Globe and Mail
Electrical or water systems are designed for peak loads, so it is interesting to see the effects of extraordinary events on infrastructure. It's estimated that 82% of Canadians watched the final Olympic hockey game between Canada and the United States, and that's the mother of all peaks. Mike already wrote about how Canada vs. USA Final Made Power Consumption Jump by Around 600 Megawatts in Ontario, but look at this graph of water usage; a lot of beer got drunk that night, and now we know not only where it went but when. There are economic implications, too:
Midnight, February 28, was the deadline for reporting contributions to the Canadian tax-deductible retirement plans for the 2009 tax year, and a lot of people were online, figuring out their contribution and filing at the last minute. QuickTax reports that activity dropped significantly during the game. Paul Kedrosky notes that "those damn Canadian's weren't just adjusting their urination habits for hockey -- it was affecting tax preparation too."
I wonder how much money the Canadian government saved in tax refunds because people missed the deadline, watching the game and partying instead of filing.