Thor may have heard my grumblings

Because he just smote my day a little harder. We had a power outage in the middle of lab today, and all the water baths stopped, and surprisingly, our sinks stopped working. Then I had to go to the refrigerator in our prep room, which is maybe 20′ x 10′ and cluttered with various gadgets, to fetch a reagent, and…I got lost. There were no lights at all in there, and I got turned around trying to maneuver around a ladder and a cart, and completely lost track of which way was what. I thought I might die in there and my body found rotting in the darkness weeks later.

I survived. The lab kind of worked on the residual heat in the water baths. No students were lost, the professor was only almost lost.

I guess the power just came back on after the lab was over. Wheee.


  1. says

    Last spring we lost power at my work halfway through several critical operations. I realized that we had a double diaphragm pump and a limited supply of compressed air in our air system. We were able to save the batch that way. I had one more back up plan in my hip pocket but I really didn’t want to employ it. I figured that pump could be just as easily run off of water pressure from the water supply which was still working. But I was loath to waste that much water.

  2. whheydt says

    I carry a 4Ah “powerbank”. It has a built-in flashlight, so I’m never without a way to get around in the dark. That it can also be used to recharge a cell phone is also useful.

  3. says

    @2 I have one of those with solar panels for trickle charging. Also three fully charged emergency lights. In event of a blackout I can at least read a book.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    … and surprisingly, our sinks stopped working

    That is surprising. I assume you mean the water flow stopped?

  5. wzrd1 says

    @Reginald Selkirk, I imagine that the building operates off of a groundwater source, so when power is lost, the pump goes off. Unusual is that there wasn’t a standby generator for critical things like water and essential services.
    In my last office, if we lost power (and that did occur surprisingly frequently), a standby generator would power the building and we had a spare on the other side of the building, with our server room being on a UPS that’d cover power outage time until the generator was up to speed.
    Although, in our main depot building, the main office space for the depot command lost networking. Apparently, whoever set up the network switch didn’t bother plugging it into the UPS, instead plugging it into the wall directly. Whoopsie on someone!

  6. lochaber says

    I’ve still got a few of those Photon Micro Lights little keychain LEDs that I picked up in the late 90s. I don’t use them often, but it’s nice to have on a keychain if I forget my main flashlight or whatever. They use a little lithium coin cell, and I think I’ve only changed them out once or twice in the past decade (I don’t actually use the lights a whole lot).

    I actually had one break off of my keychain a couple months back, because the little loop the keychain goes through got so worn down from carrying it for so long.

    they are small, cheap, simple, and fairly effective, and great for situations like this, to just have one lying about on a keychain or as a zipperpull or similar.