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How Underwater Drones Are Searching For the Lost Pilots of WWII

Deep below the pacific ocean, dozens of WWII pilots are laying in watery graves, still inside the aircraft took them across the sky decades ago. It's far to late for a rescue, but as Popular Science explains, the people behind the BentProp Project—and their undersea drones—are surfacing these soldiers' incredible history. Read More >>

food
You've Been Lied to About Carrots Your Whole Life Because of Nazis

You've probably heard the myth that eating lots of carrots will make magically improve your vision. The bad news is that it's a total lie. The good news? It's one that helped the Allies defeat the Nazis. Read More >>

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A 1944 Electromagnetic Radiation Poster Makes Learning Retro Chic

There are lots of interactions and fields around us all the time that we can't see. Like gravity. We can always count on gravity to be there when we trip and face plant. And we interact with all different frequencies on the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation every day, which is usually fine and sometimes deadly. And you might be feeling good about all this physical awareness, but don't. People have known about this stuff for a long time and they've been making unbelievably detailed infographics about it for at least 70 years. Read More >>

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The Super Soaker Was Invented by a Former NASA Engineer

Long ago and far away in a place called the 1990s, a man with a dream and a uniquely excellent knowledge of fluid dynamics decided to quit his day job designing rocket ships and design the world's best ever water gun instead. For that, we thank you Lonnie Johnson. Read More >>

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These Internet-Themed Crayons from the 90s Are Hilariously Dated

A long, long time ago, in a land where people had yet to even ponder words like "Reddit" and "Twitter," a bright-eyed arts and crafts company decided to embrace this crazy thing called the information superhighway. The year was 1997, and that company was Crayola. The results are absolutely glorious. Read More >>

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A Mechanical Wooden Pencil That Will Never Go Dull

As low-tech as it may be,the pencil has managed to still keep itself relevant—despite the endless graphite-free ways we can communicate these days. That being said, it doesn't mean it couldn't use an upgrade, and we love how Tous Les Jours has managed to combine the convenience of a mechanical pencil with the feel of a traditional wooden writing instrument. Read More >>

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The First Emoticons Were Used in 1881

=) -_- T_T =P ;) Oh, the emoticon. Depending on who you're talking to (or I guess texting to? messaging to?) at the moment, emoticons can be as common as some words. When did they first start showing up? Did people write letters with smileys and frowny faces? Were typewriters used to express emotion through symbols? Maybe. Apparently, the first emoticons were used in 1881. Read More >>

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The Insane Cancer Machines That Used to Live in Shoe Shops Everywhere

Smallish wooden podiums housing radioactive material for casual-foot X-rays, shoe-fitting fluoroscopes stared showing up in shoe stores around the 1920s. At first the X-ray wielding boxes were seen largely as gimmicks, but eventually they came to be respected as valuable shoe-fitting tools, instead of feared as the leaky cancer boxes they actually were. Into the 1950s the retrospectively horrifying nature of the things was mostly being brushed off, even in scientific studies: Read More >>

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Raising a WWII Bomber From the Depths of the Ocean

Archaeology is not, in general, a thrilling and exciting pastime. But sometimes, gently moving dirt around with paintbrushes gives way to something more adrenelaine-pumping -- in this case, trying to raise a rusted and rotting German bomber from the depths of the English Channel, without the whole thing falling to bits. Read More >>

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A Map of the Entire Internet, 1977

The map shows the different locations of the connected computers, which at this point were all owned by universities (Stanford, UCLA, et al) or the government (ahem, the Pentagon). The make and model of the computers at each of the locations are in boxes. For example, PDP 11 describes the Digital Equipment Corporation's Programmed Data Processor 11. Read More >>

wtfriday
DIY Fireworks Instructions Were Ridiculously Unsafe in the 1920s

Every year, our Yank cousins celebrate Independence Day by doing what they do best: blowing stuff up and eating large amounts of red meat. Fireworks haven't always come from a Chinese factory, though; back in the 1920s, DIY fireworks were all the rage. And the instructions were utterly, totally insane. Read More >>

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How To Send a Photo Around the World (in 1926)

Today, we take for granted the ability to send photos halfway around the world in an instant. (Which is probably why that popular smartphone photograph service is called Instant-Gram™.) But a century ago, getting a photograph across an ocean was a much more involved process than simply snapping a mirror selfie and publishing it to 3,000 of your closest friends. Read More >>

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Somehow This WWII Mickey Mouse Gas Mask Was Supposed to Be Less Creepy

Sometimes parents have to explain things to their kids in more child-friendly terms. During World War II, that meant outfitting a child with a weird Mickey Mouse gas mask. Read More >>

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The First Ever Electronically Stored Program Ran 65 Years Ago Today

Sixty five years ago, in a cluttered lab in Manchester, UK, three scientists changed the world of computing forever. Working with a machine they'd built and nicknamed Baby, they ran the first ever program to be stored electronically in a computer's memory. Read More >>

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Glasses-Free 3D and Smell-o-Vision: Movies of the Future from 1935

Predictions that 3D movies would be the wave of the future are even older than the talkies. But back in 1935 the so-called father of science fiction gave his prediction for 3D films an even bolder twist: By 1945, audiences would be able to watch 3D movies without having to wear those silly glasses. Read More >>

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Totally Psycho 1960s Military Prototypes That Should Never Have Left the Drawing Board

If the music's anything to go by, pretty much everyone was on something in the '60s -- and that includes the engineers. BAE Systems has recently dug up some totally batshit-insane ideas that were seriously being kicked around by its 'crack' team of engineers, and they're both totally ridiculous and dangerously awesome. Read More >>

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