How Sci-Fi Shaped the Past, and Shapes the Future

"Anything one man can imagine, another man can make real..." Science fiction has quite a lot to do with the way we live now, having directly driven much scientific and technological progress around the world for at least the last 150 years. One might ask how or why, and the answer is very simple: sci-fi …

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Monday at the Museum: 14 X-planes at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

The "X" classification in research and development simply marks an invention's current use as "experimental." Some such inventions make it beyond that stage; the majority of those that follow did not. Whatever their contributions to aeronautics in the United States, these X-planes can be appreciated for their interesting designs. 1. The Avrocar Actually Canadian in …

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On the Radar: The Optical Phenomenon Behind “The Flying Dutchman”

In a way, the "Flying Dutchman" is real... ...in the sense that a specific interaction between light and atmospheric conditions causes the human eye to perceive something that's not actually there. It's nothing more, nothing less than a "superior mirage," which occurs when air near the Earth's surface is colder than the air above it …

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