The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong-logo

The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

History Podcasts

Did you know that Europeans used to believe that sheep grew from Mongolian trees? Have you heard about the misbegotten discovery of a new form of water in the 1960s that set off a cold war arms race? Ever seen the gleaming Las Vegas hotel that accidentally shoots heat rays at poolside guests? The Constant is an audio history of getting things wrong. From ancient science to contemporary blunders, we take you on journeys of misadventure and misapprehension, filling your brain with juicy nuggets of the sometimes comical, sometimes tragical and always fascinating ways people mess things up.

Did you know that Europeans used to believe that sheep grew from Mongolian trees? Have you heard about the misbegotten discovery of a new form of water in the 1960s that set off a cold war arms race? Ever seen the gleaming Las Vegas hotel that accidentally shoots heat rays at poolside guests? The Constant is an audio history of getting things wrong. From ancient science to contemporary blunders, we take you on journeys of misadventure and misapprehension, filling your brain with juicy nuggets of the sometimes comical, sometimes tragical and always fascinating ways people mess things up.

Location:

United States

Description:

Did you know that Europeans used to believe that sheep grew from Mongolian trees? Have you heard about the misbegotten discovery of a new form of water in the 1960s that set off a cold war arms race? Ever seen the gleaming Las Vegas hotel that accidentally shoots heat rays at poolside guests? The Constant is an audio history of getting things wrong. From ancient science to contemporary blunders, we take you on journeys of misadventure and misapprehension, filling your brain with juicy nuggets of the sometimes comical, sometimes tragical and always fascinating ways people mess things up.

Language:

English


Episodes

On The Rocks

2/23/2021
What do the modern flat earth movement, the history of animal experimentation, the invention of civil engineering, ballet, pantomime, and the first British robot all have in common?The Eddystone Lighthouse.Get $75 credit to upgrade your job post at indeed.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon here.BUY OUR MERCH, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS!Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod Voice talent by...

Duration:00:47:40

How to Solve a Murder (Pt 3)

2/9/2021
We no longer make people walk hot coals, or swim witches, or touch dead bodies. But everything we know about solving crime is still wrong.The National Registry of Exonerations2009 NAS ReportThe Innocence ProjectThe Story of Gary DotsonLeora Smith's excellent reporting on Herbert MacDonell and blood spatterTrial by Fire, David Grann for The New YorkerThe Story of Cameron Todd Willingham via The Chicago TribuneRadley Balko at The Washington PostGet 10% off your first month of online counseling...

Duration:01:15:44

How to Solve a Murder (Pt 2)

1/26/2021
On part two of this three part series on forensics, we're bridging the gap, between the ancient and modern means of solving crimes. How did forensic science get into courts in the first place? And is it actually science at all?Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon here.BUY OUR MERCH, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS!Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereJS BachListen to:I Know DinoRumble Strip

Duration:00:46:59

How to Solve a Murder (Pt 1)

1/12/2021
Fingerprints, DNA, blood spatter, ballistics. Before any of those forensic sciences, investigators and courts had a very different suite of tools for solving crime. On this episode, we're looking at some of them. Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon here.BUY OUR MERCH, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS!Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:01:02:20

Lick The Earth

12/15/2020
For the last episode of 2020, we're returning to our fair city, Chicago, for the unlikely story of a hard-scrapple hobo who formed his own independent, autonomous district on the non-existent east side of town, which he managed to keep control of for nearly forty years... well, sort of.Visit https://andstillivote.org/YOUR-Story-Matters/ to join the fight for voting rights today.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon...

Duration:00:39:52

It's a Secret to Everybody

12/1/2020
For The Constant's third birthday, here are three stories out of the secret feed. Medicinal gold, the story of theater's greatest Hamlet, and a melancholy Christmas tale, all for you. Visit https://andstillivote.org/YOUR-Story-Matters/ to join the fight for voting rights today.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon here.BUY OUR MERCH, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS!Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:00:41:53

Deserted

11/17/2020
In September of 1822, a ship carrying 70 immigrants left London bound for St. Joseph, a bustling city on The Mosquito Coast in the small Central American nation of Poyais. They were followed by hundreds more pilgrims, all looking for a better life. They were about to be severely disappointed. Visit andstillivote.org to join the fight for voting rights today.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstantVisit our Patreon here.BUY OUR MERCH, YOU...

