The Late Great American Promise of Less Work

Some French companies just banned employees from responding to work emails after work hours. A city in Sweden is trying out a 30-hour work week in earnest. But while the prospect of working less and enjoying more leisure time used to be the great futuristic promise of midcentury America, today it's little more than a… » 4/10/14 3:30pm 4/10/14 3:30pm

This 1947 Train of Tomorrow Puts Today's Trains to Shame

Here in 21st century America, train travel isn't seen as very futuristic. But in the years after World War II, trains were right up there with airplanes as the coolest in luxurious transportation of tomorrow. And in 1947 Americans got a peek at what was promised to be their train-bound future. » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

Escape the Devastation of Future Earth on a Luxurious Space Mayflower

Worried that Earth may soon suffer from overpopulation and irreversible environmental damage? Worry not, my fellow passengers of Spaceship Earth! In the future, we'll just hop on our space-faring Mayflowers to go find habitable planets. At least that was the promise of this Sunday comic strip from 1959. » 3/26/14 4:20pm 3/26/14 4:20pm

It's the 21st Century, So Where's My Monorail to LAX?


Getting people to the airport via train is a natural priority for cities around the country. When Minneapolis built its first light-rail line back in 2004 it had two major stops: the airport and downtown. But despite over two decades of modern Los Angeles embracing subways, there's still no train to LAX. And even if… » 3/24/14 1:45pm 3/24/14 1:45pm

1944's Big Screen TV of the Future Wasn't Much Bigger Than a MacBook

With the nation focused on World War II, Americans of the early 1940s understood that they'd have to wait until peacetime for all their shiny new futuristic gadgets to arrive—including the TVs of the future, shown above in illustrations from the Emerson Radio and Phonograph Corporation. If you can believe it, these… » 3/20/14 3:30pm 3/20/14 3:30pm

Do These Powerlaces Match My Hoverboard?

Hadley Freeman over at The Guardian has declared that Back to the Future is this season's big fashion trend. Which makes complete sense, right? It's almost the year 2015—the very year that Marty visits in the BTTF sequel—so bring on those Nike powerlaces and hoverboard-friendly sneakers! Or not. » 3/13/14 4:00pm 3/13/14 4:00pm

These Poor Naive Canadians Thought The Internet Would Be Polite

Every new communications technology has that honeymoon period where a select group of people embraces it as the key to utopia. And then come the trolls. Even early radio had miscreants who would send out false distress signals. The people least prepared for their trollish ways? Canadians. » 3/12/14 4:15pm 3/12/14 4:15pm