Did A "Field of Human Excrement" By The White House Kill A President?

If you remember President William Henry Harrison from U.S. history class at all, then you probably remember him as the poor fellow who died from pneumonia a month after delivering his inaugural address in freezing rain. Except was it really pneumonia after all? A New York Times article suggests a different theory, and… » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

8 Massive Tunnels Being Built Right Now Under A City Near You

Now that we know it was an eight-inch steel pipe that brought the world's largest-diameter tunneling machine to a halt up in Seattle, we can no longer fantasize about Bertha unearthing a five-story-tall buried locomotive. But we can look at something almost as fascinating: The other giant holes that are currently being … » 1/07/14 9:20am 1/07/14 9:20am

Here's What the Tip of the Washington Monument Looks Like Up Close

The 129-year-old Washington Monument is enshrouded in scaffolding this month, as workers repair the structural cracks caused by a a 2011 earthquake. But the scaffolds are giving scientists the chance to carry out other work, too: Like measuring the exact height of the aging monument. » 11/12/13 10:40am 11/12/13 10:40am

These Interactive Maps Compare 19th Century American Cities to Today

As mind-blowing as science is these days, it's probably safe to say that we're not going to invent a time machine within the next century. Through the magic of code, though, there is an entertaining alternative in the world of interactive maps. Obviously, The Smithsonian is on it. » 9/02/13 10:00am 9/02/13 10:00am

A Fleet of Blimps Will Soon Serve as a Missile Shield Over Washington

A still-chilling consequence of post-9/11 America is that we remain all too aware of the fact that we could be attacked at any moment. And so with worst case scenarios in mind, the military is constantly upgrading our defense systems in increasingly creative ways. Washington DC is next in line. It's getting blimps. » 7/24/13 10:35am 7/24/13 10:35am

Lincoln's Pyramid: Failed Proposals For DC's Most Famous Monuments

Retronostalgia is the air. Last week, we looked six New Yorks that could have been. And this week, National Geographic takes a similar look at D.C., for which there are veritable heaps of unbuilt memorials. Ever wondered what the Lincoln Memorial would look like, had it been built by ancient Egyptians? » 7/08/13 10:04am 7/08/13 10:04am

People Start Piling on Top of Each Other As an Escalator Goes Crazy

This is crazy. During John Stewart and Steven Colbert's 'Rally to Restore Sanity' event in Washington DC, an escalator in a Metro station went completely buckwild. Like to the shits. I'm not kidding, the escalator started speeding up and tossing people on top of each other. Just watch. The ridiculousness starts around … » 2/28/11 9:20pm 2/28/11 9:20pm