Damn Interesting https://www.damninteresting.com Science, history, and psychology since 2005. In text and podcast form. Sat, 17 Mar 2018 22:17:59 -0600 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Death by Derivatives https://www.damninteresting.com/death-by-derivatives/ https://www.damninteresting.com/death-by-derivatives/#comments Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:58:54 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?p=17566 Death by Derivatives:

In April of 1873, an unhappy man walked along Clark Street in downtown Chicago. His name was Aymar de Belloy. There was a gun in his pocket, and a nickel – enough for one final glass of beer. He entered Kirchoff’s tavern and sat at a table, then changed his mind about the beer. He […]

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Ghoulish Acts & Dastardly Deeds https://www.damninteresting.com/ghoulish-acts-dastardly-deeds/ https://www.damninteresting.com/ghoulish-acts-dastardly-deeds/#comments Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:30:46 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=14684 Ghoulish Acts & Dastardly Deeds:

On 29 March 1951, shortly after 5 p.m., a hand-grenade-sized pipe bomb exploded in the landmark Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Ordinarily, the detonation of a pipe bomb in a busy commuter terminal at rush hour would be cause for grave public concern, yet the local news media barely acknowledged the event. It […]

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No Country For Ye Olde Men https://www.damninteresting.com/no-country-for-ye-olde-men/ https://www.damninteresting.com/no-country-for-ye-olde-men/#comments Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:37:50 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=15188 No Country For Ye Olde Men:

The year was 1721. The ship was called the Prince Royal, its destination the American colonies. And the cake–the cake was gingerbread. The British crew shouldn’t have been surprised to find the metal file in the cake. Its stasher, James Dalton–a notorious thief and escape artist–had been shuttled involuntarily between Britain and America more times […]

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Fire and Dice https://www.damninteresting.com/fire-and-dice/ https://www.damninteresting.com/fire-and-dice/#comments Tue, 13 Jun 2017 12:25:39 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=14960 Fire and Dice:

Downstairs in the casino, little remained of the MGM Grand Hotel’s former glory. In the early morning hours of 21 November 1980, a fire had broken out in the Las Vegas landmark, ripping through the lounge in an explosive wave that instantly killed everyone in the area. Bodies sat frozen in front of what had […]

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The Reconstruction of Ulysses S. Grant https://www.damninteresting.com/the-reconstruction-of-ulysses-s-grant/ https://www.damninteresting.com/the-reconstruction-of-ulysses-s-grant/#comments Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:16:01 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=13800 The Reconstruction of Ulysses S. Grant:

In the second half of the 19th century, few Americans were better known–and revered–than the man whose face looks out today from the $50 bill. Ulysses S. Grant led Union troops to victory in the American Civil War, then thwarted attempts by President Andrew Johnson to suppress fundamental civil rights of newly freed black Americans. […]

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The Greatest Baroque Composer Never Known https://www.damninteresting.com/the-greatest-baroque-composer-never-known/ https://www.damninteresting.com/the-greatest-baroque-composer-never-known/#comments Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:14:22 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?p=13453 The Greatest Baroque Composer Never Known:

As a choirmaster in 1870s Salzburg, Innocenz Achleitner often saw sheet music treated in a less-than-reverent manner. It might be scattered across a composer’s desk, crammed into vocalists’ folios, or even marred with personal notes about bowings or breath marks. Never before, however, had he seen it wrapped around vegetables. Only about 80% of men […]

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Foreign Exchange(s) https://www.damninteresting.com/foreign-exchanges/ https://www.damninteresting.com/foreign-exchanges/#comments Thu, 29 Dec 2016 09:58:00 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=12469 Foreign Exchange(s):

By the summer of 1944, the Mount Washington Hotel had been mothballed for two years. Nestled deep in the Appalachian mountains, the sprawling resort was once a favorite getaway for wealthy New Englanders. But in the wake of the Great Depression and the second war to end all wars, the end appeared nigh for this […]

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Starving for Answers https://www.damninteresting.com/starving-for-answers/ https://www.damninteresting.com/starving-for-answers/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:06:35 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=12259 Starving for Answers:

In early 1945, 36 American men lay in their bunks in a windowless room, each man alone with his thoughts as he tried to fall asleep despite the hunger that gnawed at his gut. Just a few weeks earlier, they had all been fit, healthy young men, eager to serve their country. But then their […]

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The Voyager Golden Record Experience https://www.damninteresting.com/voyager-golden-record/ https://www.damninteresting.com/voyager-golden-record/#comments Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:39:20 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?p=12027 The Voyager Golden Record Experience:

In 1977, in response to a fortuitous alignment of the outer planets of our solar system, NASA launched space probes Voyager 1 and 2 to tour the outer planets and transmit photographs back to Earth. In that capacity the Voyagers were spectacularly successful, sending tens of thousands of images of planets and moons back to […]

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Ten Minutes in Lituya Bay https://www.damninteresting.com/ten-minutes-in-lituya-bay/ https://www.damninteresting.com/ten-minutes-in-lituya-bay/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:49:36 +0000 https://www.damninteresting.com/?post_type=upcoming&p=11593 Ten Minutes in Lituya Bay:

In 1952, geologist Don Miller was conducting a petroleum investigation in the region surrounding the Gulf of Alaska when he encountered a vaguely disquieting geological anomaly. While surveying a remote fjord known as Lituya Bay, Miller found that the dense, mature forest that surrounded the bay ended abruptly hundreds of feet upslope of the water. […]

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