World’s Strangest

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Strange Musical Instruments

From the archives of Popular Science magazine, see nine of the strangest musical instruments ever, from the harpitar of 1918 to the musical typewriter of 1939. Each instrument is linked to the original magazine article about it. Shown here is a 14-foot tall fiddle, featured in a 1935 article. Link -via the Presurfer

The Best of "Dark Roasted Blend" in 2011

“THE BEST OF DRB: 2011″Link Dark Roasted Blend: Weird & Wonderful Things in 2011 Promoting “sense of wonder” and intense exploration of our world and beyond, shamelessly cynicism- and nihilism- free, “Dark Roasted Blend” is happy to serve our readers since 2006. As a sort of overview, but mostly trying to highlight the themes and articles of [...]

When Geodesic Domes Were All The Rage

It’s hard to believe that people once thought we’d all be living in domes by the year 2000, but this delightful retro article from Popular Science confirms that the future is a lot squarer than people in the 60s and 70s thought it would be. The geodesic dome was the brainchild of R. Buckminster Fuller, [...]

The Best of "Dark Roasted Blend" in 2010

“THE BEST OF DRB: 2010″Link Dark Roasted Blend: Weird & Wonderful Things in 2010 Promoting “sense of wonder” and intense exploration of our world and beyond, shamelessly cynicism- and nihilism- free, “Dark Roasted Blend” is happy to serve our readers since 2006. As a sort of overview, but mostly trying to highlight the themes and articles of [...]

The Science of Prohibition

Popular Science has a gallery of articles the magazine published during Prohibition addressing alcohol, the laws against it, and the ways people got around those laws. Some read like “how to” guides, and some detail law enforcement methods as if warning people how to avoid getting caught. This “scientific” look at how stills work was [...]

The World’s 18 Strangest Tunnels

Popular Mechanics tracked down the stories of the longest, deepest, most expensive, and weirdest tunnels ever built. They all have interesting stories behind them, and some have innovative features, such as the 15-mile-long Laerdal Tunnel in Norway. Driving through a windowless tunnel for 20 minutes can get a bit monotonous, so a team of psychologists and [...]

The Best of "Dark Roasted Blend" in 2009

“BEST OF THE YEAR” 2009Link Dark Roasted Blend: Weird & Wonderful Things in 2009 Promoting “sense of wonder” and intense exploration of our world and beyond, shamelessly cynicism- and nihilism- free, “Dark Roasted Blend” is happy to serve our readers since 2006. As a sort of overview, but mostly trying to highlight the themes and articles of [...]

Vintage Magazines Predicted a Wacky Future

(More scans at Woot!) Yes, the glorious days of publishing were characterized by whatever could grab your attention on the cover. Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Modern Mechanix led the way in eye-popping art that seemed all the more plausible because of who was publishing it. Scientists and mechanics know what they’re talking about, and what [...]

Men Are More Likely Than Women to Be Hit by Lightning

Natalie Avon writes in Popular Science that between 1995 and 2008, 82% of people in the US killed by lightning were male. The experts that she consulted agreed that this was due to behavioral, rather than biological factors: Peter Todd, a behavioral psychologist at Indiana University, suspects the difference between the sexes boils down to the [...]

10 Incredible Backyard DIY Projects

Photo: Popular Mechanics The magazine Popular Mechanics has issued its Backyard Geniuses Award. It’s like a Nobel Prize, but for people who complete amazing technical projects of questionable utility. Pictured above is a giant car-crushing mechanical hand by Christian Ristow, a former employee of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop: In 2007 Christian Ristow, an artist and former animatronics [...]