The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong

By Mark Chrisler

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Subscribers: 291
Reviews: 9

knnn
 Aug 29, 2020
Typically really interesting, and enjoyable to listen to. The podcasts on modern politics are skippable. I don't disagree with his views, but the tone and delivery aren't my style. Definitely listen to the normal episodes though.

A Podcast Republic user
 May 17, 2020
The stories told in this podcast are almost always fascinating, but what makes the show great is the subtly acerbic little bit of delight in host's voice as he spins and twists his tales. Just discovered this podcast, and I'm very happy still have 90+ episodes ahead of me.

cbplott
 Mar 9, 2020
A fun and entertaining podcast.

Chuck Wagon
 Dec 31, 2019
it's straining to listen to. it's like get to the point sometime before you fully explain how smart you think you are.

Bill
 Dec 1, 2019
An amazing and original pod. Well written. Profound yet fun. You will learn so much from listening to this. Granted, none of what you kearn here may actually do you much good but you will learn it. Totally captivating and engaging. Excellent pod!

Description

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.

Episode Date
In The Air Tonight (I Can Feel It)
1:03:55

You know what you haven't heard enough about recently? How disease spreads. On this episode we finally circle back to the oft mentioned miasma theory, AKA Bad Air Make You Sick. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Sep 08, 2020
Run for Your Life
1:11:22

There was no Olympics this year, but it's almost the anniversary of the single worst event in the history of the games: The 1904 Olympic Marathon.

Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Aug 25, 2020
Apocalypse Now and Then
1:07:43

Some days it feels like we're living at the end of the world. And by "some days" I mean "literally every day ever". Take a ride with us through some of the best apocalypses to never happen!

Check out Heather's Youtube series, Art Infusions here!

Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Aug 11, 2020
Real Facts, and Beer
0:27:17

Here is a story about the city I love, Chicago.Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to:​ https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodBenSound

Jul 28, 2020
Reductio Ad Absurdum
1:23:20

The Earth is Flat! That is the conclusion that many ancient societies once drew. Then, in the 19th century, belief in the flat earth started to return, and in the last decade this easily disprovable fallacy has celebrated a remarkable resurgence. And that's all thanks, in large part, to an 1887 science experiment. This week, for the start of season 8, we're looking at the shaggy dog story of how that experiment came to take place, and how it came to be seen as evidence for the flatness of our planet. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodanimeistrash

Jul 14, 2020
Fish Story
0:29:06

Sharks have been known to eat a lot of weird stuff. Fur coats, license plates, cannonballs, chicken coups, even a suit of armor. But the strangest thing ever found within the belly of a shark was... a bundle of papers. Trust me: it's more unbelievable than it sounds.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Donate to: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloydVisit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Jun 16, 2020
The Cold, Hard Truth, Pt 2
1:03:40

Two men, two islands, two claims for The North Pole. In part two of The Cold, Hard, Truth we're looking at the expedition formed in the wake of Peary and Cook's battle for The Pole. An expedition formed with the goal of finding Crocker Land, a lost arctic continent, and the truth.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".

Donate to: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Jun 02, 2020
The Cold, Hard Truth, Pt 1
0:54:44

On September 7th, 1909, The New York Times announced that Robert Peary was the first person to ever reach The North Pole. But a week earlier, The New York Herald had said the same thing about Frederick Cook. Only one of them could be right, but which one? And how could you tell for certain?

Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:

http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodLakey InspiredJazz Duets

May 19, 2020
The Airship
0:39:05

In December of 1909, the vice president of a Worcester Massachusetts steamfitting company decided he wanted to fly. This is his story.

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

Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodGilbert VinterThe President's Own Marine Band

May 05, 2020
Use The Accident
0:47:51

Here's a change of pace: what about stuff we got wrong for the better? On this episode we've got 13 short stories of mistakes that went right. From jazz to physics to chemistry to frozen dessert, we've got it all.

Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Apr 21, 2020
True Crime
0:40:58

Hey! I think we invented a new kind of podcast this week! It's a crime story, but it's also true. We're calling it "True Crime". I think there might be a market for this!Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Apr 07, 2020
Light and Shadow of American Life
0:58:02

In almost seventy episodes chronicling bad ideas and loopy frauds through the ages one name has come up again and again. From phrenology to mesmerism to a strange ghostly bowl of molasses, he's the Forrest Gump of 19th century pseudo-science. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Visit our Patreon here.Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodWolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mar 24, 2020
The Foolkiller Pt 5: The White Whale
1:47:11

Here we are. We've examined arctic explorers, secret armies, zany daredevils, Wisconsin whiz kids and so many more only to come up empty. This is the end of the rope. Can we solve the mystery of The Foolkiller, the submarine discovered in the Chicago River in 1915, or is this one just meant to be a mystery forever. Stick around and find out.

Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where you can enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.Visit our Patreon here.For more information, photos and video related to this episode, go to constantpodcast.comMusic by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodAnimeistrash

Voice talent from:Chad The Bird of Chad The PodcastSebastian Major of Our Fake HistoryBilal Dardai of Unwell: A Midwest Gothic MysteryJake Barton of HistoriumChelsey Weber-Smith of American HysteriaZachary Davis of Ministry of IdeasTamar Avishai of The Lonely PaletteWade Roush of SoonishCharles Gustine of IconographyKavita Pillay of SubtitlePhil Ridarelli of The Neo-FuturistsAnd Heather Chrisler of Virtually Everything Oh God She's Cool

Mar 10, 2020
The Foolkiller Pt 4: The Unusual Suspects
1:01:26

We're onto the long shots now: An Irish-American secret society bent on war with Canada, a kid genius out of Oshkosh and an Indiana shoe factory owner. With so few options left, one of them--surely--must be the creator of The Foolkiller. Right?

Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstantGet 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where you can enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.Visit our Patreon here.For more information, photos and video of the various Foolkillers, go to constantpodcast.comMusic by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Feb 25, 2020
The Foolkiller Pt 3: The Man from The East
0:50:05

Amid all the confusing and contradictory reporting that accompanied the discovery of The Foolkiller submarine in 1915 Chicago, there are a handful of mentions of an "Eastern man". On this episode, we look through the annals of submarine history in search of this mysterious figure.

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

Finally, there's www.industrialartifacts.net where you can enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

For more information, photos and video of the various Foolkillers, go to constantpodcast.comMusic by:Blue Dot SessionsKevin MacLeod

Feb 11, 2020
The Foolkiller Pt 2: Infinite Distress
0:59:11

A proper story has three acts, but the story of The Foolkiller submarine is missing two of them. Today, we're looking at act 2: the brief window of time during which we know where this giant steel craft was. We're also examining the three initial theories that people at the time held about where the thing came from, and who built it. To do that, we're going from The North Pole to The Center of The Earth and even all the way to the deep jungle depths of Ottawa Illinois. Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstant

Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:

http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".

Visit our Patreon here.

For more information, photos and video of the various Foolkillers, go to constantpodcast.com

Music by:

Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Jan 28, 2020
The Foolkiller Pt 1: Tears Falling from The Sky
0:42:28

In November of 1915, a submarine was found at the bottom of The Chicago River. It had been there for at least ten years, was 40 feet long, and contained the remains of a man and his dog. To this day, no one knows who built it, where it came from, or who was inside. This is the first in a five part series looking into the mystery of The Foolkiller. With luck, we might even be able to solve it. But before we get into the meat of the question, we need to learn the context. We need to learn about the darkest day in Chicago history, the day of The Eastland Disaster.

Get a free trial of The Great Courses Plus and three months of unlimited access for just $30 dollars by going to https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/theconstant

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

Visit our Patreon here.

For more information and photos of The Foolkiller and The Eastland, go to www.constantpodcast.com

Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Jan 14, 2020
It's Wonderful Redux
0:27:59

For our last episode of 2019 and season 6, we're revisiting last year's Christmas episode. Stick around through the end to hear a tease for next season's big multi-part opening story, and check out these other podcasts from the top of the show:

Iconography

Mark's appearance on Chad The Podcast

and That Was Genius

See you in 2020, for The Fool Killer.

Dec 30, 2019
The Christmas Bullet
0:15:55

Throw on another yule log and gather round the fire

For a new Constant episode is about to transpire

It's a holiday one, though it contains little joy

About a con named Christmas and his terrible ploy

Visit our Patreon here.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Dec 17, 2019
Perpetuum Mobile
0:50:53

Happy Second Birthday to The Constant! To celebrate, we're tackling the story that everyone advised Mark not to tell, that Mark himself failed over and over again to write: The Brownian Ratchet. And along the way, we're dropping into a select few of the many, many perpetual motion machines people have claimed to invented over the centuries.

Visit our Patreon here.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Dec 03, 2019
Suck and Blow
0:33:17

Everything you've ever learned about physics, chemistry, astronomy, and even biology, is wrong. That was the conclusion reached by Alfred Lawson, major league pitcher, avionics pioneer, populist political leader and the founder of the stupidest university ever: The University of Lawsonomy. Come with us for a journey through the life and confounding works of Lawson, the rise of his new science and its rapid, farcical fall.

