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In this paper, a brief review of blackouts on electric power grids is given. Firstly, we sum up the holistic topological characters of electric power grids, including their small- world effects, exponential degree distributions, power-law load distributions, and robustness intervenient between Possian and scale-free networks. And then, we investigate the self-organized criticality in electric transmission dynamics, and suggest a new measure, the time length of power shortage, to estimate the size of blackouts. The empirical results strongly support the recent theoretical hypothesis of the existence of self-organized critical behaviors. Finally, in perspective of complexity science, the mainstream theoretical and engineering models aiming at traffic and cascading dynamics on electric power grids are briefly reviewed.