Rank #1: Diabolical Devices of The Demon of Darkness
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
Rank #2: Let's Talk About Sex, Babies
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
Rank #3: Art is Dead
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
Rank #4: Madagascar
This is the story of an island, and the worst thing to never happen there.
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Blue Dot Sessions
Aug 13 2019
Rank #5: Shocking
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.
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Jun 04 2019
Rank #6: Mesmerizing
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
Rank #7: 1% Inspiration
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
Rank #8: Shipwreckless
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
Rank #9: 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.
Jan 29 2019
Rank #10: The Reflex
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
Rank #11: 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.
Feb 19 2019
Rank #12: Seeing is Believing
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.
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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
Rank #13: The Forty Six Dollar Man
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Aug 27 2019
Rank #14: Make It Rain
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
Rank #15: Way to Go, Einstein!
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
Rank #16: 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: 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
Rank #17: Do Good Carefully
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
Rank #18: Three Years of Sundays
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
Rank #19: People This Isle
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
Rank #20: Everyone Loves a Mystery
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