The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong
By Mark Chrisler
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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.
||CleanWhy Do Birds Suddenly (Dis)Appear?||Have you ever wondered where birds go in the winter? Of course not. But throughout history, many people have. On this, the season premiere of The Constant, we dive into some of the incredible explanations people concocted for this seemingly obvious que.||12/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTypis 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.||10/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDis-Covered||In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. And then... well, that's the question. What exactly did this dude do? And where did the myth of Columbus come from? For the first episode of our new Kickstarter season, we're finding out. Oh,||10/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIt's a Gamble||Four weeks, four new episodes. Starting Tuesday, October 9th.||10/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDiabolical 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,||8/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMake 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,||7/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Ox and The Shark||This week we're back at The Paper Machete for more political comedy, talking about Trump and Russia. Which is probably the last thing you need to hear more about, because the world is a confusing, terrifying morass of impossible contradictions that's o.||7/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTurks, Turks!||Without accidents, mistakes and foolishness, there would be no military history. Nearly every war ever fought was determined, to some large degree, by someone getting something wrong. Napoleon, Hitler, Robert E. Lee, Hannibal... you name it.||7/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHair Today, Gone Tomorrow||In 1926, the quiet, small-town of Kittanning, Pennsylvania was descended upon by a mob of salesmen and hucksters selling solutions to a peculiar problem: a mysterious and inexplicable epidemic of baldness. This week,||7/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBoom Town||In 1896 two trains, going full-speed, slammed into one another in the middle of the 2nd largest city in Texas. Just like they were supposed to.||7/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHere Be Dragons||Through nearly all time, humankind believed in leviathans and krakens and mermaids. People didn't give up believing in sea monsters until the turn of the 20th century. Then, in 1925, one washed up on the shores of Santa Cruz.||6/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe 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,||6/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCatchup||Season 3 begins June 19th. In the meantime, we'll be dropping a couple of these meta-ads. Hope you enjoy. Share, like, subscribe, rate, review and... catchup.||6/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLord Morton's Mare||A fly bites, a sickness spreads, a horse is born, an idea returns. This week we attempt to correct an oversight.||5/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLet'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,||4/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPeople 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,||4/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEveryone 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,||4/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDo 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.||3/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEverything Aristotle Said is Wrong||We give Aristotle a pretty hard time here at The Constant. But we can't hold an Aristotle-hating candle to the guy in this episode. A man whose distaste and distrust for Aristotle is responsible for the birth of the enlightenment,||3/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIce and Fire and Fury||It started off as an innocent enough idea: what if the moon was made of ice? But from there it grew. Into an alternative-science, into a grand conspiracy theory and, finally, into one of the greatest evils in history.||3/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitBitcoin, Bitcoin, BITCOIN!||Would you like a serious deep-dive into the technical history of cryptocurrency? Too bad. That does sound like something we'd do, but instead we're giving you a political comedy piece by host Mark Chrisler, performed for The Paper Machete,||3/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanShipwreckless||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 preven.||2/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTidbits and Trimmings||While we work away on season 2, here's a few extra stories related to the content from season 1 that didn't make their way into the episodes. More art hoaxes! More diligent prime number seekers! More birds on The Moon!||2/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWay 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,||1/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFire-Proof Lizards, Vegetable Sheep and Ball-Biting Beavers||Throughout time people have twisted the most humdrum of creatures until they were fantastical, bizarre, unbelievable monsters. From a logistically unfeasible hybrid to a self-castrating quarry, we're bringing you a suite of four stupefying animal myths,||1/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTake None of These and Call Me In The Morning||This week: a whirlwind history of bad medical practices, worse medical practices and medical practices that--while still pretty awful--looked fantastic by comparison. Western medical history began with a madman who threw himself into a volcano to prove.||1/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWe're Still Here||"Threatening the world with Famine, Plague and War: To Princes, Death! To Kingdoms, many Crosses; To all Estates, inevitable Losses! To Herdsmen, Rot; to Plowmen, hapless Seasons; To Sailors, Storms, To Cities, Civil Treasons!" -John Gadsbury, 1665.||1/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitArt 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,||1/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThree 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.||12/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean1% 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 .||12/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYou Gotta Fry a Few Eggs||A preview of things to come: this is our "stress test" mini episode to try to work out all the kinks. Music byLee Rosevere http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/ and Animeistrash||12/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Interesting, witty, and arcane enough to beef up your dinner party conversation
Mark Chrisler’s oddly soothing derision might be worth the listen by itself, but it’s the well-researched stories of the confidently wrong and the explanations of the befuddled that make this new podcast really stand out.
Excellent and informative new podcast
I pity you if you haven’t listened and subscribed.
Funny, intelligent, interesting
I’ll be back.