Smart News Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonianhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/rss/smartnews-ideas-innovations/RSS feed for Smart News Ideas & InnovationsenTue, 21 Feb 2017 17:30:00 +0000Four Things That Happen When a Language Dies http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/four-things-happen-when-language-dies-and-one-thing-you-can-do-help-180962188/This 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?http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/inventors-upcycling-published-their-idea-plastic-book-why-180962182/You 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 Numbershttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-telephone-book-had-fifty-listings-and-no-numbers-180962173/It 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 Orderedhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/old-particle-accelerator-tech-might-be-just-what-doctor-ordered-180962175/Shortages 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 Grandpahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wooden-running-machine-was-your-fixies-great-great-grandpa-180962152/The 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 Womanhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1980s-roberta-williams-brought-graphic-adventure-games-home-180962160/Mystery 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 Figurehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nick-offermans-character-founder-based-real-historical-figure-180962147/Richard “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 Yearshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/9-1-1-has-meant-help-please-49-years-180962143/The 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 Industryhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-self-sustaining-wheat-could-change-farming-industry-180962101/It’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” Coasterhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/fly-through-space-six-flags-newest-mixed-reality-coaster-180962141/The 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'http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-first-man-lose-computer-said-about-chess-21st-century-180962046/On 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'http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/american-inventor-mini-golf-called-it-tom-thumb-golf-180962026/Miniature 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 Machinehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/watch-original-1959-ad-first-office-ready-xerox-machine-180962012/When 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 Againhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mutiny-space-why-these-skylab-astronauts-never-flew-again-180962023/In 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 Wastehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/tokyo-will-make-olympic-medals-out-recycled-electronics-180962036/Organizers 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 Airplaneshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-military-investing-paper-airplanes-180962033/Disposable drones could save lives—and moneyMon, 06 Feb 2017 17:02:25 +0000The Long Shadow of the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccine 'Fiasco'http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/long-shadow-1976-swine-flu-vaccine-fiasco-180961994/Some, 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 Originshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mary-leakeys-husband-sort-took-credit-her-groundbreaking-work-humanitys-origins-180961991/Leakey 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 Roadshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/lidar-scans-maya-network-roads-180961995/Detailed 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 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/robotic-silver-swan-has-fascinated-fans-nearly-250-years-180962024/It preens, fishes and impressesFri, 03 Feb 2017 15:59:21 +0000The Father of Canning Knew His Process Worked, But Not Why It Workedhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/father-canning-knew-his-process-worked-not-why-it-worked-180961960/Nicolas 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 Stuffhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-you-didnt-know-about-scotch-tape-180961914/People 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 Balloonshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/picture-history-one-worlds-greatest-hot-air-balloons-180961908/Designed 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 Computinghttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/one-1968-presentation-inventor-shaped-modern-computing-180961904/Douglas 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 Roomhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/take-rare-look-inside-fdrs-wwi-information-center-map-room-180961900/Long 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 Hoaxhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/aspartame-causes-cancer-was-classic-fake-news-180961880/The 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 Navyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/happy-birthday-father-nuclear-navy-180961879/Hyman 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 Graphenehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-first-dress-made-graphene-debuts-180961928/Partially 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? http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-did-people-think-steam-powered-cars-were-good-idea-180961872/In 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 +0000The Weird, Brief History of the Eskimo Pie Corporationhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/weird-short-history-eskimo-pie-corporation-180961840/It was America’s first chocolate-covered ice cream bar, patented on this day in 1922Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:00:00 +0000This Necklace Contains All of the World’s Languages http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/necklace-contains-all-worlds-languages-180961876/Because cultural preservation never goes out of fashion Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:46:48 +0000Where