95 percent of American public libraries now carry ebooks

Ebooks are the new books. At least that's according to a recent survey by the Library Journal that looked at American public libraries. Ninety-five percent of libraries carry ebook titles. That's up from 89 percent in both 2013 and 2012, when researchers thought that adoption had plateaued for good. » 11/26/14 5:32pm Yesterday 5:32pm

Passenger Air Travel in the 1920s As Told Through Cigarette Cards

Passenger air travel in the 1920s and 30s was a uniquely exhilarating experience — provided you could afford it. But for those of us stuck in a world where flying has become a mundane and sometimes excruciating ordeal, we can at least live vicariously through the past. A website called The Passion of Former Days has… » 11/26/14 2:45pm Yesterday 2:45pm

Back to the Future's Hoverboards Were Originally Way Bigger

The hoverboard from Back to the Future: Part II is one of the most iconic artifacts of 20th century futurism. But surprisingly, the hovering toys were originally envisioned to be much larger than what made it on screen. That's according to John Bell, the visual effects art director on the classic 1989 film. » 11/25/14 2:25pm Tuesday 2:25pm

Ask the Author of Alan Turing: The Enigma Anything

The new film The Imitation Game hits theaters this weekend. But before you see Benedict Cumberbatch's brilliant portrayal of Alan Turing on the big screen, you should definitely check out the book that the film is based on, Alan Turing: The Enigma. Today we have author Andrew Hodges joining us for a live webchat from… » 11/25/14 12:00pm Tuesday 12:00pm

Did Ben Franklin want the turkey to be our national symbol?

It's one of those Thanksgiving fun facts I loved repeating when I was a kid: Ben Franklin liked turkeys so much that he wanted them to be our national bird, instead of the bald eagle. It's a popular fun fact. But I was shattered to learn as an adult that this little nugget of trivia isn't quite true. » 11/20/14 5:15pm 11/20/14 5:15pm

The best biographies on Tesla imho are Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by Bernie Carlson (which can be a bit technical at times) and Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc Seiffer. Both dispel a lot of the myths from earlier biographies. » 11/20/14 3:52pm 11/20/14 3:52pm

Why Nikola Tesla Is a Hero to Men's Rights Activists

Nikola Tesla is celebrated as a genius who had an amazing ability to envision the future. He predicted cellphones, television, and even elements of the internet long before any of these things existed. But he also had some weird ideas about the social issues of tomorrow. Which is why he's become an unlikely hero in… » 11/20/14 1:50pm 11/20/14 1:50pm

DARPA Director Totally Cool With Google Taking All the Fun Toys

In an interview this afternoon at the Defense One Summit, DARPA director Arati Prabhakar explained the history and future of the agency. And Prabhakar wants it known that Google and other commercial enterprises are not their enemy. In fact, they're more important that ever to DARPA's national security goals, as… » 11/19/14 5:20pm 11/19/14 5:20pm

No, Colonel Sanders never killed a man in a shootout

The internet loves fun facts about Colonel Sanders. Yes, he was a real man named Harland Sanders. And yes, he really was a colonel. (Well, kind of.) But there's one fun fact about everybody's favorite chicken salesman that simply isn't true. Despite what you may have read online, Colonel Sanders never killed a man in… » 11/19/14 12:45pm 11/19/14 12:45pm