Profile: The Smithsonian
Smithsonian magazine and Smithsonian.com place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution -- science, history, art, popular culture and innovation -- and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.
NoteStreams By The Smithsonian
On Christmas Eve, 1925, in the London Evening News, A.A. Milne’s short story “The Wrong Sort of Bees” gave readers the holiday gift of Winnie-the-Pooh, the newly renamed bear who is dragged down the stairs by Christopher Robin, bumping his head all the way. Christopher Robin asks his father to make up a tale about Pooh and the yarn he spins established the Pooh the world knows and loves today.
Post by Patrick Sauer: originally from Montana, he is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. His work appears in Vice Sports, Biographile, Smithsonian, and The Classical, among others. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Presidents and once wrote a one-act play about Zachary Taylor.
Category: Book Club
Research may finally show what most people seem to naturally see: compared to other similar images, the mouth of the beautiful Mona Lisa registered as happy to almost 100 percent of the participants.
Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.Smithsonian Magazine
The Venetian roots of revolutionary modern book printer Aldus Manutius shaped books as we know them today.
The story of an import so prized, royals were literally rolling in it.
A survey of 50 North Carolina homes turned up just five rooms that were completely free of arthropods.
Microplastics from beauty products and other sources affected oysters’ ability to reproduce in laboratory experiments.
The behavioral findings hint that dogs, like humans, might be capable of their own form of empathy.
Like sommeliers of poop, the pint-sized marsupials can smell what species left it behind and what that creature last had for dinner.
Marijuana plots hidden in California’s forests are inadvertently poisoning protected mammals called fishers.
Thanks to their relationship with us, dogs are less adept at solving tricky puzzles than their wolf relatives.
Dogs are considered some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. Thanks to a relationship with humans that dates back tens of thousands of years, dogs can respond to emotions, recognize numerous words and be trained to follow commands.
Notably, these seemingly smart accomplishments all hinge on the partnership between our two species. Now, however, tests of canine problem-solving skills indicate that dogs rely on humans so much that we actually seem to be dumbing them down.
For animals, island life isn’t always a breeze. Survival on remote, ocean-bound outposts like the Galapagos Islands often depends on diversification, with one species breaking into two or more new ones to take advantage of finite resources and reduce competition with neighbors.
Climate change is already wreaking havoc on wildlife in a number of ways, from destroying habitats to throwing off circadian schedules. Mutualism—win-win ecological partnerships honed over evolutionary timescales—is a lesser-known ecological relationship that is also vulnerable to the effects of a rapidly changing planet.
African landscapes may become very different places if rhinos aren't there to diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals. Elephants are known as ecosystem engineers for their tendency to push over trees and stomp shrubby areas in the savannah into submission. Wolves, on the other hand, are apex predators. They keep other species like deer in check, preventing herbivore populations from getting out of hand and eating all the plants into oblivion. Both elephants and wolves are keystone species, or ones that have a relatively large impact on their environment in relation to their actual population numbers.