The Man Who Invented The Like Button In The 1930s?


“Dr. Nevil Monroe Hopkins, pictured above left, was a research engineer and lecturer in electrical engineering at New York University. He imagined a world where broadcast media could actually become a two-way street of communication. His radiovota was an interesting little box you attached to your radio and contained three buttons: Present, No, and Yes. Using it, people might express whether they liked or disliked a song. Or they might even communicate with their politicians, using this innovative new system in radical forms of direct democracy. At least that was the techno-utopian idea behind it.” w/ photos

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10,000-Year-Old Instruments?


“The stone instruments, which date from between 2500 and 8000 BC, will be played publicly for the first time next week as part of a three-night series at France’s National Orchestra. Four percussionists will take the stage to man the hand-held stone devices, playing a piece called Paleomusique, which was written for them by the French composer Philippe Fenelon. It’s only been a few years since archaeologists even realized these stones were instruments.” w/ photos + video

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Underground Waterfall


Approximately 1,120 feet below ground within the heart of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee, lies the United States’ tallest and deepest waterfall. Named Ruby Falls, after the founder’s wife, the waterfall is located at the end of the main passage of Ruby Falls Cave, in a large vertical shaft that was eroded out of limestone rock by salt water millions of years ago. The stream, fed by rainwater and natural springs, falls 145 feet and collects into a pool in the cave floor and then continues through the mountain until finally joining the Tennessee River at the base of Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls is believed to be 30 million years old.” w/ photos

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Creepy Creeping Baby Doll


First of all, creeping is what they called crawling back then, and as recently as the early 19th century the question of whether babies should be allowed to crawl was still hotly debated. Crawling was what crazy people and animals did and as such was morally suspect, even ‘unnatural’ for a sane human. By the mid-1800s, however, crawling was seen as a natural stage of childhood and the popularity of devices such as the standing stool began to wane. Meanwhile, as industrial mass production took over from individual toy makers and technology itself became a source of convenience and fascination, dolls with clockwork elements became increasingly popular toys.” w/ photos

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Lost Cow Tunnels Of NYC


“As the railroads massively increased cattle traffic to Manhattan, the Pennsylvania Railroad built holding pens in New Jersey, whence barges would ferry cattle across the Hudson to slaughterhouses along Twelfth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street. Traffic was so heavy in the 1870s that a ‘Cow Tunnel’ was built beneath Twelfth Avenue to serve as an underground passage, and it’s rumored to be there still, awaiting designation as a landmark site.” w/ photos

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Pinwheel Helicopter


“The pinwheel performed like a hissing Yo-yo yesterday – a rocket-powered strap-on-the-back helicopter that skittered Test Pilot Dick Whitehead around San Fernando Valley Airport (Van Nuys Airport) with startling speed and controllability. Several flights of the unique craft, said to be the smallest, lightest, simplest helicopter yet flown, were made during the first public demonstration of the tiny craft, disclosed by The Times last Feb. 28. Designed and built by Rotor-Craft Corp., Glendale, the 170-pound ship is the culmination of 7 years of development and is scheduled for immediate Navy flight evaluation tests. It is lifted by a thin, 17-foot rotor blade that whirls just above the pilot’s head under the power of hydrogen peroxide fuel broken down by catalytic action into steam that is ejected at high speed from the rotor tips.” w/ photos

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House Being 3D Printed In Amsterdam?


3D Print Canal House is the brainchild of DUS Architects. ‘KamerMaker,’ Dutch for ‘room maker’ is their giant printer custom built inside a shipping container. Just a few weeks ago, KamerMaker began printing plastic furniture and walls at an empty canal-side lot in northern Amsterdam. Smaller versions of the unusual honeycomb walls have been tested on normal desktop printers, and everyone just needed to be scaled up. Well, if only it were that easy.” w/ photos + video

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