I'm always interested in the electricity grid, and its propensity to act in a fractal, self-similar manner. That means the grid acts as an earthquake zone, power law, and non-linear. So you get lots of little failures, and then some really big ones.
Vancouver got a taste of this. This power failure was equivalent to an M7! As with a real earthquake, businesses don't get compensated for the interruption. They're supposed to have business-loss insurance anyway!
The reason for a power-law grid is general stupidity, and group-think. Every small element of the grid resembles the grid as a whole. It's a perfect child of Techno-bureaucracy!