M is for Mumbo Jumbo #AtoZChallenge

Electrical wires and poles outside near waterHere are some various wires and poles and things, some kind of mumbo jumbo needed for the electricity and whatnot.

Once again, I’m amazed that there are people who know what all this stuff is for. OK, of course people built this. I know that it didn’t spring up from the earth. But set along the water near the wild marsh grasses, with abandoned warehouses as neighbors, it’s hard to remember how necessary these things are. One World Trade Center can be seen in the background to the left in the photo. Just think of how much electricity is needed to power New York City. Or even your own city.

I often feel this way when confronted with the intricacies of modern life and the tedious infrastructure that keeps our cities running. Maybe part of my disbelief is based on my experiences with other areas of life that should be straightforward but somehow turn into insolvable problems—when nothing seems to work right, when you feel let down by the people who are supposed to help, and when you can’t understand how the anything in the world functions ever.

These important wires and things aren’t like that, right? Tell me there’s someone who can make sense of it all.

E is for Electricity

Power lines being replaced

I noticed on this stretch of road that the power lines were being replaced. The old Eiffel-Tower style towers with the criss-cross pattern were being torn down and replaced with the more tree-like models that have a central tower with “branches” going out to the side. I assume this is some kind of upgrade, possibly to meet the ever-increasing demands for electricity.

Structure of the new power lines

We rely on electricity more and more each day as our lives intertwine more intricately with the Internet. Each exciting new app, game, or article offers us new capabilities, entertainment, or information, but this also means more electricity use. I’ve heard doomsday scenarios about the failing of the power grids, which are antiquated and not adequate for the amount of electricity that our society demands, according to some.

Power

Can you imagine the electricity suddenly being turned off for days? Weeks? What would you eat? How would you stay warm? Going to a neighbor’s house isn’t going to work when your whole state is out of power. Would you regret the time you spent “wasting” electricity? Would you wished that you’d turned more lights off? Watched less TV? Blogged less?

These kinds of articles about our inadequate infrastructure, along with those relating to the challenges of the actual production of electricity in a safe and sustainable way, make me worry. I have to sincerely hope that other people are taking care of it, and then I try to think about something else. Besides trying to conserve electricity, what else can I do?

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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Photo Challenge: Monochromatic — PATH station NYC

Subway hallway NYC monochromeThe hallway in the 9th Street PATH station in NYC.

What fascinates me is that each one of the pipes lining the ceiling does something, and there are people whose job it is to know which pipes do what and fix them if necessary.

Hats off to the engineers who make the subways, roads, and cities go.

This week’s theme is monochromatic.