Ay, Robot

I'm up on the tight wire, linked by life and the funeral pyre, putting on a show for you to see.

I’m up on the tight wire, linked by life and the funeral pyre, putting on a show for you to see.

Electricity is your friend, until it isn’t.

We were watching the finale to season one of “Mr. Robot,” the one in which Eliott awakens in Tyrell’s SUV to discover that his hack has taken down the global financial system and all is chaos, when the lights first hiccuped and then went out altogether.

Bzzzzt. Game over.

The culprit wasn’t FSociety or any other anonymous (har de har har) hacktivist collective. Seems a bolt of lightning drilled a West Side Public Service Company of New Mexico substation, starting a fire and turning out the lights from Santa Fe to Los Lunas — affecting some 135,435 customers, including our little cul-de-sac. PNM said later it was the worst power outage in years.

After a bit, everyone in the ‘hood wandered into the street, exchanging quips about who tripped over the cord, passing out candles to the light-deprived, and generally just catching up on idle chitchat. Nice and dark it was, and cool, with just a soupçon of rain.

About the time we decided we’d better eat all the ice cream before it turned into ice-cream soup, click, the power came back on. Civilization — or the feeble substitute we’ve all agreed to settle for — marches on.

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19 Responses to “Ay, Robot”

  1. Sharon Says:

    So no ice cream?

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    That’s why there’s no gelato in our freezer! If we want it, we have to go out and get it. Same with tortilla chips – if we want ’em we gotta cup up the tortillas and fry ’em. Am I any less fat as a result? Probably not.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    We had a flicker in BombTowne. I guess Chez Santa Fe went out. So much for our emergency pizza in the freezer…

  4. khal spencer Says:

    So did anyone ever figure out why Annemiek van Vleuten cratered so badly? Was it slick, or did she overcook the curve and try to correct late?

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I watched the video 5 or 6 times. She did overcook the turn, but I can’t explain the endo. If you watch it frame by frame, her rear wheel starts to slide to the left. As she tries to correct, the bike starts to go over the front wheel. Maybe it is as simple as it looks. She was going slow enough to brake to hard, lock up the front wheel, and endo. Or, just maybe, the front wheel rim or spokes failed and locked up. One thing is for sure, that big curb left her no where to go. If she had hit the curb, she would have endoed for sure.

      • khal spencer Says:

        If the rear wheel started to slide, which is what I saw, it is possible she was braking in the curve, which would transfer force to the front wheel while unloading the rear, causing a slide. (made even worse if it was wet) It looked to me like she was too upright and trying to slow down rather than picking the best line in a bad situation.

        Horrible to watch. At least she got up. That crash brought back memories of Fabio Casartelli.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Awful stuff. Kind of looks like she countersteered left just before the curb. But that endo wasn’t anything like simply washing out the front wheel. I expect a mechanic who knew what kind of wheels and brakes she was rocking might have more insight.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks Libby. That link explains it for me. It does appear that she lost traction on the painted line, lost her line, and starting braking hard because of the curb. Bummer. I think my auto braking system just adjusted to a lower speed.

    • Libby Says:

      A physicist believes the paint on the road “stopped” the front tire. She explains:http://gizmodo.com/the-science-behind-the-horrific-crash-that-hospitalized-1784950831
      I saw it on tv as it happened. I thought she was dead. Cannot bring myself to watch the video.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ugly, ugly, ugly. Sometimes physics is not your friend.

        I’ve high-sided like that before on the mountain bike, but only at low speed. The worst part (other than sticking the landing, of course) is seeing it coming and knowing there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

      • khal spencer Says:

        It does look like she lost control on the paint stripe, but not because it stopped the wheel but because they slid across its surface. I have watched cyclists dump a bike in the rain when riding across fog lines. Its quite a dramatic loss of friction.

        High siding is pretty nasty. Did that myself once on my motorcycle back in my undergrad days. Fortunately, I landed in grass rather than slamming into a curb, and fortunately, a 19 year old body can take more punishment than a 62 year old. I survived that one with a sprained shoulder and some broken turn signals.

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