Electrical Bird Nests of Death Worldwide

I just recently learned what the actual definition of a clusterfuck was, and I was also writing this gigantic post of these wiring birdnests of death that I just cannot stop researching.  Do you know how many people are estimated to have died just in the USA by OSHA in 2016?  I’m guessing their stats are a year or so behind, but construction and the Trades is a place we in Entertainment can look to take a cue on protecting ourselves and those around us.  Considering that energy-related accidents JUST IN THE UNITED STATES are two of the top ten violations of OSHA code, and with all of the renewed focus on workplace safety, I thought this would be a great time to post some absolutely horrifying images of some rat nest public utilities examples.  Bad wiring?  This doesn’t even begin to touch on bad wiring.

Just to hit on the fact that electrical violations are two of the top ten OSHA’s Most Cited, check this out — if you wanna count the number one citation and the number 6, that’s SIX that occur in our industry — I’ve highlighted those in red that are on the Top Ten that occur in our industry, undoubtedly people will argue that we have more than just these six as violations in Entertainment:

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501), “Duty to have Fall Protection”
  2. Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200), “Hazard Communication”
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451), “General Requirements
  4. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134), “Respiratory Protection”
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147), “The Control of Hazardous Energy”
  6. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053), “Ladders”
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178), “Powered Industrial Trucks”
  8. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212), “General Requirements for All Machines”
  9. Fall Protection–Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503), “Training Requirements”
  10. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305), “Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment”

This is mind blowing!

I know we have all seen some crazy wiring in our time, and a lot of the things that we do create some crazy spaghetti of cabling and jumbleness that looks pretty bad, but take a look at these images and see if they give you the same hairs-on-the-arms-straight-up feeling they do for me.  I saw someone post a photo of a Pakistani public work utility pole in an industry related blog, and that began the search for imagery for me.  Check these out, this shit is absolutely incredible.

Click on any photo and it opens up into the attachment page in full size.

I’ve separated these into groups by location, each giving some creedence to some of the looks on these guys’ faces as they dig through these messes.  Let’s start with India…

India Cable Clusters of Catastrophe

Nothing to see here, just a massive mess of death.

This right here is just a nightmare. There is more NOPE in this photo than in most of these other photos!

A quick look into the last few minutes of this poor bastard’s life as he tries to find a place to patch in

Philippine Piles of Power Repose

Holy overhead nightmare!

Nothing to see here, move along, move along

Duterte executes drug traffickers, and Philippine linemen apparently

Pakistani Power Problems

One thing that is a major issue in Pakistan — actually two things — people stealing from the grid, and companies using completely inferior components and outdated transformer gear to keep the infrastructure going.  Some examples:

Who wants to go fishing around for the neutral in here?

An example of inferior infrastructure being used to power a grid in Peshawar. Schnikies!

Load sharing. More like blatant load stealing with a side order of potential death from fire or electrocution.

Oh, no, no no. No.

More load sharing in Pakistan. I can clearly say I don’t have the balls to attempt a patch on something like this like these folks have done.

Indonesian Idiocy and Inherent Death by Electrocution

“Hey Mike, you see that wire nut I dropped?” “What’s a wire nut?”

Nah, they’ll totally all fit. We did it on the last job.

That’s a Nope Cabinet.

Brazil’s Magical Mismanagement of Public Works Cabling and Favela Electrical Flow

I got diarrhea from this photo.

Cable management? Cable Mismanagement

For those days when you just “can’t even,” there’s Sao Paolo.

Y’all Ready for CHINA?

More “normal”

This is NORMAL Beijing public wiring. Nothing to see here, nothing to see…

Oh dear lord in Hebben

Hey, can you find that one cable I need?

Vicious Vietnamese Wiring and Laotian Electrocution

More wiring in Ho Chi Minh City, how shitty

Laos — where you too can accidentally die at work just by sneezing on the wrong wire

Northern Laos — public work in progress

Vietnamese Wiring Violence

Holy crap dude. More Vietnam


The elusive Vietnamese NOPE cluster. Is… is that a fan?!

Here’s a nice fun little cluster in Ho Chi Minh City

Wiring Outside a Mexican Venue

I found a few really bad shots of Mexican wiring, but these two right outside a not-to-be-named venue kinda took the cake for me.

Obviously this is the company tie-in for touring shows

This is seriously from outside of a little venue in Mexico City.

Thailand Takes the Electrical Taco

By far the worst photos I found were some of the ones from Pakistan, but Thailand takes a close second, with India taking third.  I mean, these are purely terrifying.

Bangkok, where wiring takes on another meaning

Don’t mind this guy, he’s just gonna tie in so he can charge his phone…

Have you ever heard of arc blast?

A rare sighting of a Thailand electrician in his natural habitat

Oh, no, no. You go ahead.

Wire bundles so thick they look like human hair

Tangled up electric wires on a street pole in Krabi town, Thailand

Are those merkin curls???

Phuket says “phuket” to electrical regulations

Nightmare of wiring in Phuket

The look on this guy’s face…

Anybody notice the approved bamboo ladders?

I’m exhausted just from looking at these!  Granted there are places in the US that look just like this, but it seems that our government likes to levy fines against really terrible wire clusters and the people who give birth to them, so there’s that.  Here’s a contractor job found in Nashville:

This resulted in a fire!


Hat tips:

Beware! The Blob

While not a 1970s scifi horror flick, Sunday Paper‘s spectacular short film Light is certainly haunting. For a fascinating and beautiful minute and a half short film, it certainly carries an elegiac note.



Just watch it!


