Skip the Microwave, the Popcorn Monsoon Makes Snacking a Spectacle

It's certainly a thrill when a bag of microwave popcorn starts its cacophony of tiny explosions, but the magic is hidden away inside a paper bag, masking the thrill of popping corn. So designer Jolene Carlier re-imagined the hot air popper with her Popcorn Monsoon that's as entertaining as watching a hamster dash… » 1/29/15 9:25am Yesterday 9:25am

Finally, Transition Lens Glasses That Aren't Total Dorkdom 

Blessed are those with perfect vision, but the rest of us poor, nearly blind souls know the torture that is looking for sunglasses when we already have to wear glasses. The options are Fitovers that jut out like VR goggles or flimsy clip-ons or prescription sunglasses ($$$) or god forbid transition lens. (Please don't… » 1/28/15 1:55pm Wednesday 1:55pm

How the Pencil Sharpener Was Invented

For years, the knife was the most commonly used tool to sharpen the wooden writing instrument known as a pencil (which historians believe was invented in the 15th or 16th century). But whittling the wood away to eventually produce a point was a time-consuming, tedious, and inexact process. As pencils became more… » 1/28/15 6:30am Wednesday 6:30am

You'll Waste Hours Watching the Time Tick By On this Nixie Tube Clock

Though the technology is ludicrously outdated, Nixie tubes have actually remained a popular alternative to LEDs and LCD displays—at least in devices where function follows form. So it's no surprise that MB&F, known for its over-the-top watches and music boxes, has embraced them on its new Nixie Machine clock that… » 1/27/15 7:00pm Tuesday 7:00pm

Inverted Skyscrapers Hang Like Glowing Stalactites From Your LED Bulbs

LED bulbs are not only more energy-efficient than the incandescents they're slowly making extinct, they also run cool to the touch. Which means if you're bored by their uninspired shape, you can snap on these wonderful 3D-printed hanging skyscrapers that glow like stalactites, turning your living room into an art-deco… » 1/27/15 5:00pm Tuesday 5:00pm

There's an Awesome Tiny Apartment Hidden Inside This 100-Year-Old Turret

For more than a century, the incredible neoclassical turret that crowns Amsterdam's oldest department store has sat unused. Today, an artist moved in—the tower's very first resident and the lucky first guest of a program that's turning the empty structure into a tiny apartment for artists. » 1/27/15 12:00pm Tuesday 12:00pm

All the faces of Ultron: The design evolution of the Avengers' archenemy

Outstanding illustration of the new Ultron on the cover of Empire this week. I remember how fascinated I was the first time I saw Ultron in Avengers. It was issue #162, published in 1977—I saw it much later because it arrived to Spain in the 80s. Here's how artists changed Ultron's appearance through the years: » 1/26/15 7:14pm Monday 7:14pm

You Can Remotely Control This LED Camping Lantern With a Smartphone

Is there anything worse than entombing yourself in a warm sleeping bag only to realize you'll need to face the cold of night again to turn off the lantern in your tent? For those who like their camping on the comfier side, Brunton's new Lightwave Amp can be controlled remotely using a Bluetooth connection to an app on… » 1/26/15 7:00pm Monday 7:00pm

A 16-Foot Elastic Band Powers This Sleek 3D-Printed RC Car

Elastic-powered toys don't sound particularly exciting these days when you can get a buy a flying toy helicopter that fits in the palm of your hand. But three students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena created this stunning RC car, made from 3D-printed plastic and carbon fiber, that's propelled using a… » 1/26/15 12:43pm Monday 12:43pm

CERN Wants Artists and Architects Working Alongside Its Physicists

What do art and high-energy physics have in common? Quite a bit, if you think about it: Space, time, and the structure of the visible and invisible world, for starters. That's why CERN has spent the past four years inviting artists into its headquarters, and why, for the first time, it's now inviting an architect to… » 1/26/15 11:50am Monday 11:50am

A Clever Redesign of Delivery Boxes Would Make Them Way Easier To Open

The next time you're trying to hack open a shipping box and get tape stuck all over your car keys, you'll wish that FedEx and UPS would adopt designer ChenChen Hu's clever Corner Pack. It's a re-imagined version of the standard delivery box that skips the packing tape for clever folds and a dented corner with an… » 1/23/15 11:40am 1/23/15 11:40am