NASA Emailed a New Wrench To the ISS 

You know that moment where you overhear a loved one talking about something they really need, and realize you just stumbled onto the perfect thoughtful Christmas present? That's what just happened on the ISS, where an astronaut recently opined about needing a wrench—and then received one over email and printed it out. » 12/19/14 1:15pm Friday 1:15pm

Kepler Just Discovered a New Super-Earth, Against All Odds 

In May 2013, NASA's exoplanet-seeking spacecraft, Kepler, seemed doomed. Two of four wheels that stabilized its telescope had malfunctioned—and NASA appealed to scientists from around the world for ideas to salvage its mission. Yesterday, it announced the discovery of a brand-new super-Earth 180 light years from our… » 12/19/14 11:35am Friday 11:35am

The Strange Medieval Origins of Modern Logos 

When we think of early logos, we think of 19th and 20th century classics like Levi's or Coke. But the origins of logos and trademarks go back way further than that—back thousands of years, when merchants and craftspeople used "merchant's marks" to designate the origins of goods and their authors. » 12/19/14 11:00am Friday 11:00am

Activists Want To Use Balloons To Airlift The Interview Into North Korea

Last year, an Atlantic article introduced us to an activist group run by a former North Korean who now uses balloons to airlift information and technology into into the tightly-controlled country. Now, its members want to use their balloons to tote in copies of The Interview, Sony's beleaguered comedy about Kim… » 12/17/14 12:32pm Wednesday 12:32pm

Rare Photos From 1966 Show the NYC Subway in Full Color

Change comes slowly to the subway. Signs hang for decades. Trains are rarely replaced. A new line can take centuries. So the subway captured in these remarkable images by photographer Danny Lyon in 1966 feels almost contemporary—which is what makes it shocking that they were shot 48 years ago. » 12/17/14 9:07am Wednesday 9:07am

A Tiny Aluminum Canister That Could Come In Very Handy This Winter 

There are plenty of gadgets you could wish for as you're sitting in the dark on a slow ski lift, with a dead phone, in freezing temperatures. Unless you are one of those people who carries more than just a phone and a wallet in your ski coat—which, congratulations—you will probably have none of them. » 12/16/14 5:00pm Tuesday 5:00pm

This Giant Rainbow Was Made With Tech That's Used To Study Exoplanets

It's not very often that the fields of advanced photonics and installation art meet. But in Amsterdam this week, visitors to the city's Central Station are getting a look at what happens when liquid crystal optic technology is used to something completely unscientific: Make public art. » 12/16/14 9:00am Tuesday 9:00am

​The Unlikely Story of How Baseball Card Design Shaped Modern Fandom

Yesterday a 91-year-old former executive at the baseball card company Topps passed away in Long Island. You might not know Sy Berger's name, but he was the person who turned baseball cards into a phenomenon—and, in some ways, defined baseball fandom. And he did it with design. » 12/15/14 1:38pm Monday 1:38pm

This Rickety Bridge Between Two High-Rises in China Can't Be Legal 

We've seen some pretty incredible ad hoc architecture on China's high-rises—this alpine rooftop mansion should jog your memory—but we may now have a challenger for craziest illegal addition: A bridge built between two different apartment buildings built by and for a lone resident. » 12/15/14 9:56am Monday 9:56am

The NYPD Was Sued an Average of 10 Times a Day Last Year 

Around ten lawsuits were filed against the NYPD every day, according to a new analysis by I Quant NY of a city report that also says most suits were "primarily of allegations of police misconduct, civil rights violations, and injury and/or damage from accidents involving police vehicles." » 12/12/14 4:44pm 12/12/14 4:44pm

The Fight Over Tokyo's Olympic Stadium Is Getting Very, Very Ugly 

We already knew that Japanese architects (and the public) are no fans of Zaha Hadid's massive Olympic stadium—they've been protesting the design for a year. But last month things escalated—rapidly—when a whole slew of new insults emerged, and now, Hadid has responded. It's pretty bad! » 12/10/14 4:31pm 12/10/14 4:31pm

What Really Happened to the MTA's 60 Million Leftover Subway Tokens

It's been over a decade since the MTA did away with subway tokens, those dirty metal bits of New York-ness that seemed unremarkable until, suddenly, they were gone. Since then, rumors have swirled about the fate of the 60 million tokens once in circulation—where were they? Now, we have an answer. » 12/10/14 4:00pm 12/10/14 4:00pm