TDISH: “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat.”

One hundred years ago today, 25-year old beach goer Charles Vansant bled to death in a hotel along the New Jersey Shore.  It was later realized that he had been attacked by a shark – a fish that would kill three more people over the next two weeks in a series of attacks that shocked the world and threatened to derail the booming beach tourism industry.  These attacks have stayed with us in popular culture for the last century – triggering the classic movie “Jaws” and leading to that crazy, pseudo-scientific event that is the annual Shark Week.  For more information, check out Stuff You Missed In History Class’ episode on the attacks.

McCall, Matt. “2 Weeks, 4 Deaths, and the Beginning of America’s Fear of Sharks.” National Geographic. 2 July 2015.
Featured Image. “Headlines.” By Staff of the Philadelphia Inquirer. – The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, 1919, Public Domain.

TDISH: The Fall of Constantinople

May 29, 1453 is one of the most significant dates in world history.  On this date, 563 years ago, the greatest city of Christendom, Constantinople, fell to Ottoman armies.  This event marked the end of the great Byzantine Empire, heir to Rome.  To learn more about this momentous event (and its ties to popular culture) check out this episode of the History Buffs Podcast in which I make a guest appearance: King’s Landing & Constantinople.

Featured Image: “Siege of Constantinople.” By Attributed to Philippe de Mazerolles – Bibliothèque nationale de France Manuscript Français 2691 folio CCXLVI v [1], Public Domain.
Mehmed the Conqueror.” By Gentile Bellini – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain.
Mehmed at the Siege of Constantinople.” By Fausto Zonaro –, Public Domain.
Siege of Constantinople.” By © Sémhur / Wikimedia Commons, FAL.

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TDISH – If a ballgame is played and no one is there to see it, does it count?

On April 29, 2015, something truly strange occurred – for the only time in the history of Major League Baseball was played in front of a crowd of zero.  In response to city-wide tensions following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year-old man who died in policy custody, the Baltimore Orioles – Chicago White Sox game was played in front of record-setting tiny crowd.  While Gray’s death was certainly unnecessary and tragic, the baseball game came to demonstrate just how widespread the results of the resulting violence were – impacting every aspect of life in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Orioles won the game 8 – 2.  For you Orioles fans out there (like me!), yes, they played “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” during the seventh-inning stretch.

Featured Image: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (on a normal game day). By Keith Allison –, CC BY-SA 2.0.
Sherman, Roger. “This is what the Orioles-White Sox game with zero attendance looked like.” 29 April 2015.

GoT PiH: King’s Landing & Constantinople

Feed your GoT obsession with our discussion of King’s Landing, Constantinople, and some epic battles.

Source: GoT PiH: King’s Landing & Constantinople


History Buffs Podcast: GoT: The Wall(s)

Check out my guest spot on the History Buffs Podcast talking about The Wall in Game of Thrones and its parallels in the real-life Hadrian’s Wall.