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Whenever you see a picture of the ancient pyramids of Giza the view behind is of endless sweeping sands rather than the smog heavy skyline of downtown Cairo. Here we’ve collected some of the least flattering and depressing views of famous monuments or places, from the Stonhenge car park to the Starbucks in the Louvre. There are a couple of unlikely ones such as the Acropolis which in some ways is depressing from every angle, having been destroyed while used as a munitions dump, or the more preserved version of Trajan’s column which is hidden away in a London museum, with a janitor’s closet in its base. Vote for the worst.

9 depressing views of famous monuments

Escape pods are a ubiquitous element of science fiction but surprisingly rare in real life. The ones I found are largely for high speed jet fighters or ships, submarines and oil platforms, but my absolute favorite is the patent drawing for a gigantic detachable commercial pod in a regular commercial airliner which floats passengers gently to the ground via an array of parachutes. In the massively unlikely event that this ever is realized, I will fly forever with any airline that adopts it.

12 real escape pods

Although current proposals for 4000 mph Maglev trains running in evacuated tubes, would offer New York to Beijing in less than 2 hours, built versions of pneumatic railways predate regular subways. Brunel built one, and an underground pneumatic railway was built by Alfred Ely Beach, in Manhattan, in 1869. The late 19th century stock market crash, depression and Civil War, destroyed the idea and little of it remains apart from the station, which features in the movie Ghost Busters II.

Pneumatic Trains

The interior design of Sweden's giant nuclear bunker.In the mid seventies, when ABBA topped the music charts, Sweden was just putting the finishing touches on its giant civil defense nuclear bunker outside Stockholm, called the Elephant.Traditionally neutral Sweden made this a priority due to its close proximity with Russia, but the Elephant is unlike any other cold war bunker - because it looks rather like an underground IKEA.In order to prevent claustrophobia, fake horizons were painted on the walls of recreation areas, with green below and blue above, representing sky and grass. Even lamps were painted yellow to represent the sun. In the business parts of the bunker, such as briefing rooms and control rooms, shades of gray relieved by red were used.Unlike other bunkers which used the same tactics, with murals of mountain or countryside scenes the obsessive schematic nature of the Swedish bunker is like a children's bedroom in hell.Urban explorers have visited and documented the Elephant bunker. Here are our picks from a wonderful set by Bill_R on Flickr. Click through any of the pictures for more.

IKEA in Hell

Get into a car anywhere in the world, and if you can drive you will know how to use it. The car dashboard is the perfect user interface, something that puts computer interfaces to shame.Here is a collection of our favorite car dashboards from the ergonomic simplicity of the 40s Willys Jeep, minimalist design excellence of the early Porsche, Maverick innovation of the Citroen DS and Baroque exuberance of the 50s Corvette. Vote for the top car interface of all time.

classic car user interfaces

Everything from cars to cargo ships can be nuclear powered, not just aircraft carriers or submarines,. If you want a really wild motor for your vehicle here are some real examples of nuclear engines. To avoid more well known examples, we have not included carriers and submarines in this chart, and we have tried to link to images of the actual engines. Vote for your faves.

Nuclear Powered Transportation

Football kit (American football), has changed dramatically over a relatively short history, such that early football helmets look positively medieval and the latest anti-concussion helmets are fully fledged gadgets in their own right.The first football helmet designs were soft shell lattices that resemble those still worn by rugby players. Unlike rugby, however, contact can be made when you don't have possession of the ball, so helmets became progressively more robust and elaborate. Around the 1920s helmets were clearly inspired by Roman army ones, only made of soft leather and occasionally with full face-masks. These 'executioner' helmets are the most sought after collectors items, today.The first metal face masks appeared in the 30s although they did not become commonplace until the 50s, when the modern helmet took shape, eventually becoming a hard plastic or composite shell.

