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From the perspective of the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine what a marvel the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair would have been to its visitors. Still living in the heavy shadow of the stock market crash of 1929, the many people who flocked to the big exhibition found not only bounteous luxuries such as free Coca-Cola, but the unveiling of unthinkable new technologies that promised that a better world lay ahead. Using sparkling, rare, colour film footage – itself a brand-new technology at the time – the US director Amanda Murray mines the memories of several people who attended the New York World’s Fair in 1939.
Director: Amanda Murray
Website: Wicked Delicate
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion
What is it like to clean the world for tomorrow while the rest of a city sleeps?
The nearly forgotten origin myth of Hawaii’s third-gender healers, as told by one
A whirlwind tour of Hong Kong’s high-rises is an awesome meditation on urbanity
Sports and games
After a day’s toil in California’s fields, labourers let loose in street races
History of technology
Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free