) (#180)
by rodoke3 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:38:07 PM EST

Frank.

I take umbrage with such statments and am induced to pull out archaic and over pompous words to refute such insipid vitriol. -- kerinsky


[ Parent ]
kudos (none / 0) (#221)
by debillitatus on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 07:43:38 PM EST

This is the best comment anyone has ever written.

Extremely strong.

Damn you and your daily doubles, you brigand!
[ Parent ]

So America gets blackouts (2.87 / 16) (#72)
by x10 on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:21:04 AM EST

Big Fucken Whoop. Some countries have never even had electricity...

---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---

Not to mention... (3.00 / 3) (#93)
by Sleepy on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:39:46 PM EST

...that yet other countries get theirs bombed away by american troups.

[ Parent ]
Circus troupes? [nt] (none / 0) (#146)
by synaesthesia on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:45:45 AM EST



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
stock price manipulated before outage (2.40 / 5) (#83)
by massivefubar on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:43:09 AM EST

It looks like to me that the power outage was anticipated by insider trading of the power protection company stock, Chloride PLC:

As I don't care to copy the entire table, I invite you to click on yahoo's finance link right here.

I find it difficult to explain why the stock would suddenly go from trading around 400,000 shares, with little movement, on Aug. 11 to trading over six million shares and shooting up in price over $4 a share early on Aug. 14.

I am amply satisfied by the events of the last few years that stock traders completely lack any psychic ability. Therefore, I would need some rational, logical explanation of this event. At the moment, the only explanation that occurs to me is that someone knew that the lights were going to go out and that the company would be enjoying the benefits of federal moneys and/or loosening of regulations.

I would greatly appreciate hearing other theories or suggestions.



Did you look at the rest of the chart? (5.00 / 4) (#103)
by jjayson on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:35:12 PM EST

Almost every month CHLD.L spikes to about 5m or more in volume. This year alone it has happened in January, March, April, May, and June, totaling 6 other times.

If the power outage was known ahead of time, then why didn't other public companies have the same spike?

You are making an awefully big leap with very little evidence.
--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#149)
by 0xA on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:46:27 AM EST

Good lord.

That stock has been on the move for 3 months. I counted more than 10 days in June and July when the tading volume was over 1,000,000.

The company is based in France and the UK. It trades on the FTSE. It is rated as a hold or better by every analyst who covers it. If you do an RNS search there has been no large insider stock moves other than options grants in 6 months. Based on the RNS info much of this movement can be explained by Second Advance Value Realisation and TRW Ivestment Management (both insitutional ivestors) droping large blocks of shares before the 15th. Especially considering that SAVR is an invesment trust that is designed to increase the liquidity of thier holdings and has only been in action since April. Selling stock is what they do, it's all they do.

It is unlikely that a Bristish / French frim would gain a lot of contracts to provide power backup and management services from federal moneys and/or loosening of regulations. Never mind that this company doesn't do grid management and infrastructure stuff.

I would suggest you examine your tinfoil hat, it may be too tight.

[ Parent ]

Naw. This one looks benign. -Sort of. (none / 0) (#187)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 02:46:56 AM EST

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. --Although, we might expect some hefty government handouts to the small-fry deregulated power competitors to 'upgrade' the lines which they haven't helped maintain for years anon. Though, I doubt this points at deliberate sabotauge.

As for the reason for the grid failure. . .

This one is neat:

"The largest wave of UFO sightings occurred in 1965. From coast to coast strange low flying objects were reported almost nightly by people of all ages and walks of life. These sketches compiled by a NICAP researcher represent a small sample of hundreds of investigated cases in which truly unknown objects were judged to have been involved.

"As the year progressed the number of reports rose dramatically. On the night of August 2 thousands of people in 4 midwestern states witnessed spectacular aerial displays by large formations of UFOs. That same night a multicolored disc was photographed in Tulsa Oklahoma while several persons watched it perform low altitude maneuvers. This picture was extensively analyzed, pronounced authentic, and later published by Life magazine and many newspapers.

"But the year's most incredible development was yet to come. On the evening of November 9 hundreds of UFO sightings were reported throughout the northeast. In New York State luminous objects were seen hovering over 3 very significant locations.

A Niagara Falls power plant
A [Syracuse] relay station
and the heart of New York City

"Within moments of the Syracuse sighting 9 northeastern states and parts of Canada experienced the largest power failure in history. Media accounts including those by NBC news, The Associated Press, and some local papers openly reported the UFO sightings and in a few cases suggested that they be investigated as a possible cause of the blackout. However, before this speculation could gain much momentum the Federal Power Commission announced that the problem had been caused by a broken relay in a Canadian power plant. This answer was accepted by the press and public and the UFO angle was quickly forgotten. "

Further, it the true reason for the 1965 blackout was perhaps not so neatly solved as people today report. . .
"Although experts could pinpoint the origin of the blackout, they were baffled by the cause of the relay malfunction and the failure of the protective systems to contain the overload.

In the words of Ontario Hydro's system supervising engineer, JimHarris: "It's incredible! I would have said this was impossible if I hadn't seen the evidence."

