Smart News Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonianhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/smartnews-ideas-innovations/RSS feed for Smart News Ideas & InnovationsenFri, 27 Mar 2015 18:56:08 +0000Japan Is Building a 40-foot Wall to Stop Tsunamishttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/japan-building-40-foot-wall-stop-tsunamis-180954790/But the expensive, extensive wall might not be high enoughFri, 27 Mar 2015 18:56:08 +0000Why Craigslist Users Are Flocking to Police Departments http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-craigslist-users-are-flocking-police-departments-180954778/New “safe lot” programs aim to make buying and selling goods saferFri, 27 Mar 2015 16:30:34 +0000The Navajo Nation Will Have the First Junk Food Tax in the U.S.http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/navajo-nation-will-have-first-junk-food-tax-us-180954766/The Navajo National Council approved a 2 percent increase in sales tax on foods like pastries, fried foods, desserts, chips and sodaThu, 26 Mar 2015 17:49:30 +0000An Asteroid Boulder Will Be A Stepping Stone on the Journey to Marshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/asteroid-boulder-will-be-stepping-stone-journey-mars-180954752/NASA announces details in its plan to capture an asteroid and bring it into lunar orbitWed, 25 Mar 2015 20:57:09 +0000How Tampons Might One Day Help Detect Cancerhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-tampons-might-one-day-help-detect-cancer-180954744/New research suggests tampons could screen for endometrial cancerWed, 25 Mar 2015 17:30:01 +0000Why Forecasters Were Once Banned From Using the Word “Tornado”http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-forecasters-were-once-banned-using-word-tornado-180954742/Before meteorologists developed reliable prediction techniques, the t-word was off the tableWed, 25 Mar 2015 14:30:01 +0000Here’s How Music Really Could Soothe Your Soul http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/heres-how-music-really-could-sooth-your-soul-180954738/A leading scholar theorizes that music developed as an evolutionary adaptation to help us deal with the contradictory nature of lifeWed, 25 Mar 2015 13:30:11 +0000Here’s Why the Navy Designed a New Diving Suit http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/heres-why-navy-designed-new-diving-suit-180954726/New design spurred by a global helium shortageTue, 24 Mar 2015 15:30:56 +0000Half of All Local Council Positions in France Will Be Held by Womenhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-all-local-council-positions-france-will-be-held-women-180954721/Joint tickets with men and women running together will lead to councils balanced by genderTue, 24 Mar 2015 13:45:28 +0000Got Allergies? Air Pollution Could Be to Blamehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/got-allergies-air-pollution-could-be-blame-3-180954709/New research suggests that ozone and nitrogen dioxide can alter allergens, creating more potent immune responsesMon, 23 Mar 2015 16:20:07 +0000Trouble Remembering Passwords? Charles Dickens May Be Able Helphttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/trouble-remembering-passwords-charles-dickens-may-be-able-help-180954698/A programmer has devised a creative “password generation scheme” using <i>A Tale of Two Cities</i>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:30:23 +0000The Rules of Wrinkling, From Brain Folds to Pumpkin Ridgeshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rules-wrinkling-can-explain-everything-brain-folds-ridges-pumpkins-180954690/Creases, ridges, folds and "delaminated buckles" are all different forms of wrinklingFri, 20 Mar 2015 19:00:56 +0000Drones Are Teaching Falcons How to Hunthttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/drones-are-teaching-falcons-how-hunt-180954678/One of the newest training techniques used by falconers could eventually help conservation efforts to save the birds’ preyFri, 20 Mar 2015 13:55:39 +0000Wikipedia Editing Shows That Different Countries Have Different Sets of Interestshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wikipedia-editing-shows-different-countries-have-different-sets-interests-180954643/New analysis shows that interests are local, not global Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:40:25 +0000Could Your Browser Make You a Better Employee?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/could-your-browser-make-you-better-employee-180954640/The answer could be yes…if you use Firefox or ChromeThu, 19 Mar 2015 15:15:46 +0000A Special Facility in England Keeps the World’s Chocolate Safehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/special-facility-england-keeps-worlds-chocolate-safe-180954594/The cocoa tree is very sensitive to disease and pests, so someone checks every plant bound for international tradeMon, 16 Mar 2015 18:30:49 +0000There’s Finally Free Wifi in Cubahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/theres-finally-free-wifi-cuba-180954574/Cuba becomes more connectedMon, 16 Mar 2015 15:15:30 +0000The First Green Beer Was Made With Laundry Whitener http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-green-beer-was-made-laundry-whitener-180954573/Before food coloring, St. Patrick’s Day’s most festive brew got its hue from a different