It’s not just paper. From the first notes issued by the Continental Congress to the latest star-spangled bills released by the Federal Reserve, the history of money in America is laced with rebellion, propaganda, and—of course—lots and lots of wealth. It’s awkwardly beautiful.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a long and colorful history in rocketry and space exploration, from early missiles and rockets, to landing on the moon and remotely navigating rovers on Mars. Behind all the prominent men who spearheaded the programs was a group of unsung women.
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold.
In 1992, Bob Newhart was a comedy god. He’d starred in two mega-popular sitcoms, The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, and then he decided to star in a show about a superhero comics artist. The resulting show, BOB!, was a bizarre, high-concept romp about how superheroes were changing in the post-Frank Miller…
The Silence of the Lambs turns 25 this month. All this time, you thought it was merely a story about FBI trainee Clarice Starling’s hunt for a brutal serial killer named Buffalo Bill—with help from Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. But the Best Picture winner has a secret: everything in the film is actually part of a…
Thirty years ago, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. The tragedy shocked a nation caught in launch fever, and reshaped how NASA thought about risk.
Today was supposed to mark a step forward in human flights for the Apollo program. Instead, flames exploded inside the capsule during a pre-flight test. The fatal accident changed the nature of America’s space program.
How do you grow more food? One answer that makes sense is with bigger farms and more farmers. But if you look at the last half century-or-so worth of data, that’s not at all what’s been happening.
This week was full of lessons. Lesson One: Never trust an astronaut. Lesson Two: Everyone loves flowers. Lesson Three: We’ve grown a lot of plants in space.
When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the…
On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing…
When I decided to wait outside the Ziegfeld Theater in May 2002 for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, I hoped to be part of history. That happened—but it wasn’t how I expected.
On December 14, 1972, astronaut Eugene Cernan stepped up onto the lunar module, shook the moon dust off these boots, and ended an era of human exploration of the Moon.
On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This was not only our final Moon landing, but the last time we left low Earth orbit. With the successful launch of the Orion capsule, NASA is finally poised to go further again. So it’s important to remember how we got to the Moon — and why we stopped going.
The Paris climate summit may go down in history as the singular moment nations decided to tackle the threat of anthropogenic climate change. But few of us appreciate the fact that it’s taken over a century to arrive at a global consensus on the science.
Astronaut John Glenn was one of the Mercury Seven, the first Americans trained for spaceflight. Before Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in his Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962, he went through a lot of training.
The most important part of running a spacecraft on the heat from radioactive decay is to make sure the it’s actually decaying before you send it to space. All four of Cassini’s radioisotope thermoelectric generators underwent testing before the spacecraft was launched in 1997.
Every geologist needs a field hat to protect them from scorching sun and drenching rain, but a really lucky geologist will have a trusty dog. Meet the adventurous dogs who trekked across north Alaska, and the geologists who explored with them.
It’s one of the most tantalizing rumors on the internet. Aleister Crowley, one of the most famous masters of the occult ever, was secretly the father of Barbara Bush—and thus, also the grandfather of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush. Is it true? Do we care?
Are you flying through LGA, ATL, or ORD today? It turns out each of these airports has a bizarre and little-known backstory.