"The mystery deepened when it was discovered that the relay had not infact malfunctioned, but had merely reacted to a sudden surge of powerfrom an unknown source.

"As stated in the final report of the U.S. Federal Power Commission: "The precise cause of the backup relay energization is now known." Where did the unexplained surge of power come from? To this day thatquestion has remained unanswered.

Some theories, (which I make no apologies for thinking are well within the realm of likely), suggest that the grid failure stems from a bleedthrough effect from a higher vibrational or density reality, as realm borders continue to deteriorate. --A symptematic forerunner of the all-out reality shift expected to occur somewhere within the next nine years or so. --Think "Shadow Run" but a lot smarter, a lot more complex, a lot better scripted, and with better special effects.

-FL

[ Parent ]

My guess at the moment would be... (none / 0) (#188)
by AnotherFakeJesus on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:02:24 AM EST

...more in the area of 2007-2008. We appear to be accelerating quite a bit faster than one could have hoped.

But then what do I know?

Nothing.

Oh, and no apologies necessary. If you don't mind, though, some personal advice: Remember to interpret your own symbolic insights -- for your own sake. (Symbolic as in yes, we do indeed see these things, but no, they are seldom what they at first appear to be.)

You're getting it. Don't limit yourself.

Good luck.

[ Parent ]

Also This (3.00 / 1) (#210)
by phlux on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 06:18:00 PM EST

FL, Don't know if you heard about this, but here is an article that was based on Al Bielek's insights. He was involved in the Philadelphia experiments and had predicted that around August 12 '03 there would be a tremendous buildup of energy and that there may be something that could happen.

Read here:

http://educate-yourself.org/ab/significantdateinPXsaga12aug03.shtml

Truth is stranger than fiction - and in this case fiction is truth....

On a related note - to both you and AnotherFake Jesus, I highly recommend that you both start drinking Turmeric (the spice not the K5 Troll).

Get the spice and mix with lukewarm water, about half a teaspoon. and drink. Do this daily - it greatly helps clear the liver and the general carcinogenic crap that is being forced upon us.


[ Parent ]

Comparisons (4.75 / 4) (#85)
by bgalehouse on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:10:30 AM EST

I grew up in a farm house in Ohio. We had power failures, especialy after storms. The weren't exactly a big deal. If worse came to worse we could have driven to Amish country to buy food and learn survival sans electricity.

On the other hand, I was in Union Square park the other day to hang out with a friend from 3:30-5:30. Only after leaving did I realize that something was up.

In rural Ohio, when the lights go out, the odds are that your car is within walking distance. Mine was maybe 60 miles away. Seriously, in much of the country, nobody can go anywhere without a car. In NYC city, nobody even has a car. During a weekday, there are far more people than beds on the island.

Furthermore, the roads stay clear in Ohio. Even when everybody tries to go home at once, there isn't likely to be gridlock. In NYC I watched a deadlock between a cop running an intersection and guy in a car. He didn't want to turn right, she was yelling at him that he would turn right or sit there all day. He sat there for as long as I watched, and had a nice long line of cars behind him. Walking down Houston, it seemed that every on half the blocks it was a parking lot, and on half it was entirely empty.

In Ohio, they don't seem to run out of cops. In NYC, yesterday morning, they had people in police acadamy uniforms directing traffic.

In rural Ohio, when the lights go out, people drive home and sleep. In NYC they party in the streets, and shoot fireworks off of building tops.

In rural Ohio, no power does mean no water. But no water, at least for my family, meant walking 30 yard downhill to the spring and filling buckets. While my unfurnished appartment (I had just picked up the keys) had running water, I met somebody the next day who had gotten a hotel room. He spent 4 times the regular price and walked 9 floors up to a room without water.

There was a BLACKOUT? (4.57 / 7) (#90)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:04:38 PM EST

Shit -- I had no idea.

For some unfathomable reason my teevie, computer and radio have been on the fritz for the last couple of days, so I missed the news.


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
Excellent. (none / 0) (#105)
by danni on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:00:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
in brooklyn (3.75 / 4) (#92)
by Rainy on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:23:49 PM EST

I was in the office when power went out. First we thought it's the factory power system failure and one dude here tried to fix it. Then someone called a girl in the office and told her it's out in manhattan, too. So, we waited 20 more minutes and went home. I didn't fit in the car with others, so I was ready to walk, but I hoped buses still run, and so they did. I got sprayed with a hydrant hose by some latino dude (for a few seconds I cut my breath, the water was so much colder than air). But it was sunny and hot so.. By the way, I had a paper in my pocket with an interview info for a really great job I was invited to, and the ink almost all smeared, but I could decipher the most important things, like the phone, and I remembered it anyway (I got good memory now from standing on my head).

Anyway.. Few buses went by completely empty, flashing 'out of service'. Then a few buses went by completely full, flashing 'use the next bus'. Then I finally got in one. It was crowded but it was moving. If I had to walk it'd take me maybe 1.5-2 hours. Not a big deal but still.

At home I found my old walkman with radio and found out that nobody knows exactly what happened.

