Ikea Is Reissuing Amazing Old Designs From the 1950s and 60s

Ikea is over 70 years old, which means the company has survived through dozens upon dozens of design trends, from stuffy conservatism in the late 1940s to the craziness of the 60s. Wonderfully, the company is now plucking classics from its archives to sell in some stores. » 11/20/14 5:17pm Thursday 5:17pm

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Why Nikola Tesla Is a Hero to Men's Rights Activists

Nikola Tesla is celebrated as a genius who had an amazing ability to envision the future. He predicted cellphones, television, and even elements of the internet long before any of these things existed. But he also had some weird ideas about the social issues of tomorrow. Which is why he's become an unlikely hero in… » 11/20/14 1:50pm Thursday 1:50pm

DARPA Director Totally Cool With Google Taking All the Fun Toys

In an interview this afternoon at the Defense One Summit, DARPA director Arati Prabhakar explained the history and future of the agency. And Prabhakar wants it known that Google and other commercial enterprises are not their enemy. In fact, they're more important that ever to DARPA's national security goals, as… » 11/19/14 5:20pm Wednesday 5:20pm

When Singing to No One In Particular Was The Hot New Thing

Back in 1910 the highest paid singer in the world was blazing trails into the future. Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso reportedly pulled in a quarter of his $200,000 income (about $4.8 million adjusted for inflation) from singing to an audience of nobody. Which is to say, he was singing for recordings that would be… » 11/18/14 5:30pm Tuesday 5:30pm

1950s Homes of the Future Were Going to Push-Button All The Things

After World War II, Americans were promised that pretty soon everything would be operated by push-button. Push-button cars, push-button schools — and a push-button for nearly every moving thing in your futuristic home. » 11/14/14 2:45pm 11/14/14 2:45pm

Blood on the Tracks in Pullman: Chicagoland's Failed Capitalist Utopia

In 1880 industrialist George Pullman set out to build a capitalist utopia. The town of Pullman was established just outside of Chicago as a model community—a place that was supposed to produce both happy workers and a nice return for Pullman's investors. It turned out to be a miserable failure. And conditions in the… » 11/13/14 10:30am 11/13/14 10:30am

The 1920s Instructions for Building Your Own Light-Up Crystal Ball

Tech magazines of the 1920s were all about debunking magicians who claimed paranormal powers, conjurers, and other frauds. But they also showed you how these people pulled off their greatest tricks. Like in this November 1925 issue of The Experimenter where you could learn how to make a smoking crystal ball. » 11/12/14 3:30pm 11/12/14 3:30pm

America's First Flying Aircraft Carriers Just Couldn't Stay in the Sky

Flying aircraft carriers are a great idea on paper—especially when they're commanded by the likes of Nick Fury—but in reality, they're more death trap than sky island. Or, at least, the short-lived USS Akron was. When it crashed off the New Jersey coast in 1933, it took nearly everybody on board with it. » 11/12/14 11:50am 11/12/14 11:50am

Driverless Cars and Eating Dogs: Predictions for Year 2000 from 1980

What do you imagine will be the biggest challenges that the world will face in 20 years? Energy or food scarcity? Overpopulation? What about our biggest triumphs? Cures for cancer and extended lifespans? Smarter humans? Well, these would all sound similar to the people of 1980 when they looked 20 years into the future… » 11/06/14 12:45pm 11/06/14 12:45pm

Real Life Journalist Suing Over the Microwave Scene in American Hustle

Remember that scene in American Hustle when Jennifer Lawrence's character sticks some metal in the microwave? It starts a fire and Lawrence's character dismisses the entire technology, claiming that it zaps the nutrition out of food. She even has an article to back up her claim. Now the real life journalist who was… » 11/04/14 12:00pm 11/04/14 12:00pm