On Dec. 12, when UN Secretary-General Guterres reports yet another dismal failure to deal with the climate crisis, just laugh at him. He doesn't get it.
My newest video examines the geographic dimensions of America's foremost political scandal.
Have a great holiday and thanks for reading.
Holding out for facts rather than conspiracy fantasy is an increasingly lonely vocation, but it's part of my job.
This view of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is very far from accurate, but it's extremely American.
The 1965 disaster that claimed 90 lives is obscure in history books, but alive in memories of people touched by it.
On a cold November night, much of the U.S. Northeast and part of Canada went dark. Here's what happened next.
Denial of certain historical facts--usually motivated by conspiracy theory--involves a misconception of what history is and how it works.
These medieval-era buildings were captured in a magnificent photo from the very end of the 19th century.
My newest and biggest video yet explores the spectacular collapse of five ruling families, who once controlled the fate of 1/3 of the world's population.
From the war in Israel to the effects of human-caused climate change, we live in a much more chaotic and dangerous world than we're used to.
This interesting painting is obviously impressionist, but is posed like a photograph.
Burned, blown up, hijacked, bankrupted, and finally sunk...ships don't get much unluckier than this one.
Today one of Toronto's busiest intersections, this urban space was once a pedestrian mall back in the groovy 70s.
The summer of 2023 has been full of disaster and pessimism, but there's also been some very good things about it.
Was the city fired by the Russians themselves, or did the blaze begin accidentally?
My newest deep-dive video attempts to tell an old story from an environmental historian's angle.
It's appropriate to memorialize 9/11, but we should not let that process obscure our understanding of the true event.
Meet the insane fake Russian baron who thought he was Genghis Khan and tried to take over Mongolia.
There's a lot going on in this Victorian-era painting of a young girl's birthday party.
One of Star Trek's "worst" episodes provides a fascinating insight into America in 1969.
This is not a matte painting from a 1930s horror movie, but a real place with a checkered history spanning some 150 years.
My newest deep-dive video takes on the short war that lies at a critical juncture in modern world history.
Spending less than half an hour on the surface of Venus would give Dante Alighieri a run for his money.
The great American steak houses are about a lot more than just good steak. They tell a key part of the American story.
This famous photo depicts an earth-grazing meteor, a comparatively rare event.
Let's stop arguing about an unchangeable decision made in 1945. What are we going to do about today's existential problem, global warming?
Here's what I'm working on, writing and thinking about in August 2023.
This beautiful painting shows many of the characteristics I love about 19th century art.
The crowned heads and diplomats of Europe thought they were in control--just as our modern day leaders do.
Eight places where some of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century occurred offer an unusual perspective on the events.
This is not a film about technology. It's about morality, relationships, the environment, and much more.
What happened to all the space capsules after they came back to Earth?
I'm not sure who Chasland was, but this was certainly somebody's mistake.
The deadliest race riot in U.S. history is depicted in a controversial 2002 film which I think deserves another look.
See the bizarre result when a 1960s company that manufactures TVs tries to tell us what they think the future will be like.
The fifth Indiana Jones film isn't perfect, but it has a lot to commend it.
The theater world of late 16th century London was an amazing panoply of egos, creativity, architecture and politics.
There's a lot going on in this famous scene of Manhattan in a mid-19th century winter.
It's dangerous to rely on mercenaries. They may turn on you. Why didn't Putin know this?
Seven years ago, this is what I thought Brexit would mean. I think I got it right.
Was Stalin so upset by the German invasion that he collapsed and went on a bender? Or is it a myth?
Your table is ready aboard the Great Eastern. Hope you're not in a hurry!
The wreck, stuck in the sand since 1906, is more exposed now than almost ever before. Here are some photos.
New York's air quality catastrophe has some parallels in history, but climate change also makes it unique.
My new book will be out June 20 on Kindle. Pre-ordering it is a great idea!
The 1989 massacre of pro-democratic demonstrators continues to resonate throughout recent world history.
George Sphrantzes survived the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. His book is online, for free.
My new YouTube podcast profiles historical news that readers of this blog might find interesting.
The triumph of the original Star Wars was not driven by marketing. It probably couldn't happen today.
For 30 years Johnny Carson was the face of the Tonight Show. When he signed off in 1992, an era ended.
It contained the remains of 12 people, dead for more than 2,000 years. What's their story?
This painting is a masterwork of light, emotion and human expression, but it also contains an explicitly political message.
Charles finally got his crown, but the kingdom he inherits is spinning apart.
The Lusitania disaster was a terrible collision of chutzpah on one side and naïvete on the other.
This 1864 painting is a beautiful example of Romantic-era environmental consciousness.
For three years after its introduction in 1969, the QE2 was the floating embodiment of that bizarre age.
This science fiction film set in the distant future has a lot of elements that hark back to the past.
The great battle for control of Japan, fought in 1185, has resonated in legend for 800 years.
This doe-eyed model is unwittingly the public face of a monstrous global criminal empire.
The play Lincoln was watching at the time of his assassination has an interesting history of its own.
This style of art brings back wonderful memories of New Mexico.
You can now support this blog, and my historical work, at the premium tier.
This in-depth video explores the life story of one of the most problematic U.S. Presidents.
Two similar disasters, one in 1911, another in 1958, occurred within a 5-block area. How are they linked?
My upcoming in-depth YouTube video examines the tragic, frustrating life of the 14th President.
America flunks history class yet again. There's no excuse this time.
This classic story still resonates today because of the profound questions the war left unanswered.
The road to dictatorship is paved with reply guys and tone police insisting, "It can't happen here."
This area, whose shops used to sell old vacuum tubes, became one of the most tragic places in U.S. history.
The key to gaming out what Putin will do is to see him in the context of Russian rulers of the past.
This painting captures the essence of a defining moment in 19th century Romantic literary history.
The controversy over one of the world's most infamous books still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
The amazing story of how a single glass of wine led to a violent riot and a watershed moment in English history.
My new video analyzes and deconstructs the poorly-understood foreign policy scandal of the 1980s.
How five English monks witnessed an extraordinary astronomical event.
In 1860, a French astronomer was convinced he'd discovered a planet he called Vulcan. Wait, what?
In the late 1970s, the world came to a screeching halt when the latest epic miniseries came on network TV.
Here is how I got here, what came before, and why you might want to read what I write.