Meet the man who inspired Robert Downey Jr’s take on Iron Man.
In March 1969, just months before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, Concorde made its maiden flight. The supersonic plane embodied a vision of the future as daring as that of Apollo 11 — but far better looking.
No plane has captured the public imagination quite like Concorde, even though only 20 were ever built, and they were flown by just two airlines. Today, nearly 50 years on, it still stands as one of humanity’s most remarkable engineering achievements, and a truly timeless piece of design.
A new book titled “Supersonic” fondly showcases the design and lifestyle of Concorde, a superbly engineered machine from a futuristic past. This image from the Royal Aircraft Establishment in…
Have you ever pressed the pedestrian button at a crosswalk and wondered if it really worked? Or bashed the “close door” button in an elevator, while suspecting that it may, in fact, have no effect whatsoever?
You’re not alone, and you may be right. The world is full of buttons that don’t actually do anything.
They’re sometimes called “placebo buttons” — buttons that are mechanically sound and can be pushed, but provide no functionality. Like placebo pills, however, these buttons may still serve a purpose, according to Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist who pioneered a concept known as the “illusion of control.”
“They do have a psychological effect,” she said in a phone interview….