Next day I went to work again because they could not get the server to run. Most people at our factory drive to work so half of the workers came in, the other half had no power at home so they stayed. I got the server started and worked till 4pm, then I caught the bus again. Ironically, this time it took even longer. One bus was full and then there was no buses for a long time so I started a-walking, walked for about 20 minutes or 30, and then finally had to run to catch the bus.

I really loved it when there was no power because there was nothing to do, no entertaining of any sort, so I just rested. I think entertainment - computer, internet, books - tires me more than work.

Ever since I remember myself, I really loved when something like this happens - some disruption (of course, without deaths or accidents), I like how it breaks the monotony of the day. Or two.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

90 degrees? (3.00 / 4) (#111)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:34:03 PM EST

It's been up to 40 in Europe for something like the last two months.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

90 degrees Fahrenheit -> 32.2 Celsius (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by muyuubyou on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:42:15 PM EST

...and they've been maxing around 50C (122F) in Iraq for a couple of weeks.


----------
It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure - Horace, Epistles
[ Parent ]
Yes, compare: (3.25 / 4) (#119)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:23:46 PM EST

39 recently in Paris, etc.

Frankly, the New Yorkers' complaints sound really dumb.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

wah wah. (5.00 / 2) (#121)
by Work on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:40:38 PM EST

It was nearly 44C in texas last week. And I was moving. In a big steel box with no working A/C. Easily 54C in there.

[ Parent ]
Some people are used to it (5.00 / 2) (#134)
by Narux on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:45:54 PM EST

Other's aren't.

In Australia it's almost traditional to laugh about people in other countires having a 'once in a lifetime heat wave' of low 40's C. because we get that about 20 days of that nearly every year.

If it gets to the high 40's then we complain, and the people in the Middle East and India probably laugh at us, and so on...

It's just a pissing contest.

[ Parent ]

Heat is relative, too. (none / 0) (#154)
by locke baron on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:11:05 AM EST

It's been about 31C or so (87-90F) here in Norfolk for the last week or so, and that's felt absolutely oppressive. By comparison, I've been in the sick-and-wrong heat of the Mideast (Bahrain or the UAE in the summer, upward of 48C easily), and that wasn't quite as bad. Well, except at sea, where you can add 100% humidity to the mess. That was easily the worst heat ever.

But you're right about the pissing contest. Just because someone else has it worse, though, doesn't mean my situation (or anyone else's) doesn't suck - it just sucks less.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]

Question (2.00 / 2) (#124)
by Silent Chris on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:25:19 PM EST

Was Paris without electricity, with said heat, for 18 hours?  Also, are their 10 million people living in Paris (in addition to millions more who venture in and out of the city daily?)

[ Parent ]
It is usually 43 degrees Celsius in summer (5.00 / 2) (#137)
by Akshay on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:04:01 AM EST

in my ancestral village (pop: 300,000) somewhere in the Great Indian Deccan plateau. And 6-7 hours power cuts in the summer are not uncommon there, at least when I used to go for vacations at my grandparents' place (This was some five years back; things could have changed ever since).

I guess the NYC experience had more to do with population density (heck, there's a LOT of people up in those skyscrapers) and the fact that you guys aren't quite used to being cut off from power (and the 'net, but that's only for the geeks here).

Incidentally, here's an interesting tidbit, ironic mainly because you compare Blackout 2003 to 911:- most of peninsular India was dark on 11-9-2001, because the southern grid had somehow gotten tripped. I really can't recall any large-scale social unrest or anything of the sort you show in your pic; I guess most were ready with inverters, paper fans, and generators.

In any case, the train system and most public hospitals in India maintain electric lines seperate from the main grid, so it wasn't a national disaster or anything, merely a large-scale nuisance.

I guess things (and expectations) are different in the US, but this is partly why I'm amazed that so many news sources should carry stories on a simple power cut.

[ Parent ]

I think... (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by tkatchev on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:15:15 AM EST

...that people were simply surprised that the U.S. power grid was that antiquated.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

OT: re India (none / 0) (#159)
by Battle Troll on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:56:00 AM EST

A village with a population of 300,000?

My hometown has 220,000, and it is the largest city in my home province.

I mean, I talked to a guy from Bangladesh who informed me that his country, roughltythe size of Wisconsin, had 130 millions, and I understand that the subcontinent is like that all over; but still. A village. Wow!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Well, take the numbers with a pinch of salt. (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by Akshay on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 12:44:40 PM EST

It was from memory, and I'm bad at numbers.

That said, it is the mandal headquarters (you have states, composed of districts, which are composed of mandals) of (what I presume is) a pretty populous mandal.

Here's numbers I'm sure of though:- The state has a population of 75 million and my hometown (distinct from 'ancestral village' which is where my grandparents sometime stay), Hyderabad, has a population of 7.5 - 8 million [which, as I realised once with mild shock, is almost as big as Switzerland, so there's some real, hard-core, absolutely-verifiable stuff for you to wow about ;-) ].

Actually, you may be right in a way; I suppose, locals from the neighbouring villages do consider it a town of sorts, mainly because it has a marketplace, has a resident population that isn't all farmers, and because the 'town' (shops etc) shuts down at 9:30 PM, instead of 'whenever it gets dark', which is how most of the Heart of the Deccan still lives.