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

Nov 19, 2019
Necessity
0:50:09

In the first century BC, The Greek philosopher Carneades asked a question: is it moral to kill an innocent person to preserve your own life? Two thousand years later, a court in England settled the matter, once and for all. This is a story about sailors, shipwrecks, murder, cannibalism and, ultimately, who owes what to whom.

Visit our Patreon here.Get 10% off your first month of online counseling by visiting:http://betterhelp.com/theconstant and entering discount code "theconstant".Music by:Blue Dot SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeodShort Tailed Snails

Nov 05, 2019
The Curse
0:37:20

Did someone say "more mummies"? No? You didn't hear that? It sounded like "more mummies" but it was kind of muffled and droning? OH GOD WHAT'S THAT!?

It's still October, and we're still being spooky. This week, it's the story of King Tutankhamen's Curse, which is a bit more superstitious than our usual fare. But stick with me, because there's more to this urban legend than you might at first suspect. It might not be from a Pharaohor an Egyptian god, but by the end of this episode, I promise there will be a curse.

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

Oct 22, 2019
Chewing The Fat
0:42:12

In 2009, Peruvian police offered a disturbing solution to the murders of 46 people in the city of Trujillo. It was sensational, shocking and unbelievable. Yet, it was tied to a long, rich--and now largely forgotten--part of western history: using and eating human body parts as medicine.

This episode may be disturbing to... anyone who is at all sensible. Discretion is advised.

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

Oct 08, 2019
A Pain in The Glass
0:44:06

In April of 1954, Seattle was home to one of the weirdest events in American history: residents were gripped with fear as a mysterious force roamed the city, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage in its wake. Despite the efforts of mayors and governors, police and marines, scientists, engineers and even The President of The United States, no one could figure out the culprit. But we can. On today's episode, we solve the mystery of The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic.

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

 

Sep 24, 2019
A Dreamcast Deferred
1:32:19

On 9/9/99 The Sega Dreamcast had the most successful product launch of literally any commercial product in history. It quickly came to dominate the market, outperforming all its competition. Less than a year and a half later, it was dead, and Sega was cut down to a shell of its former self. This week, we're looking at why, and at the long storied history of failure and missteps that came along with building an entirely new creative medium like nothing the world had ever seen before: video games.

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

And check out your two free ebooks at The Whatever Happened to Series Here.

Sep 10, 2019
The Forty Six Dollar Man
0:43:16
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
Madagascar
0:41:18

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 SessionsLee RosevereKevin MacLeod

Aug 13, 2019
The Golden Episode
0:39:55

It's our fiftieth episode! Our golden anniversary! You know what we got you? The Lost City of Gold: El Dorado. We know, we shouldn't have. Seriously, we really shouldn't have. 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.

Jul 30, 2019
The Right Stuff, The Wrong Way
0:35:49

We've got a lot to celebrate this week! Not only have we joined Hub & Spoke Audio Collective, but it's also a Constant Holiday. The Saint Day of Douglas Corrigan, who in 1938 became the 11th person to fly nonstop across The Atlantic, and the first person to do it by accident... Maybe. So by the powers vested in us by Podcastlandia, we're naming this #Wrongwayday. 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!

Jul 16, 2019
For That Healthy Glow
0:46:42

In the early 1900s, people finally figured out what made water so healthy: radiation! This week we’re looking at some of the hundreds of terrifying products meant to give you that healthy glow, and the story of one of the most terrible mistakes in medical history, and the brutal way it got corrected.

Get tix for The Paper Machete Blowout! And for 20x2!

Check out our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theconstant.

Look at all the deals we've got for you!

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 enter coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

Jul 02, 2019
Seeing is Believing
0:34:13

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
Shocking
1:20:16

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
Endlings
0:21:13

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, www.industrialartifacts.net where you can entered coupon code "theconstant" for 15% off your first order.

May 21, 2019
The Gentle Hammer
0:31:55

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.

May 07, 2019
Snap, Crackle, Boom!
0:36:51

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
Is There Life on Mars?
0:58:59

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 Aristotle to the Martians we've maybe already discovered, we've got The Red Planet covered.And don't forget to visit www.takecareof.com to take their free quiz and get monthly vitamins delivered right to your door. Enter promo code theconstant50 at checkout for 50% off your first month.

Mar 05, 2019
Broadcasting The Barricades
0:30:23

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.

