Better Get That Olympic Torch There Soon

…Where the lovely Brazilian ladies will catch your eye,
by the light of the million stars in the evening sky…

Good thing they’ve got those million stars, as the lights went out last night

(CNN) — An important hydroelectric dam shared by Brazil and Paraguay failed Tuesday night, pushing a large swath of central and southern Brazil into darkness, said the country’s minister of mines and energy, Edison Lobao.

At about 10:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET), the Itaipu dam shut down completely, Lobao said in a radio interview.

Power began to slowly return Tuesday night, and authorities expected a restoration of power overnight, Lobao said.

…Rio’s main streets and avenues were in a total blackout. Video footage showed long lines of cars at a near standstill on the roads, and the subway system in Rio came to a stop.

Sao Paulo and Rio losing their traffic lights is not so bad, as those things are generally ignored anyway, but, tragically, things have taken a far more ominous turn

Questions remained about what happened and what the fallout would be in Brazil, a nation seen as an ascending economic and political power in the region.

“The image of Brazil, of Rio, is bad enough with all the violence,” said 35-year-old graphic designer Paulo Viera, as he sat in a restaurant a block from the sandy arc of Copacabana.

Drinking quickly warming beer, he said he worried about how the outage might look for a city that last month was picked to host the 2016 Olympics and will be the showcase city for soccer’s World Cup in 2014. “We don’t need this to happen. I don’t know how it could get worse.”

Good god, we need to send the Navy to assist these folks immediately.

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