Officially though, it is governed by a 'panchayat', hence you'd call it is a village. ('Villages' are governed by 'panchayats', 'towns' are governed by 'muncipalities', and 'cities' by muncipal corporations, the definitions of each determined by net population, annual revenue earned and some additional voodoo, mainly politics. We Indians are very good at red tape).

[ Parent ]

thank you for your informative post (none / 0) (#199)
by Battle Troll on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 10:16:23 PM EST

I was also shocked recently when I realised that Vietnam has a population equal to Germany's. Europe must seem so empty, and as for the USA...!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Erm (3.00 / 2) (#145)
by synaesthesia on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:17:41 AM EST

Also, are their 10 million people living in Paris (in addition to millions more who venture in and out of the city daily?)

Yes, yes there are. Get out more.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Erm yourself. (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by needless on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:41:44 AM EST

Paris has a population of two million.

[ Parent ]
joo iz wrong. (none / 0) (#152)
by tkatchev on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:14:03 AM EST

Educate yourself.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

stunning rebuttal [nt] (none / 0) (#174)
by needless on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:17:50 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You have to understand: (5.00 / 1) (#177)
by tkatchev on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:24:10 PM EST

I can't be bothered to waste time on stupid people. My time is worth a lot of money.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

hmm (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by muyuubyou on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:54:13 AM EST

That was not very correct/fair. That only counts residents and not itinerary population that comes into Paris everyday to work.

http://www.world-gazetteer.com/st/statn.htm

Check the complete nucleus. It's still much smaller than NY, but the effects are not so different. Paris has a huge subway system too. And let's not speak about Tokyo, even bigger than NY, and a lot warmer.


----------
It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure - Horace, Epistles
[ Parent ]

Putting words in my post... (1.50 / 2) (#173)
by needless on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:12:44 PM EST

Yes, residents. The parent poster answered "Yes" to both questions, which I quote (emphasis mine):
Also, are their 10 million people living in Paris (in addition to millions more who venture in and out of the city daily?)
I answered with the population of Paris, which is not 10 million, as was suggested. I addressed no other part of the claim, including itinerants, temperature, or the price of tea in China. I don't see what's so "unfair" about that. I agree that if there were a significant power outage in Paris it would be just as much of a story, but spewing inaccurate comments just to make the point is, IMHO, "not very correct/fair".

[ Parent ]
Oh, shut up already. (3.00 / 2) (#186)
by tkatchev on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 02:44:53 AM EST

Look here.

What you call "Paris" is actually just the downtown area. The city itself houses about 10 million people.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

You're really desperate aren't you? (1.00 / 1) (#189)
by needless on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 07:52:30 AM EST

I'll bite your weak troll since it takes me signifantly less time to research than it apparently does for you. If you want to include "the suburban area around Paris" then you up numbers on both sides, and you still lose this little pissing contest you've created.

Observe:

The population of the City of New York is more than eight million (2000 US Census), with the population of the entire metropolitan area at around 20 million.
Get over it.

[ Parent ]
Clues (1.00 / 1) (#191)
by synaesthesia on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:52:26 AM EST

  1. What Europeans refer to as a "Metropolitan area" is probably considerably smaller than what Americans would refer to (we have smaller cars).
  2. Wikipedia?!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
facts (1.00 / 1) (#198)
by needless on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 08:36:35 PM EST

  1. What Europeans refer to as a "Metropolitan area" is probably considerably smaller than what Americans would refer to (we have smaller cars).
Quoth Dictionary.com
met·ro·pol·i·tan
adj.
    1. Of or constituting a large city or urbanized area, including adjacent suburbs and towns: the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area; a metropolitan county.
Sorry, but I trust their judgment far more than your honestly ridiculous generalizations.
  1. Wikipedia?!
Regardless of the current K5 groupthink on the matter, Wikipedia is a reliable source of information for simple facts. Regardless, the official New York City Web site seems to agree with them on the matter.

Do keep it up. This is fun.



[ Parent ]
General Corporeality (1.00 / 1) (#205)
by synaesthesia on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 07:29:32 AM EST

including adjacent suburbs and towns

Define 'adjacent', then. Philadelphia?

Sorry, but I trust their judgment far more than your honestly ridiculous generalizations.

Would you care to explain why you think my generalisations are ridiculous? Do you think that Europe countries are "generally" on the same physical scale as the USA?


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

your generalization (1.00 / 1) (#206)
by needless on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 12:24:24 PM EST

That "metropolitan area" must be smaller in the EU than the US due to "smaller cars" is what I was talking about. Do you think a metro area is defined by how many cars you can fit into it? If I were to use your logic, Eurpean cars get better mileage on average, therefore are able to travel further for less money, thus increasing the defined size of a metropolitan area. Bear in mind that I don't think that, but it seems to me the only way you could apply "smaller cars" to the argument.

[ Parent ]
I see (1.00 / 1) (#208)
by synaesthesia on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 01:35:58 PM EST

Mmm, yes, the comment about cars was made tongue-in-cheek.

I see that we're not doing very well at overcoming the language barrier... you appear to be complaining not about a generalisation, but about a non-sequitur. Perhaps the word "subtlety" also means something different where you come from.

