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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
and funded by the U.S. government, six ships
sailed with 346 men (including officers
, 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 -
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 -
The Luce Foundation Center
in the recently renovated and reopened National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, is more like a smörgåsbord-cum-antique store, packed in an overflowing archive rather than a more traditional museum layout. The collection is comprised of varying American art styles and genres in intimate display cases, with little in the way of context or reference. (Though the same site in this link is available on computers scattered throughout the gallery for further detail.)
posted by Dave Faris
on Jan 12, 2007 -
The Smithsonian's Sackler gallery opened a unique and wide-ranging new exhibit
yesterday featuring fragments of Bibles from before the year 1000.
"Most of the manuscripts
have never been seen outside the countries where they are stored. [Some Smithsonian-owned documents in the exhibition] have never been exhibited and two have not been shown since 1978." Fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus
are included in the exhibit.
Along with the archaeological
interest, these fragments can pose theological and historical challenges for Christians. Some, like UNC's Bart Ehrman, have lost their faith
as a result of studying early Bibles; some, like Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory, believing that Christianity is about a common cultural and spiritual experience
, are unmoved by the "corruptions
" and differences
in the New Testament over time; other Christians try to refute (MeFi link)
claims that the text has changed.
posted by ibmcginty
on Oct 22, 2006 -
World Famous publicly founded Smithsonian Institution
on their collections to Showtime
Networks, allegedly because the Smithsonian badly needed cash for urgent works (previous Mefi thread
). Some poster on other blogs notes that if the WIPO Broadcasting Treaty
(links to second draft)
will be implemented that could grant Showtime a broadcast right over the documentaries produced with Smithsonian materials ;
this right would be similar yet separated from copyright , but with additional and increasingly chilling effects
[partially via BoingBoing
posted by elpapacito
on Apr 4, 2006 -
Wade in the Water
In 2004, Smithsonian Folklife Festival
featured the maritime cultures of the Mid-Atlantic region, from Long Island to North Carolina. Now, this site gives a home on the web to the cultural documentation gathered for the festival -- music
, stories and oral history
, an interactive map
, the occupational folklore and natural history of regional fisheries
, video, and more. The material, ably compiled by folklorists and educators, creates a lasting and very accessible archive of festival highlights as well as an excellent overview of the distinct coastal culture of the Mid-Atlantic. Don't miss the great menhaden net-hauling chantey Help Me to Raise 'Em
(links to mp3).
posted by Miko
on Mar 27, 2006 -
Cover Art: The Time Collection [Flash]
"In 1978 Time
Magazine gave to the National Portrait Gallery
some 800 works of original art that had at one time or another appeared on its covers." The gallery has created an online-only exhibition of the covers (the museum is closed for renovation until July 4, 2006). "And while one may normally imagine ornately framed oils of distinguished luminaries when thinking of the NPG, the Time covers offer a much closer to 'street level' survey of the prominent figures of any specific period." [via CSM]
posted by clgregor
on Dec 14, 2005 -
latest exhibit includes catastrophic leaks that are damaging priceless treasures
. Many items have been destroyed beyond repair and the problem seems to be getting worse. Will certain history be wiped out for good because officials lacked foresight?
posted by Guerilla
on Aug 25, 2005 -
Transits of Venus occur every 130 years or so when Venus can be observed passing across the face of the sun. Chasing Venus
is an online exhibition by Smithsonian Institution Libraries that tells the story of how the transit has been observed since the 17th century, with early observations in England
, illustrated accounts of expeditions
by 18th century astronomers to various parts of the world, and early uses of photography
to record observations in the 19th century. Includes links to animations
of transits reconstructed from Victorian photographs, and details of a lecture series
on Thursdays in April and May (first one April 8). The first transit since 1882 is this year.
posted by carter
on Apr 4, 2004 -
Politics storms the museum
Earlier this month, the National Museum of Natural History opened "Seasons of Life and Land," an exhibit of wildlife photographs by artist-naturalist Subhankar Banerjee. If you go to Washington, you'll find the show hung in the museum's Baird Ambulatory Gallery, essentially a basement hallway installed with lights. Just two months ago, however, it was prepared to run in a more complete form in a premiere gallery on the museum's main floor, alongside a major exhibit of botanical paintings. What happened?
posted by bas67
on May 18, 2003 -
: the public web-presence of a small, non-public exhibit at the Smithsonian. This is an exhibit created by staff for staff, housed in one small display case outside the Catalog Management office in the main SI library. Some great material, and a loving presentation.
posted by SealWyf
on May 9, 2003 -
Smithsonian Folkways shows the way? (NYT link, blah blah)
"The major music companies may fret over falling revenue, but one label saw its business jump 33 percent last year — thanks in part to the recordable compact discs that the industry says are hurting its sales." Smithsonian Folkways
has been burning CD-Rs for customers ordering some of its obscure titles. Would this work on a larger scale? Why should any recording ever go out of print again?
posted by pmurray63
on Feb 16, 2003 -
The Smithsonian offers an online sampling of its Collection of Aeronautic Sheet Music
. From the introduction: "...widespread fascination with flight has inspired an enormous output of historical drawings, paintings, advertisements and illustrations for publications. Some of the most colorful illustrations are those which adorn sheet music. In the Bella Landauer collection, you can find illustrations that range from the bizarre to the commonplace, from the humorous to the mundane. But most are colorful and interesting."
The collection is divided into categories such as "Ballooning", "Biplanes", and "Flying Machines". I love this one
from 1914, called "A Hundred Years From Now".
posted by taz
on Nov 12, 2002 -
Happy birthday, Julia!!
American cooking diva Julia Child turns 90 years of age today. She might be slowing, but she hasn't stopped ... and she certainly hasn't stopped eating butter and cream
Her contributions to American culinary arts, particularly in the area of home cooking, are nearly immeasurable. When you have a look at the way we were cooking
before "The French Chef" came along, you'll be doubly grateful for what she's taught us.
She's left her longtime home in Cambridge, Massachusetts for much smaller digs in Santa Barbara, California ... and subsequently donated her legendary kitchen and over 1,200 items from it to the Smithsonian Institution, who disassembled it and painstakingly rebuilt it inside the museum
. Julia's Kitchen at the Smithsonian opens to the public on Monday.
posted by chuq
on Aug 15, 2002 -