Lasers are the future of warfare. So it might come as a surprise to many Americans that the US military first used a laser to shoot a drone out of the sky as early as 1973.
Today, the majority of Australians take pride in being part of a multicultural, multiethnic society. But much like the United States, Australia has a brutally racist history.
The residents of Lebanon, New Hampshire, recently discovered a time capsule hidden under the steps of their City Hall. Dated 1944, the capsule was in the form of a brown whiskey bottle. But sadly, there wasn’t any whiskey inside. Instead, it seems like it was just the set-up for a punchline 71 years in the making.
On January 12, 1958, an important weapon of the Cold War was introduced. It wasn’t a missile or a spy satellite, but rather a colorful Sunday comic strip that showed Americans what the future was going to look like. It was called Closer Than We Think.
I’ve become obsessed with the movies that US presidents watched while they were in office. So much so that I recently compiled my own list of all the movies Jimmy Carter watched in the White House. [Update: Here’s Clinton’s list.] And now I’ve pored over Nixon’s complete list, compiled by author Mark Feeney. Nixon…
It’s truly amazing that anybody survived the Cold War.
In July 1959, the magazine Look ran an article describing the “miracle kitchen” of the future, ostensibly about the amazing advances that Americans would see in their own homes. In reality, it was part of a much larger propaganda battle of the Cold War–and it involved a proto-roomba.
If you want to leave a video or audio message in a time capsule, what medium should you choose? Will people of the future be able to listen to your CD or your mp3? Will the folks of 100 years or even just 10 years hence be able to find a DVD player? Do you even have a DVD player today?
When I was studying art history, some of the works I liked best were the ones never really meant to be seen — rough sketches from artists done in early planning stages of larger works, done to get a rough idea of feel or composition. That’s the context I like to view Henry Ford’s first car — a rough sketch. What…
Never say anything in an electronic message that you wouldn’t want appearing, and attributed to you, in tomorrow’s front-page headline in the New York Times. That was the advice of Colonel David Russell, head of the IPTO at DARPA in the mid-1970s and it still holds true today.
Back in 2011, the Nike Air Mag, the shoes that Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future II, were released to a ravenous fan base. There was only one problem, unlike the shoes seen in the movie, Nike’s Air Mags didn’t have power laces. Nike promised they would come 2015, and today the company delivered.
Storyboard illustration for the May 14, 1958 episode of the Disneyland TV show, “Magic Highway, USA.” [via anonymous email contributor]
I can’t believe it’s really real! Universel Picktures Entertainment just released this teaser trailer (above) for the new Back to the Future movie! Apparently good old Marty and Doc go to the year 2045 to a world where flying cars are unnecessary because everybody has uploaded their brains into computers!
When Marty McFly finally arrives in modern-day Hill Valley, California a little later this afternoon, I admit I’ll be a little sad. Because his arrival signifies the end of one of the best internet memes of all time.
How soon will you be able to see over the phone? It may be sooner than you think. For the remarkable new Hughes Tonotron [...] will make possible "face-to-face" telephone calls to and from your office or home. — Print ad in the March 1957 issue of Scientific American
Tomorrow’s the day Marty McFly arrives from 1985, and we’re all gearing up to celebrate the anniversary of the best time travel movie ever made. But how much do you know about this time-travel classic? Here are 11 strange facts about the making of Back to the Future.
What do ball bearings have to do with the future? Everything, if you believe these ads from the 1950s. New Departure-brand ball bearings ran a number of print ads to position themselves in the minds of consumers as forward thinking. Like in this beautiful illustration from 1956.
Conservators working at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda have inadvertently uncovered a chemical hearth designed by Thomas Jefferson. The discovery is offering fresh insights into how chemistry was taught over 200 years ago.