For Sale on eBay: Military Vehicle To Start Your Robot Army

Ever had a burning desire to start your own robot army? Well, now might be your chance, provided you have $55,000 to spare. Someone is selling an experimental unmanned military vehicle on eBay. (Death ray not included.) » 3/31/15 12:45pm Tuesday 12:45pm

'Optimistic' Predictions From 1950 That Warned of the Coming Dystopia

It's so easy for us to look back at old predictions for the future and see them as quaint or overly optimistic. But when we take a closer look—when we stop to really process what's going on in these predictions—we often find that they weren't merely silly or naive. They were warning of the horrific, dystopian future… » 3/30/15 11:43am Monday 11:43am

A Custody Battle Is Raging Over the Contents of This 1894 Time Capsule

This past Sunday workers demolishing a former telescope factory in Pittsburgh were surprised to find a 19th century time capsule in the cornerstone. Now the demolition company is claiming that it has every right to keep the capsule — along with the incredibly cool telescope artifacts that they found inside. » 3/26/15 4:45pm 3/26/15 4:45pm

Grumpy Americans of the 1970s Wanted to Rewrite the Constitution

The 1970s was a rough time for most Americans. The economy was tanking, inflation was out of control, and thanks to the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal, few people had anything good to say about their government. Which is why predictions about the future from this era are so fascinating. » 3/25/15 2:15pm 3/25/15 2:15pm

How Did You Prepare For Y2K?

We live in a world obsessed with the threat of terrorism. But fifteen years ago, the media was in constant hysterics over Y2K, or "the Millennium bug." A real coding error that required many a fix, Y2K also provoked outsize paranoia and survivalist tactics that anticipated the end of the world. What were you up to? » 3/24/15 7:01pm 3/24/15 7:01pm

Professor from 1910: White Babies Will Be Extinct by 2015

Have you seen a baby recently? Then consider yourself lucky. They were supposed to be extinct by the year 2015. At least that's according to the first two paragraphs of a newspaper article in the December 31, 1910 edition of the Asheville Citizen in North Carolina. But keep reading the article and you'll notice… » 3/24/15 4:00pm 3/24/15 4:00pm

Was This the Plexiglass Car of the Future in 1952?

If you're a fan of olde-timey futuristic cars you may have seen the photo above pulsating through your streams this weekend. Is it really what people of 1952 thought cars of the future would look like? Not exactly. But it's still really cool! » 3/23/15 11:50am 3/23/15 11:50am

New Board Game Pits Tesla Against Edison, History's Greatest Underdog

Everybody knows that Nikola Tesla was a genius. But with all the attention being paid to Tesla here in the 21st century, many kids today must wonder what happened to his rival, Thomas Edison. Well, soon everybody will have a chance to tinker with technology history by putting their (fake) money behind inventors like… » 3/20/15 2:00pm 3/20/15 2:00pm

That Time Hackers Changed the CIA Website to 'Central Stupidity Agency'

On September 16, 1996 Swedish hackers changed the CIA's website to read "Central Stupidity Agency" instead of "Central Intelligence Agency." Experts believe it to be one of the sickest burns delivered to the agency in all of 1996. » 3/18/15 2:30pm 3/18/15 2:30pm

Museum Giving Away Back to the Future Car (If Cubs Win World Series)

We're still waiting on many of the futuristic technologies from Back to the Future: Part II. We don't have Marty's hoverboard, Doc's electronic technology that puts you to sleep, or the government's total weather control. But you might have a chance to win Doc Brown's DeLorean — provided the Cubs win the World Series. » 3/18/15 12:00pm 3/18/15 12:00pm

Hear Bucky Fuller Talk About Life, Airplanes, and the Future

There's something jarring about hearing old interviews of legendary futurist Buckminster Fuller. He speaks at a rapid pace, like each word is racing to get out before the next. But both Fuller's style and his self-assuredness make it hard not to get swept up in his unbridled optimism about the future of technology —… » 3/17/15 5:30pm 3/17/15 5:30pm

I Will Literally Eat The Sun If This Flying Car Is Released by 2017

We constantly read that the flying car is just two years away. In fact, we've been hearing this for decades. So who's promising one this week? A little company called AeroMobil, whose CEO made a big splash at South by Southwest with his announcement of a release by 2017. But if the AeroMobil flying car is released… » 3/16/15 4:55pm 3/16/15 4:55pm

Why Is Angela Merkel Always Palling Around With Robots?

Last week we looked at the odd 21st century phenomenon of politicians shaking hands with robots as if they were human. We learned a lot about the potential robot uprising, but we also discovered that one politician in particular always seems to be hanging out with robots: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. » 3/16/15 2:00pm 3/16/15 2:00pm

The Sound of a War's End, Visualized

Above we see seven seconds of an audio recording from November 11, 1918. On the left we can see three seconds of guns firing. In the middle? The official time of the ceasefire to end World War I and a sudden reprieve from the staccato of weapons blasting. On the right, the first three seconds of peace. An uneasy… » 3/13/15 4:10pm 3/13/15 4:10pm

California Has Just One Year of Water Reserves, So... Water Cannons?

Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has a terrifying piece in the Los Angeles Times about the future of California's water. According to Famiglietti, the state has just one year of water in reserves: » 3/13/15 11:40am 3/13/15 11:40am

Is This Film of Women in 'Scandalous' Swimsuits Really From 1898?

There's something about this film that strikes me as strange. According to the film archive company British Pathé, it shows beach bathers in England in 1898. Supposedly, people of the time were scandalized by their "wanton display of bare flesh." But I get the feeling that it's all a big joke. And a more recent one at… » 3/12/15 5:30pm 3/12/15 5:30pm

Take The Intelligence Test That Thomas Edison Gave to Job Seekers

Today tech companies are infamous for asking silly questions at job interviews. How would I move Mount Fuji? If I knew that I probably wouldn't be sitting here for this job interview, would I, Microsoft? » 3/12/15 12:40pm 3/12/15 12:40pm

If You Feed Your Baby The Paleo Diet You Should Be in Prison

Publishers in Australia are delaying the release of a new Paleo Diet book aimed at new moms over concerns that some of the recipes could be harmful to children. The most alarming recipe? Homemade baby formula made from little more than chicken liver and bone broth. » 3/11/15 1:20pm 3/11/15 1:20pm

Politicians Shaking Hands With Robots, Ranked

Politicians love to shake hands with their constituents. It's basically half their job. But over the past two decades we've seen the rise of a surprising new constituency that they need to engage with a firm handshake: Robots. » 3/10/15 3:30pm 3/10/15 3:30pm

This Cartoon Perfectly Sums Up the Optimism of 1950s Futurism

The December 28, 1959 issue of Life magazine featured this illustration of life in 1975. It's over the top and cartoonish, of course, but it perfectly sums up all of the techno-optimism that was so prevalent in the late 1950s — the Golden Age of Futurism. » 3/09/15 4:40pm 3/09/15 4:40pm