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Wednesday Roundup: Spam, Apps and Anthropologists

The Secret Life of Anthropologists—Along with the entomologists, oceanographers, biologists, physicists and other scientists in the Natural History Museum are the anthropologists, who work furiously to research, curate and put order to the vast collections at the Smithsonian museums. Right now...

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A false statement on some spam emails claims that Mars will appear as large as the moon on a day late in August. Image courtesy of AirSpace.



The Secret Life of Anthropologists—Along with the entomologists, oceanographers, biologists, physicists and other scientists in the Natural History Museum are the anthropologists, who work furiously to research, curate and put order to the vast collections at the Smithsonian museums. Right now on the Natural History Web site are  video podcasts of six Smithsonian anthropologists, who speak about how they got into the field, where their primary interests lie, and what they do from day to day.



Smithsonian Channel App Launch—Now, you'll be able to watch some of your favorite episodes from the Smithsonian Channel's original series, in addition to tons of video clips and documentary footage with the newly launched Smithsonian Channel app for iPhone and iPod Touch. Available on the channel's Web site are iPhone screenshots, showing a few of the offerings included with the app, such as "HydroTech: Venice," "Zoo Vets" and "Batwomen of Panama."



Seven-Year Spam? Seven years is a long time in cyberspace, so you have to give an e-mail message that AirSpace is calling a "spectacular hoax" at least a bit of credit for surviving so long. This prank e-mail originated in August, 2003, when Mars came closer to Earth than it had in 60,000 years, yielding an enlarged view of the Red Planet. But as astronomy educator at the Air and Space museum Shelley White clears up for us, this astronomical event came and went, while that pesky email has resurfaced every August since then.



Shoo Fly, Power My Clock! Many of the most inspired innovations featured in the Cooper-Hewitt's continuing National Design Triennial draw on the natural world for solutions to everyday puzzles and problems. But did you ever imagine someone would invent a clock that captured and killed flies, converting their biomass into mechanical energy? Learn about this and other natural power sources being utilized by designers on the Design Blog.



Climate Change and Phytoplankton—Posted on the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Shorelines blog is a video about SERC's photobiology lab, where scientists are exposing phytoplankton—tiny marine plants responsible for making about half of Earth's oxygen—to UV radiation in order to assess how cosmic radiation, and climate change, might affect life on earth.
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