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Retrofuturist Flashback: Skyport 2000 (1957)

Why land your helicopter on a typical rooftop pad when you can touch down on one of these 500-foot-tall glass monoliths? Designer James Dartford designed Skyport 2000 for the Glass Age Development Committee. As Matt Novak explains in this Paleofuture

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Space Music: Adron sings Python’s Galaxy Song

I’ve blogged about Monty Python’s “Galaxy Song” and I’ve interviewed the cosmically-attuned singer/songwriter Adron, so it’s only natural that the two should come together. Adron and Blair Crimmins performed the “Galaxy Song” from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life at

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It Existed: The Camel-Mounted Gatling Gun

Nope, that’s not a Photoshop job or an illustration for the latest alternate history book. During the mid 1850s, you really did find camel-mounted hand-cranked Gatling guns. The innovation followed the Turkish zamburak tradition of camel-mounted weaponry — first the

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Retrofuturist Flashback: Electric Spaceship, 1775

Today’s a bit crazy in the old HowStuffWorks.com office, but I figured a slice of retrofuturism would do everyone some good. Here we see a “traveler from the planet Mercury arriving on Earth in his wonderful new electric flying machine. 

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Monster of the Week: The Demon Buer

Behold the demon Buer, described in Johann Weyer’s 1563 grimoire “Pseudomonarchia Daemonum” as the great president of Hell. For the capable sorcerer, Buer serves as an otherworldly mentor in natural philosophy, moral philosophy, logic and herbalism. He cures all manner

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Sex-Reversed Cave Bugs Pack Spiny Female Penises

And you humans think you’re so kinky and inventive. Meet the Brazilian cave insects of the Neotrogla genus. We’re talking four distinct species here and they mark the first documented example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia. That’s right, as

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Artatomical: Jan Fabre’s Body Vulnerability

When I happened upon the body-centric work of Belgium’s Jan Fabre, I knew I had to feature him here. Born in 1958, Fabre continues to take a multidisciplinary approach to  artistic expression. As you’ll discover on his website, he engages

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Indian Astronomy and the Hindu Demon of Eclipse

If you witnessed this week’s lunar eclipse, then perhaps you did a little time traveling. What did ancient peoples make of such a cosmic spectacle? How did they attempt to understand a lunar or solar eclipse? One of my favorite

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Monster of the Week: The Humanoid Vampire

When it comes to vampiric humanoids, we place far too much emphasis on viral infections and supernatural curses. Because at heart we have something far more fascinating: a humanoid sanguivore — and an obligate sanguivore at that, which is to

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What can Asian eyes teach WEIRD populations?

Let’s talk about WEIRD populations. No, I’m not talking about your everyday weirdo on the street. I’m talking about western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) segments of the global population. The vast majority of our psychology and nonscientific understanding stems

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