Duration:00:52:31

Presidents in Bathtubs

11/3/2020
How do you thread the needle between political and apolitical, frivolous and serious, fun and relevant, on this extremely stressful election day? I don't know, but here's an episode about presidential bathtubs. Visit andstillivote.org to join the fight for voting rights today.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.​Music by:Dana BouleBlue Dot SessionsLee Rosevere

Duration:00:29:13

Gef

10/20/2020
It's almost Halloween, so how's about a spooky bonfire tale. The spookiest story from the spookiest place we can think of. The story of Gef, The Talking Mongoose. Visit andstillivote.org to join the fight for voting rights today. Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Dana BouleBlue Dot SessionsLee Rosevere

Duration:00:45:24

1876

10/6/2020
This is the story of the worst American presidential election (so far). Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:00:58:17

The Rest of The Story

9/22/2020
In 1899 a plan was hatched. To start a war? To sell newspapers? Or to tear down The Great Wall of China?Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:00:39:37

In The Air Tonight (I Can Feel It)

9/8/2020
You know what you haven't heard enough about recently? How disease spreads. On this episode we finally circle back to the oft mentioned miasma theory, AKA Bad Air Make You Sick. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:00:37:56

Run for Your Life

8/25/2020
There was no Olympics this year, but it's almost the anniversary of the single worst event in the history of the games: The 1904 Olympic Marathon. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:01:08:52

Apocalypse Now and Then

8/11/2020
Some days it feels like we're living at the end of the world. And by "some days" I mean "literally every day ever". Take a ride with us through some of the best apocalypses to never happen! Check out Heather's Youtube series, Art Infusions here! Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot...

Duration:01:04:11

Real Facts, and Beer

7/28/2020
Here is a story about the city I love, Chicago.Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to:​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodBenSound

Duration:00:25:59

Reductio Ad Absurdum

7/14/2020
The Earth is Flat! That is the conclusion that many ancient societies once drew. Then, in the 19th century, belief in the flat earth started to return, and in the last decade this easily disprovable fallacy has celebrated a remarkable resurgence. And that's all thanks, in large part, to an 1887 science experiment. This week, for the start of season 8, we're looking at the shaggy dog story of how that experiment came to take place, and how it came to be seen as evidence for the flatness of...

Duration:01:21:21

Fish Story

6/16/2020
Sharks have been known to eat a lot of weird stuff. Fur coats, license plates, cannonballs, chicken coups, even a suit of armor. But the strangest thing ever found within the belly of a shark was... a bundle of papers. Trust me: it's more unbelievable than it sounds.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Donate to:...

Duration:00:28:53

The Cold, Hard Truth, Pt 2

6/2/2020
Two men, two islands, two claims for The North Pole. In part two of The Cold, Hard, Truth we're looking at the expedition formed in the wake of Peary and Cook's battle for The Pole. An expedition formed with the goal of finding Crocker Land, a lost arctic continent, and the truth.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant". Donate to:...

Duration:01:04:01

The Cold, Hard Truth, Pt 1

5/19/2020
On September 7th, 1909, The New York Times announced that Robert Peary was the first person to ever reach The North Pole. But a week earlier, The New York Herald had said the same thing about Frederick Cook. Only one of them could be right, but which one? And how could you tell for certain? Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting: http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee...

Duration:00:52:27

The Airship

5/5/2020
In December of 1909, the vice president of a Worcester Massachusetts steamfitting company decided he wanted to fly. This is his story. Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant". Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodGilbert VinterThe President's Own Marine Band

Duration:00:27:04