How A French Fashion Helped Beat An 18th-Century Anti-Vaxxer Movement

When the smallpox vaccine was first introduced in the 18th century, not everyone was eager to get inoculated. Many French people were suspicious of the new procedure, which was banned in Paris for five years. But after a celebrated royal inoculation, a new fashion helped advertise vaccination and ease vaccination… » 1/21/15 3:40pm 1/21/15 3:40pm

Some Of The World's Best Cartoons Are Hidden Inside Video Games

Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, are about as polarising as a developer gets. Some people hate their games. Some people love them! I'd like to think there's one aspect of their output we can all get behind, though: the way they include some of the world's best animation shorts in… » 10/22/13 11:20am 10/22/13 11:20am

French chapel traded its gargoyles for Gizmo, Gremlins, Grendizer, and…

When the sculpture and stone mason Jean-Louis Boistel set to renovating the Chapelle de Bethléem (Bethlehem Chapel) in Nantes, France, he decided to add some unorthodox decorations to the 15th century church. While some of the newer stone gargoyles (or, to be more accurate, chimeras) adorning the pinnacles are… » 1/26/13 2:00pm 1/26/13 2:00pm

Gang of unruly knights robs Renaissance faire

Historical reenactments of the Middle Ages, they sometimes bring out the blackguards, brigands, and bad apples. Early Monday morning in the French town of Bitche, the organizers of the popular festival Medievales Europeennes de Bitche found themselves down 20,000 € (approximately $25,000) when a marauding band of… » 7/31/12 1:40pm 7/31/12 1:40pm

The world's first DJ booth was majestically ridiculous

Decades before hip-hop deejays began mixing records in the South Bronx, French engineer Leon Gaumont was crossfading records using his fantastically flamboyant Chronophone. If you ever needed to rock a party Fantômas-style while pouring a flagon of champagne out for poor dead Jules Verne, this was your rig. But in all… » 6/26/12 12:30pm 6/26/12 12:30pm

An abandoned French subway station was turned into the set of Prometheus

We now live in an era when gonzo viral marketing runs the risk of being more intriguing than the film it's designed to promote. In Paris, the Saint-Martin stop (which has been unused for 73 years) on the Metro's Line 9 was transformed into the extraterrestrial architecture of Prometheus, giving passengers a glimpse… » 5/18/12 8:05am 5/18/12 8:05am

10 Ridiculously Unsettling Old-Timey Robots

Nowadays everyone hems and haws about the uncanny valley, but we don't realize how good we have it in the 21st century. Decades ago, anthropomorphic machines and animal-like automata straddled the line between goofy and "I did not sign up for this." Here's some irrefutable proof that machines have been planning our… » 5/09/12 11:40am 5/09/12 11:40am