Smart News Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian feed for Smart News Ideas & InnovationsenFri, 24 Mar 2017 17:42:20 +0000This New Man-Made Sun Is 10,000 Times More Intense Than Sunlight on Earth’s a bright idea that just might help humans create solar fuel Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:42:20 +0000India's Ganges and Yamuna Rivers Are Given the Rights of People few days after a New Zealand river gained the rights of personhood, an Indian court has declared that two heavily polluted rivers also have legal statusThu, 23 Mar 2017 19:03:13 +0000This Innovator Thought Elevators Should Be Round Cooper thought that round would be the most efficient shape for elevators, and requested an elevator shaft designed accordinglyThu, 23 Mar 2017 15:43:49 +0000Mathematician Emmy Noether Should Be Your Hero revolutionized mathematics, and then was forgotten because she was a womanThu, 23 Mar 2017 14:00:00 +0000The First Saxophone Was Made of Wood The instrument was patented by–you guessed it–Adolphe Sax, on this day in 1846Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:00:00 +0000This Game Turns James Joyce’s Most Notorious Novel Into Virtual Reality will it make you want to finish <i>Ulysses</i>?Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:38:09 +0000Chef Boyardee Was A Real Person’s more: Hector Boiardi was a respected chef who even helped cater Woodrow Wilson’s second weddingMon, 20 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000The World’s First Solar-Powered Satellite is Still Up There After 59 Years tiny grapefruit-sized satellite will still be up there well into the 2100s if we don’t take it downFri, 17 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000The Idea of Surgeons Washing Their Hands is Only 150 Years Old world of surgery before that was much grosser and less effectiveThu, 16 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000This Patent Was the Hallmark of an Aerosol Whip Cream Empire “Bunny” Lapin had already made Reddi-Wip a national concern when he finally received the patent for the aerosolizing whip cream nozzleWed, 15 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000Scientists Successfully Grow Potatoes in Mars-Like Soils potatoes grow on the red planet? The International Potato Center is on the caseWed, 15 Mar 2017 15:40:54 +0000The First-Ever Blood Bank Opened 80 Years Ago Today inventor also coined the term "blood bank"Wed, 15 Mar 2017 15:00:00 +0000NASA Spots India's Long-Lost Lunar Orbiter had been missing for eight yearsTue, 14 Mar 2017 17:20:31 +0000Getting Married on Pi Day is a Thing, there are indications that couples who get married on special dates might not have the same chance of succeedingTue, 14 Mar 2017 13:30:00 +0000The Teenager Who Patented Earmuffs Kept His Town Employed for 60 Years Greenwood became an earmuff tycoon whose factory kept his hometown in businessMon, 13 Mar 2017 18:00:00 +0000Take a Virtual Trip to the International Space Station VR simulation turns you into an orbiting astronaut Mon, 13 Mar 2017 17:08:34 +0000Don't Judge the Book-of-the-Month Club By Its Cover today you might associate its name with staid offerings, the club’s first book was by an openly queer authorFri, 10 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0000During (and After) WWII, Some States Had Year-Round Daylight Saving Time 1963 'Time Magazine' article called it "a chaos of time"Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:00:00 +0000Germans Invented the Autobahn. Now They’re Building a Superhighway for Bikes cyclist’s dream will soon be reality in BerlinThu, 09 Mar 2017 16:25:52 +0000Here Are All The Discoveries That Had To Happen Before Two Scientists Could Find DNA’s Structure and Crick weren’t the only ones working on the problems of humanity's genes, by a long shotTue, 07 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000The First Breakfast Cereal, Granula, Had to Be Soaked Before Being Eaten by a doctor and health reformer, the brittle cakes were not an instant successTue, 07 Mar 2017 13:10:00 +0000Happy 80th Birthday to the First Woman in Space spent almost three days in space on her first flightMon, 06 Mar 2017 13:45:00 +0000A Pound Cake Was Originally Made With Four Pounds of Ingredients Americans today don't bake using pounds and ounces, but cups and teaspoonsFri, 03 Mar 2017 16:31:29 +0000Why Stamps Cost the Same Anywhere in the Country Postal Act of 1845 was just the beginning of a process of postal standarization that took many yearsFri, 03 Mar 2017 15:20:00 +0000As “Dord” Shows, Being in the Dictionary Doesn’t Always Mean Something’s a Word dictionaries can make mistakes, although Merriam-Webster maintains this is their only oneTue, 28 Feb 2017 17:30:00 +0000This Eighteenth-Century Robot Actually Used Breathing to Play the Flute was one of a trio of automata that had functions like living creaturesFri, 24 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000You Can Still Buy Pig-Hair Toothbrushes's an argument for it, given all the environmental destruction causes by plastic onesFri, 24 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0000Tootsie Rolls Were WWII Energy Bars candies were included in rations because they stayed fresh for a long timeThu, 23 Feb 2017 14:24:23 +0000How Do You Pick a Lemur Out of a Lineup? This Software Makes the Leap recognition software can identify individuals, helping researchers conserve