ETA: Aaaaaand the MWRA is getting slammed, so the page is down. However, the homepage has a map of the affected communities, and the MWRA also has an alternate link. Beware the ridiculous load times.
Crap. My town is on the list. I've got a pot on the stove now to boil up some water. Crap. Crap. Crap.
Apparently the whole thing was triggered by a water main break that's dumping 8 million gallons of water an hour into the Charles River. So, the system's been shut down, and emergency water supplies have been brought online. The backup water supply is safe for bathing, flushing the toilet, and putting out forest fires, but not much else.
Perfect news after coming home from the Steampunk Festival, which turned out to be a reminder of why Steampunkers sometimes drive me bonkers.
First off, I'm a history nut. I love history. All of it. But New England history really gives me heart-pounding, palm-sweaty love. A big part of New England history is the Industrial Revolution, from which Steampunk draws a lot of its aesthetic.
So, here I am in a museum dedicated to the Industrial Revolution located right in the heart of Ground Zero of the Industrial Revolution at a Steampunk Festival. The museum, which had been badly damaged in last month's flooding along the Charles and is closed opened its doors specifically for the festival.
Now, yes, parts of the museum were inaccessible due to the flood damage, but there were also a lot of exhibits that were still in place and could be easily perused by visitors.
Like, for example, actual steam-powered and belt-powered equipment, and the huuuuuuuuuuge exhibit about clockworks. We're talking the real deal that's bigger than life, some which is hands-on, you-can-operate-it type exhibits.
A marriage made in heaven, right? You'd think the exhibits that were accessible would be packed with Steampunkers geeking out over having access to the actual equipment that was used in the actual Victorian era.
And if you thought that, you'd be wrong.
Maybe a quarter of the people bothered to even look at the real deal. An even smaller percentage (me included) were geeking out over the real deal. The vast majority of attendees couldn't even be bothered, even though they were spending money hand-over-fist in the dealer's room for the fake stuff. What's more? Most of the fake stuff looked fake when compared to the real the thing.
I do not understand this. At all.
In any case, the museum itself was very cool. I plan to go back when it re-opens its doors in October so that I can spend a few hours falling in love with 19th Century machinery. As it was, I read every placard I could find on the U.S. Patent Office and the process of filing patents.
What? Stop looking at me like that.
Other than that bit that drove me crazy, most of the attendees were friendly and nice. I would even argue that they were a better-behaved lot than you'd find at your standard SF convention.
Of course, I got sucked into watching the blacksmith for almost two hours. I have a fascination with blacksmithing that I honestly can't explain. I can watch a blacksmith work for hours as they turn bits of metal into something truly beautiful. Would I want to do it myself? Not a chance. But get me near an actual forge and you've pretty much lost me for the duration.
All and all, it was a fun kind of different with bonus cheap entry fee. Other than the blatant ignoring of history going on, the Steampunk Festival was actually a pretty good time.