Blogs

The longtime "Jeopardy" host died of pancreatic cancer on November 8.

Alex Trebek on Why 'Jeopardy' Represents the American Dream

The game show host, who died Sunday at age 80, donated items to the Smithsonian in 2013

Close up of plate of Matzah.

A Gentile’s Guide to Keeping Kosher for Passover

Pizza and pasta are pretty obviously out, but what are the other no-nos?

The Kiss
In the privacy of the narrow hallway under the fire stairs of the Mosque Theater, while other performers are on stage before 3,000 fans in the audience, Elvis is concentrating on his date for the day.

How Photographer Alfred Wertheimer Captured Elvis Presley's Kiss

"I think most of the time Elvis didn’t even know I was taking photographs," said the photographer, who died in 2014

Grace Murray Stephenson and family at an Emancipation Day Celebration in 1900.

Why Juneteenth Celebrates the New Birth of Freedom

The commemoration of the end of slavery holds special meaning for Americans nationwide

Dizzy Gillespie in Hamburg, 1973

Dizzy Gillespie and His Bent Trumpet

Here's how the Smithsonian acquired the instrument of one of the world's most influential and unconventional American jazz musicians

"Plymouth Rock is part of who we are as a people,” says Smithsonian curator Larry Bird.

The True Story Behind Plymouth Rock

Curator Larry Bird weighs in on the significance of Plymouth Rock—and the two pieces in the Smithsonian collections

The author of "Things Fall Apart," Chinua Achebe is one of the most widely read African authors.

Beyond Chinua Achebe: Five Great African Authors You Should Read Right Now

Two curators from the African Art Museum recommend authors who have joined Achebe in shaping the world's understanding of the African experience

Inauguration History

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Presidential Food?

In honor of Inauguration Day, here's a little quiz to see how much you know about presidential food history

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How Waffle House Uses Twitter to Help Recovery Efforts

FEMA themselves admit that they look to the omnipresent chain to see where the damage is the worst

Biochar

Energy Innovation

Carbon-Negative Energy Is Here! This Device Makes Clean Energy and Fertilizer

A Berkeley startup's new spin on an old fuel-producing technology is a win-win for the environment

What fMRI Can Tell Us About the Thoughts and Minds of Dogs

One neuroscientist is peering into the canine brain, and says he's found evidence that dogs may feel love

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art

With Frax, users can create mathematically-driven art, adding color, depth and texture to geometric shapes

Rendering of the scaffolding that will surround the dome during its restoration.

Scaffolding is All Over D.C. Here’s Why the Monuments Still Look Majestic

When the beautiful historic buildings of our nation's capital need repair, architects get creative with the exterior work

Can cameras read what’s going on in a second grader’s mind?

Can Facial Recognition Really Tell If a Kid Is Learning in Class?

Inventors of software called EngageSense say you can tell if kids are engaged in class by analyzing their eye movements

PicoBrew Zymatic

Can Brewing Beer Be as Simple as Brewing Coffee?

Inventor Bill Mitchell is developing the PicoBrew Zymatic, an appliance that brews beer at the touch of a button

A common octopus

Ten Curious Facts About Octopuses

Octopuses, an inspiration for monsters throughout history, get a fresh look through a new book that dives deep into the creatures' mysterious lives

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?

The Patents Designed to Make Carving Your Pumpkin a Little Less Messy

A group of innovators set out to simplify how we make classic Jack-o-Lanterns and their ghoulish grins

Mary Rogers in the river, 1841

Edgar Allan Poe Tried and Failed to Crack the Mysterious Murder Case of Mary Rogers

After a teenage beauty turned up dead in the Hudson River, not even the godfather of detective fiction could figure out who done it

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Explore Mars’ Mountains and Canyons from a Probe’s-Eye View

Using ten years of data from their probe, the European Space has created a lifelike flyover simulation of the red planet

Behold! The World’s First One-Handed Zipper

After a lot of trial and error, inventor Scott Peters has made a no-fuss magnetic zipper

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