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A watermelon is never simply a watermelon

Contrary to what you might think, watermelons looked very different (and probably tasted better) in the Renaissance compared to today. Why exactly? Farming practices have changed and genetically modified food has modified the humble watermelon out of its original state of being. Take a look at this renaissance painting by Giovanni Stanci, courtesy of Christies…

What The Heck is Electronic Mail? Asks Ad From 1977

What The Heck is Electronic Mail? Asks Ad From 1977

Global technology company Honeywell is still alive and kicking in 2015 but in 1977 the idea of electronic mail was certainly novel and almost unfathomable. It's so fascinating to see how previous decades, what's unimaginable in our daily lives becomes commonplace. And everyday objects that were commonplace fade to black and become pieces of quaint…

Eclipse Hunting For Star-gazing Dreamers

Eclipse Hunting For Star-gazing Dreamers

A solar eclipse is an awe-inspiring phenomenon that visits earth only once every couple of years or even decades. Ever since ancient times, humans have been fascinated, fearful and reverent of eclipses. Myth and the Solar Eclipse Ancient Greeks, Mesopotamians and Egyptians were the first to record solar eclipses. In 585 BC, Herodotus wrote 'Day…

Rediscovering the World's Fair in 1939, New York

The World of Tomorrow – Yesterday: The World’s Fair in 1939, New York

This  bright bold fold-out map from the World's Fair in 1939 along with postcards, pictures and a documentary speak volumes about a new optimism following the bleakness of the Depression and a blind faith in technology and all of the hopes and possibilities of the future. Click image to see larger detailed version. Watch an…

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity

The Falling Cat Phenomenon: How NASA Trained Astronauts For Zero Gravity

Back in the golden era of space exploration - the 1960's, NASA scientists were concerned with how astronauts would orient their bodies in space. This led to a watershed study at Stanford, featured in the International Journal of Solids and Structures, entitled "A Dynamical Explanation of the Falling Cat Phenomenon."       Partly funded by…

Two Inventions That Make Reading Paper Books A Completely New Experience

From electric ink to aromapoetry – the physical book is about to undergo a renaissance by being paired with some nifty new inventions. While paper epitomises the slow lane of publishing, it is anything but a static medium. Traditional analogue technologies such as ink and paper are now being developed in ways that can and in…

Life in a Doughnut-Shaped World: NASA Artwork From the 70’s

In the 1970's NASA and Stanford University held three space colony studies. Attendants of the course produced artistic renderings that showed what could theoretically be possible in a future inter-planetary world. This doughnut-shaped world was a pristine, insular and remarkably beautiful space sanctuary called the Stanford Torus. Click on the images below to magnify and view…

The Strangely Hypnotic World of Norwegian Slow TV

The Hypnotic, Droll and Funny World of Norwegian Slow TV

Thomas Hellum of production company NRK in Norway has created new form of documentary that pushes the boundaries of what is and what isn't entertainment. This means filming quirky drawn out events such as real-time, live journeys in ferries and trains; along with knitting and wood-chopping events. Sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry, right?…

Creepily Correct Predictions Circa 1880 About The World in the 21st Century

Creepily Correct Predictions Circa 1880 About the World in the 21st Century

Albert Robida was born in 1848 and died in 1926. A French illustrator, etcher, lithographer, caricaturist, and novelist, he came up with some creepily accurate predictions about World War II and also how our world would look like in the 21st Century. He wrote a futuristic trilogy in the same vein as Jules Verne Of…

Free Online Course for Dreamers: Origins – Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life

This is quite possibly the most amazing course ever presented on Coursera. It's called Origins - Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life. A sweeping epic that begins at the moment of the Big Bang and the creation of matter and careens along at a throttling pace through Deep Time towards the Human…

Living With Sonder: Life Above the Clouds

Taken in the San Francisco Bay area over a period of a few years by talented man Simon Christen, these exquisite time lapse films track the earth on its diurnal and nocturnal turnings, normally so ineffable and unknowable because they occur so slowly. It's a macrocosm and a microcosm of pure thriving, living magic. It's…

The Origins of Flat Digital Design

Flat Digital Design: The Present and Future

When Ferdinand Magellan discovered through exploration that the world was spherical not flat in the middle ages, it was considered laughable at the time. Although (surprise, surprise) humans regularly circumnavigate the globe without falling off the edge into a dark abyss. So here's another idea, albeit a slightly less revolutionary one – that the digital…

The Origins of Flat Digital Design

The Origins of Flat Digital Design

Flat design has exploded in recent years, thanks to a range of prestigious early adopters that paved the way for the rest of the online stratosphere. In 2014 and beyond, there have been many big name brands that have become swept up in flat digital design. So where did this design trend come from? Is…

Release the Snails!

Bill Bailey Demands Release Of Land Snails in Polynesia

In a fascinating Guardian interactive entitled Seven Digital Sins, Comedian Bill Bailey muses on how the abundance of campaigns on social media causes us all to go into meltdown. As a consequence, we never become deeply involved in social causes and ideas that we are passionate about, beyond the paltry click-click of our keyboards. His…

The robot with the face only a roboticist could love

The robot with the face only a roboticist could love

Telenoid is a genderless, limbless android that was birthed into the world by Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro a couple of years ago. He (or she) looks uncannily like a talking, moving Caspar the friendly ghost, but with a far more unnervingly human face. His truncated limbs wiggle and gesture as he sits on his custom-made…