Articles by Erica R. Hendry

Depicted in Big Band are: Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Jerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Glen Miller, Charles Mingus, JJ Johnson, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Gene Krupa.

LeRoy Nieman Pulled Together a Dream Band for His Epic Portrait of Jazz Greats

The iconic artist's large-scale painting of this century's music greats debuts at the American History Museum, kicking off Jazz Appreciation Month

Someone Built a Bold New Font Out of Buildings

Created out of aerial photography, you'll never guess where the "O" comes from

One of three instruments Coltrane would use as he blazed through the next two years, reinventing himself—and jazz music— at a pace many found exhausting.

Fifty Years Ago This Month, John Coltrane Recorded One of the Greatest Jazz Tracks of All Time

This Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone was one of three instruments that John Coltrane played to reinvent himself—and Jazz music

What the Heck is a Robobird?

No flock will mess with this robot – which is precisely the point

Getting Ready for Rosetta to Unlock a Comet’s Secrets

The lander will hopefully reveal new truths about what the icy objects actually are

Tech Watch

Fast Forward: 3D Building Blocks Are the Secret Of This Old (Digital) House

Researchers have printed 3D houses before—but this attempt, using recycled material in a classic Amsterdam style, can be rearranged for different needs.

Fast Forward: The Alvin Will Make The Ocean More Accessible Than Ever Before

A League of Its Own

Still from Santiago Sierra and Jorge Galindo’s "Los Encargados [Those in Charge]," 2012.

Upending Those in Charge

How two artists staged a motorcade in Madrid, touting portraits of upside down politicians to question those in power—in Spain and across the globe.

Neuroscientist Aaron Seitz argues that training the brain to better adapt to changing eyes is no different than exercising the body to be stronger or faster.

Tech Watch

This New App Promises to Sharpen Your Eyesight

Forget Lasik. A neuroscientist from the University of California Riverside swears that his exercises can improve your vision

David Datuna's "Portrait of America" is the first artwork in the world to use Google Glass technology.

Seeing Art Through Google Glass

David Datuna became the first artist to incorporate the technology into a public art piece; now, "Portrait of America" is coming to the Smithsonian

An ice maker pebbles the 2014 Olympic curling rink in Sochi.

Winter Olympics

Why Curling Ice is Different Than Other Ice

There is a science to preparing ice for the shuffleboard-like sport. It's all about the pebbling

Zach Lund, a former Olympian and head driving coach for the U.S. bobsled team, films an athlete training in Lake Placid, N.Y. for the Sochi Olympics using Ubersense, an app that allows for real-time video analysis.

Winter Olympics

How Technology is Changing the Way Athletes Train

Apps like Ubersense and AMPSports bring run-by-run data to skiers, bobsledders and other competitors

Do you want to be an Olympics superfan? Turn watching the games into a two-screen experience.

Winter Olympics

The Best Ways to Follow the 2014 Olympic Games

Not in Sochi? Not a problem. Stay connected with these apps and social media-lites

Before long, artificial intelligence will stop looking to humans for upgrades and start seeking improvements on their own.

Big Ideas

What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Turns On Us?

In a new book, James Barrat warns that artificial intelligence will one day outsmart humans, and there is no guarantee that it will be benevolent

Power Tools

10 Things Brewmaster Annie Johnson Can't Live Without

From kettles to apps, flasks to forums, these resources help the Sacramento-based home chemist concoct her award-winning beers

Art Meets Science

Traveling to Japan—Through a Symphony of Smells

A new performance, staged in Los Angeles this weekend, revives one man's failed attempt to put on a smell and sound production more than a century ago

Junk food and processed food has gotten a bad reputation as a primary cause of weight gain, but journalist David Freedman says, with some changes, it could actually help the obese in America's poorest neighborhoods.

Forget the Vegetables—Junk Food Could Help Fight Obesity

Journalist David Freedman says engineering healthier versions of popular treats could finally help the poorest and most obese Americans lose weight

"Cloud Music" scans the skies about the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Lincoln Gallery and turns the clouds (and occasional flock of birds) into sound.

If Clouds Could Make Music, What Would it Sound Like?

How an engineer, video analyst and musician created a pioneering artwork that makes music from the sky

Hövding is a helmet cyclists wear on their necks—not their heads.

The Bicycle Helmet That's Invisible (Until You Need It)

Riffing off of airbag technology, Swedish designers have created a helmet, worn around the neck, that inflates during an accident

How America's Most Popular Potted Plant Captured Christmas

On National Poinsettia Day, the third generation behind the Ecke Family Ranch talks about how his family developed a hundred varieties of the plant

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