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History

Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, as it appears today (Photo: Anton Bielousov via Wikipedia...

Sandy beaches are a delight for swimmers, surfers, sailors, and people strolling down the boardwalk. A horde of beautiful shells and buried coins (not to mention the occasional dropped ring) awaits the skilled beachcomber. Beach sand also carries within it a variety of traces of the history of that beach. A prime example is the magnetic sands of Normandy.  Read More

Frame from the first color motion picture (Image: National Media Museum/SSPL)

A piece of history has been rescued from oblivion with the National Media Museum in Bradford, United Kingdom, revealing a restoration of the first known color motion picture. Shot as a test reel by British inventor Edward Raymond Turner (1873 - 1903) in 1901/2, it was long thought to have been a practical failure until restored by the museum, which is showing the film to the public for the first time 110 years after its making.  Read More

'William,' a blue faience hippopotamus of the 12th Dynasty, in the Metropolitan Museum of ...

We like to think of technology as always being forward looking. It’s supposed to be about nanoparticles and the Cloud, not steam engines and the telephone exchange. But every now and again the past reaches out, taps the 21st century on the shoulder and says, “Have a look at this.” That’s what happened to Professor Stephen Hoskins, Director of the University of West England, Bristol's Centre for Fine Print Research. He is currently working on a way of printing 3D ceramics that are self-glazing, thanks to a 7,000-year old technology from ancient Egypt.  Read More

Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base (Photo: NASA)

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the US flag on the Moon. The image of Aldrin standing with the flag is one of the indelible images of that great day. But over the years, one question has vexed space buffs – what happened to the flag? In his book Return to Earth, Aldrin says that when the Lunar Module’s Ascent stage lifted off from Tranquility Base, he saw the flag topple over. Since no one could confirm what happened, it remained a mystery ... at least, until now. On July 27, NASA announced that its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) had solved the puzzle of the fate of the Apollo lunar flags.  Read More

Equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings spanning a 70-year residency at Bush House in ...

At noon today, the very last BBC World Service broadcast was aired from London's Bush House, ending a residency lasting over 70 years. The whole of the Corporation's famous international service has now moved to new state-of-the-art offices at Broadcasting House in Portland Place, near Oxford Circus. All of the equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings, however, have been left behind and are being sold off to the highest online bidder. The first of two sales is already open for bidding and includes complete mono and stereo mixing studios, a TV studio, a mind-boggling catalog of studio equipment, BBC memorabilia, office furniture and a Steinway grand piano.  Read More

Shma's bold 'water city' concept is a reimagining of the medieval Thai city of Ayutthaya, ...

Shma's bold "water city" concept is a reimagining of the medieval Thai city of Ayutthaya, that rethinks flood defenses for the 21st century by drawing inspiration from the past. It's a concept, yes, but one worthy of a second look, given that this is a uniquely Thai response to the catastrophic flooding that hit the country last year. Gizmag takes a moment to set Shma's scheme in its proper context: that of the very recent past, as well as that of Ayutthaya's heyday as one of Asia's, if not the world's, foremost cities.  Read More

The 1910 Edison-Puton Monowheel has the frame, rider and a 150cc De Dion engine enclosed b...

The annual Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in the U.K. never fails to deliver something special and this year that exotic ingredient is a 1910 Edison-Puton Monowheel. Capable of being ogled by engineers for hundreds of hours at a time, the Monowheel was built in Paris in 1910, and bears testimony to human folly at its most ingenious.  Read More

The NASA guidelines are intended to protect historic US landing sites, such as Apollo 11's...

When the last American astronauts blasted off from the Moon in 1972, it seemed as if they were leaving behind monuments that would stand for all time. On a lifeless, airless satellite there would never be any scavengers or souvenir hunters, no wind to bury or wear down the abandoned spacecraft and artifacts, and no air to corrode metal. Even the footprints would still be there millions of years from now. Or so everyone thought. Now, with more and more nations and private organizations planning manned and unmanned missions to the Moon, NASA is worried that the Apollo landing sites and others could be endangered by the next wave of lunar explorers. To prevent this, the space agency issued a set of guidelines that politely asks everybody to keep their distance.  Read More

The world's most expensive camera - the Leica 0-Series (Photo: WestLicht Photographica)

The Viennese WestLicht Photographica Auction House continued its stellar run of success with its 21st Camera auction in just its eleventh year as an auction house, when it recently broke its own world record for the fifth consecutive time by selling one of the original Leica 0-series cameras for €2,160,000 (US$2.77 million), including the buyer’s premium.  Read More

A wealthy Australian businessman has announced plans to build a cruise ship modeled after ...

It's been just over 100 years since the notorious RMS Titanic met its fate with an iceberg on its maiden voyage, sending it to the bottom of the Atlantic along with over 1,500 passengers. Since then, the doomed passenger liner has become almost a legend, thanks in no small part to James Cameron's blockbuster movie about the disaster. Next to the film though, the Titanic may soon be getting literally its biggest tribute yet (bigger than the world's largest Titanic museum). Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, recently announced plans to construct a life-sized, seaworthy replica of the ship - with some modern upgrades to keep it from sinking of course.  Read More

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