This is one chemistry class the tech industry needs to get right. You might not realize it, but almost everywhere around you are rare metals from the earth. In your phone, computer, or any other LCD screen, for example, you’ll find a dash of indium, a soft, malleable metal that is in short supply in […]

Source: Paul Kerley, BBC News Magazine, February 6, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30840318. Bursting with information and often incredibly beautiful – maps do more than just showing you where you are, or where you might be going. Here we tell the stories behind some fascinating examples. The recently published Times History of the World in Maps features documents from […]

1. This 1973 lingerie store catalogue tells it like it is. 2. These Asthma Cigarettes are not recommended for children under six. 3. This ad, from Life magazine, 1956, promotes clothes for “chubby girls”.   4. This extreme vision of a bad hair day is from Charles Antell, a hair products manufacturer. 5. This anti-malaria […]

Your car gets towed, and who do you blame? Yourself? God no, you blame that impossibly confusing parking sign. It’s a fair accusation, really. Of all the questionable communication tools our cities use, parking signs are easily among the worst offenders. There are arrows pointing every which way, ambiguous meter instructions and permit requirements. A […]

Infographic: Estefan Cuanalo, 2012. Click on the image to enlarge.

Otto Neurath and the Origins of ISOTYPE A visual program for displaying facts and quantitative information, the ISOTYPE system was born from research and theories of Otto Neurath (1882–1945), a Viennese philosopher, economist and social scientist. As a child he was fascinated by the function of Egyptian hieroglyphics—their forms and ability to communicate a story. […]

One of my favorite (and most interesting) people I follow on Twitter is Maria Popova. Ms. Popova is the brain child of Brain Pickings. She is a self-described “interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large,” who also writes for Wired UK and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. Ms. Popova describes Brain […]