history
Pathé's 85,000-Video Archive is Now on YouTube

Pathé News was perhaps the most well-regarded news agency of the 1900s—and now, its entire 85,000-video newsreel archive is available to watch free on YouTube. Read More >>

history
Was This the World's First Emoticon?

The emoticon might be older than we thought. This passage of text, which includes a cheeky smiley, is taken from Robert Herrick's 1648 poem To Fortune—and it might be the first ever use of an emoticon. Read More >>

history
Medicinal Fizz and Coca-Cola Fiends: The Toxic History of Soft Drinks

Soda’s reputation has fallen a bit flat lately: The all-American beverage most recently made headlines due to an FDA investigation of a potential carcinogen, commonly called “caramel colouring,” used in many soft-drink recipes. This bit of drama follows other recent stories that paint an unflattering picture of the soda industry, including New York’s attempt to ban super-sized drinks, the eviction of soda machines from many public schools, and a spate of new soda-tax proposals. All these regulations are designed to mitigate the unhealthy impacts of Big Soda, such as increasing childhood obesity, in the same way restrictions were slapped on cigarettes in years past. Read More >>

history
Pompeii's Ruins are Being Wired Up By an "Electronic Warfare" Firm

The ruined city of Pompeii—its residents' bodies so famously and eerily preserved by the very volcanic ashes that fatally buried them nearly 2,000 years ago—has seen better days. With neither the budget nor the personnel to protect itself against invading hordes of international tourists, the city is at risk of damage, structural collapse, and petty vandalism. Worse, the very ground beneath it might be unstable, leading to a much more dangerous problem down the road. Read More >>

history
A Step by Step Walkthrough of the World's First Great Infographic

Charles Joseph Minard's famous visual telling of Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia is one of the first great examples of an infographic, if a little intimidating at a glance. And this explanation by the folks at Numberphile really helps bring it home. Read More >>

collection
These Time-Warp Photos Show Six Cities in the Past and Present

Cities change: skyscrapers go up, houses are torn down, neighbourhoods gentrify, earthquakes destroy. Vintage photographs of cities can be fascinating in their own right, but the familiar unfamiliarity of these time-warped photographs are especially intriguing. Read More >>

history
That Time the Whac-A-Mole Inventor Accidentally Blew Up His Warehouse

It was lunch time on a muggy late September day in 2013 when an explosion shook downtown Orlando, Florida. A warehouse on west Jefferson street was the casualty. Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were already on their way by the time Tim Roth, a good Samaritan, was on the scene. As he searched through the rubble and debris for injured humans, what he found was something else entirely. Read More >>

military
Britain's Only Surviving WWII Submarine Has Been Turned Into This Awesome Living Museum

HMS Alliance, Britain's only surviving WWII-era submarine, has undergone a full modernisation to turn the old gal into a living museum, ready for the public to run amok in from this Thursday. Read More >>

military
All About the Military Dolphins of the US (and Now Russia)

In what is easily one of the stranger twists in the military takeover of Crimea, the Russians have seized control of Ukraine's navy dolphin fleet. Yes, dolphins. The annals of dolphin military history is actually teeming with improbable tales, so let this be your guide to the cetacean Cold War. Read More >>

history
The Microwave: Invented by Mistake

Somehow the humble microwave oven always appears to be a device from the near future, but the truth is, it’s been irradiating our food into readiness for decades now. So long in fact, that if it were a person it would be pulling a pension already. We decided to take a look at the history of this device which changed kitchens forever despite being invented by my mistake. Read More >>

art
This Amazing 3D Render Lets You Dive Into a Heroic Battle

You can immerse yourself in its fantastic details of this painting, The Recapture of Buda Castle in 1686, thanks to Ekho, a Hungarian 3D artist, who made a stunning rendering of the painting. Read More >>

photography
Roller Coaster Workers Recreate an Iconic 1932 Photo

Everybody knows Lunch Atop a Skyscraper. Eleven men eating lunch on an I-beam beam hundreds of feet above New York City, none of them wearing safety harnesses—it's iconic! That's what makes this roller coaster recreation from Alton Towers so much fun. Read More >>

history
This Wearable Abacus is Basically the World's Oldest Smart Ring

Smart rings may seem like something from an impossible (or at least highly unlikely) vision of the future, but surprisingly enough, tech you can wrap around your little finger isn't anything new. Just take this itty-bitty abacus from the 17th century as proof. Read More >>

history
Laser and Radar Let Researchers Peer Deep Inside Ancient Roman Bridges

Ancient stone bridges dot the Spanish hills. Some are still in use, and all play a part in defining the region's landscape and heritage. Now, researchers at Spain's University of Vigo can examine the inner structures of these bridges without disturbing a single stone, thanks to some incredibly powerful imaging technology. Read More >>

history
If Stonehenge is Actually a Giant Instrument, What Does it Sound Like?

We know that the rocks of Stonehenge were carried there from over 200 miles away, but we've never known why. Now, researchers say they believe it was for the special sonic qualities of a particular kind of stone—and that Stonehenge might have served as a bell-like instrument. Read More >>

history
Rio's Olympic Construction Crews are Unearthing its Slave Trade Past

Rio is currently pouring its energy into building stadiums, housing, and roads to host the World Cup next summer and the Olympics in 2016. But in the process, the city is uncovering relics of its past—including evidence of its one-time reign as the busiest slave port in the Americas. Read More >>

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