“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway
? (Smithsonian Mag)
posted by The Whelk
on Oct 4, 2013 -
"In trying to understand conspiracy theorists, I used to think that what conspiracy theorists were really doing on some level was grieving, their fantasies a form of displaced love for JFK, but I’ve come to think the love involved is mostly self-love, their self-congratulatory assertion of superiority over mere facts."
What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us?
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris deconstructs the most famous 26 seconds in film history.
posted by Atom Eyes
on Sep 27, 2013 -
Via the Smithsonian:
For the first time in 35 years, a new carnivorous mammal species has been discovered in the American Continents. Native to the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia, the olinguito is the newest member of the raccoon family. [more inside]
posted by flyingsquirrel
on Aug 15, 2013 -
Franco believes that governments must increase efforts to preserve indigenous cultures. “The Indians represent a special culture, and resistance to the world,” argues the historian, who has spent three decades researching isolated tribes in Colombia. Martínez says that the Indians have a unique view of the cosmos, stressing “the unity of human beings with nature, the interconnectedness of all things.” It is a philosophy that makes them natural environmentalists, since damage to the forest or to members of one tribe, the Indians believe, can reverberate across society and history with lasting consequences. “They are protecting the jungle by chasing off gold miners and whoever else goes in there,” Franco says. He adds: “We must respect their decision not to be our friends—even to hate us.”
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 13, 2013 -
Harrods, in the bustling heart of London, is in a good location for a shop. So is the Macy’s in Herald Square, which boasts of serving 350,000 New Yorkers every day at Christmas time. Whereas down at the Mulka Store, in the furthermost reaches of South Australia, George and Mabel Aiston used to think themselves lucky if they pulled in a customer a week.
The Loneliest Shop In The World [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Dec 5, 2012 -
Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012
"I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest
on Sep 9, 2012 -
As you turn eyes to London to watch this year's Olympics, you might be surprised to find out that the City of London
has a population of about 11,000 and is only one square mile. [more inside]
posted by eye of newt
on Jul 26, 2012 -
What Did The Rebel Yell Sound Like?
(video): 'From the early 1900's through the 1940's, Civil War veterans were filmed, recorded and interviewed at reunions, parades, and other patriotic events where, as the century advanced, they came increasingly to seem like ambulatory trophies from some distant age of heroes.'
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 27, 2012 -
Artist Doug Aiken's projection installation, Song 1
on the façade of the donut-shaped Hirshhorn Museum in DC opened last night.
The work is a looped video installation of many people singing "I Only Have Eyes for You." It's very atmospheric and finally brings some art that enlivens the somewhat strange shape of the museum's exterior.
I heard him speak and then got to see the installation. It's beautiful. If you're in DC definitely come down to the National Mall after dusk (projection runs nightly until midnight).
posted by Taken Outtacontext
on Mar 23, 2012 -
"It was no accident that arts funding was once again brought to national attention with the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Since the 80s, the enemies of the NEA have not been those with differences of opinion about what art should be supported or how. Instead they oppose any support at all for art of any kind." Hide/Seek, Culture Wars and the History of the NEA
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 1, 2011 -
From May 12, 1939 to June 30, 1949, a fleet of Stinson Reliants
were used for a unique form of mail pick-up and delivery: skyhooking
. Similar in notion to the mail-on-the-fly
and mail cranes
used along rail lines, the Reliants would fly low, deposit one load of mail and pick up the next
, without stopping, providing mail service to rural communities. The Smithsonian National Postal Museum has a 39 minute documentary presentation on YouTube
, but it's a guy talking over powerpoint slides, which is pretty dry. Instead, here is a modern news report with interviews of a skyhook pilot
and old newsreel footage.
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 19, 2011 -
Hidden Tunnels, Bugs, and Bigamy: A Strange and True D.C. Story
: "Reports indicated that the tunnels were long and extensive – that they may have reached as far as Rock Creek Park. Some electric lighting was discovered inside. For days, wild theories abounded – was it a Confederate soldier hideout? A stop on the Underground Railroad? A liquor depot for bootleggers? A counterfeiter’s lair? Or maybe a secret laboratory for 'Dr. Otto von Golph’s' experiments?
None of the above.
" [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Jul 8, 2011 -
Who invented the cloacascope? Who could pinpoint minute structural characteristics of charred bird feathers and identify the bird species or family based on the feathers? Who was the oldest of 15 children and worked for more than 50 years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History? Roxie (large image)
. Roxie C. Laybourne
, feather detective
of forensic ornithology
. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Mar 14, 2011 -