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Society & Culture
History

The Podcast of Doom

Updated 6 days ago

Society & Culture
History
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Greetings! Welcome to the Podcast of Doom--a podcast that explores the famous disasters and emphatically bad decisions of history. We will travel around the world and analyze how these calamities occurred.

Read more

Greetings! Welcome to the Podcast of Doom--a podcast that explores the famous disasters and emphatically bad decisions of history. We will travel around the world and analyze how these calamities occurred.

iTunes Ratings

193 Ratings
Average Ratings
174
12
3
1
3

So sorry

By EZRAEDA - Apr 25 2019
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I LOVE thie podcast. what can I do to convince you to stay? PLEASE dont quit!!!!

Must listen

By jennaskw - Dec 25 2018
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The best podcast you've never heard of. Extremely detailed and thorough analysis.

iTunes Ratings

193 Ratings
Average Ratings
174
12
3
1
3

So sorry

By EZRAEDA - Apr 25 2019
Read more
I LOVE thie podcast. what can I do to convince you to stay? PLEASE dont quit!!!!

Must listen

By jennaskw - Dec 25 2018
Read more
The best podcast you've never heard of. Extremely detailed and thorough analysis.
Cover image of The Podcast of Doom

The Podcast of Doom

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

Greetings! Welcome to the Podcast of Doom--a podcast that explores the famous disasters and emphatically bad decisions of history. We will travel around the world and analyze how these calamities occurred.

Rank #1: Episode 37 - The Nuclear Explosion and Meltdown at Chernobyl

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In 1986 Russia, during a late night safety test, inherent reactor design flaws along with operator error resulted in an uncontrolled reaction that caused a steam explosion and graphite fire. For the next 9 days, plumes of fissionable material were lofted into the air eventually dropping back down on the USSR and Europe.
Jun 23 2017
1 hour 9 mins
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Rank #2: Episode 1 - The Great Peshtigo Fire

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A raging forest fire obliterates a small Wisconsin lumber town.
Oct 26 2013
21 mins
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Rank #3: Episode 20 - The Jonestown Massacre

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You’re familiar with the term “Don’t Drink the Kool Aid?” It basically means don’t go along with the dominant way of thinking. It also has become an easy way for people to end an argument when they have run out of ideas. In this episode we will learn about the origin of the term “Don’t Drink the Kool Aid.” It goes back to a small town Indiana preacher named Jim Jones, who idolized charismatic leaders like Stalin, Marx, Mao, Gandhi and Hitler, and dreamed of building a communist utopia. He gathered about him a congregation of poor and repressed people in a place he called, “The Peoples Temple.” When Jones became overly concerned about the scrutiny of the public eye, he moved his temple out of the United States and into Guyana. However, the move didn’t resolve Jones’s worries. In fact, his paranoia grew only deeper.
Oct 15 2015
1 hour 10 mins
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Rank #4: Episode 14 - The Black Death

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The Bubonic Plague, a.k.a. The Black Death, first appeared in China, and owing to improved trade routes, quickly moved across the Asian plateau to the Black Sea and eventually all of Europe. Killing at the rate of 1 out of every 3 people, it wiped out whole villages and towns at a time. Panic led to the mass persecutions of Jews, Romani, and lepers. The plague changed world history and European culture; and it continued to strike again and again in the centuries that followed.
Jul 22 2014
47 mins
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Rank #5: Episode 4 -The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

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During World War II, after delivering the world's first operational atomic bomb, the United States Navy Cruiser USS Indianapolis is sunk by a Japanese submarine in the middle of the western Pacific. More than 300 sailors drowned; but for the more than 880 survivors of the torpedoes, more horrors awaited.
Nov 27 2013
50 mins
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Rank #6: Episode 16 - The Bombing of Nagasaki

