In the 1960s California had a serious plan to take water from Alaska

It's so ungodly hot in much of California right now that you can almost hear the sun sucking what's left of our reservoirs dry. But if a group of engineers and politicians would have had their way in 1964, the lower 48 would be swimming in water imported from the far North—all the way from Alaska. » 9/16/14 3:55pm Tuesday 3:55pm

Vintage ad promising a free U2 tape with every Walkman is fake

Apple recently gave iTunes users something they didn't want for free: a new U2 album. Reactions have ranged from "who the hell is U2?" to "who the hell is U2 and why is this on my phone?" The move has also spawned countless jokes, including the photoshop'd image above. Yes, despite looking plausible enough, it's yet… » 9/16/14 12:05pm Tuesday 12:05pm

In the '60s, your "wrong number" was likely the phone company's error

Dial a phone number. Instead of the person you're trying to reach, a stranger picks up. After a moment of confusion, you blurt out "sorry, wrong number," and hang up. Was it your fault? In 1960s America, it might have been the phone company's error, but AT&T was happy to let you blame yourself. » 9/13/14 12:56pm Saturday 12:56pm

The designer of the Nike swoosh was originally paid $35

In 1971, Carolyn Davidson was a design student at Portland State University. This is where Phil Knight, one of the founders of Nike and an assistant professor at PSU, struck up a conversation with her and asked Davidson to come up with some logo designs for his new sportswear company. Davidson designed the swoosh,… » 9/12/14 2:15pm Friday 2:15pm

That Video Of The Guy Running His Truck On "Gas Fumes" Is Bullshit

First off, let's be clear about how many folks are watching this: the Facebook post with this video has been shared almost 290,000 times. That's a lot of people watching this, and it's simple, basic, unrefined bullshit. I know it's no fun to pay for gas (or, well, anything), but you can't run on "gas fumes." » 9/12/14 12:05pm Friday 12:05pm

1 in 5 American households with children are food insecure

The United States is one of the richest countries on Earth. But according to a new report, thousands of American children go to bed hungry each night. In fact, one in five American households with children are food insecure — meaning that they have difficulty consistently providing food for all members of their… » 9/03/14 1:50pm 9/03/14 1:50pm

There's $2.5 Billion Worth of Silver and Gold in Phones Sold This Year

Your gadgets contain tiny specks of precious and rare earth metals—we rely on these dust-sized particles, which are so small they're often not recycled because the cost of recycling outweighs the value of the metals. But according to the American Chemical Society, the overall value of these minute materials is massive. » 9/03/14 12:26pm 9/03/14 12:26pm

Radioactive boars from Chernobyl are still wandering around Germany

Nearly 30 years later, radiation from Chernobyl still scars the landscape. Perhaps most remarkably, some of that radiation traveled hundreds of miles downwind, settled into the soil, and moved up through the food chain. So now we have radioactive wild boars, still roaming around Germany causing trouble. » 9/03/14 11:15am 9/03/14 11:15am

America's first roller coaster began as a railway for transporting coal

If you're wondering how people first decided plummeting downhill inside a rickety box on wheels seemed like a good time, look no further than the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway in Pennsylvania. What began as a railway for shooting coal down the mountain turned into a destination for thousands of tourists in the late… » 8/29/14 2:45pm 8/29/14 2:45pm

A single clothing company consumes 1% of the world's cotton

The largest companies consume a shockingly huge amount of the world's natural resources. Ikea, for instance, uses 17.8 million cubic yards of wood a year. When it comes to cotton, there's VF Corp., a relatively unknown corporation that owns some of the best-known clothing brands in the world. » 8/28/14 7:00pm 8/28/14 7:00pm

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes™ have no pumpkin in them

Starbucks is rolling out pumpkin spice lattes, starting with an early access option that starts today. This means it's the time of year for everyone's favorite overpriced seasonal beverage. This doesn't mean we'll be adding extra pumpkin to our diet, because Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes™, despite the name, contain… » 8/28/14 5:17pm 8/28/14 5:17pm

Louisiana loses a football field of land every hour to the ocean

If you compare a map of the Louisiana coastline in the 1920s to today, the difference is striking. About 1,883 square miles of land has just disappeared — swallowed into the Gulf of Mexico. And each year Louisiana loses more. In fact, roughly a football field's worth of land is lost every hour. » 8/28/14 12:45pm 8/28/14 12:45pm