If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down…
The day you’ve dreamed of since Back to the Future 2 first hit theaters 26 years ago is finally here—kind of. ThinkGeek is now selling a perfect working replica of the hoverboard that Marty McFly rode in Hill Valley, circa 2015. As long as your interpretation of “perfect working replica” includes the hoverboard being…
We’ve been imagining a future of ubiquitous videophones for over a century. And today it’s considered no big deal that we’re able to make video calls with devices that we carry around in our pockets. But it took a while to get to that point. One reason? It was incredibly expensive.
An Australian couple were vacationing in Scotland recently when they discovered a curious time capsule: A message in a bottle dated January 15, 1971. Amazingly, they were able to track down the teenager (now in his 50s) who first chucked it into the North Sea.
Are you excited for our virtual reality future? Well, don’t get too excited just yet. Because there are hidden dangers! Or at least that was the message from this hilariously alarmist NBC News segment from 1996.
I love time capsules. I’ve been researching them for nearly a decade. But even I know that time capsules are generally pretty boring. Which is why I found this recent headline about the re-sealing of the 1795 Paul Revere capsule in Boston so funny:
Will it be commonplace for people of the future to get their skin color artificially changed? Not just black or white or brown, but also orange and blue and grey? The 1972 documentary Future Shock, hosted by legendary director Orson Welles, imagined just such a world. “What happens to race?” Welles asks, when people…
Why doesn’t the United States have a base on the Moon? Because getting to the Moon was a matter of national security. Setting up a permanent base there? Not so much.
This week police in Overton, Texas shut down two sisters (aged 7 and 8) who were operating an illicit lemonade stand. These kinds of stories have become an annual summertime tradition, complete with that cool and refreshing thanks Obama! subtext about government overreach. The part we seem to forget? America has…
Time capsules can sometimes be pretty cool. But more often than not, they’re boring as shit.
Technology Begets Technology. I’ve been staring at this banner at the DARPA Robotics Challenge for what feels like a solid minute, trying to figure out what the hell it means.
It’s been the dream of countless nerds since at least 1989. We want our hoverboards, and we want them now. But if Neil deGrasse Tyson is to be believed, we’re going to be waiting for a while.
Recently the retro-future-ish corners of the internet have been passing around this 19th century illustration of a virtual reality headset. And while I can’t verify where the image originally came from, I desperately want it to be real.
The ARPANET didn’t make its first host-to-host connection until 1969. But long before anyone was online, communications companies were trying to figure out how to make interactive home shopping a reality. This short 1961 film from Bell Systems (now AT&T) showcases the futuristic tech that they were imagining—including…
When the FBI first bought its own planes in the 1970s it was a minor scandal. But what’s so shocking about the feds having aircraft? The scandal was that they were originally experimental spy planes used in the Vietnam War.
In the late 1960s a biologist named Paul Ehrlich insisted that the world’s rapid population growth was unsustainable. What could be done? Ehrlich proposed radical population control measures—including sterilization.
The joke about Australia is that it was founded by a bunch of criminals. And from 1788 until 1868, Britain did send roughly 164,000 convicts to the land down under. America’s dirty little secret? The same exact thing was happening here. In fact, experts estimate that over 52,000 British prisoners were shipped off to…
I saw two movies this past weekend. One was about a terrifying futuristic dystopia filled with endless betrayal and a complete lack of hope. The other one was Mad Max: Fury Road.