Ask a Curator: Want to know what goes into creating all those exhibits at the Smithsonian museums? Want to connect with curators from museums abroad? Next Wednesday, September 1, museums around the world are teaming up for "Ask a Curator Day," a Twitter-hosted forum for all those burning curatorial questions you've been holding back. Participating Smithsonian Museums include the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, the African Art Museum, the Hirshhorn and the National Postal Museum.
Waffle Week: Make no mistake about it—as their name would suggest, Belgian waffles are, indeed, Belgian in origin. The American stovetop waffle iron, however, has its roots a bit closer to home, in Troy, New York, where, on August 24, 1869, Cornelius Swarthout was awarded the first patent for the household appliance. The Smithsonian Libraries blog honors National Waffle Day with a short history of the waffle iron, a tragically under-celebrated milestone. Here's how a restaurant in Albany, New York, is commemorating the occasion.
It Takes a Village. . . To feed the National Zoo's 2,000 animals. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Zoo's commissary. Watch how Zoo nutritionists prepare food for all of the zoo's animals, some 400 species, creating a diet of fresh produce uniquely tailored to each critter's health requirements. (The Zoo's commissary recalls the kitchen in my college dining hall.)
Carnival of the Blue: Kudos to the Ocean Portal Blog, which was featured on this month's Carnival of the Blue, a monthly roundup of some of the best blogging about marine issues and environments on the Web. This roundup was hosted by Arthropoda, and includes posts on everything from jellyfish to dogfish, and from swimming with whale sharks to evading molluscan hordes.
Talk About Covering a Lot of Ground: There once was a dog named Owney, who traveled the world on a. . . steamship! According to Pushing the Envelope, the well-traveled pup, Owney (who began riding mail trains with US Railway Post Office clerks in the 1880s) was the participant in a 1895 publicity stunt. According to the post, "Owney visited Kobe, Japan, Hong Kong, and switched to the British steamer Port Phillip that carried him to Shanghai, Singapore, the Suez, Algiers and finally New York City." Owney's trip around the world took 132 days.