Matt Blitz

Journalist/Writer/Traveler

Location icon United States of America

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Portfolio
Popular Mechanics
06/21/2017
17 Solar Eclipses That Changed the World

For a couple minutes on August 21, 2017, day will turn into night. The Great American Solar Eclipse, as it's being called, is unlike any eclipse that most of us have ever seen-or will ever see-in our lifetimes.

Popular Mechanics
09/14/2017
The Real Story Behind the Myth of Area 51

In the middle of the barren Nevada desert, there's a dusty unmarked road that leads to the front gate of Area 51. It's protected by little more than a chain link fence, a boom gate, and intimidating trespassing signs. One would think that America's much mythicized top secret military base would be under closer guard, but make no mistake. They are watching.

Atlas Obscura
03/08/2017
The American Government Is Searching For Its Own Lost Art

They are not America's art police. There are no midnight raids, covert surveillance or undercover operations. Most everything is done through cordial emails, polite phone calls and, if necessary, civil court. While glamour is not top priority, make no mistake: The United States government wants its art back.

Atlas Obscura
09/01/2017
Setting Furnished Rooms Ablaze at the Fire Research Lab

The room is always laid out according to exact specifications. A nylon sofa by the wall. A dark faux-leather La-Z-Boy in the corner. A lamp here and a television there. Perhaps a wool rug hugging the floor with a wood coffee table on top. Maybe there's even a bag of potato chips on the table.

Popular Mechanics
10/04/2017
How a Russian Scientist's Sci-Fi Genius Made Sputnik Possible

Tsiolkovsky would go on to prove that a giant cannon, like the one used in Verne's "From Earth to the Moon," would inevitably killed its passengers due to the extreme force of acceleration. But Tsiolkovsky had his own theories of propulsion, ones that wouldn't kill the aspiring cosmonaut.

Atlas Obscura
01/18/2017
Where Wax U.S. Presidents Go to Retire

For some, 43 wax likenesses of U.S. presidents in a maze of dimly lit rooms is a ready-made nightmare. For others, they're a solid business investment. When Gettysburg's Hall of Presidents and First Ladies Museum announced it would be closing back in November, they also scheduled an auction of their life-like commander-in-chiefs.

Popular Mechanics
08/23/2017
Why Amelia Earhart Still Matters

In 1920, a Kansas woman took her first flight-and soon changed the world. High above the Pacific Ocean in her gleaming two-engine Lockheed Electra, Amelia Earhart soared. It was July 2, 1937, and along with navigator Fred Noonan, she was on her way to their next stop-Howland Island, 1,700 miles southwest of Honolulu.

Science

Travel

Atlas Obscura
Cut It Off! A Halloween Amputation Demonstration

Join the Obscura Society as we get into the Halloween spirit and turn the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office into an impromptu operating theater! We'll watch a Civil War medical historian from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine amputate a gel leg using authentic 19th-century tools and techniques.