Top 10 ways to cope with power outages
August 15, 2003 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Top 10 ways to cope with power outages
From the Iraqis, who've had plenty of exeprience with this recently. (via Tapped)
posted by Gilbert (19 comments total)
NYT reg. link.
posted by 111 at 9:53 AM on August 15, 2003

Oddly, that read like an Onion article. Was it supposed to be funny?
posted by drinkcoffee at 9:54 AM on August 15, 2003

I'm 99% sure that was supposed to be satire.
posted by Veritron at 10:10 AM on August 15, 2003

I'll just repost a few choice excerpts. For what it's worth, I dunno whether it's a case of the Onion mimicing real life or real life mimicing the Onion.

'From frequent showers to rooftop slumber parties, Iraqis have developed advanced techniques to adapt to life without electricity.'

"Let them taste what we have tasted,'' said Ali Abdul Hussein, selling "Keep Cold'' brand ice chests on a sidewalk. "Let them sit outside drinking tea and smoking cigarettes waiting for the power to come back, just like the Iraqis.''

"We sleep on the roof,'' said Hadia Zeydan Khalaf, 38, wearing a black head-to-toe abaya in the hot sun. "It's cooler there.''

"We sit in the shade,'' said George Ruweid, 27, playing cards with friends on the sidewalk. Of the U.S. blackout, he said: "I hope it lasts for 20 years. Let them feel our suffering.''

Several people said they had seen American beaches on television, and suggested they might be a good place to sit out the blackout. "They have so many beautiful beaches,'' said Hamid Khelil, 44. "They should go where it isn't so hot.''

Mohammed Abdul Zahara, 24, sells about 20 a day from a roadside table. "When it's hot people buy a lot of ice,'' he said.

"Let them take experts from Iraq,'' said Alaa Hussein, 32, waiting in a long line for gas because there was no electricity for the pumps. "Our experts have a lot of experience in these matters.''

"When the power goes out, I curse everybody,'' said Emad Helawi, a 63-year-old accountant. "I curse God. I curse Saddam Hussein. And I curse the Americans.''

Some said demonstrations can be effective in persuading authorities to turn on the switch. "We held protests. After that we had fewer blackouts,'' Ahmed Abdul Hussein said without even a hint of sarcasm. "I'd suggest Americans go out and demonstrate.''
posted by Veritron at 10:20 AM on August 15, 2003

Meanwhile, the rest of the world seems to be doing OK.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:33 AM on August 15, 2003

Living somewhere with relatively mild weather, I've always loved power outages. Nothing makes me happier than when all the lights go out, all the TVs fall silent, and even the streelamps yield to the natural blue/black of the sky.

Granted, the inability to cook, shower, or read after sunset would get old after a while. Not to mention the lack of intarweb. I read once about a guy in Australia who made a hand-crank intarweb that never ran out.
posted by scarabic at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2003

haha, it is just like an onion piece....but funnier because it is true!
posted by batboy at 11:00 AM on August 15, 2003

I think the whole situation is just hilarious. All this panic and confusion.... hell, at least it's summer. I live in the country, so the power goes out for several days at a time every winter. ( Power outages are almost always restored in the cities quickly and quietly... but for the residents on the edges of the county, there isn't too much concern)
No big deal.... pick up a book, cook on the grill, go to bed when it gets dark. When it gets cold, fire up the woodburning stove, open a bottle of wine, and relax.

Oh, and don't eat anything perishable in the fridge after a day or two. I learned that the hard way.
posted by bradth27 at 11:06 AM on August 15, 2003

That's got to be photochoped I know ya can't see Calgary (and probably most of southern Alberta and some of BC) from space because of all the smoke from western fires. Heck I can barely see buildings 1000m away sometimes.
posted by Mitheral at 11:13 AM on August 15, 2003

the image is supposedly real (composite from multiple sources maybe?) but this edit isn't. mess with the colors a bit, you can see where he erased.

i read in the paper today there were 4 reported burglaries last night in NYC? FOUR? i'm amazed- even the punks and thugs were acting peaceful.

meanwhile, in Canada- looting? you savage northerners!
posted by shadow45 at 11:20 AM on August 15, 2003

Niko Price is an AP reporter "serving" in Baghdad, with a good ear for an ironic quote or two, judging by his other work, none of which appears satirical. He's stuck in Baghdad with the Iraqis; I'm sure he's enjoying this as much as they are.

Also, people who live under totalitarian regimes tend to develop a droll, dry sense of humor. It's a defense mechanism.

Mitheral, the famous earthlights NASA image is a composite, neither a real photograph nor the product of PloChop PhotoShop. We've discussed it previously.
posted by dhartung at 11:24 AM on August 15, 2003

Kansas City Star version with no reg req.
posted by woil at 11:24 AM on August 15, 2003

neither a real photograph nor the product of PloChop

Damn you, Hartung, I was just getting to the point where I'd stopped giggling about the plo chops.
posted by COBRA! at 11:41 AM on August 15, 2003

As long as the city lights are out, might as well bust out your telescope and see what you can see.

Of course, smog from the traffic might still be a problem.
posted by beth at 12:12 PM on August 15, 2003

Dhartung: You're right, but so are Mitheral and shadow45--it *is* the Earthlights image, but it was *also* Photoshopped in this case to take out the lights in the Northeast :)

And it's not entirely accurate, either--Massachusetts was almost entirely unaffected, so we would have still been lit up. Same with Maine.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 1:16 PM on August 15, 2003

Toronto power has just come back on, to the sound of a hundred and one house alarms going off.
posted by carfilhiot at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2003

"We sit in the shade,'' said George Ruweid, 27, playing cards with friends on the sidewalk. Of the U.S. blackout, he said: "I hope it lasts for 20 years. Let them feel our suffering.''

I can't believe they would wish suffering on us, after all we've done for them.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:03 AM on August 16, 2003

I knew it was sourced from a composite. Not only is the original occasionally my wallpaper, the fact that the entire planet from India to Africa to North America is in darkness (and cloud free to boot) is kind of a give away.
My obviously badly articulated comment was meant to convey the fact that the blackout pictured is not from observational data. Provable by the fact that there ain't no one seeing the light pollution of Calgary from orbit.

gwint your inmage is very interesting. The dimness of Quebec especially. I'd thought they were mostly unaffected.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on August 17, 2003

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