|Born||November 14, 1965|
|Alma mater||University of Colorado Boulder|
Dan Carlin (born November 14, 1965) is an American political commentator, actor and podcaster. Once a professional radio host, Carlin eventually took his show to the Internet, and he now hosts three popular independent podcasts: Hardcore History, Hardcore History: Addendum, and Common Sense.
Carlin obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Colorado Boulder. He broke into the television news business in Los Angeles in the late 1980s and covered the 1992 Los Angeles riots. He has worked as a television news reporter, an author, a columnist, and a radio talk show host. No longer broadcasting on terrestrial radio, Carlin has achieved recognition in internet radio, podcasting, and the blogosphere.
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Common Sense began in 2005. Common Sense is similar in scope to several Carlin-hosted radio programs that aired between 1994 and 2004. He has described his political philosophy as "Neoprudentist", taking a skeptical approach to evaluation of the current political trends and forces. He fosters discussion by developing and presenting self-deprecating ("Martian") thought experiments on solutions to current problems. The podcasts are said to be broadcast "almost live from the end of runway two here at the Emerald International Airport."
Common Sense was nominated for a Podcast Award in the Politics/News category in 2012 and 2013. The podcast, as of 2016, was generating about 700,000 downloads per episode. Common Sense went through an almost two year hiatus beginning in May 2018 and ending on April 1, 2020, with episode 319 - "A Recipe for Caesar."
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Hardcore History is Carlin's forum for exploring topics throughout world history. The focus of each episode varies widely from show to show but they are generally centered on specific historical events and are discussed in a "theater of the mind" style. New episodes are released approximately every four to seven months.
Hardcore History, which has millions of downloads per episode, received over 350,000 downloads in a 24-hour period on May 6, 2015. It was nominated in 2012 for a Stitcher Award in the Best Educational & Learning Podcast category. In addition, Carlin has received the Best Classic Podcast in iTunes' Best of 2014 awards, Best Educational Podcast of 2015 from the Podcast Awards, Best History Podcast of 2018 from the IHeartRadio Podcast Awards, and in a top 25 best podcasts list in anniversary of 10 years of podcasts, Slate Magazine ranked Dan Carlin's 2009 episode Ghosts of the Ostfront, regarding the Eastern Front of World War Two, the fifth best podcast of all time.
Hardcore History: Addendum is an ancillary podcast feed which features "Interviews, musings and extra material" that are more short form and deemed not to fit into the main Hardcore History feed.
|Ep. number||Topic||Description||Length||Release date|
|1||Alexander Versus Hitler||Carlin compares the way the modern world sees Adolf Hitler with the way history views Alexander the Great and wonders if the two men were not more alike than different.||16 min||July 26, 2006|
|2||Guns and Horses||The West is Mike Tyson and the East is Muhammad Ali in this episode as Carlin mixes Art Bell with Hans Delbrück in this look at a possible reason for the military decline of the near East.||34 min||September 26, 2006|
|3||The Organization of Peace||The early 20th century League of Nations stood for peace, cooperation, disarmament and international understanding. What happened?||42 min||October 4, 2006|
|4||Romancing the Tribes||Shawnee chief Tecumseh and Arverni king Vercingetorix both tried to unify their tribal peoples to face overwhelming foes. Carlin examines the romance of their lost causes.||31 min||October 24, 2006|
|5||Meandering Through The Cold War||Carlin meanders through a conversation about causes and effects of the Cold War without ever talking much about the actual events of the conflict.||48 min||November 14, 2006|
|6||Shield of the West||Spartans, Athenians, Persians and references to Star Trek all make appearances in this look at the dramatic and extremely consequential Greek and Persian wars.||59 min||December 8, 2006|
|7||The X-History Files||Napoleon is supposed to have said that “History is a set of lies agreed upon”. With that in mind, Carlin looks at some of the alternative and pseudo history ideas that many people embrace.||31 min||December 27, 2006|
|8||Scars of the Great War||Carlin looks at the shock and awe caused by the First World War and marvels at how connected we still are to the empire-shattering effects of the conflict contemporaries simply referred to as "The Great War".||40 min||January 27, 2007|
|9||Darkness Buries the Bronze Age||What was the cause of the collapse of the Bronze Age? War? Famine? Natural disaster? Sauron, The Dark Lord? Carlin looks at all the potential villains...except for Sauron.||33 min||February 16, 2007|