Light from Sunday Paper on Vimeo.


UK Streets Might Get Mood Lighting

Heyooooo! JimOnLight’s UK correspondent here, coming at you with hot off the press news!

The conversation to dim streetlights during very low traffic levels has been initiated, and it’s causing quite a stir! The Press Association reports:

” Norman Baker, the local transport minister, supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

In a parliamentary written answer he said: “The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK’s Institute of Lighting Professionals.

“It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments.” “

The roads in question are the A roads, the major thoroughfares connecting cities which are not motorways. The Californian side of me would describe A roads as “highways,” while motorways are “freeways.” Kapeesh?

So we like saving the environment, and we like saving money. Why is this such a massive discussion?

Numerous fears including increased crime, automobile accidents, are mixed with financial worries. The conversion would cost a significant sum, and people aren’t sold on MAKIN IT RAIN!

The Telegraph reports:

“…While authorities across the UK are saving £21.5 million per year by turning off nine per cent of lights, the schemes to reduce street lighting cost a total of £106.3 million.

The bill for installing dimming technology or converting lights to part-night operations, which is five times greater than the saving, means some councils will not start seeing the benefits for up to eight years.”

This follows other UK locations, such as the Welsh county of Gwynedd have already experimented in dimming street lights between midnight and 5:30 am. There seems to be much more support of dimming street lights than turning them off. Kirklees and Derbyshire are amongst numerous experiments in turning off street lights, both completely and in selection (1 in 10 seems to be a common cutting ratio). Fears of isolation ensued.

What do you think? Turn ’em all off and make everyone wear headlamps, selective black outs, dimming, ALL OF THE LIGHTS! @ FL or something else?


If you found this interesting, I also posted about the delightfully unexpected results of blue street lights in Glasgow as well as Japan here. I’m imagining these cobalt lamps as urban super heros, stopping crime and saving lives! Neato burrito.

Lighting at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany

I had a two hour layover at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on my way to the USA from Sweden.  After I had found my gate (after consequently going from one end of the airport to the other, lost), I noticed that the airport had some amazing lighting!

Of course I noticed that.  Of course I did.  I am a nerd.

I have been looking for the one fixture that I saw the most of when I was walking around – the application of this fixture was genius in my opinion.  Frankfurt Airport has a large area of its walkways with very low ceilings made from what appear to be aluminum beams spaced about two inches apart.  Instead of sticking some linear fluorescent fixtures or otherwise half-hearted design idea in this space, they have mounted clusters of these Siteco brand washers that give the ceiling a really great look.  The color temperature is rather warm, and contrasts nicely with the daylighting coming in from the windows.  Take a look:


The fixtures are mounted on a hanging trapeze of sorts, and I think I only saw them in groups of six at a time.  The Siteco logo is very small on some of the luminaires, and I have been looking for about an hour for the model information for them.  I have an email into Siteco asking about the fixture – I’ll update the post when I hear back.

They were really beautiful – simple, directional, and effective.  They created wonderful hot spots on the ceiling that washed across large areas on the metal ceiling structure.  Very cool.






Solar Blossoms in Austin – SunFlowers, An Electric Garden

I’ve not been to Austin a lot – a few times for working and visiting – but this is the kind of project I would want to see if I lived there.  Meet the SunFlowers, a photovoltaic sculpture garden that collects solar energy and turns it into night time light:

sunflower solar

A blurb from Good Mag on the project:

Comprised of 15 flower-shaped photovoltaic solar panels that line a pedestrian and bike path on the greenbelt between a retail lot and highway I-35, SunFlowers was unveiled on July 30. In such close proximity to a prominent highway, the 30-foot structures are, as Harries/Héder put it, “a highly visible metaphor for the energy-conscious city of Austin.” But because each one is a working solar collector, the art piece is both emblematic and functional.

The energy that the panels collect during the day is used, come nightfall, to power SunFlowers’ stunning blue LEDs, which illuminate the path below for bike-riders and walkers, and generally beautifying the area. An extra 15 kilowatts generated each day is fed back into the grid and used offset the costs of operation and maintenance.

What do you think of this installation? I’m actually a fan of projects like this – projects that use technology like solar tech and repurpose it in a dual role as art and civil lighting interest me.  The developer paid a large part of the project, and a grant was given for the materials.

Some information on the project from Mags Harries and Lajos Heder’s website – the creators of the SunFlowers project:

Location:      Austin, TX
Client:            Catellus Development Co.
Size:                30′ x 1000′ x 16′
Materials:     Photovoltaic solar collector panels, welded steel frames and stems, landforms and plantings
Budget:         $595,000:
$470,000 from the Developer
$75,000 from Austin Energy rebate
$50,000 grant from Applied Materials Inc.

The 15 SunFlowers that form the Electric Garden are sculptural solar collectors that generate solar energy for lighting at night. The additional 15 kilowatts of energy that they produce is fed into the electrical grid for credit, which will fund the maintenance and operating costs for the project. During the day they provide shade for a pedestrian/bicycle path and at night the LED’s in the SunFlowers’ stamens glow with blue light.
SunFlowers was initiated as a buffer to mask the loading docks at the edge of the Mueller Development from the I-35 highway.

To date, this is the largest public art project in the City of Austin.  SunFlowers is both an icon for the sustainable, LEED certified Mueller Development and a highly visible metaphor for the energy conscious City of Austin.

The custom-made solar collector panels have a blue crystalline surface and appear like a garden of huge flowers facing the northbound traffic on I-35.

More images of the project:


sunflower austin

sunflower model



Thanks, Good and Core77!