An Artist Whose Career Is Based Entirely On Other People's Photographs

Why take photos when millions upon millions of people are taking billions upon billions of them every single day, of every subject imaginable? Artist Joachim Schmid has been obsessed with other people's photos for years, collecting and re-packaging them as art objects. This great video from the Carnegie Museum of… » 9/24/14 11:32am 9/24/14 11:32am

The U.S. once considered using 23 nuclear bombs to blast out a highway

Rising out of California's Mojave Desert are the Bristol Mountains, nearly 4,000 feet of rock blocking easy passage through the scorching desert. For decades, Route 66 and the Santa Fe Railway have had to bend south, acquiescing to the mountains' height. But in the 1960s, at the peak of atomic age, we had a plan to… » 9/23/14 4:34pm 9/23/14 4:34pm

The Design of Spoons and Knives Can Change the Way We Taste Food

Chances are, you've spent more time thinking about the specs on your smartphone than about the gadgets that you use to put food in your mouth. But the shape and material properties of forks, spoons, and knives turn out to matter—a lot. Changes in the design of cutlery have not only affected how and what we eat, but… » 9/19/14 9:20am 9/19/14 9:20am

These Richly Detailed Maps Give the Modern World a Victorian Twist

Wouldn't we all love to live in a city where floating dirigibles shared the horizon alongside the glass towers of our modern skylines? Such is the wild world featured in the highly complex, geographically accurate illustrations of Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams, whose maps are part of an exhibition for the… » 9/15/14 5:00pm 9/15/14 5:00pm

America's Real WWII Flying Fortress Was The Massive Douglas XB-19

During the mid 1930s, the Army Air Corps wanted to push the technological envelope when it came to building a very long range bomber. Code named 'Project D,' this top-secret initiative would lead to the largest American bomber concept flown during World War II, the massive yet elegant Douglas XB-19. » 9/11/14 1:49pm 9/11/14 1:49pm

America's first roller coaster began as a railway for transporting coal

If you're wondering how people first decided plummeting downhill inside a rickety box on wheels seemed like a good time, look no further than the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway in Pennsylvania. What began as a railway for shooting coal down the mountain turned into a destination for thousands of tourists in the late… » 9/04/14 6:15pm 9/04/14 6:15pm

Get Lost in This Map of 170,000 Photos From Depression-Era America

Some of the most haunting images of the U.S. were captured from 1935 to 1945, as the country emerged from the depths of the Great Depression and rallied for World War II. A team from Yale has collaborated on one of the most visually stunning interpretations of the era, called Photogrammar: 170,000 photos from the… » 9/03/14 1:43pm 9/03/14 1:43pm

Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By the Company Hired to Fix It

Saqqara, in Egypt, is the oldest stone complex ever built by humans—and within it sits the oldest pyramid in Egypt. It's a piece of irreplaceable history that's been crumbling for 4,600 years. But according to one local report, it's currently being destroyed by the company hired to "restore" it. » 9/03/14 10:37am 9/03/14 10:37am

The Bizarre History of X-Ray Records and Early Music Piracy

Thanks to the internet's amazing capacity for self-recycling, articles about Soviet pirate recordings made of X-rays pop up frequently in my feeds. These popular, widely-shared posts explain how, in the 1950s and 60s, music fans in the Soviet Union fabricated bootlegged recordings of banned western music—and they used… » 8/19/14 3:35pm 8/19/14 3:35pm

These GIFs From The Smithsonian Archives Make History Come To Life

The charm of a perfect looping image cannot be denied. Old timey illustrations are delightful nostalgia inducers. Pair 'em together and hot damn: That is a recipe for sure-fire internet love. Drawing from seemingly endless stores of digitized archives, the Smithsonian Libraries have been posting original gifs on their » 8/14/14 8:20pm 8/14/14 8:20pm

A Forgotten Einstein Model of the Universe Describes the Big Crunch

Way back in 1931, Albert Einstein visited the U.S. for three months. Inspired by meetings with Edwin Hubble, he began thinking about the Universe differently, writing a paper in four days to get down his thoughts—and now, those first scribblings have been translated into English for the first time. » 8/14/14 5:30am 8/14/14 5:30am