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History
Science
Natural Sciences

The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

Updated 1 day ago

History
Science
Natural Sciences
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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.

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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.

iTunes Ratings

215 Ratings
Average Ratings
207
3
2
1
2

Great!

By Gr3ySquirr3l - Sep 03 2019
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My new favorite podcast!!!!

Fantastic listen!

By Yayyyz - Aug 29 2019
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Well researched, well presented stories of humans doing what they do: being wrong

iTunes Ratings

215 Ratings
Average Ratings
207
3
2
1
2

Great!

By Gr3ySquirr3l - Sep 03 2019
Read more
My new favorite podcast!!!!

Fantastic listen!

By Yayyyz - Aug 29 2019
Read more
Well researched, well presented stories of humans doing what they do: being wrong
Cover image of The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

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.

Rank #1: Diabolical Devices of The Demon of Darkness

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It was a dark and stormy night. A dark and stormy year, really. And it gave birth to a monster, a New Prometheus which descended upon the panicked world, leaving death and destruction in its wake. For this, our season finale, we give you the most frightening and dangerous invention of the 19th century. The bicycle.

Aug 07 2018

36mins

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Rank #2: Let's Talk About Sex, Babies

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Did you ever wonder where babies come from? So did all these guys! But only one of them managed to figure it out. This week, for our season finale, the remarkable story of how we came to know the most fundamental and critical of human questions, and all the bumps along the way.

Apr 17 2018

50mins

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Rank #3: Art is Dead

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You don't know this story. You don't know the killer. You don't know the victims. You don't know the artist and you don't know the artworks. But in 1998 Yugoslavia, a series of mutilated corpses shocked the public, rocked the art world and, maybe, changed politics forever. 

Jan 02 2018

18mins

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Rank #4: Madagascar

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This is the story of an island, and the worst thing to never happen there.

Find our Patreon here.

Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting
http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".
And visit https://www.fullstackacademy.com/constant for $500 off tuition to your very own coding bootcamp!
​Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where you can enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

Music by:
Blue Dot Sessions
Lee Rosevere
Kevin MacLeod

Aug 13 2019

41mins

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Rank #5: Shocking

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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 well, why not check out our Patreon page?

Jun 04 2019

1hr 20mins

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Rank #6: Mesmerizing

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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.

Jan 22 2019

57mins

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Rank #7: 1% Inspiration

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In the 1960's, scientists discovered a new form of water, kicking off millions of dollars of research, Nobel Prize consideration and a new Cold War arms race between the USA and USSR. This episode we investigate the history of the miraculous discovery that almost changed the world, and the unbelievable story of why it didn't.

Dec 19 2017

10mins

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Rank #8: Shipwreckless

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In 1867, The Eliza set out to sea with a fresh crew, a full hold and fair weather. Yet no one expected her to ever make land again. This episode we look at why, and why, throughout the 19th century, hundreds of ships sank every year in entirely preventable circumstances. It's a story of high seas adventure, murder for profit and... a London coffee shop? It also happens to bear a more than passing resemblance to the gun debate happening in America today.

Feb 27 2018

27mins

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Rank #9: The Idea that Broke America

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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.

Jan 29 2019

1hr

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Rank #10: The Reflex

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In the 1840's, a mysterious disease was running roughshod through a Viennese hospital, killing new mothers in terrifying numbers. On this, our season 3 premiere, we're looking at one of the greatest medical mysteries of all time, the tragic story of the genius who solved it, and why no one listened to him.

Jun 19 2018

28mins

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Rank #11: What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Ship and Understanding?

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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.

Feb 19 2019

59mins

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Rank #12: Seeing is Believing

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1903 was a year of boundless possibilities: the airplane, open heart surgery, Ford Motor Company, and--most importantly--n-rays. This new form of radiation could be gathered from The Sun and stored in ordinary salt water. It could diagnose illness and grant superhuman abilities. It was the greatest scientific discovery of the century. The only problem was, it wasn't real.

Check out our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theconstant.
Look at all the deals we've got for you! Go to https://www.hellofresh.com/landing/theconstant80 and enter promo code "theconstant80" for $80 off your first month of delicious meals, check out www.betterhelp.com/theconstant and enter discount code "theconstant" for 10% off your first month of online counseling. Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where you can entered coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

Jun 18 2019

34mins

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Rank #13: The Forty Six Dollar Man

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While shooting an episode in a Carnival Funhouse, the production team of The Six Million Dollar Man made a gruesome discovery: a mummified human corpse, painted neon red and mistakenly hung from a noose as a cheap scare. And the story of who he was, and how he got there, is so much better than anything 1970s television could have ever produced.

Visit our Patreon here.
Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting: betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".

And visit fullstackacademy.com/constant for $500 off tuition to your very own coding bootcamp!
Finally, check out Industrial Artifacts creepy Red Cross Clock Here where you can enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

Aug 27 2019

43mins

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Rank #14: Make It Rain

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In the late 19th century, Americans moved into the western states because of one simple phrase. But despite what you learned in junior high, it wasn't "manifest destiny." Today we're talking about the real maxim responsible for westward expansion, a maxim that centered a bizarre bit of pseudo-science that shaped America and then nearly destroyed it.

Jul 31 2018

33mins

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Rank #15: Way to Go, Einstein!

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We could've called this show "Whoopsie!" or "Oops!" or "People Believe The Strangest Things." But instead, we called it "The Constant." On this, the season finale, we finally explain why. That means it's time to fawn about Einstein, and the thing he called "the biggest blunder of his life." It also means it's time for Mark to get a tattoo. Which... Look: let's not talk about it, okay?

Jan 30 2018

25mins

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Rank #16: Snap, Crackle, Boom!

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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: https://www.patreon.com/theconstant. And be sure to visit our newest sponsor, HelloFresh, via this link here: https://www.hellofresh.com/landing/theconstant80 and enter promo code "theconstant80" for $80 off your first month of delicious meals. Seriously, it's really very good.

Apr 23 2019

36mins

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Rank #17: Do Good Carefully

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Here's something you don't see everyday: parachuting cats. It did happen, though. In the 1950s, The Royal Air Force airdropped parakitties onto the Island of Borneo. Why would they do such a thing? Stick around and find out.

Mar 27 2018

23mins

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Rank #18: Three Years of Sundays

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It's difficult to honor the spirit of the season when you're making a show about mistakes, foibles and failures, but we've done our best. This week, the most uplifting story about prime numbers you'll hear all season. Promise.

Dec 26 2017

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Rank #19: People This Isle

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Look, out in the sea: it's an earthquake, it's a boat fire, it's a sea monster! It's a tiny, newborn volcanic island! In 1831, a small scrap of land suddenly formed in The Mediterranean. Lifeless, inhospitable, fiery and useless. So, naturally, the world went to war over it. Settle in and listen to the short and ludicrous history of (deep breath) Correo-Hotham-Graham-Ferdinandea-Nerita-Sciacca-Julia.

Apr 10 2018

21mins

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Rank #20: Everyone Loves a Mystery

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Today the story of a mysterious grave in the foothills of Appalachia, and the two wannabe detectives that set about deciphering it. This episode is a little different than most. It's a personal story. And we want more of them going forward. To that end, we've setup a hotline you can call to leave YOUR story of getting things wrong. We really want to hear from you. 708-761-0493 Warning: This episode also contains stories of harm to children. If you're not up for that or have sensitive listeners in earshot, please go ahead and skip this one for now.

Apr 03 2018

17mins

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