Mowing the grass isn't the most glamorous of jobs, but what if you could do so in an air-conditioned bubble? That's exactly what the machine above allows you to do, but unfortunately it never made it to production. However, it was more than just a rendering, as the actual machine was featured on the 1958 cover of Mechanix Illustrated. Continue reading to see nineteen more strange inventions from the past that were clearly ahead of their time. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery.
Most, if not all, who have studied history, know of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, but there are some that may have not seen a young portrait of him. This particular photo was taken in 1902, when Stalin was just 24-years-old. His mustached face was pock-marked from smallpox during childhood. After a carriage accident in his youth, his left arm was shortened and stiffened at the elbow, while his right hand was thinner than his left and frequently hidden. Continue reading to see more rare historical photos of world leaders in their youth. Click here for a few bonus images of young world leaders.
For those who weren't yet around to witness this grand event, Apollo 11 was basically the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Michael Collins piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent just under a day on the lunar surface before rendezvousing with Columbia in lunar orbit. Now if this mission had failed, the speech you see above would have been presented to the public. Continue reading for more interesting photos from around the web. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery.
The FBI has just released never-seen photographs from the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon released, and they show the massive destruction that faced first responders. When American Airlines Flight 77, which flew out of Dulles International Airport, slammed into the Pentagon's western wall, it killed all 64 people aboard, including the 5 hijackers, and 125 on the ground. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
Darth Vader was portrayed by bodybuilder David Prowse in the original film trilogy, and by stunt performer Bob Anderson during the character's intense lightsaber fight scenes. George Lucas originally intended for Orson Welles to voice Vader (after dismissing using Prowse's own voice due to his English West Country accent, leading to the rest of the cast nicknaming him "Darth Farmer"). After deciding that Welles's voice would be too recognizable, he cast the lesser-known James Earl Jones instead. The photo above shows David Prowse in half of Darth Vader's costume on the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Continue reading for more rare celebrity photos.
Survival hacks are one thing, these strange life hacks, digitized by the New York Public Library, found in cigarette boxes from over 100 years ago, are another. Many of them may not be practical in today's world, but learning how to extract a splinter back in the day wasn't as simple as hopping on Google. These cigarette cards were popular collectibles, and were included in every pack purchased. Yes, the famous 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card was also found in American Tobacco Company cigarette packs. Continue reading for more interesting life hacks from the early 1900s. Click here for a few bonus images.
Believe it or not, this is a 300-year-old smart lock, called the "Detector Lock," and not just a decorative piece. Created by British locksmith John Wilkes during the 1680s, a small button by the man's leg reveals a keyhole when pushed, while a door bolt is released when cocking his hat, and when combined with the turn of the knob, it's quickly unlocked. A pointer indicates the number of times the lock as been opened so you'll know if there have been any break-ins. For those who can't view the video, continue reading for detailed images showing just how the lock works.
Before the Ripsaw EV2, there was the Kettenkrad NUS, a tracked motorcycle / tank hybrid used in both the Eastern Front during World War II and the North African desert. It's powered by a 1478cc inline-4 water-cooled engine sourced from the Opel Olympia car featured throughout the German military, which made repairs a breeze since German mechanics at the time were more familiar with this powerplant. This engine has a modest power output of 36 bhp, mated a three-speed transmission, giving it the ability to climb inclines of 25° or more, while topping out at 50 mph. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.
The Voyager 1 probe is currently the farthest human made object from Earth. Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space, the region between stars where the galactic plasma is present. Like their predecessors Pioneer 10 and 11, which featured a simple plaque, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched by NASA with a message aboard - a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate to extraterrestrials a story of the world of humans on Earth. "This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours," signed President Jimmy Carter. Continue reading for more interesting historical images.
Auto enthusiasts know that 1967 was a banner year for the Enzo Ferrari motor company, as it saw the production of the mid-engined 330 P4, a renowned V12 endurance car meant to replace the previous year's P3. Only four Ferrari P4-engined cars were ever made: three new 330 P4s and one ex P3 chassis (0846). Their three-valve cylinder head was modeled after those of Italian Grand Prix-winning Formula One cars. To this was added the same fuel injection system from the P3 for an output of up to 450-horsepower. Continue reading for more interesting historical photos from around the web.