Dream Cars, an exhibition at Atlanta's High Museum, features the most amazing, doomed, gorgeous automotive designs of the automotive age. Streamlined or blobby, three-wheeled or magnificently finned, these are the cars that leapt off the cover of popular science pulps and into the showrooms, where they died an obscure death. The museum's site has some beautiful photos and curatorial notes on each of the cars in the exhibition, which runs to Sept 7.
The Firebird XP-21 was the first gas turbine-powered car built and tested in the United States. At the 1954 Motorama, General Motors made it clear this was a design study created to determine the practicality of the gas turbine for use in future vehicles. Harley Earl, GM's styling chief, made the decision to initiate the development of the Firebird I in the styling department rather than the engineering department. He took styling cues from the Douglas F4D Skyray jet, and the car's "needle" nose, swept-back wings, vertical tailfin, and plastic bubble top cockpit reflected this inspiration. As it was described in the press at the time, "the first impression one gets of the Firebird is that it is a jet fighter on four wheels – an impression that prevails even while the car is standing still."
Although the Firebird I's lofty power output was intriguing, the gas turbine engine could not provide economical performance. Besides its impractical single-seater design, its jet engine was too loud, its exhaust temperature at the tailpipe was 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and its low fuel economy was unacceptable. But it was a Motorama sensation, and two successors followed at later Motoramas: the Firebird II in 1956 and the Firebird III in 1959. The Firebird series symbolized the era's obsession with outer space and air travel.
The Court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt that the Texas law placed undue burdens on clinics that performed abortions by requiring them to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, use doctors with admitting privileges at local hospitals — measures that led to the closure of three quarters of the state’s abortion-providing facilities […]
The Snowbot — a $14,000 Beampro telepresence robot that Edward Snowden pilots from Moscow — is becoming a fixture at conferences, meetings, and in the halls of power in the USA, where Snowden is a frequent invited guest.
China’s Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (in English, “Publicity Department”) spends $10B/year — only part of its budget — getting the official Chinese party line into foreign news outlets, with the rest of its activity directed internally, at government communications discipline and media censorship.
Experienced shutterbugs with DSLR cameras have boatloads of lens options for capturing the moment. Unfortunately, smartphone photographers often get stuck with their one crummy lens, which means limited zoom and focus for their final image.Step up your smartphone’s photographic power with the Acesori 5-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit, now just $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Magnetic rings easily […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]