Why is It Called a 'Medicine Ball' Anyway?

Medicine balls, for those of you who haven’t been to a gym or never accidentally kicked one thinking it was like a soccer ball (true story), are heavy weighted balls coming in a variety of sizes and weights (with the biggest we could find ringing in at a whopping 150 pounds) with a diverse range of fitness… » 4/21/15 7:30am Tuesday 7:30am

A 250-Year-Old Clock Claimed A World Record (And Vindicated Its Maker)

Shortly before his death in 1776, eccentric British clock-maker John Harrison claimed to have designed the ‘perfect’ clock, one that would keep time flawlessly. His rivals and peers wrote it off as the boastings of a bitter, 80-year-old failure — but in modern-day light, Harrison has finally been proved right. » 4/20/15 12:19am 4/20/15 12:19am

Does Preserving the Past Keep Cities From Moving Into the Future?

In the last 50 years, the preservationist movement has become powerful—maybe too powerful in a place like New York City, where a third of the buildings are now protected. But the buildings we think of today as landmarks inevitably replaced older structures, ones we tend to forget were demolished in the path towards… » 4/17/15 1:50pm 4/17/15 1:50pm

How Lord Byron's Scandals Led Ada Lovelace To Become A Mathematician

Ada Lovelace is now most famously known as the mother of computer science, but during her lifetime, she was also well known on account of her famous father: Lord Byron. Although Ada never met her father, his scandalous behavior had a profound effect on how she was raised — on a strict diet of mathematics. » 4/17/15 11:35am 4/17/15 11:35am

That Time the US Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite

When it comes to nations with a long and rich history of space travel and exploration, Britain isn’t normally a country that comes to most people’s minds. However, they were the third country in the world to operate a satellite in orbit. It’s just a shame America ended up accidentally killing it just a few… » 4/15/15 8:00am 4/15/15 8:00am

Alan Turing's Hidden Manuscript Just Sold For $1 Million

Alan Turing, Engima-breaking mathematician and Benedict Cumberbatch lookalike, never wrote much during his life — manuscripts and diaries are hard to come by. The best remaining example was a 56-page notebook working on “the foundations of computer science”, which just sold at auction for $1,025,000. » 4/14/15 12:40am 4/14/15 12:40am

The Checklist Of What Had To Go Wrong For Apollo 13 To Fail Is Insane

Apollo 13 is often called a "successful failure" because of the way NASA managed to turn the situation around and successfully bring the astronauts home. But just how did the failure happen in the first place? Through a perfect storm of incredibly unlikely, but aligned, events. » 4/13/15 10:30pm 4/13/15 10:30pm

Why Gas Is Priced in Tenths of Cents

The practice of pricing fuel with a fraction of a penny is thought to have started around the 1930s. While we can’t be sure who was the first to price fuel this way, it seems to have become relatively commonplace across the United States all the sudden around the same time. So what happened? In short- taxes and the… » 4/13/15 6:34am 4/13/15 6:34am

Why the Hell Can't I Watch Murphy Brown Online?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says that without the 1990s TV series Murphy Brown to inspire her, she wouldn’t have gotten where she is today. The show was so influential that Vice President Dan Quayle turned the main character, played by Candice Bergen, into a political meme. And yet this series isn’t available anywhere… » 4/10/15 3:04pm 4/10/15 3:04pm

How the Moon Got Its Name

Almost every planet in our solar system and their respective orbiting moons have names taken directly from Greek and Roman mythology. For example, Mars is named for the Greek and Roman god of War, also known as Ares, while its moons, Deimos and Phobos are named for his sons. Likewise, Jupiter is named after Zeus… » 4/09/15 6:15am 4/09/15 6:15am