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That's not an electrical wire (it doesn't even look like a wire, really). Electricity is carried in the three wires at the top of the pole. The cables further down are for telephone, internet, cable TV, etc.

Posted by A Non Imus | October 13, 2008 11:22 AM

I passed that on Friday and wondered what the hell was going on.

Posted by Mikki | October 13, 2008 11:23 AM

How cool would it be to have plug-ins for your electric car just waiting for you to recharge while you go shopping for grocries?

Posted by muggims | October 13, 2008 11:24 AM

Just lick it and satisfy your curiosity once and for all.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 13, 2008 11:28 AM

That is alarming, but even more alarming for me is that, as I scrolled that first picture into view, I wondered why the pic was in black and white. It wasn't until I saw the parts of it that aren't the Seattle sky that I realized it was in color.

Suddenly I remember why I had to move away.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 13, 2008 11:28 AM

My girlfriend and I passed this "situation" on the way back from grocery shopping last night. This is doubtless an attempt by QFC to scare shoppers away from Madison Market and Trader Joes.

Posted by Alex S | October 13, 2008 11:32 AM

@1 is correct. While you might get a shock, it won't be heart stopping.

@5 - nice thing is I can see the bright openings in the clouds from up here on the 15th floor at UW Tower, so it feels more sunny than it actually is ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 13, 2008 11:37 AM

I don't know, but that freaks me out. Even if it's not attached to the power lines, it significantly shortens the distance those lines need to ground.


Posted by Greg | October 13, 2008 11:45 AM

I believe the cone is fake. Somebody is trying to make that casing, which has been there for months, suddenly appear dangerous. My guess is that it was perpetrated by the same individual responsible for the cone and *Don't walk - danger* chalk on the Denny bridge over I5.

Posted by kinaidos | October 13, 2008 12:20 PM

Electricity is like ghosts. It can only hurt you if you believe in it.

Posted by six shooter | October 13, 2008 12:24 PM

@1 & @7: Actually, if it's fiber optic cable, there's NO electricity running through it at all, so LICK AWAY!! But it might cut your tongue...

Posted by Chris | October 13, 2008 12:39 PM

About three months ago I alerted the police dept across the street to this as I passed it by. For three months its been in the exact same position. My guess at this point there's no harm, but to be honest the police just told me, "oh yeah that's the cable companies responsibility.


Posted by apttitle | October 13, 2008 2:49 PM

Yes indeed, that is fiber optic. Harmless, but weird it is still not fixed. But the telephone and cable companies move in mysterious ways.

But just so you-all know: The most dangerous stuff (Generally speaking, 26kv primary) is always at the top of the pole. It can be three wires or just one wire. Then come the transformers (the big ugly gray things) then the secondary services (which are the things that hook up to your house) then telephone, then cable. Sometimes there's other stuff, like an eruv, which has something to do with observant Jewish people, and where they can and can't go on the Sabbath.

Phone, cable, fiberoptic, and eruvs can't hurt you. But you should always be careful around downed lines, and assume they are electric, because they all look alike.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 13, 2008 3:11 PM

Catalina thanks for bringing eruvs to my attention. I never knew they existed and never fully understood why I saw so many orthodox jews around seward park:

Learn something new everyday.

Posted by drew | October 13, 2008 3:41 PM

That (my friends) is your MA Bell infrastucture. Falling apart I should add.

It is not (I repeat, is not...)a shock harard. I work for the Cable Guys and our shit is underground in and around most of Downtown, including Belltown (which this looks like).

We can always count on the SLOG to sensationalize. But that's why I love the SLOG! BTW - Whatever you do, don't stare into the end that cable, it could put an eye out.

Posted by ghopper | October 13, 2008 6:58 PM

That's Capitol Hill, isn't it? Just north of Basic Plumbing? (Not that I would know where that is)

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 13, 2008 7:36 PM

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