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“In September 1938, the fall before the New York World’s Fair opened, a 5,000-year time capsule was planted 50 feet beneath the Flushing Meadows fairgrounds. The capsule was 7.5 feet long, made of Pyrex glass and alloyed copper (called Cupaloy), and shaped like a torpedo – a long, thin metal shaft with a cone-shaped nose.
This wasn’t the first example of a time capsule. But it was the first use of the term, although its mastermind, G Edward Pendray, briefly – and, as it turns out, tellingly – had considered calling it a ‘time bomb’ instead. Pendray was the publicist for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and his time bomb was a ‘master stroke’ of public relations, a clever scheme to retool Westinghouse’s image as forward-thinking, and to best its rival, General Electric, founded by the showman-scientist Thomas Edison.
‘Our scientists have shifted the atoms in their lattices … [creating] stuffs that nature herself forgot to make,’ wrote Pendray in The Book of Record of the Time Capsule of Cupaloy (1938), his missive to the ‘futurians’ of 6939 CE, the year of the capsule’s intended unearthing. Within, he noted, they would find a light bulb, a safety pin, a slide rule, a telephone, Elizabeth Arden cosmetics, $2.91 in cash, a plastic Mickey Mouse cup, the 14th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica inscribed onto acetate film, and also 75 samples of the era’s most advanced materials, including technologies such as Tungsten filaments, asbestos shingling and DuPont’s just-invented synthetic fibre, Nylon. Millions visited the time capsule, peering by periscope into what Pendray called its ‘immortal well’. On the autumnal equinox of 1940, the month before the fair closed, Westinghouse sponsored a private send-off. Speeches were made. A gong sounded. At high noon, 500 more pounds of hot sealant – a proprietary blend of pitch, mineral oil and a chemical compound called chlorinated diphenyl, known today as polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBs) – were poured into the well.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."
"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."
"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."
"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."
"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."
"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."
"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"
"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."
"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."
"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."
"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."