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    Aw, man–so it’s like, this morning, I’m steering the barge as usual, minding my own business, when all of a sudden these power lines jump right out in front of me:

    A massive blackout Monday cut electricity to 1.4 million homes in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, temporarily paralyzing transportation systems and trapping dozens of people in elevators.

    Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. said a crane on a barge in the Kyu-Edogawa river hit power lines at the border of Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward and Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture around 7:30 a.m., cutting electricity to 14 of the capital’s 23 wards as well as areas of Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures.

    Power was restored at 10:44 a.m. as temperatures climbed above 30 degrees, according to TEPCO.

    My office is closed Mondays, and Atsushi was here for a pretty busy weekend, so I slept in this morning. I do recall surfacing vaguely at 8:30-ish to wonder whether the two hours for which I’d set the air conditioner to keep running some time after the sun was already bright had elapsed already; but the clock next to my bed is the traditional kind, and I didn’t think to try the lamp. It wasn’t until I came into the living room and noticed all the LED-display clocks blinking at me that I realized the power had gone out. And even then, I figured it had been something local until I opend up the Nikkei and saw this.

    The looks of incredulity on the faces of NHK reporters was a sight to behold, too. Personally, I found my attention drawn by this detail:

    TEPCO said there are two power lines, one of which is supposed to act as a backup in case the other goes down. But both were damaged by the crane.

    I’m no systems engineer–and I can see how they can’t be across town from each other–but doesn’t having the redundant power lines close to the lines they’re backing up kind of maximize the possibility that they’ll both be damaged at once?

    As someone I know through the office pointed out this afternoon, who needs terrorists?

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