ThePodcastofDoom's podcast
The Podcast of Doom explores famous disasters and calamities throughout history.
Episode 32 - The Ancash Avalanche and Earthquake

On Sunday, May 31, 1970, while most of Peru was watching the World Cup game of Brazil vs. Italy, a major earthquake struck just off the coast. The quake flattened buildings and collapsed bridges and roads, but the worst was yet to come when a 500 meter long slab of ice slid off a 21,000 foot mountain peak and made a beeline for the villages below.

Direct download: Episode_32_-_The_Ancash_Avalanche_and_Earthquake.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 9:52pm PDT
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Episode 31 - The Deadly Cloud at Lake Nyos

On August 21, 1986, a giant cloud of carbon dioxide rose from Lake Nyos in Cameroon, Africa. As the cloud filtered down it displaced all of the air in its wake. Sixteen miles away it settled into three villages killing some 1,700 people. Lake Nyos was the first known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event.

Direct download: Episode_31_-_The_Deadly_Cloud_at_Lake_Nyos.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 7:49pm PDT
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Episode 30 - The Children's Crusade

After the failures of four Christian crusades to save the holy land from the infidel Saracens, the good people of Europe had finally had enough. It was time for the knights, nobles and corrupt merchant sailors to step aside and make way for the pure warriors--the Children Crusaders.

Direct download: Episode_30_-_The_Childrens_Crusade.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 7:02am PDT
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Episode 29 - The Bomb That Fizzled

In 1968, a Stanford biology professor predicted population growth would outstrip food production. Nations would disappear and 100's of millions of people would die from starvation. It didn't happen that way. Are we finally out of the woods?

Direct download: Episode_29_The_Bomb_That_Was_a_Dud.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 7:24pm PDT
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Episode 28 - King Leopold II of Belgium

A brief overview of Belgium's most notorious king.

Direct download: Episode_28_King_Leopold_II.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 7:29pm PDT
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Episode 27 - Queen Isabella of Castile

A brief overview of the good and the bad of Spain's most famous Queen--Isabella.

Direct download: Episode_27_-_Queen_Isabella_of_Spain.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 7:49pm PDT
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Episode 26 - The Mosul Dam

Iraq's largest dam was built when Saddam Hussein ruled the country. But the planners did not take care to select an appropriate location and the dam ended up being built atop soft rock. If the dam breaks as many engineers feel it will soon, it could wipe out the cities of Mosul and Baghdad where millions of people live.

Direct download: Episode_26_The_Mosul_Dam_II.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 4:07pm PDT
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Episode 25 - Stalin's Great Purge

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.

Direct download: Episode_25_-_Stalins_Great_Purge.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 10:09pm PDT
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On June 23, 1985, an Air India Boeing 747 blew up over Irish airspace killing all 329 passengers and crew onboard. On the flight were 268 Canadian citizens. It was Canada’s largest mass murder incident ever. A Sikh militant group named Babbar Khalsa was eventually determined to have planted the explosive that brought the plane down. The formal investigation took more than 20 years and was the most expensive in Canadian history, concluding that a cascading series of errors was responsible for the terrorist attack. The investigation held the Canadian government, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security Intelligence Service responsible for lapses in security and prevention. But the original cause may have gone back to the British partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Direct download: Episode_24_-_The_Bombing_of_Air_India_182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:33pm PDT
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Episode 23 - The Ring, Iroquois and Station Fires

At the glorious height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a new opera house was built in the middle of its capital, Vienna. On the night of December 8, 1881, Vienna’s elite came to the theater to watch Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffman.” When lighting the gas lights, the stage hand acciddently ignited the curtains behind him. Although Vienna had established procedures for preventing fires, those procedure were not followed and the curtain burst into flames in front of hundreds of terrified theater-goers.

On the night of December 30, 1903, Chicago's Iroquois theater was staging a performance of Mr. Blubeard. That day the theater was packed to beyond capacity in violation of existing city fire codes. In the middle of the second act, an electrical spark touched off a curtain. Attempts to smother the fire only made it spread higher, and an attempt to lower an asbestos fire curtain failed. The theater packed with mostly women and children went into a panic.

In 2003, an excited Warwick, Rhode Island packed the Station nightclub to beyond capacity to see the band Great White. A pyrotechnic display designed for outdoor use only was set off for fifteen seconds. In less time than that it started a fire in the foam acoustic walls that spread with startling rapidity. Confused concertgoers did not move quickly enough to escape the flames.

Direct download: Episode_23_-_Three_Theater_Fires.mp3
Category:Social and Culture -- posted at: 9:29pm PDT
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