Unlike those in Futurama, the real-life suicide booth used lots of fire

You may be familiar with the suicide booths of Futurama fame, but the automated death machine was perfected 20 years earlier. This is Erik Hobijn's 1990 performance art piece "The Delusion of Self Immolation," a machine that requires the participant to get sprayed in flames (and fire-resistant gel, of course). And no,… » 12/04/11 2:10pm 12/04/11 2:10pm

How does one battle a blizzard? Borrow flamethrowers from MIT

On January 22, 1948, Boston mayor Mayor James Curley wrote this letter to MIT President Karl Compton asking for "a competent group of engineers [to] make an immediate study as to ways and means of removing the huge accumulation [...] be it by the use of flame throwers or chemicals or otherwise." Quite the modest request… » 2/02/11 3:30pm 2/02/11 3:30pm