|10||The What-Ifs of 1066||How might history have been changed if the events of the momentous year 1066 had turned out differently? Carlin examines Normans, Vikings, Saxons, Bastards, Conquerors, Confessors, Godwinsons and Hardradas.||47 min||March 13, 2007|
|11||Thoughts on Churchill||Carlin takes a look at various elements of the dramatic life and career of the great British leader.||53 min||April 11, 2007|
|12||Steppe Stories||Blood-sucking Scythian warriors, tattooed ice mummies, Amazons killing so they can mate, pot smoking head-hunters, scalp-taking, koumiss-drinking Mongols, Turks, Huns, and Aliens. What's not to like?||58 min||May 8, 2007|
|13||Bubonic Nukes||What would happen if half the population died in a short period of time? Carlin looks at the Black Death and other plagues that created almost apocalyptic conditions in the past...and maybe in the future.||47 min||June 13, 2007|
|14||The Macedonian Soap Opera||When Alexander the Great bequeathed his empire "to the strongest" he set off a funeral contest that shook the world for decades. Murder, marriage, intrigue, and drama all feature prominently in the story.||49 min||July 18, 2007|
|15||Desperate Times||The tough economic climate after the First World War fostered the growth of radicalism around the world. Did it also create tougher people? Carlin looks at the connection between tough times and the "Greatest Generation".||41 min||August 30, 2007|
|16||Nazi Tidbits||What accounts for the fascination people still have with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis? Carlin looks at some of the ideas of the German National Socialists and examines the demonic, charismatic Nazi Führer.||59 min||October 17, 2007|
|17||Judgment at Nineveh||Will our modern society ever decline and fall? Carlin uses that idea as a backdrop for a look at the first great empire in history, the biblical-era Assyrians. Were they ancient Nazis, or the guardians of civilization?||1 hour 4 min||December 14, 2007|
|18||A Fly on James Burke's Wall||In this episode, Carlin discusses history with famed television host, author and science historian James Burke, the man the Washington Post called "one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world".||44 min||January 2, 2008|
|19||Apache Tears||A traumatized people who traumatized their neighbors, the Native American tribe known as Apache were among the last Indians to surrender to the U.S. Government.||1 hour 18 min||March 14, 2008|
|20||(Blitz) History Under the Influence||This first "Blitz Edition" of the show looks at the hidden side of history, the impact of drugs and alcohol on past events. Carlin has a whole list of historical figures he wants to drug test.||40 min||May 6, 2008|
|21||Punic Nightmares I||Was it geopolitics or simply bitter hatred that fueled the ancient bloodbaths known as "The Punic Wars"? Carlin highlights the unimaginable things people experienced during this intense face-off between Rome and Carthage.||1 hour||July 27, 2008|
|22||Punic Nightmares II||Darkness, horror, war and carnage dominate Part 2 of the Punic War trilogy as Hannibal rampages across Italy and pushes Rome to the brink of doom.||1 hour 18 min||September 18, 2008|
|23||Punic Nightmares III||In one of the great displays of resiliency in all history, the Romans refuse to buckle under murderous Carthaginian pressure. Instead they recover, defeat and destroy Carthage, and conquer most of the Mediterranean.||1 hour 35 min||October 30, 2008|
|24||Classical Hanson||Carlin discusses history with famed historian, political commentator and classicist Victor Davis Hanson.||35 min||November 21, 2008|
|25||The Dyer Outlook||Carlin discusses the past, present and future with influential Canadian historian, broadcaster and columnist Gwynne Dyer.||59 min||January 20, 2009|
|26||(Blitz) Addicted to Bondage||Is slavery a natural feature of human societies? Carlin looks at this timeless, evil institution and wonders if we have made as much progress freeing ourselves from its influence as we think we have.||1 hour 4 min||February 3, 2009|
|27||Ghosts of the Ostfront I||Part One covering the conflict between the Germans and the Soviet Union in the Second World War. Carlin gives an introduction to the subject and discusses the causes and opening moves of Operation Barbarossa.||1 hour 6 min||April 19, 2009|
|28||Ghosts of the Ostfront II||In Part Two of the Ostfront series covering WW2 on the Eastern Front, Carlin looks at the attempt to take Moscow and the many compelling stories surrounding the momentous 1941 German offensive.||1 hour 30 min||June 17, 2009|
|29||Ghosts of the Ostfront III||In Part Three of the Ostfront series covering WW2 on the Eastern Front, Carlin looks at the situation in the U.S.S.R. during 1942 and early 1943, including the dreadful Battle of Stalingrad.||1 hour 30 min||August 10, 2009|
|30||Ghosts of the Ostfront IV||In Part Four of the Ostfront series covering WW2 on the Eastern Front, Carlin looks at the German retreat from Soviet territory and the retaliation by traumatized Soviet soldiers and civilians on their former tormentors as Berlin falls and the Nazi high command commits suicide.||1 hour 39 min||October 10, 2009|
|31||(Blitz) Suffer the Children||Carlin's exposure to the idea of "psychohistory" gets him thinking about how children were raised in the past. Could widespread child abuse and bad parenting in earlier eras explain some of history's brutality?||58 min||December 9, 2009|
|32||Globalization Unto Death||Ferdinand Magellan is the lead character in this episode about the collision between the Old and New worlds and what Carlin calls "Globalization 1.0".||1 hour 32 min||February 27, 2010|
|33||(Blitz) Old School Toughness||Does the toughness of peoples play any role in history? How can historians deal with such an amorphous human quality? Historiography, boxing, barbarians, philosophy and wisdom are among the subjects touched upon.||1 hour 2 min||April 27, 2010|
|34||Death Throes of the Republic I||The wars which elevate Rome to superpower status also sow the seed for the downfall of its political system. Money, slaves, ambition, political stalemate and class warfare prove to be a toxic, bloody mix.||1 hour 23 min||June 28, 2010|
|35||Death Throes of the Republic II||Disaster threatens the Republic, but the cure might be worse than the disease. "The Dan Carlin version" of this story continues with ambition-addict Marius dominating the story and Plutarch dominating the sources.||1 hour 35 min||August 29, 2010|
|36||Death Throes of the Republic III||Rome's political violence expands in intensity from riots and assassinations to outright war as the hyper-ambitious generals Marius and Sulla tear the Republic and its constitution apart vying for power and glory.||1 hour 42 min||October 31, 2010|
|37||Death Throes of the Republic IV||Sulla returns to Rome to show the Republic what REAL political violence looks like. Civil war and deadly partisan payback will pave the way for reforms pushed at sword point. Lots of heads will roll...literally.||1 hour 27 min||January 28, 2011|
|38||Death Throes of the Republic V||The last great generation of the Roman Republic emerges from the historical mists. The dynamic between Caesar, Cato, Cicero, Crassus and Pompey forms the axis around which the rest of this tale revolves.||1 hour 27 min||April 1, 2011|
|39||Death Throes of the Republic VI||In a massive finish to the "Dan Carlin version" of the fall of the Roman Republic, conspiracies, civil wars, beatniks of antiquity and a guy named Caesar figure prominently. Virtually everyone dies.||5 hour 27 min||June 30, 2011|
|40||(Blitz) Radical Thoughts||Using the two 20th Century "Red Scare" eras as case studies, Carlin looks at the fear that can be generated by potentially dangerous ideas and examines the way such powerful mass emotions can cloud human judgment.||2 hour 40 min||October 13, 2011|
|41||Thor's Angels||What started as a standard podcast episode morphed into an audio book on what used to be called "The Dark Ages" in Europe. Carlin gets into many areas he should probably avoid...gods, Germans, bikers, Jesus...||4 hour 6 min||January 19, 2012|
|42||(Blitz) Logical Insanity||After many listener requests, Carlin examines the issue of the morality of dropping the Atomic Bombs in the Second World War. As usual, he does so in his own unique, unexpected way.||2 hour 30 min||March 31, 2012|
|43||Wrath of the Khans I||In one of the most violent outbursts in history a little-known tribe of Eurasian nomads breaks upon the great societies of the Old World like a human tsunami. It may have ushered in the modern era, but at what cost?||1 hour 49 min||June 14, 2012|
|44||Wrath of the Khans II||The Mongol leader Genghis Khan displays an unmatched level of strategic genius while moving against both Northern China and the Eastern Islamic world. Both civilizations are left stunned and millions are slaughtered.||1 hour 38 min||July 31, 2012|
|45||Wrath of the Khans III||The expansion of Genghis Khan's conquests continues, with locations as far apart as Europe and China feeling the bloody effects of Mongol warfare and retribution. Can anything halt the carnage?||1 hour 30 min||September 23, 2012|
|46||Wrath of the Khans IV||The death of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, should have slowed the momentum of Mongol conquests, but instead it accelerated it. This time though, all of Europe is on the Mongol hit list.||1 hour 33 min||November 13, 2012|
|47||Wrath of the Khans V||Succession issues weaken the Mongol Empire as the grandchildren of Genghis Khan fight over their imperial inheritance. This doesn't stop them from dealing out pain, suffering, and ironically good governance while doing so.||2 hour 8 min||January 13, 2013|
|48||Prophets of Doom||Murderous millennial preachers and prophets take over the German city of Munster after Martin Luther unleashes a Pandora's Box of religious anarchy with the Protestant Reformation.||4 hour 28 min||April 22, 2013|
|49||The American Peril||Imperial temptations and humanitarian nightmares force the United States of the late 19th Century to confront the contradictions between its revolutionary self-image and its expanding national interests.||4 hour 6 min||July 25, 2013|
|50||Blueprint for Armageddon I||The planet hadn't seen a major war between all the Great Powers since the downfall of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. But 99 years later the dam breaks and a Pandora's Box of violence engulfs the planet.||3 hour 7 min||October 29, 2013|
|51||Blueprint for Armageddon II||The Great Powers all come out swinging in the first round of the worst war the planet has ever seen. Millions of men in dozens of armies die in the most deadly and complex opening moves of any conflict in world history.||3 hour 20 min||January 30, 2014|
|52||Blueprint for Armageddon III||The war of maneuver that was supposed to be over quickly instead turns into a lingering bloody stalemate. Trench warfare begins, and with it, all the murderous efforts on both sides to overcome the static defenses.||3 hour 54 min||April 24, 2014|
|53||Blueprint for Armageddon IV||Machine guns, barbed wire and millions upon millions of artillery shells create industrialized meat grinders at Verdun and the Somme. There's never been a human experience like it and it changes a generation.||3 hour 56 min||August 17, 2014|
|54||Blueprint for Armageddon V||Politics, diplomacy, revolution and mutiny take center stage at the start of this episode, but mud, blood, shells and tragedy drown all by the end.||4 hour 30 min||December 30, 2014|
|55||Blueprint for Armageddon VI||The Americans are coming, but will the war be over by the time they get there? Germany throws everything into a last series of stupendous attacks in the West while hoping to avoid getting burned by a fire in the East they helped fan.||4 hour 17 min||May 6, 2015|
|56||Kings of Kings||Often relegated to the role of slavish cannon fodder for Sparta's spears, the Achaemenid Persian empire had a glorious heritage. Under a single king they created the greatest empire the world had ever seen.||3 hour 37 min||October 29, 2015|
|57||Kings of Kings II||From Biblical-era coup conspiracies to the horrific aftermath of ancient combat this second installment of the series on the Kings of Achaemenid Persia goes where only Carlin can take it. For better or worse...||4 hour 18 min||March 20, 2016|
|58||Kings of Kings III||If this were a movie, the events and cameos would be too numerous and star-studded to mention. It includes Xerxes, Spartans, Immortals, Alexander the Great, scythed chariots, and several of the greatest battles in history.||5 hour 3 min||August 7, 2016|
|59||(Blitz) The Destroyer of Worlds||What happens if human beings can't handle the power of their own weaponry? This show examines the dangerous early years of the Nuclear Age and humankind's efforts to avoid self-destruction at the hands of its own creation.||5 hour 53 min||January 24, 2017|
|60||The Celtic Holocaust||Julius Caesar is our travel guide as he takes us through his murderous subjugation of the native Celtic tribal peoples of ancient Gaul. It sounds vaguely like other, recent European colonial conquests... until the natives nearly win.||6 hour||August 10, 2017|
|61||(Blitz) Painfotainment||Pain is at the root of most drama and entertainment. When does it get too real? This very disturbing and graphic show looks into some case studies and asks some deep questions. WARNING Very intense subject matter.||4 hour 34 min||January 29, 2018|
|62||Supernova in the East I||The Asia-Pacific War of 1937-1945 has deep roots. It also involves a Japanese society that's been called one of the most distinctive on Earth. If there were a Japanese version of Captain America, this would be his origin story.||4 hour 28 min||July 14, 2018|
|63||Supernova in the East II||Deep themes run through this show, with allegations of Japanese war crimes and atrocities in China at the start leading to eerily familiar, almost modern questions over how the world should respond. And then Dec 7, 1941 arrives...||4 hour 2 min||January 12, 2019|
|64||Supernova in the East III||Japan's rising sun goes supernova and engulfs a huge area of Asia and the Pacific. A war without mercy begins to develop infusing the whole conflict with a savage vibe.||4 hour 53 min||October 24, 2019|
|65||Supernova in the East IV||Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal are three of the most famous battles of the Second World War. Together they will shift the momentum in the Pacific theater and usher in the era of modern naval and amphibious warfare.||3 hour 58 min||June 3, 2020|
The End Is Always Near
Carlin's first book, The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses, was released October 29, 2019, by HarperCollins Publishers. The book aims to look at some of the apocalyptic moments from the past as a way to frame the challenges of the future.
In 2019 Carlin developed a virtual reality experience in coordination with MWM Immersive and Skywalker Sound. The "Immersive Memory" is designed to put the viewer deeply into the experience of trench warfare along the Western Front of the First World War. War Remains premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and subsequently shown in other venues around the United States.
Carlin has referred to himself as a constitutionalist, social libertarian, a "radical", "neo-prudentist", "pragmatist", and "political martian". He is outspoken on issues like state surveillance, foreign intervention, concentrated power, free speech, education reform, the problems of a two-party system, and civil liberties.
Other podcast and media appearances
Carlin has made guest appearances on numerous other podcasts, including Roifield Brown's "10 American Presidents Podcast" where he narrated the episode on Richard Nixon, Daniele Bolelli's The Drunken Taoist Podcast, and "History on Fire", making five appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, two appearances on Smells Like Human Spirit and on a "crosscast" podcast on Sam Harris's ‘’Making Sense’’ (formerly Waking Up). In addition, Carlin has served as a panelist on CBS This Morning and was invited to speak at the TEDx Mt. Hood Conference on May 2, 2015. Carlin appeared on season 17 of Real Time with Bill Maher on October 25, 2019 as part of the panel while promoting his book The End Is Always Near. Carlin’s voice was featured as a podcast host in a 2019 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”.
Though often complimenting Carlin for his attempt to teach an "ill-informed citizenry" about history, some historians critique his approach as too simplistic. Carlin's typical response is that he is a "fan of History, not a historian" and focuses on popularizing history and trying to communicate very complex ideas as simply as possible. Carlin’s work has been noted by some as overcoming such shortcomings.
- Dan Carlin (8 June 2014). "Common Sense Archive: Show 276 - Past Transgressions". dancarlin.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 16 minutes. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Dan Carlin: "The New Golden Age of Oral Historical Storytelling" | Talks at Google". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
- Hart, Benjamin (2015-11-12). "America's Best History Teacher Doesn't Work At A School". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
- "Political podcaster Dan Carlin has an unusual spin on rage". Los Angeles Times. 2016-07-15. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
- CIPOLLE, ALEX V. "Q&A with Hardcore History's Dan Carlin: Print Edition". Eugene Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- Archives, Daily Emerald. "KUGN's un-Savage broadcasting". Emerald Media. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- "The People's Choice Podcast Awards". The Podcast Award. PodcastAwards.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- Matthews, Christopher (August 29, 2013). "Despite Being Oh-So 2005, Podcasting Is Drawing Listeners and Advertisers Alike". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Staff, Writer (2019-06-20). "New music, Wanda Sykes, Hardcore History and more you need to know". Inlander. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
New episodes come out about every six months
- Itzkoff, Dave. "Obama Interview Sets Download Record for Maron Podcast". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- "The 2012 Stitcher Awards". Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- CIPOLLE, ALEX V. (December 24, 2014). "Q&A with Hardcore History's Dan Carlin: Print Edition". Eugene Weekly. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2015 – via EUGENEWEELY.COM.
- "Podcast Awards - Past Winners 2005-2016". www.podcastawards.com. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "iHeartRadio Podcast Awards". iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
- Haglund, David; Onion, Rebecca (2014-12-14). "The 25 Best Podcast Episodes Ever". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
- "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Addendum". dchhaddendum.libsyn.com. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
- Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Archive
- "The End Is Always Near - Dan Carlin - Paperback". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- "War Remains". War Remains. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
- "Common Sense with Dan Carlin: Show 317 - Shades of Grey on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
- "Dan Carlin". www.learnliberty.org. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
- "Dan Carlin, The Man Who Makes History Fun". The Drunken Taoist. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Episode 19". History on Fire. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- Rogan, Joe. "Dan Carlin, Episode 328". The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Rogan, Joe. "Dan Carlin, Episode 378". The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Rogan, Joe. "Dan Carlin, Daniele Bolelli, Episode 413". The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Rogan, Joe. "Dan Carlin, Episode 847". The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Dan Carlin Interview". Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Episode 153: Dan Carlin on Addiction, Net Neutrality, Edward Snowden, and More!". Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Harris, Sam. "Shouldering the Burden of History". Waking Up. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "World War I, A Century Later, June 28, 2014". CBS News This Morning. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Speaker Detail, Dan Carlin". TEDxMtHood. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "The New Media's Coming of Age". YouTube. TEDxMtHood. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "Real Time with Bill Maher Season 17 Episode 32". HBO. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Submit Your Overtime Questions for October 25, 2019". Real Time with Bill Maher Blog. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "'The Twilight Zone': Who's the Host of the Creepy Podcast in 'Nightmare at 30,000 Feet'?". Decider. 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
- Hart, Benjamin (2015-11-12). "America's Best History Teacher Doesn't Work At A School". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-19.