12 football helmet designs

Although there are many ironic underwater technologies that got there by accident, such as planes and trains or by design, underwater escape training helicopters, there are also mail boxes, telephone systems, cars, motorcycles, kayaks (yes underwater kayaks) and air conditioning units that are there just to mess with us. Here are the most surreal we could find, vote for your faves.

surreal underwater technology

What passes for interactive clothing often consists of a button to control your iPod from your sleeve.Here is a roundup of some more interesting interactive clothing ideas, including a jacket whose fur stands on end like a scared cat, a bikini whose breast pads inflate as a life saver and a jacket with a digital organism that grows as you wear it. These are alongside some more serious ideas such as a medical monitoring clothing and a robotic jacket to aid the paralyzed. Some are fairly well known, but others are hopefully new to you.

22 best interactive clothes

The Wienermobile is quintessentially American: pure, whimsical, 4-wheeled fun in the name of capitalism. It’s history goes rather like most design classics form Apple computers to the Coke bottle: 2 custom built homebrew prototypes (1936-40), a defining form (1958), a refinement of this to produce a classic, by a famous designer (1958, Brooks Stevens), variations on the same theme till now, with a novelty version in 2008.

all 10 wienermobiles through history

Bunker architecture is often better by accident than the deliberate attempts to create an aesthetic based on massive elements, through brutalism. Paul Virilio famously published a book of some of the more extreme versions of the 12,000 bunkers that formed the Atlantic Wall in WWII and Albania has an incredible 700,000 bunkers in a population of 3M, created by its mad leader, Enver Hoxha. Perhaps the strangest of all are the concealed bunkers that litter the Swiss countryside either as fake chalets or as mountains that literally open up to reveal jet fighters.

The architecture of bunkers

The fetish aspect of external, insect-like skeletons has made them a staple of science fiction. However, the utility is real, from the incredible Japanese Enryu rescue exoskeleton, which looks like a loader from the Aliens movie, to brain controlled limb enhancers for the para or quadraplegic.

exoskeletons

Movies originated from animated still images, either through a rotating slit (zoetropes), a faceted mirror (praxinoscopes) or a rotating drum with flip cards in the case of the mutoscope. Here are some sample videos of the machines themselves, from antiques to modern day installations based on them.

12 moving image machines

The hovercraft will be 50 years old next year. Like supersonic, interplanetary and deep sea travel, the demise of the world's largest hovercraft the SR-N4, joined Concorde, the Saturn V and the Trieste as examples of technological retreat.The SR-N4, which was operated by two companies, for many years, to transport people across the English Channel, could carry over 30 vehicles and 250 people. What made these hovercraft particularly unusual is that they represented an example of a design where the civilian versions were more extraordinary than those used by the military, which are still smaller, even today.

18 hovercraft designs

One of the ways to get something architecturally novel built is to tell people it is temporary. Despite the fact that 99.9% of buildings are temporary over a few generations, people seem to tolerate something as long as it will be gone before they are. As a result, several of the worlds most famous pieces of architecture (Barcelona and Rietveld pavilions) or some of the worlds most famous city landmarks (Eiffel Tower, London Eye) have remained because they won people over after the fact.

9 permanent temporary structures

The point of this list was to find interesting fountain designs that are truly modern, something that is rare, since fountains are luxurious, flowing and decorative by nature.For example Rome's Trevi fountain may be a masterpiece, but trying to recreate classical splendor today always looks awful and kitsch. The horrid water display at the Vegas Bellagio is a case in point, opulence without craft. In fairness, its designers, WET design have produced many other much more interesting designs which balance fun with restraint. Here are some of our favorite designs, from computer controlled fountains such as the wonderful animated version at Detroit Airport to Chicago's celebrated screen based Crown fountain

12 great modern fountains

Singapore Airlines has this week banished the mile high club, with the introduction of on board double beds. The rest of the interior, however is fairly bland. Here is a list of some of the best aircraft interiors.

16 cool aircraft interiors

Crumbling hospitals are archetypal places of creepiness, because they are ironic. An hospital is a place that is supposed to be clean, from bedding to bathing to surgery and this has been exploited for dramatic effect in films from Jacob's Ladder to 12 Monkeys and the more recent Shutter Island.Abandoned hospitals are also a popular destination for urban explorers, so here I've picked the best examples I could find from records of their adventures on Flickr. But continue to have a look there for some other great shots.The set pieces are where a few pieces of furniture and medical equipment remain in a decaying room, to the extent that some of these are obviously staged from found objects, but they're no less impressive.

