Author: Dustin Koski

Dustin Koski is the proud co-writer and producer of the anthology podcast The Vanishing Point with his brother Adam. He still hopes to escape from Wisconsin someday.

From Austria to Japan, from Eastern Turkey to Vietnam. These were the borders of the largest contiguous empire in human history. Nine million square miles it stretched, much more than double the size of the modern United States of America. Its rise began in 1206 and its fall finished in 1368, a blip compared to…

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In past TopTenz lists of badass women, we’ve often featured exclusively those that were in the military. While we don’t regret our choices and this list will feature many more, we’re going to widen the scope for this one. A person doesn’t need to be carrying a weapon to be a badass, though it sure…

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Who wants to take a break from the turmoil civilization is experiencing? Let’s go somewhere away from all humanity’s troubles. To paraphrase what a wise man once sang, we’ll find better down where it’s wetter, so let’s go under the sea. There we know what we’re getting. There’s fish, crustaceans, reefs, and rocks. We know…

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It’s no wonder that so many of us take our bodies for granted; we take them with us everywhere we go. We’ve all been there when it comes to complaining about aches and pains. People have been known to spend more than a million dollars altering the appearance of their bodies. There are some, such as neuroscientist Randal…

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We know what impressive armies Ancient Rome could field, as brutally treated as the troops were. Curiously, though, most TopTenz articles have focused on times they lost. In fact we’ve done whole lists of them. It’s enough to make you wonder how they ever conquered an empire which stretched from Great Britain to the Persian…

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The cyclical nature of boom and bust capitalism has been held off for an unusually long time. On average, the US economy is supposed to go through a recession every 57 months. At present it’s been more than 10 years. Whichever policies have staved it off to date, it’s left much of the populous so…

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The Freemasons. The Illuminati. These are secretive organizations that many people suspect have extreme, nefarious influence on society around the world. But they seem like small fries compared to the Bilderberg Group, an annual gathering of many of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world to make plans regarding global issues. It’s as…

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It’s no wonder that so many of us take our bodies for granted; we take them with us everywhere we go. We’ve all been there when it comes to complaining about aches and pains. People have been known to spend more than a million dollars altering the appearance of their bodies. There are some, such…

Read More

In the USA, ghost towns are primarily associated with the Old West. The idea is mostly that a town sprung up next to a mine or as part of some other form of speculation, and then eventually the business opportunity dried up and forced everyone to move away. Around the world, the reality is very…

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Society’s approach to automation requires delicacy. The automated tools can be captivating to watch in action, the process can spare workers immeasurable injury and danger, and automation is no small part of why worker productivity rose roughly 70% from 1993 to 2011. Yet you probably didn’t hear the pervasive stat that automation cost the US…

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Since it began in 1971, the Witness Protection Program has provided new identities for more than 18,000 people, though most of them are not the witnesses themselves but their family members. It’s by no means a perfect system, with some children that are entered in the program later saying that they have trouble with identity…

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The cyclical nature of boom and bust capitalism has been held off for an unusually long time. On average, the US economy is supposed to go through a recession every 57 months. At present it’s been more than 10 years. Whichever policies have staved it off to date, it’s left much of the populous so…

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In 2016, $80 billion was spent on lottery tickets in the United States alone. For comparison, that same year the US spent roughly $30 billion on video games. It’s very revealing how much people hold on to that dream even though their odds of winning big from a video game and a lottery ticket aren’t…

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Think of how long ago it was that the Western Roman Empire fell in the 5th Century AD. That’s nearly 1,600 years, more than 50 generations as understood by historians. Few nations from that time are still around today, major religions didn’t exist yet, and so on. Now consider that it’s roughly the same amount…

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A clash of the greatest generals of their age. The end of the Napoleonic Era. The last stand for the gravedigger of the revolution. The greatest triumph of the Duke of Wellington. There are many ways to summarize the Battle of Waterloo that play up its epic scope and seemingly decisive place in history. However,…

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We all know that the Amazons are supposed to be an ancient race of warrior women. Most of us are aware of their connection to Greek mythology, but we don’t have a much more detailed mental image. We have no idea where they were supposed to be, for example. We don’t know their battles, exploits,…

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Movies, books, paintings, and other forms can portray war with all the pomp and pageantry their creators want. The truth remains that you get a more honest look at the nature of war by studying these battles. War does not create nobility and courage for the majority of participants. It’s a process by which empathy…

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Most history classes on America cover the discovery of the continent, the founding of early colonies likes like Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, then seem to skip to immediate lead-up to the American Revolution. That’s a pity, because the colonial centuries were some of the most fascinating in the history of the United States of America.…

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Imagine you’ve been through Hell. You’ve put your life on the line, and you’ve potentially seen your friends die, all because of a lie. If you’re enlisted in the military, that’s probably not too hard to imagine. For many members of the US military throughout the nation’s history no imagination is required at all.  The…

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