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October 15, 2019

As it turns out,  animatronics have a history that’s a story in and of itself, and it unofficially begins in 13th century Europe. Villard De Honnecourt (1225 — 1250) was a French architect who is best known for his sketchbook containing notes and obs...

October 15, 2019

At the 2017 SXSW festival, a performer used Einstein’s equations to draw portraits of audience members from selfies they tweeted for the event. The drawing looked like a series of unrelated equations until they suddenly morphed into realistic faces....

October 15, 2019

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 — 1519) was a masterful artist and inventor, and it’s difficult to say which of his endeavors had the greatest impact on modern-day art and science. Certainly, his research has shaped current understandings of linear perspecti...

October 15, 2019

Once you swallow the pill, your natural body temperature will melt the casing and activate the tiny robot within, which will proceed to configure itself into whatever form is required for the successful completion of the procedure. Then, once the mis...

July 15, 2019

In 1973, anthropologist Justine Cordwell wrote a paper titled “The Very Human Arts of Transformation” in which she explains her theory for why people put such attention on changing their appearance. “Mankind, from earliest times,” she writes, “has pr...

July 15, 2019

Ötzi, known as the “Iceman,” is a heavily tattooed mummified male, who lived approximately 5,300 years ago in the Ötztal Alps. Scientific analysis of his remains suggests that he had rheumatism as well as a whipworm infection, which likely caused him...

July 15, 2019

Napoleon Bonaparte: revolutionary military commander, first Emperor of France, and champion of widely influential civil codes.

Vincent Van Gogh: Dutch oil painter of starry nights and sunflowers, post-Impressionist idol, self-mutilating psychiatric pa...

July 15, 2019

“Ideograms, with their ancient history, are marvellous examples of abstract beauty, organisms of lines, of spaces filled and unfilled, of visible and invisible relations the sum-total of whose equilibrium is the result of the work of generations of a...

April 15, 2019

“Republic Aviation originally built the planes in Farmingdale, New York —  before they were built in Evansville,” states Lonnberg. "When it became clear that the planes would be manufactured here, [the city] literally built the plants to do it.&...

April 15, 2019

Founded in 1930, guided by Howard Hughes (1905 — 1976) between 1939 and 1960, and plagued by serious financial issues throughout the 1980s and 1990s, TWA appeared to be fading into obscurity by 2001, only to emerge again in 2019 — but, not as an airl...

April 15, 2019

While NYC awaits its newest train car fleet, it's hard not to think back to IRT's now-abandoned City Hall Station, where the storied history of the city's subway system began nearly 115 years ago. Featuring 400 feet of curves, teeming wit...

April 15, 2019

Advertising is often about two things — competing, and responding to the times. Since the beginning of commercial railroad travel in the 1830s, people expected to exit the coal-powered trains in soot-stained clothes. Phoebe Snow, a New York socialite...

December 28, 2018

Alfred Carlton Gilbert (1884 — 1961) was an incredible man of many talents. Although he was a record setting Olympic athlete, professional magician, industrious toymaker and successful entrepreneur, today he is most widely known as the inventor of th...

December 28, 2018

In almost every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a toy trolley brings the viewer to The Neighborhood of Make-Believe. This is a separate world within the Mister Rogers Universe, full of talking animals, magical characters, and the like. When t...

December 28, 2018

“The earliest-known written historical mention of a toy comes from about 500 BC in a Greek reference to yo-yos made from wood, metal, or painted terra-cotta. It is believed, however, that the yo-yo originated in China at a much earlier date. In addit...

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