science
Section of U.S. Warship From WWII Discovered Off Alaskan Coast

In August 1943, the USS Abner Read struck a Japanese naval mine while conducting patrols in the Bering Sea. The explosion sheared the ship’s entire stern section, sending it and 71 U.S. sailors to the bottom of the Bering Sea. Lost for 75 years, the World War II destroyer’s severed stern has finally been found off a remote Alaskan island. Read More >>

phones
The 1950s Guide to Proper Telephone Etiquette

Phone calls here in 2018 seem to be more and more rare, especially with younger people. But most folks still know basic phone etiquette, like saying “hello” when you answer the phone, and not hanging up without some kind of goodbye. But in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a helpful guide from 1950 that was produced by a phone company—complete with some silly retro advice. Read More >>

music
Rod Stewart Finally Embarrassed by Leopard Skin Chair at Age 73

Rod Stewart's having a clear out of all the trappings of fame he's acquired over the past innumerable, interminable decades, with a local auction house about to shift a load of his unwanted classic and more gaudy modern furniture items, as he's moving house. Read More >>

science
New Evidence Contradicts Theory That Easter Island Society Collapsed

The indigenous people of Easter Island, the Rapa Nui, experienced a societal collapse after the 17th century because they stripped the island clean of its natural resources. Or at least, that’s the leading theory. An analysis of the tools used by the Rapa Nui to build their iconic stone statues suggests a very different conclusion, pointing to the presence of a highly organised and cohesive society. Read More >>

history
Thomas Edison Predicted Nobody Would Be Able to Make Phone Calls Across the Atlantic Ocean

Never say never. Thomas Edison was both a great inventor and an amusing prognosticator. But nobody, no matter how smart, knows the future. And that goes for Edison as well. Back in 1894, Edison predicted that transatlantic phone calls would be impossible. But his doubts would prove silly roughly 30 years later when the first transatlantic phone call was completed in 1927. Read More >>

history
Comic From 1913 Predicted Innovations for Newspapers of the Future

A lot of things were supposed to kill newspapers in the 20th century. There was radio, then TV, then the internet. Somehow newspapers have survived, in one form or another. But it’s still interesting to take a look at the predictions that people of yesterday had for how the news business would change. Like this comic strip from 1913 about the newspaper of tomorrow. Read More >>

nuclear war
The Futuristic Invisible Wall That Was Supposed to Protect Entire Towns From Missiles in 1959

When you hear about the concept of missile defence in space, your first thought might be Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, more commonly called Star Wars. But ideas for an invisible missile shield in the sky are much older than the 1980s. As just one example, we have this Sunday comic strip from 1959, which imagined the missile defences of the future. Read More >>

history
This 1935 Streamlined Car of the Future Looks Like a Beautiful Death Trap

We’ve looked at a lot of weird cars here. But this one might take the cake. Read More >>

history
How a US Military Contractor Wanted to Use Jetpacks in the Vietnam War

When you think of jetpacks, your first thought is probably an image of some fun, carefree piece of pop culture like The Jetsons or James Bond. But jetpacks were serious business for the US military in the 1960s. And, believe it or not, there were plenty of futuristic ideas that involved deploying jetpacks on the battlefield in Vietnam. Read More >>

history
WWII-Era Time Capsule Found in US Home, and the Contractor Wants Internet Sleuths’ Help

Do you know WWII veteran Richard Silagy or his family? Silagy lived in the city of Cleveland in the US state of Ohio, sometime after World War II and hid a time capsule filled with personal items in his home. The time capsule was recently discovered by a housing contractor doing improvements on the house, but a search online for Silagy or any living relatives has been a failure. The contractor is now turning to the public for help. Read More >>

archaeology
Sunken Russian Warship Rumored to Contain 200 Tons of Gold Discovered Near South Korea

A missing Russian Imperial Navy cruiser said to contain 200 tons of gold bullion worth an estimated $133 billion (£101bn) has been discovered after being lost at sea for 113 years. Read More >>

history
The Futuristic Skyscrapers of 1923 Were Supposed to Solve Traffic, But Had a Notable Lack of Dwayne Johnsons

We’re still waiting on our flying cars. But back in 1923, the magazine Science and Invention assured readers they were just around the corner. And to top it off, the buildings of tomorrow would be built to “solve” the traffic problem. Read More >>

history
This Solar Lawnmower Was the Dangerous Future of Summers in 1959

Robotic lawnmowers are fairly mainstream these days, even if they don’t have much market share yet. But they’ve been a long time coming. We’ve been promised solar-powered semi-autonomous lawnmowers for decades. This American comic strip from 1959 predicted the rise of these machines, but also pointed at the problem with its illustration: Many people are hesitant to buy a contraption with sharp blades driving around by itself on their lawn. Read More >>

science
My 15 Favourite Science and Tech Books for Smart Beach Reading

Summer is upon us, which means it’s time to put together a reading list, whether it’s for the beach, your cottage, or the hammock in your garden. Here are 15 science and technology books that will keep your nerdy brains engaged and titillated. Read More >>

movies
The First Superhero Movie Ever Is More Than 100 Years Old

The first real film based on a Marvel/DC character was 1966's Batman: The Movie, starring Adam West’s campy version of the Caped Crusader. In the ‘40s and ‘50s, Batman, Superman, Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam), and Captain America all had weekly, live-action serials shown in cinemas, while the first Zorro movie premiered in 1920. But the first movie superhero came out even before that, in 1916 — in an almost-forgotten serial film starring an equally forgotten hero: Judex. Read More >>