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Solving the 55-Year-Old Mystery of the White Box That Fell From the Sky

Fifty-five years ago, in the woods outside Moncton, New Brunswick, around 160 miles east of the Maine border, David McPherson Sr. found a very large white box adorned with some very large lenses. It was attached to a parachute, so McPherson thought it might be an American spy camera, possibly launched by the Central Intelligence Agency. Show More Summary

'Scientific' Journals Caught in 'Star Wars' Sting Operation

Neuroskeptic is pseudonymous blogger for Discover who is a neuroscientist in the United Kingdom. He or she resists being named because it might harm the ability to speak freely about issues within the neuroscience community, and also...Show More Summary

Sold: A Fully Furnished 1989 FBI Spy Van

You’ve seen it in a hundred films, the unmarked spy van, packed to the gills with screens and equipment, but it’s not often that you see the real thing up close, in real life. But thanks to the wonders of eBay, one lucky bidder was recently...Show More Summary

The Artist Who Creates Portraits With a Clothing Iron

Ironing has never been so cool. Benjamin Shine, an artist who splits his time between London and Sydney, has become a pioneer in what he calls "painting fabric"—using irons to create portraits in cloth. As a member of a family of garment manufacturers and a one-time employee of a fashion company, Shine has long seen the art in clothing materials. Show More Summary

The Family That Lives With Bees

The bees arrived during a wedding. They entered the house in a swarm, burrowing themselves into the furniture. But they came on a joyous day, and the owner of the home, Yongfu Li, decided they were a good omen. He let them stay. Twelve...Show More Summary

NASA Just Released Hundreds of Historic Space and Aviation Videos

Experimental aircraft aren't an unusual sight over the Mojave Desert in Southern California. NASA, and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics before it, have been pushing the aeronautical envelope at the Edwards Air Force Base since 1946. Show More Summary

This Moving Light Fixture Mimics a Blooming Flower

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has on permanent display a light fixture that mimics a blooming plant. The installation, called Shylight, was designed in collaboration with artists and scientists in order to capture the process of nyctinasty—a circadian reaction to darkness that certain species of flowers (such as tulips and poppies) experience. Show More Summary

Downtown Atlanta’s Lost Psychedelic Theme Park

Today the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, is the headquarters of a multinational news corporation. Inside, photo-snapping tourists mix with serious people in business attire, buzzing about, waiting for the next big news story to break. Show More Summary

A Brief History of Window Cleaning

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. For centuries, the average home had windows, but not necessarily glass covering those windows—in part, because glass...Show More Summary

What Your Zodiac Sign Says About You, According to a 1930s Astrologer

In the early 1930s, the British astrologer Gabriel Dee recorded a series for Pathé News in which she offered life advice to viewers based on their zodiac signs. Dee, who also read fortunes and discerned personality from a person's eyes,...Show More Summary

No, Victorians Didn't Cover Up Table Legs Because They Were Too 'Sexy'

Perhaps you've heard this one before: In the Victorian era, upper-crust society members were so cartoonishly prudish that it was considered proper to cover up the legs of tables or pianos, for fear of bare "legs" of any kind being too...Show More Summary

When 1980s Satanic Panic Targeted Procter & Gamble

If you were alive in 1982, you might remember a very special episode of Phil Donahue’s talk show. On that day, the President of Procter & Gamble went on the program and admitted that the company supported the Church of Satan and that its logo contained Satanic symbols. Show More Summary

When the U.S. Postal Service Used Gyrocopters to Deliver the Mail

Today, gyrocopters are mostly found in the homes of hobbyist collectors and in James Bond films. Because of the effectiveness of helicopters, these odd, single-person aircrafts with blades reminiscent of windmills have limited practical use. Show More Summary

Qatar Airways CEO: “You Are Being Served By Grandmothers On American Carriers”

Why is Qatar Airways' CEO, Akbar Al Baker, incapable of shutting his mouth? Seriously, the amount of garbage coming out of his mouth is unbelievable, and the worst part is that he's hurting his own case. In the battle between the US carriers and Gulf carriers, he's not helping himself. Show More Summary

A Brief History of the Modern-Day Straw, the World’s Most Wasteful Commodity

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail. The plastic straw is a simple invention with relatively modest value: For a few moments, the device helps make beverages easier to drink. Show More Summary

Arizona's (No Longer) Mysterious Monkey Farm

On Saturday, July 1, a YouTube user named Jesse posted some mysterious footage of a monkey farm in Mesa, Arizona. "It has been reported this facility is closed and has been abandoned but as you can clearly see it's still open and housing monkeys as of July 1, 2017," the user wrote. Show More Summary

Found: Early, Awkward Video of Nirvana Playing in an Empty RadioShack

Mike Ziegler is a collector and (apparently) a Nirvana superfan. One website once called him "probably the internet's most prestigious Nirvana trader of all time." Ziegler deals in videotapes, pictures, set lists, and other artifacts and ephemera from the time when grunge music was just beginning to form. Show More Summary

This 1959 'Anti-Bandit Bag' Promised to Scare Off Thieves—With Smoke

In the late 1950s, in response to a growing spate of thefts, a new, cure-all invention made the rounds in the British media: the anti-bandit bag. In 1959, British Pathé reported that banks and financial firms regularly transporting large...Show More Summary

The World Now Has a Scorpion-Milking Robot

Milking a scorpion is not easy. The arachnid may not feel terribly cooperative when you deliver tiny electric shocks and then capture the venom that emerges from its stinger. You need to avoid shocking yourself, for sure, and, depending on the species, the venom can potentially kill you. Show More Summary

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