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Being slightly anally retentive about this list, I’ve limited it to pictures of the actual typewriters that were used by 9 famous writers, not just examples of the same model. Included are James Bond creator Ian Flemming’s gold plated portable that would have been worthy of Goldfinger himself, and the typewriter used by Apple Mac user, Douglas Adams, to write the Hitchhikers Guide, before there were such things as Apple Macs.

famous writers typewriters

There is something intensely creepy about submarines, not least because, as we found out from the two that had crashed into each other recently, they carry a thousand times the explosive power of the Hiroshima bomb in a claustrophobic metal sarcophagus powered by the same stuff as the bombs. Because of this, and because of their featureless exteriors which hide immense complexity they provide the same kind of kick that a complicated gadget in a smooth case provides. Just like gadgets its interesting to see how they work when they are being assembled or taken apart. Here are our favorite views from the science fiction like decommissioning of Soviet attack subs to rotting reactor cores to components being wheeled through English roads.

submarine construction and decommissioning

Incredibly, automatic car parks have been around since the 30s culminating in the incredibly futuristic VW Autostadt. Here are some of our favorites.

12 robotic car parks

Before electricity, lighthouses relied on lamps that would almost be considered mood lighting by today’s standards. Mechanisms were clockwork and had to be wound as often as every two hours. In the 19th century, Fresnel designed a lens that could focus this light into parallel rays and project it horizontally, dramatically improving lighthouses. By the end of the century, all lighthouses had Fresnel lenses classified into orders, with first order being the largest and most impressive.These days lighthouses use less elaborate lamps such as the beacons found at airfields, or even powerful, but unremarkable to look at, LEDs. Here is a list of some of the most beautiful and important lights ever made, including some 1st order beauties that stand 20 feet tall, and were floated on a mercury bed. There are no descriptions of each item, for this chart, as the images speak for themselves, however, the sites linked to have information about the lighthouses where they came from.

15 beautiful lighthouse lights

Moving walkways are the machine that made many sprawling airports viable. Because moving walkways allow for corridors that are unusually long, places that require them are often spectacular and understated pieces of architecture with very exaggerated perspective. These are most often at airports or places that require nudging people along, such as aquaria or exhibits such as the British crown jewels. From a visual perspective, they make a great list.

moving walkways of note

The invention of the digital watch made accurate timekeeping a cheap commodity. This meant that expensive watches were a quixotic anachronism in terms of pure design. However, this very fact meant that designers were free to innovate timepiece designs for fun. In addition, the development of watch sized miniature electronic gadgetry meant that the wrist watch form factor could be used for other gadgets. For things like phones and MP3 players this has proved to be a failure, however included here are some interesting concepts for other uses for wrist devices such as insulin dosage, braille watches and health monitoring

16 concept watches

Clocks and watches with the traditional latin reminder of mortality. Wonderfully morbid.

memento mori timepieces

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WTF is that? #9

June 4th, 2009 #link

wtf

Its pretty clear what this is – an aircraft entombed in ice – but what is the story, where is it and how did it get there?



3 Responses to “WTF is that? #9”

  1. Ruben De Keyser Says:

    The Glacier Girl, a Lightning P-38, was one of eight American aircraft forced to land on Greenland in July 1942 on their way to England. Recovered in 1992

  2. el_Pedro Says:

    I remember seeing some footage that the recovery crew cleaned one of the .50cals and successfully fired it – might not have been that specific aircraft though.

  3. admin Says:

    @Ruben. Absolutely right, its the Glacier Girl, a plane that was en route to the UK during WWII when it became part of a ‘lost squadron’, crash landing in Greenland. The crew survived but the plane remained there and was buried under nearly 300 feet of ice, when it was found, half a century later.

    It was restored and finally made it to its destination 60 years late.