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Quebec built the world's first 735 kV power line in 1965, and was the highest-voltage, longest-distance network for decades before the rest of the world caught up. Even today it's still seen as "bomb-proof" by the rest of the world, and is often used as a model. But it wasn't always that way...
When a massive ice storm took down 36,000 power pylons overnight in 1998, Quebec had to rebuild and restart their power grid from the ground up. Let's do some failure analysis and learn how big power systems around the world are designed to fail gracefully, and what happens when they don't. (P.S. TCP over power lines totally works)
Nick Sweeting is the co-founder of Monadical.com in Montreal, and his favorite bike paths all run under power lines. He's a Django developer by day, and rogue internet archivist / power grid investigator by night. He likes learning about how big systems fail, and thinks thyristor halls look neat.
Slides, video recording, and further reading links: