Neuroscientist, history buff, law student… Peter’s been called all of these, and sometimes worse. The darker side of life has always been an interest of his, but his fascination picked up with the birth of his son in 2017.

As he got happier in his home life, Peter found himself trolling darker depths of music, literature, and the human condition. He tore through the pages of books like The Indifferent Stars AboveHunger: An Unnatural History, and I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. He gravitated to bands like PortalWAKE, and Altarage. Whether life is good or bad, it’s always worth keeping an eye on the shadows.

Unsatisfied, Peter wanted to dive deeper into the extremes of the human condition. What are the worst things that have happened to humans? How did they make it through? This Is A Disaster is a podcast that helps Peter exorcise this morbid fascination. Every week, he stares disasters in the face through the eyes of those that experienced them.


Music has always been a driving force in Leigh’s life. From his 4th grade obsession with Tears For Fears to his high school deep dive into all things metal and alt-rock, there’s never been a time when music didn’t occupy most of his conscious (and unconscious) thoughts.

From Leigh’s constant search for musical extremes formed a natural proclivity towards the darker, weirder side of life. At first he sought to satisfy it in the pages of underground comics and in horror movies… but the truth is always stranger than fiction. Eventually he spent late nights in the dark corners of the internet, reading up on serial killers, extinction events, mass cult-related suicides – all to scratch that now-familiar itch: morbid curiosity.

This Is A Disaster is a podcast that sees Leigh getting a full dose of all things strange, tragic, and unbelievable. Thanks to Peter’s Reader’s Digest book and his PhD-level approach to research, every week the itch is properly scratched.

Special Guests

Nuclear Norm

It all started with the gift of time. Specifically, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking which “Nuclear” Norm received as a child. Though he barely understood a word, the mysteries of the universe instilled curious wonder and existential cynicism at an early age. Drawing from influences such as Michio Kaku, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Brian Cox, he pursued advanced degrees in both Physics and Engineering.

Obsessing over Science Fiction as much as Science Fact, Norm was drawn to films such as Contact, Akira, and Brazil and video games such as Persona, Xenogears, and Metal Gear Solid. His playlists are a mix of synthwave, 2000’s era pop punk, soundtracks, and synth-pop.

As This Is A Disaster’s resident “Science Guy”, he takes every opportunity to remind Peter, Leigh, and the audience of the inconsequentiality of their limited existences.


Lover of anything psychology-related, Gerri has been in the field for over 10 years. When not teaching a variety of undergraduate psychology courses (or eating brains), she strives to understand why people feel and think the way they do and how this can directly impact their decisions and behavior in crucial moments.

Gerri has been a fan of 90’s Eurodance music from a young age (think What is Love, and Saturday Night) and any type of trance/techno music. She is also an avid video game player, often engaging in deep discussions with Nuclear Norm about which JRPG is the best… Final Fantasy 7, since you asked.

Gerri is This Is A Disaster‘s psychology expert, providing insight into the depths of the human psyche under extreme circumstances. Get ready
to explore the psychology of survival like never before!