Thursday, November 01, 2012

My Friend the Crank is Still Cranky

But then he would be, wouldn't he?
No, I’m not calling it the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Hurricane Sandy came and went. What we have now is a Con Edison disaster caused by an explosion of unknown cause in Con Edison equipment. ...
Con Edison, New York’s electrical utility, gets the villain’s hat, thanks to a lack of redundancy in Manhattan’s electrical distribution system, and a doltishly-wired local grid that evidently doesn’t allow the utility to distribute current around the downed substation transformer that has knocked out nearly all of Manhattan from 39th Street south to the financial district.
An eerie irony

Case in point: My apartment building has no electricity, as a consequence of which my fellow 300-or-so occupants and I have no running water (electric pumps raise the water to rooftop reservoirs in Manhattan), no land line telephones, no Internet, no television, no elevator to our high rise digs (my apartment is on the 10th floor) and not even a functioning toilet. Yet at night, my apartment is ironically bathed in an eerie glow from the art-deco zig-zagging neon lights atop the Chrysler building, six blocks to the north.

With a more intelligently designed – or redesigned – electrical grid, the wasted late night art deco razz-a-ma-tazz in a desolated city could be routed as spare power and sent south long enough to pump water up to the reservoirs on our roofs, so that we could flush our toilets once, and fill up our water pitchers. But no such luck. Why should Con Ed care? They're in this business strictly to make a profit, not to help their customers.

What does all this mean on a personal level? Well, I’m going to tell you what it’s like living with the Con Edison mess. Warning: some of this stuff is beyond disgusting. ...

 For the not-faint-of-heart, the rest is here.

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