the endangered primateWed, 22 Feb 2017 18:15:19 +0000Four Things That Happen When a Language Dies World Mother Language Day, read about why many say we should be fighting to preserve linguistic diversityTue, 21 Feb 2017 17:30:00 +0000The Inventors of Upcycling Published Their Manifesto In a Plastic Book. Why? might have heard the term in relation to crafting, but it means a lot moreTue, 21 Feb 2017 17:05:00 +0000The First Telephone Book Had Fifty Listings and No Numbers came out less than two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the deviceTue, 21 Feb 2017 16:11:07 +0000Old Particle Accelerator Tech Might Be Just What the Doctor Ordered of important supplies for nuclear medicine has researchers looking for answers on how to produce technetium-99Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0000This Wooden Running Machine Was Your Fixie’s Great-Great Grandpa draisine was invented as a potential replacement for the horse during a shortageFri, 17 Feb 2017 14:10:00 +0000The Pioneer of Graphic Adventure Games Was a Woman House was the first home computer game ever to include graphics as well as textThu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000Nick Offerman’s Character in “The Founder” Is Based on This Real Historical Figure “Dick” McDonald’s story in the film is true — to a degreeThu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000“9-1-1” Has Meant “Help, Please” For 49 Years first 911 call ever placed came from the small town of Haleyville, AlabamaThu, 16 Feb 2017 14:20:00 +0000New Self-Sustaining “Wheat” Could Change the Farming Industry’s called Salish Blue, and it’s more than a science experimentMon, 13 Feb 2017 16:23:51 +0000Fly Through Space With This “Mixed Reality” Coaster park promises it won't give you motion sickness—well, more than on a regular rollar coaster, that isMon, 13 Feb 2017 13:59:00 +0000Computers Are Great at Chess, But That Doesn't Mean the Game Is 'Solved' this day in 1996, the computer Deep Blue made history when it beat Garry KasparovFri, 10 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0000The Brief 1930s Craze for 'Tom Thumb Golf' golf courses had been around before, but Garnet Carter gave it a roadside attraction spinThu, 09 Feb 2017 15:33:39 +0000Watch the Original 1959 Ad for the First Office-Ready Xerox Machine the Xerox 914 entered offices, the working world changed foreverWed, 08 Feb 2017 16:25:50 +0000Mutiny in Space: Why These Skylab Astronauts Never Flew Again 1973, it was the longest space mission — 84 days in the stars. But at some point the astronauts just got fed upWed, 08 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0000Japan Plans to Make Olympic Medals Out of Electronic Waste hope to reclaim gold, silver and copper from the used electronics for the 2020 gamesTue, 07 Feb 2017 18:02:47 +0000Why the Military Is Investing in Paper Airplanes drones could save lives—and moneyMon, 06 Feb 2017 17:02:25 +0000The Long Shadow of the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccine 'Fiasco', but not all, of the hesitance to embrace vaccines can be traced back to this event more than 40 years agoMon, 06 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000Mary Leakey’s Husband (Sort of) Took Credit For Her Groundbreaking Work On Humanity’s Origins and her husband, Louis Leakey, were a paleoanthropology power coupleMon, 06 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0000LiDAR Scans Reveal Maya Civilization's Sophisticated Network of Roads aerial images reveal a remarkably ambitious transportation network consisting of 17 roadsFri, 03 Feb 2017 19:39:38 +0000This Robotic Silver Swan Has Fascinated Fans for Nearly 250 Years preens, fishes and impressesFri, 03 Feb 2017 15:59:21 +0000The Father of Canning Knew His Process Worked, But Not Why It Worked Appert was trying to win a hefty prize offered by the French armyThu, 02 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000Scotch Tape Can Create X-Rays, and More You Didn't Know About The Sticky Stuff have used it to repair everything from curtains to ceilingsTue, 31 Jan 2017 16:21:26 +0000A Picture History of One of the World’s Greatest Hot Air Balloons by Charles Green, the Great Nassau was big enough to capture the imaginations of an entire countryTue, 31 Jan 2017 15:05:00 +0000In One 1968 Presentation, This Inventor Shaped Modern Computing Engelbart’s career was about seeing the possibilities of what computing could do for humanityMon, 30 Jan 2017 16:17:16 +0000Take a Rare Look Inside FDR’s WWII Information Center: The Map Room before Google Earth, this was how the president saw the worldMon, 30 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +0000‘Aspartame Causes Cancer' Was a Classic Internet Hoax aspartame myth goes back to a letter circulating on the '90s internetFri, 27 Jan 2017 14:45:44 +0000Happy(?) Birthday to the Father of the Nuclear Navy G. Rickover pushed to nuclearize the Navy's submarines, but admitted he’d rather ‘sink them all’ to protect humanityFri, 27 Jan 2017 14:03:00 +0000The LBD Gets an Update With the Debut of the First Dress Made with Graphene made from the world's thinnest, strongest material, lights on the dress change color based on the wearer's breathing rateThu, 26 Jan 2017 20:58:53 +0000Why Did People Think Steam-Powered Cars Were a Good Idea? the early days, steam cars were as common as gas ones. Why aren’t we driving them today?Thu, 26 Jan 2017 14:30:00 +0000