It’s not just paper. From the first notes issued by the Continental Congress to the latest star-spangled bills released by the Federal Reserve, the history of money in America is laced with rebellion, propaganda, and—of course—lots and lots of wealth. It’s awkwardly beautiful.
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold.
This is amazing. One of our favorite musicians, Janelle Monae (whom we interviewed here) is co-starring in a movie about the African American women who helped launch America into space, alongside Person of Interest’s Taraji P. Henson.
In 1992, Bob Newhart was a comedy god. He’d starred in two mega-popular sitcoms, The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart, and then he decided to star in a show about a superhero comics artist. The resulting show, BOB!, was a bizarre, high-concept romp about how superheroes were changing in the post-Frank Miller…
The Silence of the Lambs turns 25 this month. All this time, you thought it was merely a story about FBI trainee Clarice Starling’s hunt for a brutal serial killer named Buffalo Bill—with help from Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter. But the Best Picture winner has a secret: everything in the film is actually part of a…
Back in 1953, Galaxy Science Fiction and Simon & Schuster launched a huge contest to find a great new science fiction novel. The prize was $6,500 (a lot of money in those days). The winner? A brand new writer named Edson McCann. Except for one thing: Edson McCann did not exist.
Thirty years ago, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. The tragedy shocked a nation caught in launch fever, and reshaped how NASA thought about risk.
Today was supposed to mark a step forward in human flights for the Apollo program. Instead, flames exploded inside the capsule during a pre-flight test. The fatal accident changed the nature of America’s space program.
On December 14, 1972, astronaut Eugene Cernan stepped up onto the lunar module, shook the moon dust off these boots, and ended an era of human exploration of the Moon.
On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This was not only our final Moon landing, but the last time we left low Earth orbit. With the successful launch of the Orion capsule, NASA is finally poised to go further again. So it’s important to remember how we got to the Moon — and why we stopped going.
If you wanted to be Pope (or stay Pope) in the 1400s, there was only one way to do it. Cantarella was the poison of choice for the Borgia family. But what was in the deadly poison? And why has it become infamous?
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt crafted his rousing "Day of Infamy" speech. Looking at the first draft, you can see the few annotations and edits he made to it, including some vital alterations that made all the difference.
On Friday, a digitized trove of Albert Einstein's writings and correspondence was made available online. While perusing the collection, astrobiologist David Grinspoon found a letter addressed from Einstein to famed physicist, chemist, and two-time Nobel-Laureate, Marie Curie. That letter's gist? Ignore the trolls.
When the merchant ship Mary Celeste set sail from New York on November 7, 1872, all signs pointed to an uneventful journey. When it was discovered just under a month later — completely abandoned, yet still in seaworthy condition, and with personal effects from its missing crew intact — it quickly entered maritime lore.
Soon after the popularization of photography in the mid-nineteenth century, people started experimenting with gimmicks like microphotography. There was a brief but huge craze for these tiny images that could only be seen using a special microscope lens. It was perfect for sharing porn in a repressive age.
Jeff VanderMeer's done a couple of big nonfiction books about genre storytelling lately: Wonderbook and The Steampunk User's Manual. But his next project sounds like the most ambitious yet. Space Oddities & Super Freaks: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy sounds like it could be a mind-warping read.
You probably knew that authors like K.W. Jeter helped create the genre of Steampunk, which eventually became the publishing and fashion juggernaut we all know today. But did you know that King Arthur played an important role in the genesis of the genre? Tim Powers explains in a new interview.
Imagine being an archaeologist exploring ancient shrines in Egypt and stumbling upon this 3,245-year-old unbroken seal. Such was the sight that greeted Howard Carter in 1923 as he prepared to enter King Tut's astounding shrine for the first time.
November 22 marked the 51st anniversary of the death of President Kennedy — a tragedy that changed the course of history. It also spawned the greatest conspiracy-generating machine of all time.
This photo of a note to parents, purportedly printed on a pamphlet included in a LEGO set from the 1970s, has been making laps around the Internet. The legitimacy of the note, which is noteworthy for its egalitarian tone, has been called into question – but we can now confirm its authenticity.