Introducing the Gizmag Store

History

Mission Control Center during the Apollo 13 oxygen cell failure (Photo: NASA)

NASA space missions have always been a source of fascination amongst the general public and films like Apollo 13 have tried to encapsulate the experience of space travel. The famous words “Houston, we've had a problem,” uttered by Lovell on the second day of what was to be the USA's third lunar landing mission, remains just as famous at the aborted mission itself. Now, thanks to British programmer Andrew Godwin, it is possible to view the actual NASA transcripts online. Spacelog.org has published the radio transcripts of the earliest manned NASA missions to space. Currently the site hosts the Apollo 13 transcripts along with Mercury-Atlas 6, John Glenn's mission aboard Friendship 7 as the first American to reach orbit.  Read More

Yahoo's Time Explorer lets users peer into the future (Image: modified from seanmcgrath or...

Earlier this month we took a look at Recorded Future, a company that uses information scoured from thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to make predictions about the future. Now, Yahoo’s Barcelona research lab has created a similar prototype news search engine called Time Explorer. It creates timelines based on search queries that not only provide a way to check the accuracy of past predictions, but also allows users to view predictions that are yet to occur.  Read More

The 5,500 year old leather shoe discovered in Areni-1 in Armenia

Although most fashion changes with the seasons, there are some that have stood the test of time - denim jeans, the little black dress, purple crushed velvet bell-bottoms. But there is one item of clothing whose longevity outshines all of these – the humble moccasin. In 2008 an international team of archaeologists discovered a well preserved and complete leather shoe that was dated at around 5,500 years old – that’s one thousand years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza and around the time evidence suggests the wheel first began to be used in Mesopotamia.  Read More

Ferrari celebrates 60 years of F1

We mentioned last week that Formula One was celebrating its sixtieth birthday but a key fact escaped our attention - to mention that only one team has been there for all sixty seasons, and hence was also celebrating its sixtieth birthday. The Ferrari F1 Team made its debut in round two of the inaugural F1 Championship at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21, 1950. A second place for Italian Alberto Ascari in the Ferrari 125 set the tone for the next six decades. To date the team has taken part in 799 Grands Prix, meaning that Istanbul next weekend will be the eight hundredth. To date, Ferrari’s race record shows 211 wins, 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, which makes this team the most successful in mankind's most followed sport.  Read More

A computer bit circa 1958 from the LEO II/3 computer

The latest in our series of early technologies from Michael Bennett-Levy’s collection looks at the world’s first commercial business computer, the LEO II/3. The LEO II (short for Lyons Electronic Office) was the successor to the LEO I, which was designed by Oliver Standingford and Raymond Thompson of J. Lyons and Co. – one of the UK’s leading catering and food manufacturing companies in the first half of the 20th century.  Read More

World's longest sniper kill - 2.47km twice!

The sniper is without doubt the most feared combatant in any theater of war, the best of whom have an array of skills far beyond simply being able to hit human targets at unfeasibly long distances. As ironic as it might be in wars where satellites and autonomous airplanes are on the same team, snipers are the STILL the most cost effective way of killing the enemy. Individual snipers routinely account for more kills than entire battalions operating in the same place at the same time, hit the target almost every time, and each bullet costs around €2. An elite sniper's skills cannot be assessed with a single measurement, so the “longest confirmed kill” record stands as the pseudo world championship for military combat riflemen, and as of now there's a new outright champion - using an Accuracy International L115A3, British Corporal Craig Harrison killed two Taliban with consecutive shots at a distance of 2.47 kilometres (8120 ft) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan last November (2009). He then fired a third shot and hit the Taliban's PKM machinegun in the most prodigious feat of marksmanship in military history.  Read More

The most successful automotive collector auction in history

RM Auctions’ inaugural Sporting Classics of Monaco event held on Saturday leaves little doubt that fine automobiles can be a rapidly appreciating investment. The average price achieved by the 88 cars which crossed the block was in excess of US$500,000 while the highest price fetched was EUR2,800,000 (US$3,799,600) for a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB (pictured top right). Some remarkable cars were sold on the day, including (pictured clockwise from bottom right) one of the world’s most significant pre-war sports racing cars, the 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte’ (undisclosed but believed to be in excess of US$6 million), a handmade Rolls Royce which was the most expensive car made in the world in 1933 (US$1,975,792) and a Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ (US$3,343,648). Full details, images and story inside.  Read More

Team BMW Oracle with Larry Ellison at the helm hold the trophy aloft

The America’s Cup has been run and won, and will return to America where it has resided for the vast majority of its century and a half history. Larry Ellison’s Team BMW Oracle trimaran trounced the Swiss Alinghi team’s Catamaran as two of the most technologically advanced boats on water fought out a one-sided event.  Read More

We've come a long way ... from shocking in the early 1900s (left) to blase in 2010, swimsu...

Swimwear fashion has progressed steadily over the past 100 or so years (if you discount Borat’s mankini). Design has moved from neck-to-knees woolen garments that women were encouraged to bathe in at the beach, to men’s Speedos, to skimpy Brazilian thongs, to Daniel Craig’s James Bond swimmer boxer trunks, to full body racing ‘buoyancy’ suits for Olympians. Who could forget screen sirens Esther Williams, Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe posing in their swimsuits? To celebrate Australia’s contribution to the swimwear industry – in design and materials – a comprehensive exhibition titled "Exposed! The story of swimwear" is traversing that country, appearing at State museums.  Read More

Scientists are hopeful that the weathering evident on marble gravestones can provide clues...

By gathering volunteers' measurements of marble gravestones of different ages around the world, scientists hope to produce a map of the weathering rates of those gravestones and thereby better understand how the atmosphere has been changing. The study, called EarthTrek, is developed and managed by the Geological Society of America's (GSA) Education and Outreach group in partnership with organizations around the globe.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,490 articles