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Three months after the surrender of Nazi Germany to Allied forces concluded World War II in Europe, fighting was still raging between the Allies and the Japanese Imperial government. Between mid-April and mid-July, 1945, Japanese forces inflicted half as many casualties as those suffered during the three previous years of fighting in the Pacific. With the capture of the Japanese Island of Okinawa, American forces were at the doorstep of the main island. With his military advisors cautioning Harry Truman that a conventional attack would result in over 1 million American casualties, the U.S. President faced one of the most difficult decisions in world history: risk millions of lives in a ground invasion or use the most powerful weapon ever developed against a civilian population.
Jul 06 2015
57 mins
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Rank #7: Episode 45 - Hurricane Katrina

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On August 29, 2005, Louisiana and Mississippi were hit by the full force of Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm that had been a Category 5. Lashing New Orleans with wind and rain, the storm surge caused all 53 federally-built levees to collapse inundating the city with water from the surrounding sea and lakes. Close to 2,000 people died including residents trapped in their attics and patients in hospitals. Thousands of people were left trapped on their roofs with no food or drinkable water, while tens of thousands crowded into the Superdome and Convention Center, suffering for days.
Apr 15 2018
1 hour 36 mins
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Rank #8: Episode 19 - The Irish Potato Famine

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Potato blight was the proximate cause of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1849, but there were many contributing causes including the high dependency on this food staple, the harshness of British rule, the passage of laws that prohibited Irish Catholics from owning land, absentee landlords, dire poverty, and the subdivision of holdings that made the raising of any crops other than potatoes nearly impossible. As the famine took its toll, more than 1.5 million people would die of starvation in Ireland and another 1 million would emigrate to other countries.
Sep 16 2015
44 mins
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Rank #9: Episode 25 - The Great Purge

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Joseph Stalin rose rapidly and ruthlessly through the ranks of the Soviet leadership. On his way up he took drastic measures to suppress his enemies including the forced collectivization of peasants that killed millions by famine. Other party leaders resented his tyrannical ways. Stalin countered with the Great Purges: a period when all of his enemies were accused of treason and no Russian could feel safe. The convicted were sent to prisons known as gulags or were executed. Those purged included wealthy peasants, political opponents within the Communist party, national minorities, writers, artists, the Secret Police themselves and eventually the officers of the Red Army—just prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Mar 01 2016
59 mins
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Rank #10: Episode 7 - Elizabeth Bathory: The Blood Countess

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Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess, was a powerful member of the aristocracy in 16th century Hungary. Following the death of her husband, with the help of her servants, she began abducting local peasant girls. The abductees were taken to her castle where they were tortured and murdered. Although, she was investigated for murdering hundreds of people, she was never put on trial. Included in this podcast is an interview with Mark Hewitt, of the blog, Radians and Inches. Mark discusses what makes serial killers tick.
Jan 19 2014
51 mins
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Rank #11: Episode 50 - The Boxing Day Tsunami

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On December 26, 2004, an earthquake measuring approximately 9.1 on the seismic scale struck just off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. It was the third largest earthquake ever recorded. The shaking lasted between 8 and 10 minutes. The quake jolted the seafloor displacing hundreds of billions of gallons of water. The death toll was enormous, at 280,000 people. Fatalities took place in 14 countries when oceans waves pushed inland, crushing and flooding everything in its path. The tsunami also caught by surprise thousands of western tourists who had flocked to those coasts to enjoy their beautiful beaches.
Nov 24 2018
1 hour 47 mins
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Rank #12: Episode 3 - The Man-Eating Tigress of Champawat

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In turn-of-the-century India and Nepal, an injured Bengal tiger develops a taste for human flesh. During her rampage, she manages to kill over 400 people and strike terror into the hearts of the villagers in the region. She was the fiercest of many man-eating beasts prevalent in Northern India and Nepal during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Nov 15 2013
30 mins
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Rank #13: Episode 49 - The Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Disasters

