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The Late Great American Promise of Less Work

Some French companies just banned employees from responding to work emails after work hours. A city in Sweden is trying out a 30-hour work week in earnest. But while the prospect of working less and enjoying more leisure time used to be the great futuristic promise of midcentury America, today it’s little more than a… »8/18/15 3:55pm8/18/15 3:55pm

Nothing Is Better Than These 80s Internet Depictions of Technology

Ever spend time imagining what the world was like the year you popped into it? I love it. Because man, 1983 was ridiculous. And terrible. And awesome. Michael Jackson did his first moonwalk. AOL, Microsoft Word and My Little Pony came into existence. The first consumer Camcorder came out (Sony!) and weighed 7353009… »12/24/14 2:30pm12/24/14 2:30pm

Big Apple Apocalypse: 200 Years of Destroying New York City

Futurist thinkers have rarely been kind to New York City. In fact, writers and artists have spent the better part of two centuries destroying the Big Apple. Whether by flood or fire, nuclear explosion or alien invasion, New York more than any other city bears the brunt of our most apocalyptic futures. And perhaps no… »8/07/14 4:00pm8/07/14 4:00pm

The 1920s Tabloid Reporter Who Predicted TV Could Kill Newspapers

"What for example could be staler than to-morrow morning's newspaper account of a prize-fight or political convention one has already received over the radio?" wrote one commentator in 1928. Radio was overtaking print as the news medium of the day and some people insisted that newspapers were going to disappear… »8/04/14 4:06pm8/04/14 4:06pm

DIY Fireworks Instructions From the 1920s Were Ridiculously Unsafe

Americans love things that sparkle, things that glow, and especially things that blow up. So it makes sense that on America's birthday, we take great pride in our various spectacles of light and noise. Today, there are countless YouTube videos and how-to websites showing how to create your own firecrackers and… »7/04/14 1:32pm7/04/14 1:32pm

Here's How One Optimistic Parent From 1989 Imagined 2014

Is it cruel to have children when the world is so terrible? That's not a new question. And when a newspaper columnist in Michigan asked it in 1989, he came down on the side of no. The world of the future — the world of 2014, to be exact — was going to be just wonderful enough that having kids was a great idea. Was he… »6/22/14 11:02am6/22/14 11:02am

We're Still Waiting On The Dishwasher Utopia

Today, roughly 75 percent of American households have a dishwasher. But this wonder of modern kitchen science still lags well behind refrigerators and microwaves — which are both over 95 percent. The automatic dishwasher was the high-tech promise of the 1920s. And the 1950s. And the 1970s. So why has the dishwasher… »4/30/14 4:26pm4/30/14 4:26pm