Innovation

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The original Japanese packaging emphasized English characters over Japanese ones.

How Cup Noodles Became the Instant Ramen for Americans

Released in Japan 50 years ago, the portable meal proved to be one of the biggest transpacific business success stories of all time

Elon Musk, after securing a $2.9 billion NASA contract for SpaceX, recently hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

The Return of America's Celebrity Inventor

In a new book, Smithsonian historian Eric S. Hintz traces the rise and fall, and rise again, of the maverick inventor

On Brooklyn's Hegeman Avenue, one of the centers with a rooftop playground spans an entire city block.

New York City's Unsung Monuments to Working Moms

Across the five boroughs, dozens of daycare centers stand as survivors of a massive effort in the 1970s to quickly grow a publicly funded childcare system

A growing body of work shows that marine animals are attracted to the sounds of healthy environments.

Playing Recordings of a Healthy Ocean Can Help Restore Marine Ecosystems

Scientists are using a 'fake it til you make it' approach to attract animals to coral reefs and other degraded habitats

"As soon as this idea of aerial application for farming began to take shape, nearly everyone agreed this was the way to go,” says Dorothy Cochrane, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where one of only two known to exist, is on view.

The Little 'Puffer' That Could, and Did, Change an Industry

The Huff-Daland Duster ushered in the era of agriculture aviation

This year's picks include Trails, Cascadia and the Initiative.

Gift Guides

The Best Board Games of 2021

These new offerings are sure to entertain, as more gatherings of families and friends are happening

Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering tests toys for how well they develop STEM skills in kids.

Gift Guides

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

These expert-approved gifts teach robotics, coding and engineering thinking through stories and play

Franklin believed a turkey killed with electricity would be tastier than one dispatched by conventional means: decapitation.

When Benjamin Franklin Shocked Himself While Attempting to Electrocute a Turkey

The statesman was embarrassed by the mishap—no doubt a murder most fowl

The much-lauded exposition-style celebration invites “all dreamers, makers, and changers of tomorrow to imagine a more exciting, equitable, and sustainable future.”

Futures

At New 'Futures' Show, Big Dreamers and Changemakers Activate a Better Way Forward

Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary exposition opens with big-name speakers, family fun and a 21st-century peek into the world ahead

To make true Roquefort cheese, the law requires that it must be produced from local ingredients and ripen for months in a cave in southern France. 

How Much Longer Will Roquefort Reign as the King of Cheese?

In France, makers of the odorous food are singing the blues

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What the History of 'Spirit Photography' Portends for the Future of Deepfake Videos

Today’s video hoaxes can be downright ugly. But image-makers have been fooling viewers from the beginning

Poised on a Nevada salt flat, Alan Case, one of the world’s top practitioners of flight shooting, aims his custom-built bow, which requires so much strength to draw he must use his legs.

The Quest to Shoot an Arrow Farther Than Anyone Has Before

In dogged pursuit of an exotic world record, an engineer heads to the desert with archery equipment you can't get at a sporting goods store

The Van Gogh bike path in Eindhoven is inspired by the artist’s painting The Starry Night. Similar glow-in-the-dark paths and roads could eventually save energy for lighting while cooling cities.

Will Glow-in-the-Dark Materials Someday Light Our Cities?

Substances that persistently luminesce could be used in streets, sidewalks and buildings

Harvest ABC's, 2019

Crayons Aren't Just for Kids

Mixed media artist Lisa Solomon describes how she and five other artists have embraced Crayola in their work

The T-38 Talon that Jacqueline Cochran flew, pictured before its recent restoration.

When Jackie Cochran Flew This Jet, She Broke All Kind of Barriers

The spirited aviator came out of poverty to soar to great heights

LifeLab Design's WarmLife vests are 30 percent warmer than clothing of comparable weight and bulk.

Innovation for Good

This Apparel Company Wants to Have a Profound Effect on Your Energy Use

LifeLabs Design was founded by a pair of Stanford professors who have developed fabrics capable of cooling and warming the wearer

Artist's rendering of "Futures," an upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

Futures

Futures

The Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building re-opens on November 20 with a thought-provoking exploration of what lies ahead for humanity

Real guppies respond to Robofish—a 3D-printed plastic model with a vaguely realistic paint job—as if it were a real schoolmate. Researchers used different-sized Robofish to show that guppy schools tend to follow larger fish.

How Scientists Are Using Robotic Animals to Learn About Real Ones

Biomimetic bots can teach researchers a lot about how creatures interact in the natural world

Researchers are hoping to decipher the communications of sperm whales.

Could We Chat With Whales?

An ambitious project is attempting to interpret sperm whale clicks with artificial intelligence, then talk back to them

Laurie Anderson’s singular artistic path has included books and movies, and an influential performance style whose loops, tapes and style has informed generations. 

The Multiple Arts and Artistries of the Inimitable Laurie Anderson

A Hirshhorn retrospective opens with ten new works from the pioneering artist, composer, poet and musician

Photo of the day

An American bald eagle catching a salmon at Lake Coeur d' Alene. Looking for a Meal