In 1939, Pontiac Built a Transparent Car from Plexiglas

For the 1939-1949 World’s Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas”, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the “Ghost Car.”

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What’s the Most Popular Girl’s Name? This Video Tracks Their Evolution from 1880 to 2013

From Anna, to Jennifer and Isabella, the popularity of different girl names is always in flux. But what’s in a name? As this bubble chart animation illustrates, there’s a lot of cultural significance to how we name our girls. It tracks the changing favor of different names in America from all the way back in 1880 up to 2013. And while one name may hold the top position for a decade or two, parents are always swaying between following tradition and choosing something different or modern – eventually even the most popular names fall from the spotlight.

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3 Artists Who Harnessed Inner Turmoil in the Pursuit of Creativity

Creating art is not an easy thing. As I talked about in my review of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, it can be a struggle, a battle even. Pressfield’s book was about overcoming the difficulty of getting down to work, of stopping procrastination and doing the thing you have to do. But there is another kind of creative struggle that many go through – the struggle with one’s self, with one’s inner demons.

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WWII Posters Declared War on STDs

Gigantic letters falling from the sky or giant dinosaurs stomping through the jungle might not be the first imagery that comes to mind when thinking of sexually transmitted diseases, but in World War II these posters were the military’s first line of defense against a venereal disease (VD) epidemic. Learning from the lessons of World War I, where many soldiers contracted and died from STDs, the US government started a graphic design war that saw military barracks plastered with posters warning of the dangers of unsafe promiscuity with “loose women.”

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A 1950s Kitchen, Locked Away Since It Was Built

Like walking back in time, furniture designer Nathan Chandler opened the door on a home he bought in 2010 and found the kitchen in nearly original condition from when it was built in 1956. For some reason the original owners built the house but never lived in it, keeping it sealed away and rarely using the pastel pink General Electric appliances that were installed from the start.

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16th Century ‘Prayer Nuts’ Hide Miniature Carvings

If you were wealthy and devout in 16th century Europe, one of the ultimate possessions was a prayer nut. These tiny wooden spheres were intricately carved boxes filled with religious scenes like the Crucifixion. Worn around the neck attached to a rosary or on the owners belt, it has been theorized that the outer carvings were inserted with aromatic plants and oils to add to the experience of owning one.

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Black and White Photos Wiped into Color

There’s probably no better way to see the power of the colorizing technique than with these animated GIFs from the Dutch design website NSMBL. Taking iconic images from around the web, they’ve overlaid colorized versions of the same image that is slowly revealed with a animated series of wipes. It’s like seeing each photograph wiped into reality.

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“Back to the Future II” Was Supposed to Happen in 2015. How Close Did It Get Today?

Two major milestones have been reached in 2015. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, and the year Marty McFly traveled to in the sequel, Back to the Future II. This has a lot of people asking one thing: “just how accurate did the second film get our current year?”

As with most future predictions, it’s a mixed bag. We’ve more than surpassed communication technology with smart phones (and thank goodness they’re not awkwardly strapped to our wrists)… but where’s my hoverboard??

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5 Reasons to Love Miles Davis

Miles Davis is one of the great musical figures of the twentieth century. His contributions to the field of jazz are immeasurable and he is remembered as both an innovator and popularizer of the music, always pushing the status quo of the genre in inventive, often difficult new directions. Here are five reasons to love the music of Miles Davis.

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What to Wear in 1906: A Street Fashion Photographer From Edwardian Engand

Over a century before The Sartorialist was stopping fashionable people to capture their unique sense of style, photographer Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910) was documenting the street fashion of Edwardian England. Sambourne worked as chief cartoonist for the English magazine Punch, and as an illustrator. When he first picked up photography, it was to use as reference to improve upon his other arts, but soon it turned into an obsession.

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