60 Years of NASA

In 1958, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was formed after the Soviet Union launched their Sputnik satellite into the cosmos, and ever since the agency has explored distant worlds. In a sprawling graphic (made by a team consisting of Emily Barone, Jeffrey Kluger and Lon Tweeten) every NASA spacecraft ever launched is noted, tracked and dated. Excluding tests and failed missions, the list spans the ’50s through …

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Though the museum was originally proposed a century ago, Washington DC’s Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture finally opened its doors this past weekend. Telling important stories about black people, issues and culture, the museum has some 36,000 artifacts on display. We’re most excited about items that represent some of the first black astronauts—for example, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden donated his flight …

The United States’ Climate Change Refugees

Deep in the Louisiana bayou, residents of Isle de Jean Charles are being forced from their homes. The island (about 1.5 hours from New Orleans) has lost a staggering 98% of its land since 1955—due to climate change, hurricanes and 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill—and the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indian people who live there have been fleeing for some time, but now have officially been offered $48 …

The Optimal US Road Trip

Self proclaimed “data tinkerer” Randal Olson has computed the optimal road trip across the United States. Using an algorithm that he previously applied to finding the best search path for locating Waldo in a “Where’s Waldo” book, Olson targeted must-see national natural landmarks, parks, historical sites and monuments all within the contiguous 48 states. The result is a 9.33 day-long, 13,699 mile drive that stops …

Art Everywhere US

A nationwide art show celebrating 50 American classics

There’s no questioning Times Square’s cultural relevancy. While it’s currently mostly full of big box chain stores, gimmicky restaurants and ticket hustlers, the fact remains that it’s one of the most iconic public spaces in the world. Now—to the delight of tourists and locals alike—a few of its billboards just swapped their ad slogans for fine art. Alongside CNN headlines and the golden arches, visitors …