Feb 26, 2019
What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Ship and Understanding?
0:59:07

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
Let's Kill Mike
0:25:14

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.

Feb 12, 2019
GulliBottle
0:14:01

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.

Feb 05, 2019
The Idea that Broke America
1:00:40

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
Mesmerizing
0:57:58

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
A Sticky Situation
0:19:31

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.

Jan 15, 2019
Join Us
0:01:51

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

Jan 08, 2019
It's Wonderful
0:21:55

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.

Dec 24, 2018
Introducing 'Safe for Work'
0:04:21

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 wherever you get your podcasts.

Dec 20, 2018
No Ragrets
0:09:20

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 www.constantpodcast.com to see for yourself.

Dec 18, 2018
Way to Go Again, Einstein!
0:26:59

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.

Dec 11, 2018
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
0:32:30

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.

Oct 30, 2018
What The Fork?
0:14:40

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.

Oct 23, 2018
Typis and Errirs
0:26:13

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!

Oct 16, 2018
Dis-Covered
0:32:50

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, you wanted to hear more about that 'kickstarter'? You can do so right here.

Oct 09, 2018
It's a Gamble
0:01:36

Four weeks, four new episodes. Starting Tuesday, October 9th.

Oct 02, 2018
Diabolical Devices of The Demon of Darkness
0:36:23

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
Make It Rain
0:33:44

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
The Ox and The Shark
0:14:17

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 only deepened in its horror by the wash cycle of unthinkable news stories. But maybe there's a way to ride that wash cycle! And maybe it comes from looking back at two animals that challenge how we think we know what we know. Or! Maybe it's all just a longwinded setup to a cheap punchline. Only one way to find out!

Jul 24, 2018
Turks, Turks!
0:26:13

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. So to tell a war story on The Constant, that story would have to be an act of military stupidity orders of magnitude greater than the norm. Luckily for you, this week we have just such a story. And for some reason, we're giving it to you in the style of an old school nintendo game.

Jul 17, 2018
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
0:17:58

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, we look at the weird and wacky history of baldness cures, and the even stranger story of a town in need of them.

Jul 10, 2018
Boom Town
0:14:00

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.

Jul 03, 2018
Here Be Dragons
0:23:16

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.

Jun 26, 2018
The Reflex
0:28:34

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
Catchup
0:01:12

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.

Jun 07, 2018
Lord Morton's Mare
0:16:04

A fly bites, a sickness spreads, a horse is born, an idea returns. This week we attempt to correct an oversight.

May 03, 2018
Let's Talk About Sex, Babies
0:50:00

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
People This Isle
0:21:34

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
Everyone Loves a Mystery
0:17:58

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
Do Good Carefully
0:23:12

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
Everything Aristotle Said is Wrong
0:16:55

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, and--maybe--his own demise. It's time you got to know Petrus Ramus.

Mar 20, 2018
Ice and Fire and Fury
0:20:30

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.

Mar 13, 2018
Bitcoin, Bitcoin, BITCOIN!
0:12:16

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, a weekly live magazine out of our hometown, Chicago Illinois. We'll be back next week with more sober examinations of historical ephemera. For this week, give yourself a little break. You've possibly earned it.

Mar 06, 2018
Shipwreckless
0:27:30

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
Tidbits and Trimmings
0:10:22

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!

Feb 14, 2018
Way to Go, Einstein!
0:25:28

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
Fire-Proof Lizards, Vegetable Sheep and Ball-Biting Beavers
0:22:26

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, and then tracing them to their surprisingly humble beginnings. Plus, do you know what's in your vanilla flavoring? Do you want to? Well, listen anyway.

Jan 23, 2018
Take None of These and Call Me In The Morning
0:18:29

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 he was a god, and it only went downhill from there. For our story, we look at how one man managed to change 19th century medicine for the better, and how his discovery managed to make 20th century medicine worse.

Jan 16, 2018
We're Still Here
0:15:29

"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. This week we get superstitious with comets, the great bearded stars that herald wishes made true. Or else fiery death. One or the other. For millennia mankind was panicked by these heavenly signs, not knowing what they were. And once we did find out what they were... well, then we panicked differently.

Jan 09, 2018
Art is Dead
0:18:47

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
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
1% Inspiration
0:10:07

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
Why Do Birds Suddenly (Dis)Appear?
0:17:48

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 question, and give you the surprising story of how we eventually came to know what we do. https://theconstantpodcast.weebly.com/

Dec 12, 2017
You Gotta Fry a Few Eggs
0:09:22
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
Dec 06, 2017