140 posts tagged with smithsonian.
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The Up-and-Down Design Hurdles of Pogo

For a few people, fascination with pogo sticks didn't end in childhood. The Smithsonian takes a look at the design challenges, and the sport, of modern pogo. They also provide a short video demonstrating these advances. [more inside]
posted by gilrain on Sep 11, 2012 - 20 comments

Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012.

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 - 12 comments

Build your own Gossamer Condor

The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 31, 2012 - 10 comments

The Secret History of Deodorant

The secret history of deodorant: How Advertisers Convinced Americans They Smelled Bad
posted by apricot on Aug 9, 2012 - 173 comments

City of London

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 - 65 comments

A Load of Old Tosh

Quite Likely The Worst Job Ever: 'The men who made it their living by forcing entry into London’s sewers at low tide and wandering through them, sometimes for miles, searching out and collecting the miscellaneous scraps washed down from the streets above' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 18, 2012 - 26 comments

Who Killed the Family Moore, why and what's the reason for?

The Ax Murderer Who Got Away - Shortly after midnight on June 10, 1912—one hundred years ago this week—a stranger hefting an ax lifted the latch on the back door of a two-story timber house in the little Iowa town of Villisca. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jun 11, 2012 - 14 comments

Not the Wilhelm Scream

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 - 50 comments

“The time of giving short measure in weighing”

“Kipper und Wipper”: Rogue Traders, Rogue Princes, Rogue Bishops and the German Financial Meltdown of 1621-23
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 1, 2012 - 5 comments

Doug Aitkin's Song 1 at the Hirshhorn

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 - 6 comments

Panoramic Virtual Tour of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Take a Panoramic Virtual Tour of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Available as a full-screen virtual tour starting entry rotunda and navigating from there, or jump to individual rooms.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 14, 2011 - 7 comments

“We shall have a man in the White House who will feel as responsible for American civilization as he does for American power and prosperity.”

"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 (NSFW, art)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 1, 2011 - 115 comments

Stinson Reliant and the Mail Pick-Up Service

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 - 24 comments

American Sabor

American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music is a currently traveling Smithsonian exhibition exploring the wide range of Latino artists and influences which have shaped American pop music genres since WWII, from Alice Bag to Flaco Jimenez to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Joan Baez. The website is rich with maps, interviews, videos, and music samples.
posted by Miko on Sep 28, 2011 - 11 comments

Sounds and Sights of Science

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is working to make many of their digital archives accessible online: These include everything from the distress call of a young howler monkey to courting poison dart frogs, to the sound of morning amongst the mangroves - not to mention more than 40,000 photographs and 1500 documents all related to STRI's work in Panama and across the tropics.
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 30, 2011 - 3 comments

Minter's Ring

Smithsonian Magazine's new blog Past Imperfect has already told some interesting stories in its first weeks, but none more compelling than that of Lt. Commander Minter Dial's Annapolis class ring.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 2, 2011 - 10 comments

For me, it's Godzilla 1985...

How do you make someone cry for science? A Smithsonian magazine talks about a 2-minute 45-second clip from The Champ, starring a young Rick(y) Schroeder. [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey on Jul 23, 2011 - 30 comments

But where did the German newspapers come from?

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 - 41 comments

Burnside is holdin' it down

The Smithsonian asks: Who had the best Civil War Facial Hair?
posted by illenion on Jun 1, 2011 - 115 comments

My God, it's full of galaxies

"The 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) has catalogued more than 43,000 galaxies within 380 million light-years from Earth. In this projection, the plane of the Milky Way runs horizontally across the center of the image. 2MRS is notable for extending closer to the Galactic plane than previous surveys - a region that's generally obscured by dust." Hires image.
posted by bwg on May 28, 2011 - 10 comments

One Nation Under a Groove

The Smithsonian's forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture won't open until 2015, but it has already made a number of important acquisitions, including most recently, the Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 19, 2011 - 32 comments

"I've always loved this photograph, but I can't figure out why."

Four Photographers on Three Wheels: William Eggleston's Tricycle and Before. Mark Feeney's lecture examines the humble tricycle in twentieth century photography. He compares photos by Helen Levitt, Garry Winogrand, Bill Owens and, of course, William Eggleston.
posted by bstreep on Apr 19, 2011 - 2 comments

Andy Jackson, you crazy.

