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I should write briefly about Hurricane Sandy. The house I live in lost power for three days, but that's about all that happened here. There's a university walking distance from me, and they generate their own power, so I had hot food and hot showers and a place to charge my phone. The hot food and happy people were by far the most appreciated things about that.

Shocking how the hurricane made winners and losers out of people. For some people, power-loss was mildly annoying (classes and exams cancelled for a week, cold beans and Tuna for three days, oh the agony!), with these inconveniences perhaps even compensated-for by the concomitant slowing-down of life. For others it was life altering or life threatening. I read on a listserve about someone on a home ventilator on the 8th or 12th floor of a lower Manhattan building. People were organizing to supply them with rechargeable 12 volt batteries.

I was taken aback by the fragility of our infrastructure. Four days and still no power for some folks, huge gasoline lines, no transit. Not bad, really, for a supposed 100 year event. But it gives me pause.