Do These Powerlaces Match My Hoverboard?

Hadley Freeman over at The Guardian has declared that Back to the Future is this season's big fashion trend. Which makes complete sense, right? It's almost the year 2015—the very year that Marty visits in the BTTF sequel—so bring on those Nike powerlaces and hoverboard-friendly sneakers! Or not. » 3/13/14 6:37pm 3/13/14 6:37pm

The Most Retro-Futuristic DMV in America

In 1979, two artists covered a Southern California building with futuristic murals. They painted moon motorcycles, high-tech highways, and spaceships that would look right at home in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. But as delightfully retro-futuristic as the building is on the outside, what happens inside may surprise … » 3/06/14 3:35pm 3/06/14 3:35pm

The Space Age Never Looked Brighter Than It Did in the Mid-1960s

At the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, everything was Space Age. From the designs and architecture to the machines and rides, it seemed to everybody that the future was in outer space. Here are some incredible pictures that capture the way we imagined tomorrow — in space. » 2/27/14 4:10pm 2/27/14 4:10pm

Morgan Stanley Thinks Self-Driving Cars Will Bring Utopia by 2026

The term "techno-utopian" is helpful for referring to people who believe technology alone can solve the world's problems. The term is rarely used literally. But if the financial services company Morgan Stanley is to be believed, driverless cars will literally bring about a utopian society in just over a decade. » 2/25/14 7:40pm 2/25/14 7:40pm

When fossil fuels are illegal, biker gangs become the ultimate outlaws

In an energy-starved future, the authorities of America's mega-cities strictly regulate transit, allowing only solar cars to roam the roads and mandating intercity travel by rail. But that hasn't stopped warring motorcycle gangs from tearing through the streets—and stealing anything they can get their grease-stained… » 2/19/14 12:32pm 2/19/14 12:32pm

Was This The First Robot Ever Arrested?

On August 18, 1982 the Beverly Hills Police Department took a rather unusual perp into custody: a robot called DC-2. The crime? Illegally distributing business cards and generally causing a commotion on North Beverly Drive. It was probably the first time a robot had ever been arrested. » 2/18/14 12:47pm 2/18/14 12:47pm

How the reactionless space drive could send nuclear subs into orbit

In 1956, Astounding Science Fiction gushed about the wonders of a reactionless space drive invented in 1956 by Norman L. Dean. It could propel a converted atomic submarine into space, editor John W. Campbell wrote. He added, "The modern nuclear submarine is, in fact, a fully competent space-vehicle . . . lacking only… » 1/14/14 9:00am 1/14/14 9:00am

50 years ago, Isaac Asimov predicted what 2014 would look like

Fifty years ago, the 1964 World's Fair got Isaac Asimov to thinking about just what 2014 would look like, and he wrote up his predictions in an essay for The New York Times. It's a mixed-bag that includes early forecasts of GPS, microwave dinners, and a dead-on summation of our relationship with robots ("Robots will… » 1/02/14 7:40am 1/02/14 7:40am

Drunk Driving and The Pre-History of Breathalyzers

Drunk driving combines two of America's favorite pastimes: getting absolutely hammered and driving an automobile. But before the invention of the modern breathalyzer in the 1950s, determining if someone was too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle was incredibly subjective. It took decades for law enforcement… » 12/31/13 1:24pm 12/31/13 1:24pm