A podcast of fascinating facts! What do extraterrestrial radio signals and a mushroom from Texas have in common? What is a “number station“ and why is it so spine-tinglingly creepy? Join comedians Shane Rogers and Duncan MacEwan for an entertaining and hilarious deep-dive into obscure facts from science, history and pop culture. A new topic each week!

July 28, 2022

Alternate Histories: The End of the World as We Know It

On September 26, 1983, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Soviet army saved the world.

When the Oko nuclear-warning system erroneously reported an incoming barrage of American missiles, Stanislov Petrov chose not to alert his superiors, and averted the apocalypse. But what if he had made a different decision? Would civilization still exist? What would the world look like today? 

Join the boys as they examine the uniquely human obsession with revising history, and take a journey down the "what if" rabbit hole.


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In this episode:  

  • The Roman Origins of Alternate History
  • Titus Livius's Ab Urbe Condita
  • Points of Divergence
  • Chaos Theory
  • The Butterfly Effect
  • Edward Norton Lorenz
  • "For Want of a Nail" 
  • Apocalyptic Futures
  • Lieutenant Colonel Stanislov Petrov
  • The Oko Warning System
  • "Launch on Warning" Protocol
  • Mutually Assured Destruction
  • Northern Hemisphere Effects vs. Southern
  • Fallout
  • Little Ice Age vs. Nuclear Winter 
  • What if the North Hadn't Won the Civil War?
  • Likelihood of a Northern Failure/Southern Stalemate
  • Abraham Lincoln and the Election of 1864
  • McClellan Negotiates a Ceasefire
  • Lincoln's Legacy
  • Slavery Continues
  • Southern Decline
  • Westward Expansion, Further Fragmentation
  • WWI in America

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