Apple Stores Are So Popular They Lift Mall Sales By 10 Percent

Damn, the Genius Bar is a bona fide mall hotspot. People love Apple's sterile, glassy retail stores so much, the expensive gadget hubs boost sales at malls by 10 percent. » 3/11/15 3:46pm 3/11/15 3:46pm

Every River in the U.S., Colored According to the Way It Flows

There are over 250,000 rivers in the U.S., some subtly serene, others tremendously tumultuous. But in this visualization you can see them all—and the color shows which way their waters flow. » 12/23/14 7:45am 12/23/14 7:45am

Researchers: Let's Blame Online Porn For Marriage Decline

The decline in marriage in America is often blamed on a number of different factors: Cultural changes, economic strife, the rise of cohabitation... and now the easy availability of porn online is getting fingered. » 12/22/14 9:25am 12/22/14 9:25am

Humble Rest Stops Are Endangered Monuments of America's Highways

All along America's open highways are the sight of rest stops—lonesome, and often odd, miniature roadside parks that dot the landscape. Photographer Ryann Ford is on a mission to document these architectural emblems. » 12/11/14 5:33pm 12/11/14 5:33pm

This Was the Very First Website In the US

Stanford's Linear Accelerator Laboratory operates the longest particle accelerator of its kind—it's produced groundbreaking work in particle physics over the decades, as well as several Nobel prizes. But surprisingly, it also played a major role in the early web: By hosting the first web site in the US. It wasn't much… » 11/01/14 1:00pm 11/01/14 1:00pm

One Reason the US Isn't Destroying All Its Nukes: Killer Asteroids

Among the few apocalypses worse than nuclear annihilation, asteroid impact has got to be near the top of the list—at least if Hollywood's depictions are any indication. Luckily, the American public has at least one agency defending it against errant space rocks: the exact same agency that's supposed to be protecting… » 10/01/14 6:40pm 10/01/14 6:40pm

These Photos Are a Side of the American West You've Never Seen Before

One of the most common subjects in the history of American photography is the West. It's a landscape fraught with potential cliche, but Lucas Foglia's project Frontcountry cuts through popular conceptions and shows the reality of a rapidly transforming area of our country. » 10/01/14 6:01pm 10/01/14 6:01pm

The United States from the sky in restored 1980s aerial film footage

Harrison Sanborn found a whole lot of beautiful aerial footage shot by his dad in the late 1980s—using an Arri IIC camera with Eastman Kodak 5247 film. He scanned it at 2K resolution and made this little piece "for fun." Looking at the Twin Towers still standing makes me sad and nostalgic. » 9/29/14 10:02pm 9/29/14 10:02pm

Uncle Sam was (probably) a real dude

As the physical embodiment of all things American, Uncle Sam has been used to represent the likes of freedom, Big Brother, consumerism, fetus-snatching, and everything in between. But just over 200 years ago, this anthropomorphized flag of a man was an actual, living human being—and a too-weak-to-enlist one, at that. » 9/28/14 9:45pm 9/28/14 9:45pm

SeaRAM Outfits the Navy's Favorite Gatling Gun with Homing Missiles

Shockingly, there are some instances where the US Navy's Phalanx Close-In Weapons System's (CIWS) red hot wall of 20mm tungsten isn't enough to neutralize incoming threats—like against fast moving anti-ship cruise missiles. For times like those, America's Navy relies on the Phalanx's bigger, badder, rocket-propelled… » 9/24/14 11:44am 9/24/14 11:44am

The F-22 Is Finally Seeing Action After Seven Years

A mere seven years (less than two presidential terms) after it was declared fit for combat operations—and then repeatedly grounded for operational issues—the F-22 Raptor has finally had its first taste of war in the skies over what used to be Syria but is now ISIS territory. » 9/23/14 3:01pm 9/23/14 3:01pm

America's First Floating Gun Battery Is Older than the USA

Nothing jumpstarts technological development like a good war. WWII gave us UAVs, WWI introduced tanks, and the French-Indian War produced a unique gun battery—more cannon flotilla than warship—the radeau. » 9/08/14 11:40am 9/08/14 11:40am

DIY Fireworks Instructions From the 1920s Were Ridiculously Unsafe

Americans love things that sparkle, things that glow, and especially things that blow up. So it makes sense that on America's birthday, we take great pride in our various spectacles of light and noise. Today, there are countless YouTube videos and how-to websites showing how to create your own firecrackers and… » 7/04/14 1:32pm 7/04/14 1:32pm

The complicated truth behind the empire of the United States of America

Let's celebrate the USA on July 4th! How big does the celebration go across America? Across the 50 states, duh. The 48 contiguous, Alaska and Hawaii. But what about Washington DC? And the Indian territories? Puerto Rico? Guam? The Virgin Islands? And let's not get into places you've never heard of like Johnston Atoll… » 7/03/14 8:31pm 7/03/14 8:31pm

Technically, American flag napkins are illegal

When activist Abbie Hoffman wore his American flag shirt back in the 1960s people were shocked. He was even arrested and charged for "mutilating the American flag." Oh how times have changed. Today, putting the American flag on t-shirts, in advertisements, and even on napkins is considered the height of patriotism.… » 7/03/14 6:20pm 7/03/14 6:20pm

48 American Flags That Came Before Today's Stars and Stripes

Ah, Old Glory. A symbol of hard-won freedom that we honor by printing on $60 short shorts. It seems eternal, but it's actually gone through dozens of revisions over the years. Would your beer kozies and bikinis have looked better if we'd stuck with the Bedford Militia Men's flag of 1775? You be the judge. » 7/03/14 2:20pm 7/03/14 2:20pm


If Captain America actually represented the USA, he'd be embarrassing

Here's How All 50 State Flags Would Look As App Icons

Flat design is everywhere these days, almost to the point of parody. Now, even state flags have been given a flat makeover, courtesy of a creative agency based in Washington D.C. The result is a set of pretty flags that basically look like the state flags turned into app icons. » 6/13/14 3:40pm 6/13/14 3:40pm

What Would Change If Politicians Wrote Laws Based on Internet Polls?

A new political party, designed by software devs and engineers, is joining the race in California. If elected, PlaceAVote's Congressional candidates vow to decide on every bill based on the majority vote of their constituents—as measured via online polling. Could that sort of direct, digital democracy improve how… » 5/24/14 5:00pm 5/24/14 5:00pm