How the American Dream Is Killing the American Electric Bill

In 2012, American homes consumed 3.65 billion kilowatthours (kWh) worth of electricity—up from 720 million kWh in 1950—more than double per household than our British counterparts, and second only to China. How did the American home become such an energy hog, despite so many advances in efficient appliances and… » 4/10/14 2:00pm 4/10/14 2:00pm

New Jersey Can't Get Its Road Salt Because a Ship Is Missing a Flag

Forty-thousand tons of rock salt meant for New Jersey's icy roads is currently banned from so much as entering the Port of Newark. The reason? A nearly century-old maritime law that requires shipping vessels to fly the American flag. Naturally. » 2/18/14 4:40pm 2/18/14 4:40pm

A Map of State Life Expectancies (And What Country They're Closest To)

Americans are living longer, healthier lives—79.8 years on average—ranking 35th in the world in terms of life expectancy from birth. But where you live in the United States has a drastic impact on how far over or under the average your personal timeline will be. This illuminating map by the non-profit Measure of… » 2/04/14 10:20am 2/04/14 10:20am

These Doomsday Planes Protect Heads of State When Disaster Strikes

In the event of a nuclear strike on American soil, we're going to be in a little bit of trouble. But at least we'll die safe in the knowledge that the valiant leaders of our nation—or any yahoos lucky enough to be in office at the time—will be escaping the nuclear holocaust in a fleet of environmentally-impervious… » 1/10/14 12:20pm 1/10/14 12:20pm

A Map of the 124 United States of America That Could Have Been

The fact that we've kept the number of U.S. states relatively static is nothing short a miracle—there have been hundreds of attempts at state secession over the years. But what if they had all succeeded? This brilliant map depicts that alternative universe, where the U.S. is broken up into 124 different states that… » 12/31/13 2:00pm 12/31/13 2:00pm

What the world must look like to a flying bird (hint: awesome)

Claytonias F. traveled around America the past few months and documented it all with a quadcopter drone, a Phantom and a GoPro. The aerial views of our wonderful country are incredible to us foot worn humans but probably just a normal Wednesday for flying birds. This is probably the closest we'll come to flying. And… » 11/22/13 9:00pm 11/22/13 9:00pm

Illustrating America's Silliest Laws With Equally Silly Photographs

Stories about weird local laws always begin like urban legends. You might have heard that in Wisconsin, the Dairy State, all restaurants are required by law to serve cheese with every dish, including placing a slice of certified Wisconsin cheese on top of each and every order of apple pie. » 11/15/13 4:00pm 11/15/13 4:00pm

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… » 7/03/13 12:17pm 7/03/13 12:17pm

The Most Terrifying Cherry Blossom to Ever Take Flight

By 1945 Allied forces were knocking on Japan's front door. As the Empire's military grew increasingly desperate, it began to focus on eliminating the Allies' willingness to fight—by intentionally crashing manned aircraft in kamikaze attacks. And for pilots aboard one breed of these notorious flying coffin, the MXY-7… » 6/05/13 11:30am 6/05/13 11:30am

Sears Plans To Retrofit 2,500 "Ghostbox" Stores As Data Centers

There are over a billion square feet of vacant commercial space in the US right now, most of it in the form of big box stores. This being America, we’ve come up with plenty of intelligent ways to reuse the department stores at which we can no longer afford to shop: Churches. Parks. Clinics. And now, data centers. » 5/29/13 4:20pm 5/29/13 4:20pm

Keep Your Beer Cold and Your Hand Warm With This Koozie-Like Thing…

Nothing says 'Merica quite like a cold domestic beer. And nothing screams 'Merica!!!! at the top of its lungs quite like a cold domestic beer sitting in a koozie thing adorned with the stars and stripes of Old Glory herself, complete with an attached fingerless glove so you don't drop it amid drunken stumbles and… » 1/28/13 12:35pm 1/28/13 12:35pm

This Map of the United States of America Shows Every State's Stereotype …

When you punch into Google, why is California so... Google autocomplete will show you liberal, broke, anti-gun and expensive. For New York? Great, populated, expensive and big. Alabama? So racist, so good, so good at football and so obese. This is the United States of America, according to Google autocomplete. » 8/15/12 8:30pm 8/15/12 8:30pm