United Flight 232

Laurence Gonzales, author of “Flight 232,” looks back at the cause of the crash, and how the accident led to advances in disaster response.

United Flight 232 Twenty-five years ago this month, United Airlines Flight 232—scheduled from Denver to Philadelphia via Chicago—crash-landed at Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 112 people. The outcome could have been worse. Read More


Gruesome Spectacles

Botched executions and the future of America’s death penalty.

Gruesome Spectacles Botched executions are up since 1980, suggesting that technology has failed to make the process more reliable and humane. Read More


The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

The rise and fall of the six-day walking match, an exercise in endurance and sleep deprivation.

Before Wimbledon, the Masters, the World Series, and the Super Bowl, there was the Astley Belt Race, a six-day walking match that determined the world’s champion pedestrian. Read More

Trapped Under the Sea

Trapped Under the Sea

The inside story of Boston’s Deer Island Outfall Tunnel tragedy.

Lessons learned from a little-known construction accident, which threatened the completion of the world’s longest single-entrance tunnel, as well as a decade-long effort to clean up Boston Harbor. Read More

This Day in Failure

July 29th

1997: Minamata Bay in Japan is declared free of mercury more than 40 years after its contaminated fish were blamed for a high-incidence of deaths and birth defects.

1973: $180,000 is stolen from Led Zeppelin’s safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel in New York City.

1938: During a pregame interview on WGN Radio in Chicago, New York Yankees outfielder Jake...

More from July 29

Another day in Failure.  

Failure Analysis

There are a total of 617 “Surface Hot Spots” at U.S. airports, per the Federal Aviation Administration. More

Do you support stricter gun control laws?

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and then denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

- Nazi Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946