Anyway... you appear to have sidestepped the question. Define "adjacent", then!


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

you do? (1.00 / 1) (#212)
by needless on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 01:55:57 AM EST

Mmm, yes, the comment about cars was made tongue-in-cheek.
Sorry then.  Considering the nature of some of the other comments in this story (and on K5 in general), it's a little hard to seperate subtlety from stupidity and trolls (if there really is a difference).

I see that we're not doing very well at overcoming the language barrier... you appear to be complaining not about a generalisation, but about a non-sequitur. Perhaps the word "subtlety" also means something different where you come from.
You got me there.  I got your generalization mixed up with your non sequitur.  I'm so embarassed.
Anyway... you appear to have sidestepped the question. Define "adjacent", then!
Are you being tongue in cheek again?  Or do you think that Philadelphia is "next to" New York?  Your mentioning of comparitive scale between the US and Europe is a generalization.  Land mass is irrelevant in terms of defining the area surrounding a city in which that city's influence overlaps.  The population of a city is one primary factor in determining its realm of influence.  Yes scale does play a part as well, but not the extent you're implying.  Interestingly enough, I did some searching and discovered that the Ile-de-France (the metro area surrounding Paris) actually appears to be larger than the New  York metro area.  Apologies about the random nature of the links, it's kind of a bitch to search for "area" and a city name when you're looking for dimensions and not restaurants, hotels, etc.



[ Parent ]
I do (1.00 / 1) (#213)
by synaesthesia on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 06:38:33 AM EST

Sorry then.  Considering the nature of some of the other comments in this story (and on K5 in general), it's a little hard to seperate subtlety from stupidity and trolls (if there really is a difference).

No, I apologise. My stupidity lies in continually forgetting that short sentences in web forums do not convey such things well.

You got me there.  I got your generalization mixed up with your non sequitur.  I'm so embarassed.

Do I detect sarcasm? But I still don't think I made a generalisation: "What Europeans refer to as a "Metropolitan area" is probably considerably smaller than what Americans would refer to (we have smaller cars)." I used the word "probably" to try to convey that I was making a suggestion as to where a misunderstanding arose, rather than stating something as fact.

Are you being tongue in cheek again?  Or do you think that Philadelphia is "next to" New York?

No, but I think that some people might.

Your mentioning of comparitive scale between the US and Europe is a generalization.  Land mass is irrelevant in terms of defining the area surrounding a city in which that city's influence overlaps.

Hardly. Think "catchment area". In general (here we go again) I think that Americans are much more likely to consider, say, a two-hour drive to work to be more reasonable than your average European would. Can you refute this, except by telling me I'm making generalisations? Because I'm basing my generalisations on observations I have made.

And if you continue to refuse to define adjacent, I'll never be able to do anything except generalise in your case, will I?

You have a good point about the size of the Ile de France, but it serves to demonstrate that Silent Chris's original question would have been better phrased as "Also, is the population density of Paris comparable to that of New York?" Because of course, a small-to-medium number of people living in a small city makes it more crowded than a medium-to-large number of people living in a large city.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

I see (1.00 / 1) (#219)
by needless on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:55:32 PM EST

Do I detect sarcasm?
I suppose, but not really.  Just a deadpan indication that admission of wrongdoing doesn't really bother me.
But I still don't think I made a generalisation: "What Europeans refer to as a "Metropolitan area" is probably considerably smaller than what Americans would refer to (we have smaller cars)." I used the word "probably" to try to convey that I was making a suggestion as to where a misunderstanding arose, rather than stating something as fact.
Ack... I was talking about the Philadelphia statement.. oh, never mind.

Hardly. Think "catchment area". In general (here we go again) I think that Americans are much more likely to consider, say, a two-hour drive to work to be more reasonable than your average European would. Can you refute this, except by telling me I'm making generalisations? Because I'm basing my generalisations on observations I have made.
Point taken, but it confuses the issue.  We're talking about defined metropolitan area, which the NYMA and Ille-de-France are.
And if you continue to refuse to define adjacent, I'll never be able to do anything except generalise in your case, will I?
I did.  "Next to" is one of two accepted definitions.  Yes, some people may have very different ideas about adjacent, near, adjoining, etc., but after a certain point it just gets silly.  Once again, that is irrelevant considering the fact that we have discovered that metro areas of both cities are rather clearly defined.

As far as Silent Chris's original question goes, yeah, he probably should have, but I doubt he knew that the particulars of it would be picked apart in almost 20 some replies.  Perhaps we'll all be better prepared if such an argument crops up the future. ;-)

[ Parent ]

You do? (1.00 / 1) (#222)
by synaesthesia on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 07:58:11 PM EST

Ack... I was talking about the Philadelphia statement.. oh, never mind.

I don't think so.

In reply to my question "Would you care to explain why you think my generalisations are ridiculous?" you answered (subject: "your generalization") with the following: "That "metropolitan area" must be smaller in the EU than the US due to "smaller cars" is what I was talking about."

Furthermore, that comment is the parent of the comment in which I first mentioned Philadelphia.

You're going to try a bit harder than that, I'm afraid.

Point taken, but it confuses the issue.  We're talking about defined metropolitan area, which the NYMA and Ille-de-France are.

