Happy Birthday to Pitchfork: The Most Annoyingly Important Music…

Do you care about music? Probably. Do you use the internet? Yes. If so, you probably loathe Pitchfork, perhaps the most arrogant collection of HTML ever assembled. And yet it's our most powerful critical voice—and changed music forever. » 8/17/11 4:40pm 8/17/11 4:40pm

Why Was the Titanic Considered "Unsinkable"?

This week is the centennial of the Titanic's launch, May 31st, 1911. Why was she considered unsinkable? Because of her 30 compartments which could be sealed against one another with a pull of a single lever. [The Scuttlefish] » 6/03/11 8:32pm 6/03/11 8:32pm

TV Hit the Public 85 Years Ago Today

Your LCD or plasma has a great, great grandfather. And it's not the chunky CRT that preceded it in the 90s. No. Eighty five years ago, public eyes first hit TV—while it broadcast the head of a dummy. » 1/26/11 11:40pm 1/26/11 11:40pm

The Concorde Took Its First Flight to Failure 35 Years Ago

The Concorde was birthed as a symbol. It was a symbol of diplomacy (the result of a treaty between France and England) and a symbol of progress (the first commercial supersonic airliner). But it died a symbol of failure. » 1/21/11 2:20pm 1/21/11 2:20pm

Happy Birthday New Horizons, the Little Probe (Still) Racing for Pluto

We've launched probes all over the place. We've snapped and beamed back pictures of every spot in the solar system. Except Pluto. Call it a planet. Call it a dwarf planet. Either way, it's the last unknown. Not for long. » 1/19/11 3:40pm 1/19/11 3:40pm

Benjamin Franklin's Most Enduring Inventions

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, making today his 305th birthday. Here is a list of things you may or may not have known sprang from this impossibly talented man's mind. » 1/17/11 5:40pm 1/17/11 5:40pm

How Three College Kids Illegally Captured the Nation's First X-Ray…

On the evening of January 12, 1896, three Davidson College juniors bribed a janitor and sneaked into a physics laboratory, carrying with them a cadaver's finger and other strange items. They didn't realize that they were about to make history. » 1/12/11 2:20pm 1/12/11 2:20pm

This Enormous Flying Boat Made Transcontinental History, 75 Years Ago…

The China Clipper left San Francisco as a huge seaplane full of mail—110,000 pieces of it. But was responsible for the first transpacific flight in history, and became one of the world's first technological celebrities. » 11/22/10 9:20pm 11/22/10 9:20pm

Thirty Years Ago, a Louisiana Lake Turned Into a Swirling Pit of…

In 1980, Texaco drilled down to look for oil beneath Lake Peigneur. A little too far down. The mistake drained the entire lake like a bathtub, creating an enormous whirlpool that consumed barges, drills, and 65 acres of land. Oops. » 11/21/10 7:30pm 11/21/10 7:30pm

Happy 25th Birthday to Windows 1.0: The Bland Bust that Started it All

Windows 95? A somewhat hazy memory at this point (whether you miss it or not). But Windows 1.0? One point oh? Mostly forgotten. But bring it up again, and all the problems and primitiveness of it might surprise you. » 11/20/10 1:00pm 11/20/10 1:00pm

20 Years Ago Today, Milli Vanilli Lost Their Grammy For Lip Syncing…

Lip sync fails are not uncommon these days. But November 19, 1990 saw the culminating moment of one of the most shameful not-actually-singing debacles in pop music history: it was the day Milli Vanilli was stripped of their Grammy. » 11/19/10 4:10pm 11/19/10 4:10pm

35 Years Ago Today We Got Our First Look at an Alien World

Thirty five years ago yesterday, we could only imagine the view from the surface of another world. But Russia's Venera 9 probe changed all that, beaming back the first ever photo of another planet—25 million miles away. » 10/21/10 1:40pm 10/21/10 1:40pm

The Commercial Radio Revolution Switched On 90 Years Ago Today

The Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh closed 16 years ago. I'd never heard of it—the place is dead and gone. But before flickering away, it convinced a country of millions to buy into the radio tech revolution. » 9/29/10 8:30pm 9/29/10 8:30pm

40 Years Ago, Robots Started Doing Our Dirty Work For Us In Space

Earthlings had scored moon rocks before 1970. NASA's Apollo 11 and 12 missions successfully hauled them back to study—immense scientific accomplishments, of course. One problem. It cost $142 billion in today's dollars. Russia's solution? Send a robot instead. » 9/20/10 8:40pm 9/20/10 8:40pm

25 Years Ago Today, Steve Jobs Left Apple

On September 16, 1985, seven years after he had started the company with his friend Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple Computer. Twelve years later to the day, the company announced that he was back. » 9/16/10 3:20pm 9/16/10 3:20pm

The Rise of the Revolutionary ‘Riding Car’

The age of the automobile started exactly 125 years ago yesterday when Gottlieb Daimler filed a patent for his revolutionary "riding car," a two-wheeled machine driven by an internal combustion engine. » 8/30/10 3:20pm 8/30/10 3:20pm

The Great Moon Hoax, Perpetrated 175 Years Ago

The Moon, in addition to being covered with vast oceans and dense forests, is home to fur-bearing bat-people that occupy a strange gilded pyramid. These are the discoveries people read about in the New York Sun 175 years ago today. » 8/25/10 10:00am 8/25/10 10:00am

Viking: The First Spacecraft to Land on Mars

35 years ago today, Viking 1 departed to Mars. Eleven months later, it showed the sand, rocks and sky of the legendary Red Planet for the first time: » 8/20/10 11:40pm 8/20/10 11:40pm

Internet Explorer Turns 15 Today

15 years ago today, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 1.0, the first version of a browser that would eventually command nearly 95% market share. Happy birthday IE, you've been around for hyperlinks, hash tags, and everything in between. » 8/16/10 6:00pm 8/16/10 6:00pm

Happy 80th Birthday to Fiddlesticks, the First Color Cartoon With Sound

On August 16, 1930, some eight years after he created Mickey Mouse for Walt Disney, animator Ub Iwerks debuted his newest cartoon, Fiddlesticks. It was the first to combine sound and color, setting the course for the entire animation industry. » 8/16/10 4:40pm 8/16/10 4:40pm