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… » 9/01/14 11:40am 9/01/14 11:40am

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 4:00pm 8/07/14 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 4:06pm 8/04/14 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 1:32pm 7/04/14 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 11:02am 6/22/14 11:02am

Behind the Scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey

The short documentary, 2001 A Space Odyssey: A Look Behind the Future is a fascinating artifact of film history. As the folks at Coudal Partners point out, it might be a little "cornball" at times, but it still serves to give context for thoughts around space exploration from technical experts and artists in the late… » 6/14/14 7:00pm 6/14/14 7:00pm

5 Predictions For The Future That Aren't So New After All

Today, the New York Times asked seven entrepreneurs and tech executives about what's in store for the future. It's a fascinating snapshot of futurist thinking in 2014. But these aren't just the dreams of tomorrow — most of them are the dreams of yesterday's tomorrows as well. » 5/02/14 3:23pm 5/02/14 3:23pm

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 4:26pm 4/30/14 4:26pm

No, Tech Adoption Is Not Speeding Up

Yesterday the folks over at Vox published an article arguing that generations should be defined by the technology they use, rather than by age. They included a graph that purported to show how American society is "adopting new technology more quickly than ever before." The graph is garbage. And here's why. » 4/21/14 3:22pm 4/21/14 3:22pm

This 1947 Train of Tomorrow Puts Today's Trains to Shame

Here in 21st century America, train travel isn't seen as very futuristic. But in the years after World War II, trains were right up there with airplanes as the coolest in luxurious transportation of tomorrow. And in 1947 Americans got a peek at what was promised to be their train-bound future. » 4/02/14 5:53pm 4/02/14 5:53pm

10 More Viral Photos That Are Actually Fake

The fakes just keep on coming. And frankly it's hard to keep up with all the internet-fueled deception. Today we're taking a look at a few more dubious images that you may have seen floating around the web recently. Punking Putin? Airplane selfies? Rocket to Uranus? Fake, fake, and definitely fake. » 4/01/14 12:20pm 4/01/14 12:20pm

How Would You Redraw North America?

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper recently proposed splitting California up into six distinct states. Draper's plan is getting a good deal of ridicule in the press, despite the fact that it could actually make its way to California ballots in the next election. But it's easy to forget that throughout history,… » 3/27/14 3:21pm 3/27/14 3:21pm

Escape the Devastation of Future Earth on a Luxurious Space Mayflower

Worried that Earth may soon suffer from overpopulation and irreversible environmental damage? Worry not, my fellow passengers of Spaceship Earth! In the future, we'll just hop on our space-faring Mayflowers to go find habitable planets. At least that was the promise of this Sunday comic strip from 1959. » 3/26/14 4:32pm 3/26/14 4:32pm