Apr
21

How can history talk back?

S. Xavier Carnegie, Theatre Programs’ creative director at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History answers: How can history talk back? Questions come alive at the Smithsonian. Seriously amazing.

Mar
24

How is the narwhal’s tusk like a human tooth?

How is the narwhal’s tusk like a human tooth?

The narwhal tusk is the opposite of a human tooth, rigid in the center and surrounded by a flexible outer layer containing porous tubules. Scientists have long realized the signals a narwhal receives from the nerves in its spiral tusk—which is actually a wildly elongated tooth—provide critical information about its icy ocean environment. Dentist to… Continue reading How is the narwhal’s tusk like a human tooth?

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Jul
26

How are sharks and Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter alike?

Mercury poisoning. Sharks can be poisoned by mercury in the water, just as the Mad Hatter was likely poisoned by exposure to mercury used in making felt for hats. See where the food chain went mad > Questions come alive at the Smithsonian. SeriouslyAmazing.com

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Jul
16

Why is water clear in a bathtub but look blue in a lake?

The water in a lake absorbs more red to yellow light wavelengths, reflecting blue to our eyes. Depth increases the effect. Learn why murky water can kill > Questions come alive at the Smithsonian. SeriouslyAmazing.com

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Jun
24

What exactly is “snarge”?

Snarge is the term used for the feathers and residue left after a bird collides with a plane. Scientists in the Smithsonian’s Feather ID Lab examine snarge to identify the species of birds involved in the hundreds of bird strike cases they solve each year, aiding with aviation safety. Migrate to other bird projects at… Continue reading What exactly is “snarge”?

Jun
04

What can you make with an old green coat and a ping pong ball?

The original Kermit the Frog! He was painstakingly made from a green coat discarded by Jim Henson’s mother with eyes that were each half of a ping-pong ball. In 1955, Henson’s “Sam and Friends” featuring Kermit and other early puppets debuted on local Washington, D.C., television. It’s not easy being green › Questions come alive at… Continue reading What can you make with an old green coat and a ping pong ball?

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May
20

What highway runs through the U.S. but can’t be traveled by car?

  Nam June Paik’s “Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii.” This 49-channel, closed-circuit video installation is on display at the American Art Museum. It suggests the enormous scale of the nation that confronted the young Korean artist when he arrived in the U.S. in 1964. See the USA in your Chevrolet > Questions come alive… Continue reading What highway runs through the U.S. but can’t be traveled by car?

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Apr
10

How is hip-hop like the microchip?

Both grew out of communities that were innovation hotbeds—the microchip from Silicon Valley and hip-hop from the Bronx. The Smithsonian studies how inventive communities form and impact culture. Innovation hotspots Questions come alive at the Smithsonian. Seriously amazing.

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