No, we're talking about whether or not there are ten million people living in Paris.

"Next to" is one of two accepted definitions.  Yes, some people may have very different ideas about adjacent, near, adjoining, etc., but after a certain point it just gets silly.

Use your imagination. Consider the phrase "next-door neighbour". What does it mean to someone living in a city? What does it mean to someone living in the country?

Now consider the phrase "a short drive away". What does it mean to someone living in Texas? What does it mean to someone living in Luxembourg?

One man's acceptable commuting distance is another man's road trip.

Once again, that is irrelevant considering the fact that we have discovered that metro areas of both cities are rather clearly defined.

See above.

As far as Silent Chris's original question goes, yeah, he probably should have, but I doubt he knew that the particulars of it would be picked apart in almost 20 some replies.  Perhaps we'll all be better prepared if such an argument crops up the future. ;-)

I feel sure of it :o)


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Sorry about the confusion (none / 1) (#223)
by needless on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:38:36 PM EST

You're going to try a bit harder than that, I'm afraid.
nononono.  I'm not trying to do anything, I was attempting to explain (poorly, once again) my mix up.  Not as an attempt to appear that I was any less wrong, just trying to explain the disjointed thought process, which as you pointed out, was pretty damn disjointed.  Basically, I meant (in my most previous message) that if any comment was a generalization, it was the Philadelphia one.  Ok, I realize this probably doesn't make any sense, so, in that instance (and many following) I was incorrect.  I'm not trying to rationalize the mistakes I made.  Let's leave it at that, k?
No, we're talking about whether or not there are ten million people living in Paris.
Right.  In the sense that one is comparing it to New York City having 10 million people, it doesn't.  I've said all this before, but I'll say it again.  New York City has roughly 10 million people, excluding the metro area.  Paris has roughly 10 million, including the Ile De France.  The resulting debate that came after this was attempting to define a general conception of the afformentioned areas to determine what exactly is meant by the respective numbers.
Use your imagination. Consider the phrase "next-door neighbour". What does it mean to someone living in a city? What does it mean to someone living in the country?

Now consider the phrase "a short drive away". What does it mean to someone living in Texas? What does it mean to someone living in Luxembourg?

One man's acceptable commuting distance is another man's road trip.

Wait, I thought we were talking about "whether or not there are ten million people living in Paris."? ;-)  Aside from that, yes, your statement is correct.  Perhaps I was wrong, but I thought you bringing up comparitive opinions on "acceptable distance" had something to do with defining the areas we were talking about, and how they affected whether or not Paris had 10 million people.  As I said, when this is claimed in comparison to someone quoting New York City has 10 million people in it, that is incorrect.  If Silent Chris had said New York City had 20 million people, then tkatchev's statement would have been correct.

Aside from all of this, it appears that Osirus disapproves of this entire thread, and Silent Chris is now claiming he's a "meta-troll".  I'm starting to wish I'd just let nits remained unpicked, and stayed a happy lurker.

[ Parent ]

Points taken (2.00 / 1) (#225)
by synaesthesia on Fri Aug 22, 2003 at 06:19:07 AM EST

I was basically arguing on the basis of population density, i.e., if Paris including its metropolitan area is a similar size to New York excluding its metropolitan area, this is much more pertinent to the original point made by tkatchev. I could have been clearer. Anyway, I think we've covered everything now!

It really annoys me when a busybody like Osiris 1-rates an entire thread (presumably for being offtopic, but there's no such thing in a threaded forum). If you don't have anything nice to say, my mother always told me, try to avoid saying anything at all. I have recently taken up modbombing in such situations, in order to minimise the possibility of such a user ever being able to do the same with zeroes. TU status isn't all that important to me, but every now and again I spot a wrongly zeroed comment and I'm glad I had it (I don't have it any more).

As for Silent Chris; just as you have to be a pretty good troll to brag about, so it is with meta-trolling. You could call me a meta-troll too, but I'm just as much of a troll when I'm in the mood... I call that a "normal user".

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Re: Points taken (none / 1) (#227)
by needless on Sun Aug 24, 2003 at 02:56:47 AM EST

I was basically arguing on the basis of population density, i.e., if Paris including its metropolitan area is a similar size to New York excluding its metropolitan area, this is much more pertinent to the original point made by tkatchev. I could have been clearer. Anyway, I think we've covered everything now!
Heh, yeah, I think so. Thanks for the interesting debate.

[ Parent ]
you idiot (1.00 / 1) (#202)
by Battle Troll on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:51:08 PM EST

All this post claimed was that Paris has 10 million residents.

That claim has been substantiated. You lose!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

heh (1.00 / 1) (#203)
by needless on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 02:00:00 AM EST

tell that to the twits who keep replying to me.

[ Parent ]
yeah yeah yeah (1.00 / 1) (#204)
by Battle Troll on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 02:11:29 AM EST

"I was just trolling." It's the new "I'm wrong, and also a dickweed."
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
No (1.00 / 1) (#207)
by needless on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 12:46:12 PM EST

Christ, you people love to just make up shit don't you?  I'm sorry you didn't understand my intent, but I wasn't saying "I'm just trolling" and I'm also not wrong.  As a matter of fact, the idiotic  nature of some of the replies has made me think that I'm the one being trolled.  So be it, I honestly don't care.  My participation in this thread started by stating a simple fact: that the city of Paris has a population of two million.  This is correct, regardless of how much reality distortion various people want to levy at it.

