Tour A Real, Abandoned Insane Asylum In This Creepy Short Video

Ghosts are implied but not actually filmed in this spectacularly eerie tour of a massive asylum, closed for 20 years. Elegant editing and camerawork, including some graceful aerial footage, capture graffiti-covered abandonment as well as what the narrator terms “a presence, as if something was still there.” » 5/22/15 3:30pm Yesterday 3:30pm

A Princess Once Dueled A Countess Over Floral Arrangements... Topless

When we think of historical duels, we may tend to imagine two men handsomely dressed wielding pistols or swords over some offense to one party’s honor. One particular duel, however, presents a very different picture of honor battles. Not only was it between two women; it was between two women fighting topless.
» 5/20/15 11:31am Wednesday 11:31am

The 10 Weirdest Things That People Once Used As Status Symbols

A visitor from 100 years ago would be confused by our selfies and our strange toys — but they would understand the need to show off. Throughout history, people have had status symbols. Sometimes, these things have been gold and jewels. But sometimes, they’re a bit weirder. Here are 10 bizarre status symbols from the… » 5/19/15 10:04am Tuesday 10:04am

The Earliest Plastic Billiard Balls Had A Habit Of Exploding

When you play a game of billiards, you’re usually hoping to hear the satisfying clack of the balls. You’re probably not hoping to hear a sound like gunfire as your cue ball connects with the eight ball. But if you got your hands on some of the earliest plastic billiard balls, that was a chance you took. » 5/19/15 8:00am Tuesday 8:00am

Top 10 Prehistoric Mammals That Were Way Cooler Than Dinosaurs

As much as I’m looking forward to Jurassic Park, I will never quite forgive dinosaurs for the sin of being birdlike. How can I fear something that I eat in nugget form? Now prehistoric mammals — that’s where the action is. Here are the top 10 mammals that ruled more than any dinosaur ever. » 5/14/15 10:00am 5/14/15 10:00am

Darwin Predicted This Animal's Existence Decades Before Its Discovery

Here’s a great Charles Darwin story you may not have heard before: In 1862, the famed naturalist foretold the discovery of an unusual animal, based on his observations of a species of orchid endemic to Madagascar. The creature was ultimately discovered in 1903—some 20 years after Darwin’s death. » 5/13/15 12:00pm 5/13/15 12:00pm

100 Years Ago, This Man Was The Original Patent Troll

The term “patent troll” wasn’t coined until the late 20th century, used to describe someone who filed a patent in order not to manufacture products, but to collect licensing fees. But more than 100 years ago, a patent attorney was a proto-patent troll, exploiting the system to profit off of the burgeoning auto… » 5/06/15 9:20am 5/06/15 9:20am

Star Wars Audition Tapes Feature A Very Different Original Trilogy Cast

It’s almost impossible to imagine the original Star Wars with anyone but Harrison Ford as Han Solo, or Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. But long, long ago, these roles were up for grabs — and Kurt Russell could have shot first. Check out the revealing audition tapes for the Original Trilogy! » 5/05/15 4:00pm 5/05/15 4:00pm

How Should We Address Science's Selective Memory?

At Slate, Ben Lillie reflects on the ongoing battle between those who would build a colossal, $1.5-billion telescope atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and the native Hawaiians who regard the dormant volcano as a sacred place. The conflict, says Lillie, is emblematic of a larger, and largely unspoken, truth about science: that… » 5/01/15 1:40pm 5/01/15 1:40pm

7 Lesser-Known Victorian Inventors Who Were Just As Fascinating As Tesla

When we see science fiction stories set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the inventor Nikola Tesla tends to show up an awful lot. But the Victorian era and the early 20th century are filled with inventors who led fascinating lives, lives that just don’t tend to turn up in fiction. » 4/30/15 10:00am 4/30/15 10:00am

When the FAA Blasted Oklahoma City with Sonic Booms For 6 Months

Have you ever experienced a sonic boom? A sonic boom so forceful that your dishes fell from the cupboards, your photos fell off the walls, and maybe your ceiling even started to crack? This was the reality that residents of Oklahoma City endured for six months in 1964 — eight times per day. » 4/28/15 5:46pm 4/28/15 5:46pm

These Japanese Candy Animals Were Once Sold By Ninjas

At a tiny shop in the old downtown of Tokyo, you can see an art form that almost died out—and eat it, too. The craftspeople at Amezaiku Yoshihara make intricate candy creatures by hand as you watch, forming sugary starch into delicate legs, wings, and ears in just the couple of minutes before the candy hardens.
» 4/21/15 9:00pm 4/21/15 9:00pm

How Lord Byron's Scandals Led Ada Lovelace To Become A Mathematician

Ada Lovelace is now most famously known as the mother of computer science, but during her lifetime, she was also well known on account of her famous father: Lord Byron. Although Ada never met her father, his scandalous behavior had a profound effect on how she was raised — on a strict diet of mathematics. » 4/17/15 8:00am 4/17/15 8:00am