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History

Built in 1898, the P1 was the very first Porsche

Ask most petrolheads when the first Porsche was built and the likely answer you’ll get is 1948, when the Type 356 rolled out. In fact, that’s off by fifty years. This week, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen will mark its fifth anniversary with the unveiling of the rediscovered and unrestored first Porsche, the P1 built in 1898. Recovered from a warehouse where it languished forgotten for over a century, it’s now the centerpiece of a new permanent exhibit telling the early history of Porsche and its founder.  Read More

Vespa's 150 TAP (Troupes Aéro Portées) was designed to be dropped into battle by parachute...

For motorcyclists wishing to balance the inequities of the road-going pecking order, this could be the perfect mount. Vespa's 150 TAP might only be good for 40 mph, but the integrated M20 light anti-armor cannon shoots 75 mm rounds capable of penetrating 100 mm of armor from four miles.  Read More

The new £27-million Stonehenge Visitor Centre that opened this week (Photo: Peter Cook)

The new £27-million (US $44 million) visitor centre for the world’s most famous Neolithic monuments has opened its doors just days before the winter solstice in Britain, offering a modern, but low-key and educational introduction to the 5,000-year-old stone circle. Cars are banished and visitors are offered a virtual "Stonehenge experience" before approaching the stones on foot or by shuttle.  Read More

The famous Earthrise photo from Apollo 8 (Image: NASA)

When the first astronauts landed on the Moon, it wasn’t a straight jump from Earth to the lunar surface on the first try. Instead, the first footsteps only came after a long series of preliminary steps, one of which was a manned orbital mission to the satellite. This December 21st marks the 45th anniversary of the day in 1968 when Apollo 8 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and into history as the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. It not only paved the way for Apollo 11, but is also seen by some as a greater achievement than the Moon landing itself.  Read More

This 'Destroyed Dalek' will be one of the items up for auction

With the 50th anniversary of the "timeless" TV series Doctor Who taking place this weekend, Bonhams auction house in the UK has announced its upcoming sale of memorabilia from all five decades of the program. On December 18th, participants in the Entertainment Memorabilia sale will be able to bid on items such as a destroyed Dalek, a Cyberman costume, and scripts from various episodes.  Read More

Artist's impression of the GRAIL spacecraft, which has helped provide a better understandi...

Sometimes great mysteries hang right over our heads. We’re so used to looking up and seeing the “Man in the Moon” that we often don’t realize that those familiar dark areas on the face of our nearest neighbor are part of a centuries old question that has yet to be answered. Many hypotheses have been put forward and now data from NASA's twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar orbiters has provided new insights into how the surface of the Moon formed and how its distinctive “seas” came to be.  Read More

Artist's concept of LADEE entering lunar orbit (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) experiment made history yesterday as it beamed data back to Earth from lunar orbit at previously unheard of speed for a space mission. Operating from the LADEE lunar orbiter, the LLCD used lasers to transmit data to Earth at 622 megabits per second (Mbps) as a demonstration of a technology that NASA hopes will one day not only keep up with the communications demands of future missions, but also greatly enhance their capabilities.  Read More

Stuart Fyfe with Flossie in the early 1970s (Image: The National Museum of Computing)

What weighs 5 tons and has less computing power than your watch? A pioneering piece of computing history call "Flossie," the last operating ICT 1301 mainframe. The National Museum of Computing recently took delivery of the dismantled computer, which needed three moving vans to bring it to the museum’s storage facility in Milton Keynes, UK.  Read More

The Lamborghini Riva Aquarama is the fastest Aquarama built

When you hear the word “Lamborghini,” you tend to think of land, not water, yet the car maker has a page in one of the most famous chapters of boat design. After a three-year effort, Dutch Riva has announced the successful restoration of a piece of maritime history: Ferrucio Lamborghini's Riva Aquarama speedboat.  Read More

HMS Hermes may have been one of the ships equipped with a laser weapon (Photo: Royal Navy)

Despite recent demonstrations by the US Navy, we still think of laser weapons as being things of the future. However, previously-classified British documents prove that not only were the major powers working on laser weapons in the 1970s and 80s, but that they were already being deployed with combat units in war zones. A letter from the Ministry of Defence released under the 30-year rule reveals that laser weapons were deployed on Royal Navy ships during the Falklands War in 1982, and that the British government was concerned about similar weapons being developed behind the Iron Curtain.  Read More

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