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On January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger blew up 73 seconds into its flight during liftoff, killing all seven members of the crew. The entire sequence of events was carried live on television as a shocked nation watched the spacecraft explode and break apart in front of their eyes. 17 years later, Columbia had finished its mission and was returning to earth when it burned up and disintegrated during its return to Earth. The cause was a large hole in the left wing. In both cases the true source of the problem was organizational not mechanical. The failure of parts without negative consequences was so common in the space shuttle program, there was a name for it, "normalization of deviance."
Oct 13 2018
2 hours 6 mins
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Rank #14: Episode 46 - The Donner Party Tragedy

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In 1846, a wagon train of emmigrants left Springfield, Illinois for the sunnier climes of California. Leaving at the ideal time for a cross-country trip by covered wagon, they knew they would need to get past the Sierra Nevada mountain range by early October. Instead, they were delayed by death, injuries, conflicts, and an ill-advised short cut that took them through thick forests and barren deserts where food and water were in short supply. They arrived at the Sierra just as the season's first blizzard blew in. Cut off by massive snow drifts the members of the Donner Party could only look at each other for food.
Jun 06 2018
1 hour 46 mins
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Rank #15: Episode 48 - The Killing Fields of Cambodia

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In 1975, the Communist Party Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia, and began a series of measures to eliminate their perceived internal opponents and to transform their country into an agrarian-based, communist society. Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, tried to cleanse Cambodian society along racial, social, religious and political lines. They would eventually be overthrown by a foreign army, but only after they had killed 1.5 to 3 million people.
Aug 23 2018
2 hours
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Rank #16: Episode 11 - The British Retreat from Kabul

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During the "Great Game" with the Russian Empire, the British invaded and took control of Afghanistan as a colonial possession. Within a few years, the Afghan people were in open revolt against their British occupiers. With assurances of safe passage from rebel leader, Akbar Khan, Major General Sir William Elphinstone, evacuated 4,000 soldiers and 12,000 camp followers. The British and their Indian allies were lulled into a trap that along with severely cold weather, a lack of equipment and incompetent leadership led to the deaths of almost the entire force.
Apr 19 2014
37 mins
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Rank #17: Introduction - The Podcast of Doom

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Greetings! Welcome to the Podcast of Doom--a podcast that explores the famous and consequential catastrophes, cataclysms, disasters and emphatically bad decisions of world history. If you like fires, volcanoes, floods, maritime disasters, civil conflict, industrial accidents and the foibles of human nature then I invite you to listen to the Podcast of Doom. We will travel around the world and through time to analyze famous calamities and how they occurred.
Oct 22 2013
5 mins
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Rank #18: Episode 22 - The Assassins

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In the 11th Century, a sect of Nizari Ismailis took to the mountains of Iran under the leadership of Hassan-I Sabbah (The Old Man of the Mountain). Sabbah was charismatic and drew followers from all over the Muslim Middle East. Drilling his followers on religious teachings, Sabbah carved out his own kingdom that threatened those around him. He trained his followers to carry out his orders to kill any political figure who stood in his way. These followers were called Hashshashin. It is where we get the word Assassins. The Sabbah’s Assassins made life miserable for competing Muslim as well as the Christian Crusaders who were just entering the scene.
Dec 18 2015
53 mins
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Rank #19: Episode 12 - The Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff

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In the last months of World War II, German forces were in full retreat from Eastern Europe. German commanders decided they had no choice but to evacuate Courland in East Prussia. The last remaining route for escape was through the Baltic; and so the Germans launched Operation Hannibal. It would be the largest evacuation by sea in history. On the night of January 30th, the luxury cruiser, Wilhelm Gustloff was loaded down with more than 10,000 civilians and military personnel when it came within firing range of a Soviet submarine.
May 08 2014
40 mins
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Rank #20: Episode 6 - The Great London Smog

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For centuries, Londoners had grown accustomed to "Pea-Soupers," thick ground fog that made travel and often walking or bicycling difficult. Following the changes that accompanied the Industrial Revolution, Londoners had also grown accustomed to having a little bit of dust and smoke mixed in with their fog. What they got on a cold December week in 1952 was thicker and more fatal than any man-made disaster before or since.
Jan 06 2014
28 mins
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