kind of dyeMon, 16 Mar 2015 14:15:10 +0000Slime Mold Has an Uncannily Accurate Sense of Where Rome Built Its Roadshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hidden-network-roman-roads-could-be-revealed-slime-mold-180954569/The strange organisms are remarkably good at mapping the most efficient route from place to place—and that's exactly what roads doMon, 16 Mar 2015 13:30:37 +0000Scientists Have Been Studying Two Fake Human Pheromones for Decadeshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-have-been-studying-two-fake-human-pheromones-decades-180954567/Two chemicals provided by a perfume company appear in a 1991 research paper and side-track years of work on human pheromonesFri, 13 Mar 2015 20:27:02 +0000There’s an Invader in the International Space Stationhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/theres-street-art-international-space-station-180954563/An Invader mosaic has found its way to space Fri, 13 Mar 2015 19:00:34 +0000Now the Turing Test Goes Visualhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/now-turing-test-goes-visual-180954554/A proposed test would have computer programs not only pick out what is in a photo but what is happeningFri, 13 Mar 2015 14:00:26 +0000Celebrating the Women of the Supreme Court With LEGOshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/celebrating-women-supreme-court-legos-180954536/What better way to hail the female trailblazers of the bench than miniaturizing them into tiny toys?Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:00:36 +0000When Even the Simplest Word Looks Weird And Wrong You Have Wordnesiahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/when-even-simplest-word-looks-weird-and-wrong-you-have-wordnesia-180954539/We don’t really know why it happens, but at least there is a term for itWed, 11 Mar 2015 14:00:52 +0000London’s Congestion Pricing Plan Is Saving Lives http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/londons-controversial-traffic-reduction-plan-saving-lives-180954516/By charging $17.34 for a trip downtown during peak hours, London has reduced traffic fatalities by 40 percentTue, 10 Mar 2015 15:30:53 +0000Why’s Wikimedia Suing the NSA? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/whys-wikipedia-suing-nsa-180954514/Wikimedia Foundation joins Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others to protest mass surveillance onlineTue, 10 Mar 2015 14:45:56 +0000How Dick Tracy Invented the Smartwatch http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-dick-tracy-invented-smartwatch-180954506/The detective’s two-way wrist radio paved the way for the Apple Watch and other wearablesMon, 09 Mar 2015 16:03:13 +0000This Is Next-Level Origamihttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/next-level-origami-180954490/From dancing cranes to protective structures, origami is popping up in science and techFri, 06 Mar 2015 16:04:03 +0000NASA’s Next Space Robot Was Inspired by a Baby’s Toyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nasas-next-space-robot-was-inspired-babys-toy-180954479/Meet the Super Ball Bot, a flexible robot that could explore new planets Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:00:18 +0000Microsoft Billionaire Finds Enormous Sunken Japanese Battleshiphttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/microsoft-billionaire-finds-enormous-sunken-japanese-battleship-180954468/Paul Allen used his megayacht to locate the long-lost ship, which has been missing since World War IIWed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:02 +0000The FCC Just Voted to Preserve Net Neutralityhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/net-neutrality-vote-180954418/FCC passes “Preserving the Open Internet” rules by 3-2 voteThu, 26 Feb 2015 18:09:11 +0000See Shipping Traffic Move Through Straits Around the Worldhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/see-shipping-traffic-move-through-straits-around-world-180954399/A visualization shows a week’s worth of vessel movementTue, 24 Feb 2015 19:06:31 +0000Amsterdam Is Out of Bike Parkinghttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/amsterdam-out-bike-parking-180954395/The city will create 40,000 new bike parking spaces by 2030Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:51:27 +0000Save the Birds By Embarrassing Your Cathttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/save-birds-embarrassing-your-cat-180954383/Outfitting cats in colorful collars may be one key to preventing them from effectively preying on birds and other small animalsMon, 23 Feb 2015 16:30:06 +0000Is That Pill a Placebo? This Program Can Tell, Even If You Can'thttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/pill-placebo-program-can-tell-even-if-you-cant-180954355/A new algorithm could make it faster and less expensive to develop new painkillers Thu, 19 Feb 2015 15:30:51 +0000LED Skylights Perfectly Mimic Natural Sunlighthttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/led-skylights-perfectly-mimic-natural-sunlight-180954348/The lights fool human brains and camera eyesWed, 18 Feb 2015 20:00:39 +0000Found: A New Tool in the Fight Against HIVhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/found-new-candidate-fight-against-hiv-180954344/New approach offers “vaccine-like” protection against HIV Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:30:27 +0000Only 1 in 4 Americans Would Take a Free Space Flight http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/only-1-4-would-take-free-space-flight-180954340/Americans are still skeptical about some aspects of space travelWed, 18 Feb 2015 16:30:02 +0000This Teeny Chair Can Assemble Itselfhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/chair-designed-assemble-itself-180954336/A tiny prototype developed at MIT marks one of the first steps into a world where we’ll never need an Allen wrench againWed, 18 Feb 2015 15:30:24 +0000Is DNA the Solution for Permanent Data Storage? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-solution-permanent-data-storage-180954315/New study uses “synthetic fossils” to store data for the ages Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:31:42 +0000Is Our Universe Supersymmetric? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/our-universe-supersymmetric-180954284/Scientists hope the rebooted Large Hadron Collider could find supersymmetric particles—the next frontier of particle physicsMon, 16 Feb 2015 20:30:30 +000019th-Century Sexual Advice: No Sex Before Mealshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/19th-century-sexual-advice-no-sex-meals-180954279/The rest of the tips are even farther from any sort of modern scientific basisFri, 13 Feb 2015 21:17:50 +0000Britain’s First Driverless Car Stays on the Sidewalkhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/britains-first-driverless-car-stays-sidewalk-180954277/The car's 15 mile-per-hour speed limit keeps things safeFri, 13 Feb 2015 19:42:21 +0000Jailing People Has Little Effect on Crime Levelshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/jailing-people-has-little-effect-crime-levels-180954274/At some point, the data indicates, more people in prison doesn’t translate to fewer crimesFri, 13 Feb 2015 18:15:54 +0000Technology from ‘Interstellar’ Could Be Useful to Scientists, Toohttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/technology-interstellar-helping-scientists-understand-black-holes-180954249/The movie’s visual effects are now being used for scientific researchFri, 13 Feb 2015 12:02:28 +0000Hypnotize Yourself With a Record-Breaking Traditional Dance http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hypnotize-yourself-record-breaking-traditional-dance-180954234/This synchronized dance won a group of 5,211 Indian women a Guinness World RecordThu, 12 Feb 2015 15:30:20 +0000New Guidelines on Cholesterol: Eggs Are Ok, Butter's Still Badhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-guidelines-could-reflect-changing-view-cholesterol-180954223/Experts have long pushed for the change since for most, cholesterol isn't the demon we thought it wasWed, 11 Feb 2015 19:20:12 +0000Farm Animals Could Soon Carry Wi-Fihttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/farm-animals-near-future-could-carry-wi-fi-180954206/In a few years, shepherds might be monitoring their flocks with networks of wireless sensorsTue, 10 Feb 2015 19:00:20 +0000Now for Sale: Straw Houseshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/are-straw-homes-future-eco-friendly-building-180954204/One new technique for green building—making houses out of straw—actually draws on century-old ideasTue, 10 Feb 2015 17:58:20 +0000These Bells Play Seismic Shifts http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-bells-play-seismic-shifts-180954198/Watch as UC Berkeley’s bells play the earth’s “natural frequencies” Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:00:23 +0000Here’s How to Build an Igloo http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/heres-how-build-igloo-180954196/Scratch your chilly construction itchTue, 10 Feb 2015 15:00:52 +0000Has Facebook Become the Internet?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/has-facebook-become-internet-180954185/The social network’s worldwide reach is leading to some serious confusionMon, 09 Feb 2015 17:26:34 +0000Creating Drought-Tolerant Plants By Hacking Their Natural Responseshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-can-program-plants-be-more-drought-tolerant-180954159/Which new technique will help plants survive with less water? Thu, 05 Feb 2015 18:02:13 +0000A Great Idea: Create an HMS Beagle in LEGO Formhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/darwins-hms-beaglenow-adorable-lego-form-180954157/Vote to turn this tiny version of a famous ship into a LEGO kit available for all to enjoyThu, 05 Feb 2015 16:29:08 +0000Private Space Investments Will Reach $10 Billion This Year http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/private-space-investments-will-reach-10-billion-year-180954156/Make way for money—investors are bullish on space Thu, 05 Feb 2015 16:00:02 +0000Scientists Discover “Reset” Button for Circadian Rhythm http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-discover-reset-button-circadian-rhythm-180954130/Could a simple reboot turn exhaustion into a thing of the past? Tue, 03 Feb 2015 16:16:12 +0000There Aren’t Enough Patients for Ebola Drug’s First Clinical Trialhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/there-arent-enough-patients-ebola-drugs-first-clinical-trial-180954122/The developer called a halt after fewer than 10 people had been treated in the trial’s first monthMon, 02 Feb 2015 19:12:38 +0000