Smart News Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian feed for Smart News Ideas & InnovationsenTue, 21 Feb 2017 17:30:00 +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 +0000The Weird, Brief History of the Eskimo Pie Corporation 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 cultural preservation never goes out of fashion Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:46:48 +0000Where We Got the Term “Banana Republic” it’s not a great moment in American historyWed, 18 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0000Japan Tries (and Fails) to Launch a Tiny Rocket 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 Anywhere 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 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 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 Malaria 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 Burgers 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 Decades 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 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 1985 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. Period 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 Ago 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 Photographer 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 Money 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-Shooter 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” sci-fi author correctly predicted a number of innovations that have come to passMon, 02 Jan 2017 15:28:16 +0000The Year in National Parks 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 Icon's just something about Solo cupsThu, 29 Dec 2016 20:31:54 +0000Five Years Ago, This Island Nation Lost an Entire Day 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 Istanbul scientists have digitally created the building’s unique sound, taking listeners back to the Middle AgesTue, 27 Dec 2016 14:00:00 +0000