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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Myspace layouts causing power loss
on Ball State campus

MUNCIE, IN -- For the second day in a row, Ball State University canceled classes due to power blackouts on the main campus. IndianaMichigan Power Company representatives have been working nonstop for the last 48 hours to pinpoint the cause of this problem that has left Elliot, North, and Park Halls without power – potentially two more weeks.

Joshua Ramis, Vice President of Muncie Operations for IndianaMichigan Power, said today that the blackouts are being caused by massive power consumption tied to the popular social networking site Myspace.

“Ridiculous bandwidth and energy-hungry Myspace pages are being created as locals become more savvy users of the free site,” he said. “Utilizing sites like myprofilepimp.com and totallypimpedout.net, users can deck their personal networking pages with themes like tattooed bodies, Dr. Seuss, or seizure-inducing sparkling stars and planets.”

Sheila Ingram, a junior Organizational Leadership student, feels that the themes are necessary additions to her Myspace page. “I can really express myself in lots of ways,” she said. “If someone wants to get in contact with me they have to listen to a playlist of my favorite songs, see multiple scrolling photo albums of me and my friends at bars, and a big sparkling background with unicorns.”

Although officials located the cause of the blackouts, they backed off previous estimates that power for the metropolitan Muncie area would be restored by the weekend.

“Popular nightlife locales such as The Herot, Dill Street, and La Bamba’s will most likely have to wait longer,” says Ramis. “We know this will not sit well with the Muncie locals, but we’re working around the clock to get everything back up. We just don’t have the manpower to get it up that fast.”

Locals are already expressing their anger with IndianaMichigan Power and the Ball State Campus.

"What the hell are we supposed to do around here?” asks Greg Deville. “Ever since 'Armed and Famous' was cancelled there's been nothing to do except cruise the internet for funny videos of animals. Those kids at that fucking college screwed us all.”

Deville blames the Ball State students but he may be part of the problem. Roughly 51,000 permanent Muncie residents are estimated to have Myspace pages, including Deville.

Like many Ball State students, Deville designed his Myspace page with the help of totallypimpedout.net to pay homage his musical love, Nickelback. His personal page has a playlist that includes every Nickelback song recorded, with an animated background photo of Nickleback at the Grand Canyon.

Joshua Ramis says that people don’t realize that when anyone navigates to a page like that the local server drains an extra 45 kilowatts of energy per hour from the power grid. “If everyone sets up a page like his, we could see blackouts like this across the entire state,” he says. “It’s a serious problem and we need to tackle it with awareness. Simply adding power to the grid won't do it.”

A report released this morning by IndianaMichigan Power officials shows that they’d have to level Anderson and replace the entire area with wind turbines in order to generate just half of the power consumption of Hoosier Myspace pages. The answer seems to be moderation.

The Muncie outages are causing serious clashes between students and local residents. The Muncie Police Department has added an additional 47 officers to the streets to contain student demonstrators outside of Park Hall on Ball State's campus.

"Those townies should take their pages down. I’m not taking mine down,” says Sheila Ingram. “It's my right as a student to have a free page on the internet. If I have to defend it physically, I am ready to do it.”

Story by Dudley Dawson