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172 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
Episode 53 - Who Responded to COVID Best?
We will review the national government responses to coronavirus by these countries: China South Korea Japan Vietnam Australia New Zealand Germany Italy Belgium Norway Sweden Russia United Kingdom United States
126 minutes | Apr 2, 2020
Emergency Episode - Coronavirus Outbreak
Surprise! I did not expect to be doing anymore podcasts. But the recent outbreak of coronavirus known as COVID-19 demanded an explanation. We are seeing a global pandemic on a colossal scale and taking precautions that few people remember before in their lifetimes. No matter where you live you are in some way affected by this particular disaster. In this episode we will explore how we got here, what is going on now and what the future could possibly hold. I guarantee you, that this is a topic you will never forget.
53 minutes | Jan 19, 2019
Episode 51 - A Podcast Announcement
A not so brief announcement about future podcast episodes.
90 minutes | Nov 24, 2018
Episode 50 - The Boxing Day Tsunami and Earthquake
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.
116 minutes | Oct 13, 2018
Episode 49 - The Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Disasters
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."
107 minutes | Aug 23, 2018
Episode 48 - The Killing Fields of Cambodia
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.
109 minutes | Jul 19, 2018
Episode 47 - The Armenian Genocide
As the Ottoman Empire went into decline in the early 20th century relations between Muslim Turks and Christian Armenians deteriorated. Demands for reform were met with violence. After the Ottomans entered into World War I the battlefield losses mounted and blame was focused on the Armenians marking the beginning of a genocide that would ultimately take 800,000 to 1.5 million lives.
89 minutes | Jun 6, 2018
Episode 46 - The Donner Party Tragedy
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.
26 minutes | May 5, 2018
Episode 45a - Charmed Times
An announcement of the next five episode topics and an analysis of the current state of the world.
87 minutes | Apr 15, 2018
Episode 45 - Hurricane Katrina
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, where they suffered for days.
91 minutes | Mar 17, 2018
Episode 44- Napoleon's Invasion of Russia - Part II
In control of Russia's ancient capital of Moscow, Napoleon and the Grand Armee found they were in control of little else. With winter closing in, food supplies running low, morale disintegrating and his supply route under threat, Napoleon had no choice but to evacuate Moscow. The retreat and decimation of his army would play out on a grand scale.
81 minutes | Feb 24, 2018
Episode 44 - Napoleon's Invasion of Russia Part I
Napoleon Bonaparte worked his way up from artillery commander in to unchallenged emperor of a French colussus that stretched across Europe from Spain to the Russian frontier. Napoleon seemed to have complete control over the continent, but he was challenged on the seas by the British and in the east by the Russians. Failing to launch a seaborne invasion against the British, he chose to invade Russia instead. It would turn out to be one the worst military decisions ever.
94 minutes | Jan 27, 2018
Episode 43 - The Batavia Shipwreck
When the Dutch merchant vessel the Batavia left Amsterdam in 1628 it took an unexpected trip that included a planned mutiny, being steered off course, and crashing on a reef in the Indian Ocean. But things were about to get a whole worse for the survivors. Their captain and commander would abandon them in a desparate search for drinking water, while a meglomanical apothecary would take absolute control of the island in which they were beached. He would soon hatch a plan to kill most of them, overwhelm the rescue party and abscond with all the silver and jewels from the ship.
58 minutes | Dec 15, 2017
Episode 42 - The Concorde Jet Crash
There was a time when the Concorde supersonic jet represented the future of pasenger air travel. The jets were sleek, modern and traveled twice as fast as conventional jets cutting the flight time from New York to Paris to just 3.5 hours. The future of the Concorde ended shortly after this tragic accident, when 109 people died on the plane and four died in the hotel where the jet crashed.
73 minutes | Nov 24, 2017
Episode 41 - The Spanish Flu
Just as the world's most lethal war was drawing to a conclusion, humanity was about to face a crisis of even greater proportions. The Spanish Influenza or flu turned out to be the second most fatal panedemic follwoing the Bubonic Plague of the middle ages. More than 50 million people would die from the flu and more than 500 million people would be infected. It was a truly global disease spreading from Europe and America out to all of the continents including Asia, Africa, South America and the islands of the South Pacific.
36 minutes | Oct 29, 2017
Episode 40a - Question and Answer Time
We'll be answering listener questions and revealing the topics for Episodes 41 - 45.
80 minutes | Oct 7, 2017
Episode 40 - The Crackdown at Tiananmen Square
Following the death of Mao Zedong, China liberalized its market policies. Under the guidance of new leader Deng Xaioping, China’s economy expanded rapidly, but growth was uneven. While a lucky few grew rich, most Chinese suffered the effects of inflation, limited job opportunities, nepotism and large scale corruption. All while the Communist Party stifled individual freedoms. Following the death of a popular reformer, hundreds of thousands of young Chinese gathered in Tiananmen Square in the heart of China’s capital, Beijing. After more than a month of protests, the government responded—with a very heavy hand.
69 minutes | Sep 9, 2017
Episode 39 - Vlad the Impaler - The Original Dracula
Bram Stoker, used this actual prince as the inspiration for his famous vampire character, Count Dracula. Vlad Tepes or Vlad Dracula was the real life ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century. In the war between the Hungarians and the Ottomans he switched sides several times depending on his immediate needs. Once in power he used the threats of impalement and being burned alive to maintain order. To many he was a villian, but to Romanians he was a hero.
65 minutes | Aug 4, 2017
Episode 38 - The Ship Explosions at Halifax and Texas City
On the morning of December 6, 1917, the French cargo ship, SS Mont-Blanc, laden with high explosives collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Canadian port city of Halifax, setting the Mont-Blanc on fire. When the ordinance on board the French vessel ignited, it caused the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons. 30 years later in Texas City, Texas, another vessel, the SS Grandcamp was transporting 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate when a fire started in the ship’s cargo hold. That fire started a chain reaction of explosions that killed nearly 600 people.
69 minutes | Jun 23, 2017
Episode 37 - The Nuclear Explosion and Meltdown at Chernobyl
In 1986, Russia was still communist and Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. The town of Chernobyl in northern Ukraine was home to a major nuclear power plant that produced 10% of Ukraine’s electrical needs. During a late night safety test, inherent reactor design flaws along with operator error resulted in an uncontrolled reaction that resulted in a steam explosion and eventually a 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.
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