12 abandoned hospitals

The original wireless network used pigeons. One of the worlds largest information firms, Reuters actually started out as a messaging service with carrier pigeons, they were used widely for messaging during the WW1 and even for aerial photography. The famous psychologist, Skinner worked on a guided missile which was to be controlled by live pigeons.

the pigeon net

Flying helmets are interesting because they demonstrate the rate of technological progress over the 20th century, from primitive, almost medieval looking leather caps to sophisticated cyborg like devices packed full of electronics. They also show different air force cultures, from spartan Soviet styles to individualistic, decorated and painted US fighter pilot helmets.

flying helmets

You too can ruin your kids childhood, by making their happy smiley toys sound like Stephen Hawking or a bad Radiohead cover. Fitter Happier Stronger.Circuit bent Furbys are currently all the rage, however, all manner of kids toys have been circuit bent and modified, from classic Texas speak and spell machines, to a device called feces farm. Vote for your faves.

top circuit bent kids toys (videos)

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Category: 'new'

Homefront’s Short Campaign Prompts Question: Is The Single-Player FPS A Lost Art?

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
PSM3, the PlayStation magazine, has reviewed THQ’s fancy new shooter Homefront. It got a respectable 83/100. What’s perhaps worrying, however, is that the single-player campaign clocks in at a mere five hours in length.

Twist360 holds your iPad in Lots of Ways

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
The iPad 2 is on the way with it hitting stores this week, but there are still loads of original iPads on the market that people want cool accessories for. For this crowd Bracketron has a new offering for you.

Australian Blokes Build Impressive Off Road Skateboard

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
It’s called the FiiK. If you think it’s an odd handle, so did we until we learned it stood for “Future Is In Knowledge.” You see, the Queensland natives (brothers actually) have been improving their motorized skateboard technology for the better part of 10 years.(...

Disposable Eco Can Puts Biodegradable Spin On Canned Drinks

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
The funny thing about the Eco Can is the manufacturers fashioned it after a well, can. Like a can, it’s disposable. Unlike a can, it’s biodegradable and can (that again) store hot liquid. If it does more than your average can, then why is it shaped like a can?

Google Instant Previews Now Mobile

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Google’s Instant Previews, which allows you to see webpage snapshots alongside text search results, is now available on mobile for Android (2.2+) and iOS (4.0+) devices. Google rolled out this functionality today across 38 languages.

No Comment: Viewsonic ViewPad 10 press image shows a familiar OS

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Good work, Viewsonic; you're now shipping the dual-boot 10" ViewPad tablet that features both Windows 7 and Android as OS choices. We at TUAW wish you every success with the product.

Nokia lands new MeeGo chief, vows ‘style-conscious’ device

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Nokia's MeeGo marketing lead said on Tuesday that the company had already picked a new head for the MeeGo team. Sebastian Nyström will jump from the top spot on the Qt team to head up the mobile OS. He replaces Alberto Torres, who left immediately after the Windows Phone 7 shakeup....

Core77 Hand-Eye Supply Curiosity Club Tonite with Katy Meegan, Em-Space Book Arts Center

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Tonight, Core77 welcomes Katy Meegan of Em-Space Book Arts Center to our bi-weekly creative speaker series: The Hand-Eye Supply Curiosity Club hosted at the Hand-Eye Supply store in Portland, OR. Come early and check out our space or check in with us online for the live broadcast!

DIY Pulse Laser Gun Actually Burns Holes in Things

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
When I was an undergrad, lasers this powerful were generally kept bolted down to equipment and you had to wear goggles when you were using them. Admittedly, you were only in trouble if you sat down right in front of one or held your hand in front while it was firing.

Smell Your Video Games with Sensory Acumen and Scent Science’s New Gaming Gear

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Smell-o-vision has been a long-standing joke about television technology: something that in the early days of television every futurist thought would come true, but simply never made it into reality, partially because it's a ridiculous idea.

