RIP The Professor of Gilligan's Island and His Jetpack Fuel

Actor Russell Johnson died yesterday at the age of 89. He was best known for his role as The Professor on the hit TV show Gilligan's Island from 1964 until 1967. In honor of the actor, Mental Floss has compiled a list of the good Professor's greatest inventions —greatest inventions that never were. » 1/17/14 5:41pm 1/17/14 5:41pm

The First Jetpack You'll Be Able to Buy Just Got a Slick New Design

Number two on the list of promised future technologies that have yet to be delivered, right behind the flying car, is the personal jetpack. Hollywood's delivered them in spades thanks to special effects, but in real-life New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft is as close as we're going to get. And now it's even closer with… » 9/30/13 9:11am 9/30/13 9:11am

Before Jetpacks, We Were Promised Butterfly Wings

The jetpack would emerge in popular American science fiction of the 1920s, and later become cemented into the popular imagination after World War II. But the idea of single-flyer personal transportation tech didn't start with the jetpack. In the late 19th century, people were obsessed with flight. And they imagined a… » 7/17/13 2:39pm 7/17/13 2:39pm

What Futuristic Promise Are You Most Skeptical About?

Within the past decade we've seen technologies that had been promised for years finally become mainstream successes. The smartphone? Yep! The tablet computer? You betcha! Ebooks? They now account for nearly a quarter of book sales. But we're still waiting on plenty of other technologies that were dreamed up by the… » 6/06/13 4:45pm 6/06/13 4:45pm

How A Holocaust Denier Fooled The Internet With Nazi Jetpack Soldiers

One of the great accomplishments of Nazi Germany's war machine was a jetpack that propelled their soldiers into the sky. It was a fantastical device whose story has been told many times on the web and it would be even more impressive if it weren't the propaganda of a Holocaust denier disguised as history. » 5/02/13 1:01pm 5/02/13 1:01pm