Historically Hardcore is an awesome fake advertising campaign for the Smithsonian. Created as a portfolio project by two students, the ads have gone viral and the Smithsonian is none too pleased about it.
posted by helloknitty on Mar 31, 2011 - 73 comments

Paul Theroux

The Trouble With Autobiography
posted by puny human on Mar 16, 2011 - 18 comments

Roxie Laybourne

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, pioneer of forensic ornithology. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Mar 14, 2011 - 13 comments

Got my flash on, it's true. Need that picture of you.

Smithsonian Wild is a collection of over 200,000 pictures of animals taken by "camera traps", automated cameras with motion sensors. Each species is linked to its article in the Encyclopedia of Life, and the entire set of photos is also available on Flickr.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 28, 2011 - 13 comments

Iconic 70s and 80s Americana

Richard Amsel was a Philadelphian artist who created original and iconic illustrations and paintings found on posters for several popular 1970s and 80s American movies, including Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome, The Dark Crystal, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Sting. He also created unique artwork for TV Guide covers, as well as album cover art for Bette Midler and others. His Time cover featuring Lily Tomlin was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 6, 2011 - 10 comments

Its not easy being human

Our wisdom teeth need to be pulled because our brains are too big: The Top Ten Daily Consequences of Having Evolved
posted by Huplescat on Nov 27, 2010 - 65 comments

Smithsonian to exhibit videogames as art. Jason Scott Completes GET LAMP. Can this day be any better?

The Art of Videogames, a Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibit set to open in March 2012, has been featured on CNN today. But you don't have to wait until 2012 to get your fix of gaming history. CNN has let the cat out of the scanner: our very own Jason Scott (jscott) has finished GET LAMP. It's now shipping! [more inside]
posted by honest knave on Aug 19, 2010 - 17 comments

Have you eaten your pound of potatoes today?

Beans are bullets. Potatoes are powder. An exhibition of food posters from the National Agricultural Library.
posted by mudpuppie on Jul 29, 2010 - 13 comments

The future, broken down

40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years For it's 40th anniversary issue, Smithsonian magazine asks experts in various fields for insights into our future and compiles a list of 40 predictions about the future of science, nature, the arts and technology. The feature essay is by President Obama, in which he explains why he's optimistic about America's future. (VIA) [more inside]
posted by mondaygreens on Jul 15, 2010 - 48 comments

I laugh to see your tiny world; Your toys of ships, your cars

Go For Launch! Timelapse video of preparing STS-131 (Discovery) for launch. [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on May 21, 2010 - 17 comments

Hammerstone from Kenya, Handaxe from India

View, rotate, and interact with fascinating 3D scans of some of humanity's oldest artifacts. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Mar 15, 2010 - 8 comments

My Mom Is Proud of HDR Photography

HDR photography seems to be polarizing. People either love it, or hate it, including here on MeFi. For those who enjoy exploring the possibilities HDR presents, a good place to start is Stuck In Customs. Trey Ratcliff has the first HDR photo ever to hang in the Smithsonian. He offers a comprehensive, six-step HDR tutorial if you want to try it yourself. A sampling of his HDR travel photography is here, and throughout the site, and he is also experimenting with HDR video technology. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 3, 2009 - 59 comments

Steve Jobs interview

I'm 100% sure that if it hadn't been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely ended up in jail. A timeless and fascinating 1995 interview with Steve Jobs.
posted by erikvan on Oct 15, 2009 - 22 comments

Much Cooler Than Ceiling Cat!

There's ceiling cat, then there is this! Be sure to watch the video. (via.)
posted by cjorgensen on Sep 10, 2009 - 29 comments

Ben Stiller and walking dino skeleton not included.

Saturday, September 26th, the Smithsonian museum family and their affiliates will be hosting a free admission event, if you go to their MUSEUM DAY site and print out the admission coupon. One coupon = 1+ admission. [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix on Aug 20, 2009 - 20 comments

Rocks from Heaven

Rocks from Heaven “…A party of the inhabitants of the town of Casas Grandes, as a matter of curious speculation, commenced excavating in the old ruins there. One more fortunate than the others drifted into a large room, in the middle of which there appeared to be a kind of tomb made of adobe-brick. Curiosity led this bold knight of the crowbar to renew his excavations, he found a large mass of meteoric iron in the middle of the tomb, carefully and curiously wrapped with a kind of coarse linen.” [more inside]
posted by various on Apr 5, 2009 - 21 comments

