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The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

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This is the story of the greatest jailbreak ever attempted. Well, maybe not "greatest", but certainly "weirdest." It's also, somehow, the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. And one of science's great rivalries. And of a number of murderers, mobsters and maniacs. But more than any of that, it's the story of a whole lot of very unfortunate froggies. Checkout Our Fake History Here The Whatever Happened to Series Here And Industrial Artifacts Here And while you're at it, clinking links so...



Martha died alone, becoming the first named member of an exclusive and terrible club: The Endlings. This episode we're tracking the history of the passenger pigeon, a bird that once darkened American skies by the billions. The story of the passenger pigeon is the story of our understanding of extinction, and the lessons we once learned but appear to be struggling to remember. Visit our Patreon page here. And our sponsor, where you can entered coupon code...


The Gentle Hammer

Believing he was Jesus Christ, Laszlo Toth entered St. Peter's Basilica on May 21st, 1972 and took a hammer to Michelangelo's Pieta. What happened next would make the world wonder what separates a work of art from a forgery. Check out this Spiro Agnew Music Box from our sponsor, Industrial Artifacts. Get your free "Whatever Happened To" ebooks here. And don't forget to visit our Patreon.


Snap, Crackle, Boom!

The Apocalypse fails to appear. A doctor goes to disturbing lengths to end masturbation. A millionaire spends his fortune dynamiting the sky. Breakfast is changed forever. The Constant is back. Check out our new Patreon, to help fund the show and get all kinds of neat bonus stuff: And be sure to visit our newest sponsor, HelloFresh, via this link here: and enter promo code "theconstant80" for $80 off your...


Is There Life on Mars?

Take a look at those star men, gazing at the night sky. Oh man, wonder if they'll ever know? on October 30th, 1938, Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on The Air unleashed the most infamous media prank of all time. But The War of The Worlds wasn't the first time humanity got itself turned sideways thinking about Martians, and it sure wasn't the last. This week, for our season finale, we're doing a little primer on our weird and sordid history with our closest planetary neighbor. From...


Broadcasting The Barricades

This is the story of the first radio hoax. No, not that one. On January 16th, 1926, a Catholic priest took the mic at BBC Radio and threw all of England into panic with... a joke. Unfortunately, the original recording was lost long ago. Fortunately, this week, we're recreating it.


What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Ship and Understanding?

War! Good God, y'all. What is it good for? According to Henry Ford: Absolutely nothing. So in 1915 he launched a ship, bound for Europe, with a simple if outlandish mission: to end World War I. On this episode we look at the ill-fated voyage of The Oscar II, better known as The Peace Ship.


Let's Kill Mike

How do you survive in 1932, when The Great Depression is at its peak and prohibition is in full force? How about a little insurance fraud? It's easy: all you need is an undertaker willing to fake a cause of death, a couple of life insurance policies and a target to murder. Simple as sin. The only thing you really need to do to survive 1932 is to make sure your victim isn't better at surviving than you are.



In January of 1749, a London advertisement promised an impossible show at The Haymarket Theatre: a full-grown man would jump into a wine bottle and, from within it, sing. You won't be surprised to find out that the show didn't happen. But you will be surprised by what happened instead.


The Idea that Broke America

Mesmerism didn't stop with Mesmer. This week, we pick up where we left off, tracing the idea of animal magnetism to America, where it went through some... changes. Get ready for a whirlwind tour of American enterprise, religion and entertainment that leads us right through the door of this dark timeline we're living in. This one's a doozy.



What is this? Are you some kind of hypnotist? We're doing a deep dive into one of the single most fascinating mistaken ideas and the fascinating man who thought it up. This story has got it all: demonic possession, mysterious seductions, beheadings, public shamings, miracle cures and The Avengers of 18th Century Science.


A Sticky Situation

Happy 100th birthday to one of the strangest disasters in American history: Boston's Great Molasses Flood. For our season 5 premiere, we're looking at the weird and deadly 35 foot tall wall of syrup that destroyed Boston's North End a century ago, and what caused such an enormous--and enormously curious--thing to happen in the first place.


Join Us

New season begins Tuesday, January 15th. Join us.


It's Wonderful

On today's holiday special we're looking at a Christmas classic: It's a Wonderful Life. A movie that was almost never made, that was almost forever forgotten, and that almost missed its chance to change a woman's life.


Introducing 'Safe for Work'

Just a couple of days before our Christmas special, here's a little gift for you: Safe for Work. Safe For Work is an advice show that reminds you that while your office may be crazy, you don’t have to be. Office MVPs and corporate veterans Liz Dolan (ex-CMO, Nike, NatGeo, Oprah Winfrey Network) and Rico Gagliano (audio host, producer, print reporter and author) will help you make the big decisions, sort through the small stuff, and get more fulfillment from your work life. Listen here or...


No Ragrets

Alright, there are two ways this can go down. Scenario 1: Mark finds the story of the worst tattoo ever and feels heartened by it, going through with finally getting his own. Scenario 2: Mark finds the story of the worst tattoo ever given and feels terrified by it, running away once more from his promises to you, loyal listeners. Wanna take bets? Once you're ready, head over to to see for yourself.


Way to Go Again, Einstein!

Because you wonderful, amazing jerks helped reach our stretch goal, Mark's got a promise to fulfill. To explain that promise--and the title of this very show--we're rebroadcasting our season 1 finale. Einstein was a genius, but that didn't save him from messing stuff up. So let's revisit his greatest blunder, and catchup on the year-long saga of the tattoo that wasn't but will soon be.


Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

It's Halloween and that means it's time for a spooky one. This week, for the last episode of our Kickstarter season, we've got a real-life story of ghosts, possession and a weird nexus where superstition meets science. Plus, there's chance for you to force Mark into getting that tattoo from way back in season 1. All it takes is to donate to our Kickstarter fundraiser right here.


What The Fork?

Forks! A handier, less-controversial item would be difficult to imagine. Yet, for hundreds of years Europeans recoiled from the fork with a hilarious zeal: condemning anyone who used one to jokes, shame and even death. For the third episode of our Kickstarter season, we're looking at the anti-fork panic that seized a continent for centuries. We're less than two weeks from the end of our fundraiser, so when you're done listening, go take a look here.


Typis and Errirs

To honor all the flubs of our first year, we're going down the rabbit hole of the worst typos and mistakes in history. From sacrilegious Bibles to doomed space missions to a certain cartoon Sailor Man and his super-powered vegetable. This is the second episode of our Kickstarter season so be sure to take a look while the lookin's good!