Men's Journal - - THE ART OF THE FAIL -

1453:Dur­ing the siege of Con­stantino­ple, the en­trenched Byzan­tines leave a gate un­locked, al­low­ing the in­vad­ing Turks to pour in and crush their em­pire. 1527:A 600-man Span­ish ex­pe­di­tion tries to col­o­nize Florida, loses its ships, finds no gold, and gets routed by na­tives. Four sur­vivors are left wan­der­ing naked. 1912:On the Ti­tanic’s maiden voy­age, a lookout ne­glects to bring binoc­u­lars to the crow’s nest to spot ice­bergs—and, well, you know the rest.

1964:A grad stu­dent un­wit­tingly kills the old­est-known tree, a bristle­cone pine dat­ing back 5,000 years, when he chops it down to free a stuck tool. 1971:Ford un­veils the Pinto, an af­ford­able sub­com­pact sedan that bursts into flames when rear-ended;

1.5 mil­lion are re­called. 1977:When light­ning strikes NYC’S elec­tric grid, an oper­a­tor fails to flip some switches in time, re­sult­ing in one of the largest black­outs in city his­tory. 1990:NASA spends $1.5 bil­lion to build and launch the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope only to re­al­ize, once it’s in space, that it takes blurry pho­tos.

1993:Su­per Bowl, fourth quar­ter: Cow­boy Leon Lett show­boats in front of the end zone, giv­ing Buf­falo’s Don Beebe a chance to come from be­hind and strip the ball. 2000:Rental king Block­buster passes on buy­ing Dvd-by-mail up­start Net­flix for $50 mil­lion. Net­flix’s 2018 mar­ket value: more than $150 bil­lion. 2013:IT worker James How­ells mis­tak­enly throws away an old hard drive con­tain­ing 7,500 Bit­coins, worth $1,000 when he bought them—and $50 mil­lion to­day. 2014:The French gov­ern­ment buys 2,000 new trains that are too big for 1,300 sta­tions. It then spends $60 mil­lion to widen the plat­forms.

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