FlickTubeFaceSpace.com

Web Tech Guy and Angry [Museum] Staff Person. A very funny animation for the museums workers and librarians subset of Mefites. From Michael Edson at Smithsonian 2.0.
posted by LarryC on Mar 9, 2009 - 47 comments

Wiring the Castle

Circuits are flipping on in the nation's attic. A couple of weeks ago, 31 "digerati" -- like Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, and George Oates -- dropped in to the Smithsonian Institution for the invitation-only conference "Smithsonian 2.0: A Gathering to Re-imagine the Smithsonian in the Digital Age". Dan Cohen of the Center for History and New Media provides a great summary (and continues to pose provocative questions) on his own blog. Those whose invitations were somehow lost in the mail can play fly-on-the-wall by watching the keynotes, paging through the Flickr pool of envymaking glimpses of their behind-the-scenes lab and collections tours, reading the blog (where Bruce Wyman of the Denver Art Museum lays out a succinct road map for museums using social media), and poking around in the SI's website gallery. Want to cheer on the USA's favorite 163-year-old "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge" without taking the trip to DC? Thanks to their recent efforts, you can now follow the SI on Twitter, listen to its podcasts, watch its YouTube channel, visit the Latino Virtual Museum in Second Life, or use the FaceBook gifts page to send your best friends their very own pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers, Hope diamond, Negro Leagues baseball, or coelocanth.
posted by Miko on Feb 27, 2009 - 13 comments

Revival Revival

The Folkways Collection is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)."
posted by Miko on Feb 16, 2009 - 27 comments

U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842

The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842Authorized and funded by the U.S. government, six ships sailed with 346 men (including officers, crew, scientists, and artists) on a four-year scientific and surveying mission, logging 87,000 miles around the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Two ships and 28 men were lost, and the Expedition's contentious commander Charles Wilkes was court-martialled for his erratic behavior, and was sued by former officers and crew members. During the Civil War in 1861, he boarded a British ship, seized two Confederate agents, and nearly provoked military retaliation by England (he was court-martialled once again in 1864 for insubordination.) Wilkes' 1845 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition and the Ex. Ex.'s journals were published by Congress, and some 40 tons of Expedition specimens and artifacts became the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution's collections. [Nathaniel Philbrick (video lecture) chronicles this almost-forgotten voyage in his 2003 book Sea of Glory (NYT review).]
posted by cenoxo on Oct 25, 2008 - 21 comments

The Smithsonian on Flickr

The Smithsonian has a Flickr page as part of the Flickr Commons program. So far there are 6 sets, Portraits of Scientists and Inventors, Portraits of Artists, American Celebrations, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, People and the Post and Smithsonian's First Photographer, featuring the work of Thomas William Smillie. [via The New Yorker's Book Bench]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 19, 2008 - 9 comments

Invention Playhouse

Explore the playful side of invention and the inventive side of play in Invention at Play. Learn how play connects to the creative impulse of both historic and contemporary inventors. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 1, 2008 - 1 comment

Do You Like American Music?

Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2008 - 12 comments

The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation's Millennium General Assembly

All that glitters is not gold. In this case, it happens to be pure junk. (via) [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Feb 28, 2008 - 22 comments

Doodles, Drafts and Designs

Doodles, Drafts and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian. Including crayon tests, the original telescoping shopping cart and more. [via the horse's neck]
posted by mediareport on Feb 11, 2008 - 7 comments

And all of it on their own stationery.

Saul Steinberg, artist-in-residence of the nation's attic. 1967 S. Dillon Ripley, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at the time, invited Saul Steinberg to come be their artist-in-residence. He lasted four months. A gallery of the works he made while there is included in the article. Previous Saul Steinberg.
posted by From Bklyn on Jun 15, 2007 - 6 comments

vote for your favorites

Finalists in the 4th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.
posted by nickyskye on May 21, 2007 - 27 comments

Challenging the Smithsonian

The non-profit group, Public.resource.org, are challenging the Smithsonian Institution by downloading all 6,288 (mostly) public domain photographs from the very restrictive Smithsonian Images site and reposting them to Flickr. [more: here, here] {via Ramage}
posted by peacay on May 18, 2007 - 25 comments

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