You Can Buy an Ejector Seat From an F-4 Phantom for Quick Escapes

If you're an aviation enthusiast, there's a lot of fun stuff to be found in Boeing's online store. But none are as unique—and some would say even historic—as this authentic de-commissioned ejector seat from an McDonnell F-4 Phantom II fighter jet, one of the U.S. military's workhorses of the Vietnam War. » 10/24/14 4:15pm Yesterday 4:15pm

This Map Shows Manhattan Transform from the Countryside to a Metropolis

It's hard to imagine, but Manhattan used to be a bunch of open fields and trees. Then, after a small Dutch fort turned into an important trading post, things began to change. And a new map project by the architects and coders at Morphocode lets you visualize the past 300 years of that process. » 10/10/14 5:46pm 10/10/14 5:46pm

The weirdest things women used as contraceptives throughout history

What does crocodile dung and weasel testicles and pig intestines and fizzy cola and moonshine mixed with ground beaver testicles have in common with each other? They were all used as contraceptives throughout history. Some were inserted into a woman's body, others were eaten and a few were just worn. » 10/04/14 1:32am 10/04/14 1:32am

The Hidden History of This Year's MLB Playoff Team Logos

In one of the first games of postseason baseball today—the real postseason, not the play-in games—a team with a logo that Hallmark Cards designed will take on a team that once played with a Disney-designed logo. It's the Royals against the Angels, and there's plenty more weird baseball logo history where that came… » 10/02/14 10:11am 10/02/14 10:11am

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