Ten years ago, the power went out.
It's not unusual for the power to go out, but as always when it happens, you wonder if it's just you or if it's happening to everyone. Who better to know whether things are happening everywhere than your favorite systems administrator? So I called Dave Langhorst, and he reported the grim truth: power is out across a wide area, not just here, and his office phone was only working because of a battery backup.
I wrote about the 2003 blackout here on Vacuum, and the day after, I asked if people had good fiction to share about end-of-the-world scenarios that involved not fire or ice but network downtime. E. M. Forster's The Machine Stops was the universal recommendation; I recommend it to you as well as a short story from more than 100 years ago about the death of the net as we know it.
More: power outage maps from utility companies in 50 states and Canada, one of the most popular pages on this site.