Right Now in Stuff of Genius

For centuries, human beings have dreamed of flying. All kinds of daredevils have built devices to fly of their own volition. Not all have worked... and not all their pilots survived. Once inventors figured out they needed a balance between weight, power and aerodynamics they were able to get sufficient lift to stay in the air. Here are 10 of the most exciting attempts at personal flight.

Creative Geniuses Know Mental Illness Best

Nancy Andreasen wrote After a thorough literary review, Andreasen hypothesized that creatives would have an increased rate of schizophrenia in their family members, without being afflicted themselves. She also looked into whether creativity was hered ...

Adam Harvey, Countersurveillance Fashionista

When Adam Harvey attended the Tabula Rasa conference, he was stunned by a prediction If you're worried about privacy rights, there's already plenty of technology to hide from. Digitized information collects our data, from financial transactions to dr ...

"Chemistry is Pornography in Disguise"

Imagine that you spend every day working from your beautiful home in California. In the backyard you have a shed laboratory where you develop psychedelic chemicals and meticulously test them on yourself, your wife and your best friends. And for a goo ...

The Peaceful Nightmares of H.R. Giger

In David N. Jahn's Qualifying his work is impossible, so I'll stop trying to explain it with words. If you haven't seen it, I recommend that you explore Born on February 5, 1940 in Chur, Switzerland, Hans Ruedi Giger was the son of a pharmacist. He t ...

Brew Your Coffee with Inductive Charging

The Kickstarter video for If I had $700 to drop, I'd get one for the HowStuffWorks office, complete with its "copper, brass, chestnut wood and handmade Murano glass" exterior. If you think we're over-caffeinated now, wait until we get one o ...

Maker Movement Encourages Next Level Genius

When I first heard Mike Diamond rap the above lyrics in 1994 I was incredibly excited about the implications of a movement where people were self-sufficient, motivated and productive. 20 years later and that ethos has grown beyond the music scene int ...

Spinning Vinyl Records with Peter Goldmark

I wonder what Peter Carl Goldmark would think if he were alive to know about a I remember watching an interview with Thurston Moore once, where he preached his devotion to vinyl. Moore's theory was that every time you listen to a record, the needle d ...

Death Metal from Space

Let's hope the words, "commence the orbital bombardment" don't enter our vernacular in the near future. Imagine a bundle of metal telephone poles dropped from Earth's orbit onto a target. They'd reach a speed of Mach 10 and have the impact ...

Mad Genius: Alexander Bogdanov

Alexander Bogdanov was an intellectual who persistently attempted to change the world to a logical arrangement he thought would lead to the ideal society. He was also a risk-taker, and while he possessed many of the traits of a genius, in Bogdanov's ...

Up All Night To Get Palmer Luckey

At the 2012 SXSW Interactive, These acquisitions are where the stacks think the future of our ecosystems lie. What techie hasn't considered submerging into virtual reality since Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" or even "Back To the Futur ...

The Uncertainty of Heisenberg's Nazi Bomb Motivations

When history turns back to look at me, I only hope its judgement isn't determined solely by an unsent letter from one of my colleagues. That's the predicament of Much like the principle he's famous for, it's impossible for us to be certain of the ful ...

8 People Who Received Their PhDs Before Age 20

These individuals all received their PhD before they were 20 years old, when most of us are still struggling to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. (If you have trouble viewing the slideshow, add Stuff of Genius to your AdBlocker white list. Click here for instructions.)

Albert Einstein, the Big Bang and How We Know What We Know

Researchers discovered that Einstein had a theory similar to the Big Bang, 20 years before anyone else. Learn more on Stuff of Genius.

The Weird Science of Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe was an eccentric astronomer. Learn about Brahe's discoveries at Stuff of Genius.

I Was a Teenage Genius

Google opened registration for its 2014 Science Fair. Learn more about the Google Science Fair at Stuff of Genius.

Dismemberment Plan: Lifehand 2 Develops Sensational Prosthetic

Dennis Sorensen became the first amputee to feel through a prosthetic hand. Learn how Silvestro Micera's team designed this bionic limb at Stuff of Genius.

10 Awesome Inventions for Living with Snow

Whether your community gets only 1-inch (2.5 cm) or 24-inches (60 cm) snow can be a major impediment to getting to school, work or even just the grocery. Luckily, we're always coming up with new ways to live with how snow and ice impact our daily routine. Here's 10 of the best inventions for dealing with snowfall.

The Silent Lucidity of Keith Hearne's Dream Machine

Keith Hearne patented a machine to control lucid dreams. Learn more about lucid dreaming at Stuff of Genius.

Stuff of Genius: Black Sabbatical

Before Stuff of Genius takes its own scheduled break, Christian looks into the origin of the modern sabbatical and its goal of improving productivity through revitalization.