This Was “The Phone of Tomorrow” in 1956… and They Got Almost Everything Right!

It’s not too often that old technology predictions come true… I mean, I still haven’t seen an amphibious battleship… but an article from the September 1956 issue of Modern Mechanix got just about everything right when they talked about “Your Telephone of Tomorrow”. The opening line: “Future may bring push-button dialing, videophones, direct calls anywhere on earth and pocket-sized sets.” Hey, that sounds a lot like my latest smart phone. It took almost 5 decades to make the article’s predictions come true, but hey, they even predicted that right!

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A Radical Wooden Roadster Built from Plans (in 1959)

If you were “the least bit handy with ordinary tools and not afraid to get your hands dirty” you could build the car in these pictures, read an article in the September 1956 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. We’re pretty sure you’d need to be more than “the least bit” skilled to build this from the minimal plans, but we won’t fault the author on his choice of interesting cars. The extremely low-slung roadster was built like a boat, out of materials people would be familiar with: plywood panels covered with mahogany. Now that’s different.

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Is This How Millennials Will Save the World? It’s Beautifully Simple, and Incredibly Lazy.

They’ve been called the “selfie generation,” lazy, entitled and worse. But as this beautiful video explores, maybe there’s more to millennials. They’re “digital natives,” born into the first generation that grew up surrounded by digital technologies with no need to adapt. Able to harness the power of the online world in ways unimaginable be previous generations, they look to social media and high-tech solutions to make the biggest difference with the smallest effort. And while people may accuse them of being lazy, time and again the data has shown that they value social good over personal profit.

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Watch This Swiss Cyclist Absolutely Crush a Ferrari on a Rocket-Powered Bicycle

Forget pedaling. Swiss cyclist François Gissy hit a blistering 207 MPH on his rocket-powered bicycle, setting a new world record. He performed the stunt November 7th at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, running a number of test laps on his lightly modified bike before going for top speed. His time to reach it? Just 4.8 seconds!

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Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night: A Glowing Bike Path from Studio Roosegaarde

Riding on a bicycle can really feel like flying, and this new starry bike path will convince you that it’s true. A project from Studio Rosegaarde (who made their name for creating the world’s first glowing Smart Highways) the glowing Van Gogh-Roosegaarde bicycle path opened today in Neunen, Netherlands. The kilometer-long path is covered in swirling patterns that glow in the dark, inspired by the towns one-time resident, Vincent Van Gogh, who lived there from 1883 to 1885. Here his Starry Night comes to life using the power of the sun to charge photo-luminescent paint and a solar array for embedded LEDs.

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Wild View From Inside A Water Bubble In The Microgravity of Outer Space

If you spent your childhood dreaming you would grow up to be an astronaut and didn’t, this video will make you want to take out a loan to get one of those 20 newly available reservations on the first Virgin Galactic space flight. This past summer 2014, on the International Space Station during Expedition 40, astronauts recorded their exploration of water surface tension in microgravity. Pushing a Go-Pro Camera into a softball sized ball of floating water, they got a view from inside the bubble as well. They also recorded the wild phenomenon with a 3-D camera, another version you can view here if you have stereoscopic red/blue 3-D glasses.

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This New Acoustic Instrument Sounds Like a Digital Synthesizer

This new stringed instrument from Turkish musician Görkem Şen bridges the gap between the unplugged goodness of acoustic instruments, and the space aged sounds of a synthesizer. But don’t be fooled, this is purely acoustic – no electricity is involved.

He calls his creation the Yaybahar, and plays it with a variety of methods from striking and stroking the horizontal springs with a mallet, to percussion techniques on the two round drum-like membranes, or plucking, strumming and using a bow on the vertical strings. The Yaybahar provides such a wide range of sounds – from beautiful to grating – that we could see it creating all sorts of compelling new music.

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Building an Innovative Maker Space in Post-Disaster Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan tore a path of destruction 100 miles wide through the Philippines last November, affecting 14 million people and displacing 5 million. Almost a year later, the people of the Philippines are still recovering from the massive disaster. Many homes were destroyed and while Filipinos have the motivation to rebuild again, they often lack the tools and resources to do so.

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Half-Solid, Half-Shadow: Moto Waganari 3D Prints Wireframe Sculptures

“I wanted to create something that never existed before. Something that will amaze us because it is not feasible by human hands,” says German artist Moto Waganari. From the realm of 3D printing a new genre of art is emerging, and Waganari’s work is a prime example. Creating wireframe-like sculptures of humans and animals, his final piece is both solid and intangible – designed to interact with light and create a partnering shadow.

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Watching Virtual Creatures Learn How to Walk is Surprisingly Hilarious

This is one of those awesome examples where good science is also hilarious fun. For his PHD thesis, Thomas Geijtenbeek taught virtual creatures how to walk, and even though his subjects aren’t real, their journey to moving forward followed a surprisingly lifelike path: face-plants galore.

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