Jon Wilkman on the failure of the St. Francis Dam and the making of modern Los Angeles.

Floodpath Failing infrastructure is a hot topic these days; this catastrophic failure from 1928 has largely been forgotten. Read More


The St. Francis Dam Failure

J. David Rogers on the deadliest civil engineering disaster of the twentieth century.

The St. Francis Dam Failure Lessons learned from the St. Francis Dam failure—and its impact on the civil engineering profession at-large. Read More


The Great Lisbon Earthquake, Fire

The Great Lisbon Earthquake, Fire

Mark Molesky, author of “This Gulf of Fire,” on the three-act disaster that destroyed Lisbon in 1755.

On All Saints’ Day in 1755, the capital of Portugal was devastated by a combination earthquake-tsunami-firestorm. “People thought it was Judgment Day and that the world was coming to an end,” says Molesky. Read More

438 Days

438 Days

Salvador Alvarenga would not have survived for fourteen months in an open, twenty-five-foot boat if not for the voluminous amounts of trash in the Pacific Ocean.

Adrift for 438 days, Salvador Alvarenga’s resilience, ingenuity, and determination allowed him to stay alive, with a huge assist from ordinary household garbage. Read More

This Day in Failure

April 29th

2015: In the wake of looting and rioting in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray (a twenty-five-year-old African-American who died of a spinal injury while in police custody), the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles play a game behind closed doors at Camden Yards. It’s the first time in Major League Baseball history that a game is played without...

More from April 29

Another day in Failure.  

Failure Analysis

Iron Maiden’s private/branded 747 – dubbed Ed Force One, a reference to the band’s longtime mascot, Eddie – was “badly damaged” in a runway accident at Merino Benítez International Airport in Chile on March 12. More

Your choice for next U.S. President?

All our failures are prayer failures.

- Dr. Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University