Suddenly this statement becomes "unfair" because of the fact that I'm not including the surrounding area.  Lets look back to the message which asks the question of whether there are ten million people living in (not around) Paris.  It did not say "the Paris area", and also specifically stated "in addition to" which does not imply that the figure should include "millions more who venture in and out of the city daily?".

So, in the interests of being less "unfair" I seek to establish the fact that Paris, and the area around it is significantly smaller than New York City and its surrounding area.  I have established this, and now suddenly "I've lost" and smaller European cars have something to do with it.

I don't really give a damn what various people want to say about NY, but population is not a matter of opinion.

[ Parent ]

be all that as it may (1.00 / 1) (#209)
by Battle Troll on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 05:33:56 PM EST

I have a friend from Markham. If you asked him, 'Where are you from?', he'd say, 'Toronto.'

YMMV
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

the third paragraph in my post (1.00 / 1) (#211)
by needless on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 08:01:10 PM EST

says:
So, in the interests of being less "unfair" I seek to establish the fact that Paris, and the area around it is significantly smaller than New York City and its surrounding area.  I have established this, and now suddenly "I've lost" and smaller European cars have something to do with it.


[ Parent ]
I believe that what was at issue (1.00 / 1) (#217)
by Battle Troll on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 09:53:42 AM EST

Was whether or not Paris had 10 million people. Perhaps you should reread the thread.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 1) (#224)
by needless on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 09:43:03 PM EST

That's true, but you can't ignore context.  It was claimed in the same context of New York City having 10 million people in it.  That is just the city proper, and comparitive region of Paris has 2 million.  If it was said that Paris had 10 million in the same context of New York having 20 million, then it would have been wholly correct.

Perhaps in everyone else's opinion, it was an unfair nitpick, but to me, it wasn't.  Sorry.

[ Parent ]

3,000 people in france have died from the heat. (none / 0) (#160)
by Craevenwulfe on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:59:17 AM EST

Electricity is effectively irrelevant for this heat - not everywhere in france has air-conditioning.

[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#181)
by Rahaan on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:56:08 PM EST

I wrote a diary about this recently, when the heatwave was just starting - people were complaining about 95 degrees, the "hottest day in the history of Britain."  I got a smirk out of their weakness.  Of course, it's now gone on for a couple of weeks, which puts a huge strain on everybody, especially since most people over there have no need for air conditioning regularly.

It should be noted, though - it was 95 degrees outside of the city.  I can't even imagine the heat and humidity generated by millions of people in the street, with thousands of running cars unable to move and all of the heat being trapped and absorbed by the buildings.  The pavement must have been brutal.  That's a lot more uncomfortable than 95 degree weather anywhere else.


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

Actually, i hade a fantastic time. (4.00 / 2) (#127)
by darqchild on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 09:33:35 PM EST

I'm from a suburb of Toronto ( canada) called oakville. I work in the local industry and had a great time. It was a vacation from the daily technology induced stress. One night, without TV, Radio, or Video games. I just spent some quality time with my best friends.

