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

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

Use The Accident

4/21/2020
Here's a change of pace: what about stuff we got wrong for the better? On this episode we've got 13 short stories of mistakes that went right. From jazz to physics to chemistry to frozen dessert, we've got it all. 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 MacLeod

Duration:00:33:33

True Crime

4/7/2020
Hey! I think we invented a new kind of podcast this week! It's a crime story, but it's also true. We're calling it "True Crime". I think there might be a market for this!Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music...

Duration:00:37:17

Light and Shadow of American Life

3/24/2020
In almost seventy episodes chronicling bad ideas and loopy frauds through the ages one name has come up again and again. From phrenology to mesmerism to a strange ghostly bowl of molasses, he's the Forrest Gump of 19th century pseudo-science. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by...

Duration:00:51:49

The Foolkiller Pt 5: The White Whale

3/10/2020
Here we are. We've examined arctic explorers, secret armies, zany daredevils, Wisconsin whiz kids and so many more only to come up empty. This is the end of the rope. Can we solve the mystery of The Foolkiller, the submarine discovered in the Chicago River in 1915, or is this one just meant to be a mystery forever. Stick around and find out. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to...

Duration:01:22:47

The Foolkiller Pt 4: The Unusual Suspects

2/25/2020
We're onto the long shots now: An Irish-American secret society bent on war with Canada, a kid genius out of Oshkosh and an Indiana shoe factory owner. With so few options left, one of them--surely--must be the creator of The Foolkiller. Right? Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by...

Duration:00:42:04

The Foolkiller Pt 3: The Man from The East

2/11/2020
Amid all the confusing and contradictory reporting that accompanied the discovery of The Foolkiller submarine in 1915 Chicago, there are a handful of mentions of an "Eastern man". On this episode, we look through the annals of submarine history in search of this mysterious figure. Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here. Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where...

Duration:00:33:52

The Foolkiller Pt 2: Infinite Distress

1/28/2020
A proper story has three acts, but the story of The Foolkiller submarine is missing two of them. Today, we're looking at act 2: the brief window of time during which we know where this giant steel craft was. We're also examining the three initial theories that people at the time held about where the thing came from, and who built it. To do that, we're going from The North Pole to The Center of The Earth and even all the way to the deep jungle depths of Ottawa Illinois. Get a free trial of...

Duration:00:56:24

The Foolkiller Pt 1: Tears Falling from The Sky

1/14/2020
In November of 1915, a submarine was found at the bottom of The Chicago River. It had been there for at least ten years, was 40 feet long, and contained the remains of a man and his dog. To this day, no one knows who built it, where it came from, or who was inside. This is the first in a five part series looking into the mystery of The Foolkiller. With luck, we might even be able to solve it. But before we get into the meat of the question, we need to learn the context. We need to learn...

Duration:00:30:29

It's Wonderful Redux

12/30/2019
For our last episode of 2019 and season 6, we're revisiting last year's Christmas episode. Stick around through the end to hear a tease for next season's big multi-part opening story, and check out these other podcasts from the top of the show: Iconography Mark's appearance on Chad The Podcast and That Was Genius See you in 2020, for The Fool Killer.

Duration:00:23:40

The Christmas Bullet

12/17/2019
Throw on another yule log and gather round the fire For a new Constant episode is about to transpire It's a holiday one, though it contains little joy About a con named Christmas and his terrible ploy Visit our Patreon here.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Duration:00:16:11