We Got the Term “Banana Republic”http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/where-we-got-term-banana-republic-180961813/Hint: it’s not a great moment in American historyWed, 18 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0000Japan Tries (and Fails) to Launch a Tiny Rocket http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/japan-tries-fails-launch-tiny-rocket-180961811/Sending teensy satellites into space isn’t just an experiment in cute—it's an effort to reduce the cost of sending tech into spaceMon, 16 Jan 2017 19:07:19 +0000In 1957, The U.S. Flew a Jet Around the World to Prove it Could Drop a Nuclear Bomb Anywherehttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1957-us-flew-jet-around-world-prove-it-could-drop-nuclear-bomb-anywhere-180961769/The B-52 bomber that made the flight was part of a new bomber class that was still proving its worthMon, 16 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +0000Since First Successfully Used 75 Years Ago, Ejection Seats Have Saved Thousands http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/first-successfully-used-75-years-ago-ejection-seats-have-saved-thousands-180961744/The faster an airplane is moving, the harder it is to get out of: that's why ejection seats are so importantFri, 13 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0000Department of Defense Calls for Biodegradable, Seed-Planting Ammo http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/department-defense-wants-biodegradable-seed-planting-ammo-180961768/These seed bombs could make Army training easier on the environment Thu, 12 Jan 2017 19:40:08 +0000How a Children's Toy Could Help Fight Malariahttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-childrens-toy-may-help-fight-malaria-180961779/A 20-cent whirligig-like centrifuge could help doctors in remote regions diagnose diseaseThu, 12 Jan 2017 17:06:34 +0000This Swiss Grocery Will Soon Sell Mealworm Burgershttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/swiss-grocery-start-selling-mealworm-burgers-180961765/In the continued quest for sustainable proteins, another company is wriggling into the market Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:00:00 +0000People Have Tried to Make U.S. Cigarette Warning Labels More Graphic for Decadeshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/cigarette-warning-labels-more-graphic-180961721/On this day in 1964, the surgeon general officially said that smoking causes cancer. But warning labels in America still don't show its effects Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:20:00 +0000The Hot Toddy: A “Medicinal” Drink That Might Actually Work http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hot-toddy-medicinal-drink-might-actually-work-180961714/On National Hot Toddy Day, warm up with this tasty drink, whether you're sick or notWed, 11 Jan 2017 15:00:00 +0000This Three-Wheeled, Battery-Powered Plastic Car-Bike Was a Giant Flop in 1985http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/three-wheeled-battery-powered-plastic-car-bike-was-giant-flop-1980s-180961685/But today, some have asked if Sir Clive Sinclair was just ahead of his timeTue, 10 Jan 2017 15:55:00 +0000John D. Rockefeller Was the Richest Person To Ever Live. Periodhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/john-d-rockefeller-richest-person-ever-live-period-180961705/Standard Oil, his company, is one of the biggest reasons we have anti-monopoly lawsTue, 10 Jan 2017 14:00:00 +0000What Tech Writers Said About the iPhone When It Debuted Ten Years Agohttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-tech-writers-thought-about-iphone-when-it-debuted-10-years-ago-180961728/Not everyone thought the sleek phone/browser/music player would have mainstream appealMon, 09 Jan 2017 20:00:32 +0000The Inventor of the Telegraph Was Also America’s First Photographerhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/inventor-telegraph-was-also-americas-first-photographer-180961683/The daguerreotype craze took over New York in the mid-nineteenth centuryMon, 09 Jan 2017 14:35:33 +0000Finland Has a New Social Experiment: Giving People Free Moneyhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/finland-has-new-social-experiment-giving-people-free-money-180961684/Two thousand unemployed Finns will now get around $594 a month—whether they get jobs or notThu, 05 Jan 2017 21:01:41 +0000On This Day in 1847, a Texas Ranger Walked Into Samuel Colt’s Shop and Said, Make Me a Six-Shooterhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/day-1847-texas-ranger-walked-samuel-colts-shop-and-said-make-me-six-shooter-180961621/Samuel Colt was a clever marketer as well as a talented inventorWed, 04 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0000If Isaac Asimov Had Named The Smartphone, He Might Have Called It The “Pocket Computer Mark II” http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/if-isaac-asimov-had-named-smartphone-he-might-have-called-it-pocket-computer-mark-ii-180961588/The sci-fi author correctly predicted a number of innovations that have come to passMon, 02 Jan 2017 15:28:16 +0000The Year in National Parkshttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/year-national-parks-180961615/From people stealing baby bison and Yosemite trademarks to epic blooms in Death Valley, 2016 has been an eventful centennial year for the NPSFri, 30 Dec 2016 19:51:42 +0000How a Red Party Cup Became an American Iconhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/red-party-cup-american-icon-solo-cup-180961603/There's just something about Solo cupsThu, 29 Dec 2016 20:31:54 +0000Five Years Ago, This Island Nation Lost an Entire Dayhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-time-zones-make-work-worse-180961569/On this day in 2011, Samoa switched sides of the international date line for the second time, losing December 30 in the process. Here's whyThu, 29 Dec 2016 15:36:08 +0000You Can Hear Hagia Sophia’s Sublime Acoustics Without a Trip to Istanbulhttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/you-can-hear-hagia-sophias-sublime-acoustics-without-trip-istanbul-180961563/Stanford scientists have digitally created the building’s unique sound, taking listeners back to the Middle AgesTue, 27 Dec 2016 14:00:00 +0000