Here's the journal entry i made when the lights came on

~~~
Death is God's way of telling you not to be such a smartass.
Maybe I missed out (none / 0) (#220)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:56:13 PM EST

My cousin and I went to a dark room, and consumed the last of our laptop battery power watching The Empire Strikes Back, and then we went rolling around in the car after the traffic was gone with the raido blasting.. playing CDs.. listening to the news..

We even used the undrained UPSes at work to charge our laptops when the power was out and the laptops were dead.

We wern't away from technology for more than ten minutes the entire time...  Perhpas I missed out on the simple-life experience which you had :)
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

The night sky (5.00 / 2) (#139)
by Roman on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:29:52 AM EST

About two days before the blackout I talked to someone in the office about not been able to see the night sky at all. The last time I saw real night sky was in January 2003, I went to Dominican for a week. That was great. A day before blackout I (surprising myself) said to a guy in a washroom: "Thank god for the plumbing. Who cares about IT, plumbing - that's really important". The night before the blackout I was trying to find Sirius in the sky and could not find the most freaking luminous star. (I live in Toronto, Canada.)

So I am seating there on Thursday, writing some code and all of a sudden my screen just flickers for a few seconds and goes off, and so do all other computers and all the lights in our office. "Arrrghhhh, what the hell? Who is having fun with the electrical switches?" Everyone gets together, close to my table. The main intercom is already delivering news - this is a blackout, only the emergency lights will work for now. Then the intercom says - this is like a blockwide blackout. So we go the pool room, some people start playing Go. In a moment the intercom clears this for us - this is a city wide blackout. Everyone gets somewhat excited. Then they say this is a province wide blackout. Holly shit! And then they say: This is an east cost wide blackout. New York, Detroit, etc. are affected. Now this is screwed up. Time to get some beer (I don't drink but the others do.) So we go outside.

Walking for a few hours is not really a big deal. People are walking, noone is in a hurry it seems. People are still sitting in the bars. It looks like noone cares (right downtown.) West north from downtown - someone rushes to their friends and says - guys, I got ice and beer, we are good.

The real problems with blackouts on a massive scale like this one is that you cannot even start imagining what exactly caused it, when will the power come back and how much will this whole thing really cost. Some people on the streets direct traffic (not cops, just private citizens) people take out all food from their freezers, and B.B.Q everything and give it away to the passersby. It will go bad anyways. Some stores start givin away food - it will go bad soon anyways.

People were trying to get the fuel for their cars but the pumps were not working. Many stores just shut down right away - no electricity - no plastic transactions (for some reason LCBO did not accept cash!)
Oh well, at least the stars were really really bright.

Electricity means fuel, water (tower pumps), sewers that are pumping away and processing, food that is not spoiled in the stores and fridges in homes, cordless phones that are working, cell phones that are working, dialysis machines, heart monitors, lights, stoves, microwaves, washers/dryers, ACs, computers, street lights, street cars, subways, elevators (100 elevetors were opened by firecrews in Toronto alone), bank machines, automatic locks that are used on so many doors, escalators, movators, garage doors, TVs, water in hirises that is pumped in stages, hot water ( for some folks is heated not by gas but by electricity), and many more things. However we were all pleased that the casinos were still running (they are allways running on their own generators :)

wow (none / 0) (#144)
by the77x42 on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 04:28:31 AM EST

you must be loaded to carry around enough cash to go play at a casino when plastic transactions are down.


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
I was been sarcastic :) (none / 0) (#193)
by Roman on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 04:55:44 PM EST

I did not go to a casino, I just heard on the radio that the casinos are still working because they have their own power generators :) I suppose to some people it was important.

[ Parent ]
Why should I care? (4.50 / 6) (#140)
by Delirium on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:08:09 AM EST

I've had power outages lasting a day too. It's not that uncommon, especially in areas with frequent tropical storms. It's not the end of the world either.

Difference (none / 0) (#150)
by Silent Chris on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:05:33 AM EST

I made the point in another comment that earlier this year I experienced one on the NJ shore that last 3 days.  The difference, though, was:
  1. I was with my family.  I wasn't on an island that they weren't letting people on (they closed a majority of the inbound bridges and tunnels.
  2. It only stuck 15,000 people, not 50,000,000.
  3. It didn't have the logistical problems of being in a massive city without electricity.  How do you drive an ambulance down a street covered with several thousand people?  How do you relay information without the crowds rioting, etc.


[ Parent ]
Ice storms (3.00 / 2) (#155)
by CompUComp on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 09:25:19 AM EST

In my area Rochester NY, every ten years or so, we'll have an ice storm that nocks out power for days, usually as long as a week in some areas but society doesn't grind to a halt even though we are dealing with no heat and 0 degree temperatures. Usually schools are only closed for a day or two then we act like everything is normal. PS We were affected by this blackout too, and all considered it a comfortable one.

---
Howard Dean 2004

Silent Chis Is a Stupid faggot (1.19 / 21) (#157)
by Fuck I Hate You on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:15:10 AM EST

By Silent Chris Sun Aug 17th, 2003 at 08:31:16 AM EST Maybe you weren't around last night to see the carnage. I wasn't expected to be. But I'm amazed by how many trolls were caught. Read on for more details. Step 1: post a diary entry asking for ideas on how to remove trolls from K5. On a Saturday night, when a lot of the worst are on. Naturally, many come in to troll the diary. Step 2: tell them it was a trap, and proceed to hand out zeros on all comments. When you lose TU status, start handing out ones. See how many show up in the second diary to argue the trolls' case? Step 3: No matter what happens, I win. To elaborate: Some people think that losing TU status is a loss. I couldn't care less. I'm here for the stories, reading and writing them, and occassionally writing a diary revealing my innermost emotions. The fact that some trolls have the ability to crapflood the diaries annoys me. The fact that they use their ability to zero comments and crapflood the moderation queue, frankly, pisses me off. The result of this is one of two things: 1. For those trolls hovering along the edge of TU, some have been sent below the threshold and no longer can zero comments. Mission accomplished. 2. For the "popular" trolls like Tex and others, they now have cemented TU status (I say "popular", because it's not exactly clear how many of those 5's were handled out by alternate accounts; some of these trolls have scary amounts of free time). I imagine now that they have the ability to zero comments, some will do so indiscriminately. Moreover, though, the sudden influx in TU users should alert the admins that, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be giving these people the ability to wreck the whole site". I expect posts from troll lovers and a few troll haters and condemning me. I obviously don't care. I feel I've done my job for K5.

Meta-troll (1.00 / 2) (#192)
by Silent Chris on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 01:50:17 PM EST

Look.

[ Parent ]
humanity at it's best, the internet at it's best (3.00 / 1) (#166)
by auraslip on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 02:14:48 PM EST

actually this black out thing prevented my friends parents from going out of town
which prevented me from getting trashed

Karma
my first thought was "Ha thats kinda funny"
___-___

Kindness in the heart of darkness | 226 comments (206 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
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