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Off with his head!
April 7, 2011 4:07 AM   Subscribe

Little old ladies do it too, not just dictators.
posted by infini (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
What, are they "burying" these cables by just dropping them on the ground and kicking some dirt over them with their boots? Or was this granny rollin around with a backhoe?
posted by spicynuts at 4:13 AM on April 7, 2011


The Potpourri Revolution Will Not Be Twittered!
posted by chavenet at 4:21 AM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


how 'bout we say fuck the internet and make it so 75 year old women don't have to go around digging up wire to survive? Perhaps that's the story here, eh?
posted by tomswift at 4:41 AM on April 7, 2011 [25 favorites]


What, are they "burying" these cables by just dropping them on the ground and kicking some dirt over them with their boots?

It's Georgia. The dudes who placed the cable were probably paid in cabbages to run it across the Caucasus, terrified that bears or Ukrainians were going to rip them apart. It's kind of a wonder that the cable even exists. More interesting to me is that there are probably live power lines laid down in a similar fashion. How has that woman made it to 75 doing shit like that?
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:55 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obligatory link to Neal Stephenson's amazing epic feature in Wired about the laying of similar cables - Mother Earth Mother Board. Seriously, any internerd who hasn't read it needs to queue that up in Instapaper (or your analogue) immediately.

But yes - I pretty much concur with tomswift.
posted by Magnakai at 5:02 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


In the first week after moving into my new house, I put a garden fork through our cable. Well, you don't expect it to be buried two inches deep under the lawn, do you? So I can sympathise with Armenia.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:15 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes - this happens all the time in Armenia. No idea why it got picked up this time.

I have a manuscript in press right now about the telecomm infrastructure in the Caucasus. It is true that Georgia's Caucasus Online cable does supply most of internet to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
posted by k8t at 5:23 AM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's more about electricity, but this post made me think of Power Trip - a documentary about the power crisis in Georgia. It's a little dated now, but can certainly go a long way towards explaining how and why things are the way they are in Georgia. Surprisingly funny too!

Self-post disclaimer: I worked with the guy who made this doc for several years. He made it long before we ever met, although I wish I was around when he was working on it. Great film!
posted by bloody_bonnie at 5:24 AM on April 7, 2011


Magnakai - I'll raise you that link to the story (thanks!) with this visual of the undersea cables finally linking Africa.
posted by infini at 5:26 AM on April 7, 2011


I saw Power Trip a few years ago. Loved it. Amazing film.
posted by spicynuts at 5:29 AM on April 7, 2011


Cables get "biffed" when they suffer from Backhoe Induced Fiber Failure. Sounds like this one got giffed.
posted by drdanger at 5:55 AM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if she absorbed some internet during the second her spade was in contact with the wires. Or vice versa -- for a split second her thoughts appeared on computers throughout Armenia.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 6:07 AM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


how 'bout we say fuck the internet and make it so 75 year old women don't have to go around digging up wire to survive? Perhaps that's the story here, eh?

Or, assuming as I do that the old woman in the play is always a villainous character, maybe the real story is the price of commodities that makes digging up a copper cable for its scrap value a worthwhile endeavour - as opposed to other criminal enterprise - for granny. Copper is worth its weight in what gold used to be worth before it too got very expensive. It seems to me that this puts a great deal of the existing infrastructure at some risk. All that copper laying around and none of it energized like a power cable.
posted by three blind mice at 6:21 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Open manhole cover, unmarked, you fall in, get caught up in´╗┐ some fiber-optic cable and your soul ends up in porn. It could happen!"

- Rich Hall
posted by Molesome at 6:21 AM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


infini: "Magnakai - I'll raise you that link to the story (thanks!) with this visual of the undersea cables finally linking Africa."

Fascinating - thank you!
posted by Magnakai at 6:39 AM on April 7, 2011


The joke used to go that if you ever needed a backhoe, simply go outside, dig a hole, and bury a short length of fiber optic cable.

Within 15 minutes, a backhoe should show up to break the cable.
posted by schmod at 6:53 AM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Stephenson article and the undersea cables graphic were awesome, thanks infini and Magnakai .
posted by SyntacticSugar at 8:50 AM on April 7, 2011


Copper is worth its weight in what gold used to be worth before it too got very expensive. It seems to me that this puts a great deal of the existing infrastructure at some risk. All that copper laying around and none of it energized like a power cable.

This is a problem in North America too. In Vancouver people go up on roofs and strip any metal they can from HVAC boxes etc and sell it for scrap, and no one notices until they try to turn on the A/C in the summer. Also construction sites.
posted by Hoopo at 9:13 AM on April 7, 2011


Copper is worth its weight in what gold used to be worth before it too got very expensive. It seems to me that this puts a great deal of the existing infrastructure at some risk. All that copper laying around and none of it energized like a power cable.

Indeed, copper thieves have caused severe delays on London Underground lines this year.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 9:27 AM on April 7, 2011


I can't find the story, but Hoopo's comment reminds me that something similar happened in my town a few years ago. This story from our state DOT's blog talks about other wire thefts locally, although it seems like I haven't heard so much about it in the last year or two.
posted by epersonae at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2011


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