Have you ever experienced a sonic boom? A sonic boom so forceful that your dishes fell from the cupboards, your photos fell off the walls, and maybe your ceiling even started to crack? This was the reality that residents of Oklahoma City endured for six months in 1964 — eight times per day.
Over a century ago, the California Cycleway promised an elevated, dedicated bike path from Los Angeles to the nearby city of Pasadena. In this excerpt from the new book LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas, author Dan Koeppel tracks its path through Southern California—and discovers why it was never finished.
Buckminster Fuller was either a brilliant inventor or a nutcase charlatan, depending on who you ask. And perhaps no single invention of Bucky’s encapsulates that divide quite like his Dymaxion car. Was it a death trap or a feat of engineering genius? The Wall Street Journal recently tested out a functioning replica…
New York and DC are piles of ash, but at least your checks are clearing. That was the idea behind the Culpeper Switch, a sprawling bunker built by the Federal Reserve to keep the banks running after nuclear apocalypse. But even some Cold War-era politicians thought it was silly.
Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco already has wax figures of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. But it’s trying to decide which tech mogul should become the next embodiment of the uncanny valley. And it wants your help!
When the Astrodome was built in 1963, Houstonians did what all sensible, red-blooded Americans do whenever they break ground on a new building: They buried a time capsule. Unfortunately for those of us here in the 2015, nobody can find it.
A new Twilight Zone exhibit opened this week at the Bundy Museum of History and Art in Binghamton, New York. And we all have just six months to check it out.
When a Florida mailman landed a gyrocopter with a USPS logo on the lawn of the Capitol today, I’m sure you were asking yourself the same question I was: Does the postal service really deliver mail via gyrocopter? Not today. But it turns out they did, back in the 1930s.
Walt Disney Pictures just released a short video showing off some of the retro inspiration for its upcoming movie, Tomorrowland. Many elements of the film are still shrouded in mystery, but readers of Paleofuture may notice a lot of familiar footage in the new teaser.
The United States is beginning to normalize relations with Cuba. Which is kind of amazing, when you consider the fact that America has been trying to sabotage the island nation for over half a century. In fact, the US government has officially produced dozens of ideas for destabilizing Cuba. And many of them sound…
La Fin du Monde (The End of the World), is a 19th century science fiction novel about a comet colliding with the Earth, followed by several million years leading up to the gradual death of the planet. The book was written by French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion, first published in 1893, and adapted into…
Workers in Rochester, Minnesota were shocked yesterday to discover a time capsule underneath a statue of the Mayo brothers. Nobody knows what's inside, but it's large enough to keep us guessing. Could it be old fashioned medications? Antique stethoscopes? Maybe a samples of a virus that'll wipe out humanity?
Radio nerds of the 1940s predicted that "robot jockeys" would soon be the wave of the future. They weren't wrong, but it did take a little longer than they expected.
CUPERTINO, SILICON VALLEY — APRIL 24, 2020: Thousands assembled in Cupertino today to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the single most important event in tech history — the release of the Apple Watch.
The early 1980s were a watershed moment for digital technology. Aside from the imminent personal computing revolution, it was clear that video recording could change the way we did everything from watch movies to shop for new clothes. And Sears was on it.
According to futurists of the 20th century, food of the future was supposed to be calorie-dense, inexpensive, and ready in a flash. And in many ways that future has arrived. But we're still waiting on one high-tech food prediction from the 1980s: The rehydrated pizza of the film Back to the Future: Part II.
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.)
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…