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Posted on July 29, 2006. Filed under: North America |

So I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. School has been keeping busy, and with all the political strifes going on, I just haven’t had the strength of actually commenting on it. I can’t imagine how the people in Lebanon and Israel feel. They must be heartbroken, enraged and helpless with the large number of innocents dying. I promise to comment on everything at a later date when my fingers are banging the keys of my keyboard. I’ll just say that there are so many times that I shed a tear for the deaths which could’ve been prevented, and I find myself shaking from head to toe because I can’t do anything about it. Ok, I’m done. My lips are sealed in regards to wars, politics, and governments (which have less common sense than the pigeons pecking at rats in Washington Square Park).

In more domestic news, Queens, one of the New York boroughs, suffered a bad electric outage. So bad that more than a thousand people didn’t have electricity for more than 5 days. Let me repeat myself so it’ll soak in: 5 days! That’s 5 days of cooling showers in the summer heat, 5 days without air conditioner, 5 days without ice and Haagan Das, 5 days of closed supermarkets, and 5 days of plummeting profits for restaurants and food shops. And the problem hasn’t been fixed. Con Edison (the only electric company in New York City) has claimed that a lot of people are relying on generators. I wish that another electric company competed in Con Edison. It should be like UPS and DHL. UPS ruled the postal world, then DHL came into the picture. And now there’s options and there’s a back-up. Unfortunately Con Ed has become an unreliable monopoly, especially in terms of its figures. Even the New York Times says that the only way you can know how many people were really affected by Con Ed’s misshaps is by quadrupaling its published figures. If another company doesn’t step up to the plate and be Con Ed’s electric competitor, every New Yorker will soon have a generator in their closet-apartment.

This black out and the potential ones (which are possible with the current heat wave) made me think about how those living in the cosmopolitan have extended their lives through the night. I sometimes stay up until 3AM because the computer and lights make it possible for me to finish my work through the wee hours of the night. In contrast, that’s impossible in my grandparents’ farm in the Dominican Republic. It’s lights out at 9PM since there’s hardly any electricity at night. Besides, some creepy crawlie creatures, which you really would rather not see, such as bats and flying cockaroaches, come out after 9 and you’d rather sleep through them than stay up browsing the web. Those who are cosmo-savvy have colonized the night. With electricity, we own the night. Hopefully, we won’t lose our ownership because of Con Ed.

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