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This Is A Disaster

A History, True Crime and Music podcast featuring Peter Zachar
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Episodes of This Is A Disaster

In the final episode of this "season", we revisit disaster on the open ocean.  Inclement weather, over three hundred yachts, the history of boats, and just so many reasons to never set foot in the ocean.    Peter's song pick:: Dreams by The Cra
Just because something happens quickly, doesn't mean it can't be horrific.  The most dangerous job in the world meets fatigue, to catastrophic ends.  Deep sea diving, rapid decompression, human error, and too-late regulations.   Leigh's song pi
You thought overwrought endeavours were limited to videogames?  Where do you go now... that you've written Sweet Child O' Mine and November Rain?  Axel Rose, Buckethead, midnight pyrotechnics, and chicken coop pronography.   That video about ho
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or at least maybe finish a marathon.  Things could have gone a whole lot better for the rag-tag band of competitors at the St. Louis Olympics.  Dusty roads, ancient wars, rotten apples, and rat poison..
Our special guest Try-All Andy returns for the story of the trials and tribulations that went into producing a sequel that was over a decade in the making.  Aliens, misogyny, pop-culture references, and a world record... hail to the king?   E3
As harsh a place as space can be, there have been surprisingly few deaths in space.  Not to worry!  Leigh found some for us.  Soviet cosmonauts, Soyuz 11, and a pesky valve...   Leigh's song pick:: Niin by Arovane https://open.spotify.com/track
Craig from Canadian History Ehx returns to once again rob us of sleep.  What's the most damage mother nature could possibly do in one hour?  Edmonton, Alberta found out in 1987.  Tornadoes, the Fujita scale, Canadian devastation, and... you bet
Not all disasters happen on a global scale.  Leigh tells the story of his experience on jury duty, with its highest highs and lowest lows.  Criminal fraud, heated debates, comped meals... and comped... meals...   Leigh's song pick:: Isn't Every
Ever wanted some of your favorite songs ruined by the story of the man behind them?  Leigh makes it real hard to separate the man from the art.  The Ronettes, John Lennon, George Harrison, hit records, guns, and death.   Leigh's song pick:: Be
Peter tells the harrowing tale of that time a group of ships got stuck in the Suez Canal... and it's probably not the time you're thinking of.  Salty sailors, makeshift regattas, non-sanctioned Olympic games, and alcohol... so much alcohol.   P
Been a while since you've felt crowded?  Nuclear Norm tells the story of a dystopian cyberpunk fever dream that existed in the heart of Hong Kong.  Opium wars, building code violations, plane-scrapers, and Bloodsport.   Greg Girard's photograph
What better way to unwind after a long day of wandering through a mall than paying to get lost in a labyrinth?  Misguided endeavors, maze-like working conditions, a ghost in the machine, and a fire...   Leigh's song pick:: Hard Sun by Indio htt
By 1970, flying to the moon was boooooooring... at least, if you asked the People of Earth.  Nothing like a spot of near-death to revive public interest!  Dropped oxygen tanks, explosions in space, floating pee bags, and Jerry... fuckin' Jerry.
As a follow-up to his Tragedy Tuesday about the Pono Player, Leigh brings us up to speed on TIDAL, the "audiophile" streaming service.  Less disaster, more questionable money grab?  Also, a round-up of our favorite albums and songs of 2020 to r
Peter and Leigh announce the end of the first phase of this disaster and our triumphant return in April 2021!  A temporary pause in our regular weekly releases, some teasers of what's to come, and our sincerest thanks.  We'll see you all on Apr
If the history of the saxophone's invention had a soundtrack, it certainly wouldn't be smooth jazz.  An inventor that just wouldn't quit, despite the world doing its best to stop him in his tracks.  Blunt force trauma, poisoning, drowning, vici
In this edition of Album Autopsy, Try-All Andy joins us as we are collectively baffled by a supposed radical departure in musical genres.  An album not reviled, but hardly beloved... what happens when an artist endeavors to try something differ
What do you get when you go on a quest for high-fidelity portable audio, but forget to bring the design sensibilities?  Neil Young's Toblerone Player... I mean, Pono Player.  Is that triangular prism in your pocket, or are you just pretending t
In the late 18th century, the Netherlands really had it out for Iceland.  Maybe it was all the red-hot magma, acid rain, and sulfur-filled air, courtesy of the Laki craters?  Fire, brimstone, a Dutch hate-boner, and a fire priest.   John's song
Why teach a class about 1930s German's descent into fascism when you can just show the whole school how it's done?  Not-so-secret salutes, rigorous discipline, a nation-wide underground, and a magnificent leader...   Peter's song pick:: Neuropu
Leaning into "... and the music they make us listen to" from our tagline, Leigh and Peter discuss where universally panned albums went wrong.  In this inaugural edition, we talk about what happens when you seemingly pull two artists out of a ha
In a time after hair metal was king, Great White were still carrying the flame... unfortunately, it was right into a venue filled with highly flammable material and no sprinkler system.  Made up words, pyrotechnics, heavy black smoke, and a rea
A new feature is born!  With our shift to one major disaster a month (in addition to regularly scheduled Tragedy Tuesdays), we'll be trying out new features to take the place of the second major disaster.  Don't think of it as losing a disaster
For a music scene that generated such awesome bands, the Norwegian black metal community sure were a bunch of miscreants.  Church burning, stabbing, blast beats, stabbing, the dark circle, and stabbing.   Leigh's song pick:: Kathaarian Life Cod
The Great Chicago Fire wasn't the worst fire ever to hit the United States.  It wasn't the worst fire in 1871.  It wasn't even the worst fire in October of 1871... The second episode in our October of Sorrow features one of the gnarliest fires
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