M-Edge Launches e-Luminator Touch Light for eReaders

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
M-Edge has been pushing all sorts of cases and accessories for eReaders since the market really took off. The company has a full line of gear for the Kindle, Nook and other offerings that are on the market.

Nokia Aims for “Next Billion” With X1-00

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Looking to grab its next billion users, Nokia has launched a new, entry level mobile phone aimed at “growth markets”, or the developing world. The X1-00 will retail for less than €35 (or $48 bucks), and has special features that will make it appealing for those markets.

iPad 2: Where and when you can buy one

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Photo courtesy of Engadget If you're in the market for an iPad 2, you'll have a wide range of locations in the United States where you can pick one up on Friday. You'll just need to wait until 5 PM local time to do so.

Philips puts out 21:9 TV with passive 3D, 400Hz 16:9 sets

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Philips has just announced the upcoming release of a new ultra wide screen TV with the Cinema 21:9 Gold. Sporting a wider aspect ratio than traditional 16:9 HDTVs, the 50-inch set also gets passive 3D technology.

SK Telecom to get CDMA iPhone 4 on March 16

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
SK Telecom on Tuesday confirmed earlier tips and said it would carry the iPhone 4 on March 16. The Korean carrier will be the first outside of the US to get the CDMA iPhone 4. Its deal ends KT's technical exclusive for the iPhone in the country, which was dictated mostly by its use of GSM....

The Meglio iPad Stand Is Great For The Can

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Another day, another iPad handle from Kickstarter. However, I think this one, the Meglio, is special for one reason and one reason only – it’s creator Salman Paracha has allowed us to finally admit where we all use our iPads the most: in the bathroom.

The New Apple iPad

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
A much lighter and thinner iPad, this device is now qualitatively different and is arriving in stores on March 11. The new iPad has two built-in cameras; one for high-definition videos and photos on the back and one for video conference at the front.

Microsoft Will Release Hardcore Games For Kinect

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
The Kinect for Xbox 360 has turned into a rather lucrative property for Microsoft. Naturally, the company is pushing to have more games developed for the peripheral. . A handful of Kinect games for hardcore gamers will be released this year.

Samsung To Release Galaxy Pro For Professionals

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Samsung will release a new smartphone called Galaxy Pro for professionals who want more than just a smartphone. The Galaxy Pro features a 2.8 in touchscreen, 3MP camera, 800MHz CPU, QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 512 MB storage along with a SD slot.

HTC Tube Tablet And Smartphone Concept Design

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
As mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones become ever more an integral part of our daily lives, the ecosystem in which all devices work in harmony is very important.

Netbook with Sliding Keyboard Coming from China

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
At first glance, it looks like another tablet, but if you try to touch the screen…no response. No, it didn’t get bricked by a bad operating system download, it’s a netbook! The Shanzhai group in China has created a netbook with a sliding keyboard that folds underneath the screen.

Disk Drill protects your Mac disks, recovers files

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Many of the disk utilities available for Mac OS X have been around for quite a few years, so it's surprising when a new entry shows up in this very important class of Mac app.

Panasonic prices, dates new Lumix compact cameras

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
As promised, Panasonic has now revealed prices for its Lumix ZS10, ZS8 and FX78 point-and-shoot cameras introduced late in January, along with the rugged Lumix TS3. The four arrive late this month, and share Leica lenses, HD video recording capabilities and Panasonic's iA full-auto scene mode.

Google Instant Previews reach Android, iOS

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
Google today brought its Instant Previews to mobile devices for the first time. Both Android and iOS now see a magnifying glass next to search results that will shift them to a thumbnail view of pages in the search results.

Review: The Lorex LIVE Snap Baby Video Monitor

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
The Lorex LIVE Snap is amazing. It’s the gadget equivalent of spotting a narwhal dancing under a double rainbow. It’s without a doubt the most satisfying electronic device I’ve used in ages. It just works.

LimeWire settles music publisher lawsuit

March 8th, 2011 link to (permalink)

5 years ago
LimeWire on Tuesday said it had reached a settlement deal with major music publishers that had sued it for alleged piracy in June of last year. The two sides reached a secret deal that would see the lawsuit dismissed without the possibility of its return.

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