After Closure, the Met Opera Offers Free Streaming of Past Performances

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many are avoiding public gatherings and ensconcing themselves in their homes—measures crucial to slowing the spread of disease. In cities like New York, mandated closures have now shuttered some of the largest tourist attractions around, deterring vulnerable individuals from entering their doors. But social distance doesn’t have to mean cultural […]

I Was Among the Lucky Few to Walk in Space

Ed White performing the first EVA by an American during Gemini IV in 1965. Jim McDivitt took this photograph. (NASA) International Space Station’s Canadarm2 is used to help Robinson during the mission’s third session of extravehicular activity (EVA). (NASA) Expedition 35 Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy (pictured) and Tom Marshburn (out of frame) completed a spacewalk […]

Ten Myths About the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Editor’s Note, March 17, 2020: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran on Jan. 11, 2018. Pandemic: It’s a scary word. But the world has seen pandemics before, and worse ones, too. Consider the influenza pandemic of 1918, often referred to erroneously as the “Spanish flu.” Misconceptions about it may be […]

How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Cultural World

Editor’s Note, March 13, 2020:This article has been updated to reflect the latest cancellation and postponement announcements in the cultural sphere. With confirmed cases of COVID-19 now numbering well above 130,000, precautionary measures aimed at slowing the pandemic’s spread are becoming more widespread. Crowds, clamor and even close conversation can elevate one’s chance of becoming […]

A Story of an Empire, Told Through Tea

Editor’s Note, March 12, 2020:Starting Friday, March 13, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will temporarily close “to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19,” reports the New York Times. A diverse display of 100 teapots is among the most thought-provoking elements in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s reimagined British Galleries, which […]

Celebrate Peak Bloom With Ten Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms

SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | March 4, 2020, 11:21 a.m. Editor’s Note, March 11, 2020: The National Park Service has moved up its peak bloom prediction to March 21 through 24. Every spring, the 3,800 cherry trees along Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin burst into a symphony of pink-and-white blossoms. Because this picturesque period lasts, on average, just four […]

Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Was Made by a Bra Manufacturer

No one knows what Columbus was wearing when he set foot in the New World, but on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong took his “one giant leap” onto the Moon, he was clad in this custom-made spacesuit, model A7L, serial number 056. Its cost, estimated at the time as $100,000 (more than $670,000 today), […]

A Guide to What to Know About COVID-19

Editor’s Note, March 6, 2020: This story is developing. For the latest fact and figures, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Situation Summary webpage, updated daily at noon Eastern Time. More than 101,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide. In the United States, where more than 250 infections have been identified, the […]

Fire at Museum of Chinese in America Caused Less Damage Than Initially Feared

Editor’s Note, January 30, 2020: A fire at the Museum of Chinese in America’s archives may have caused less damage than initially feared, reports Sophia Chang for Gothamist. Per MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach, roughly 200 boxes recovered from the Chinatown building that houses the museum’s archives appear to be “very much salvageable.” Twenty-five of […]

The Modern Craft Cocktail Movement Got Its Start During Prohibition

With America in the middle of a flourishing craft beer and craft spirits movement, it’s easy to forget that Prohibition was once the law of the land. One hundred years ago, on January 17, 1920, NProhibition went into effect, one year after Nebraska became the 36th of the country’s 48 states to ratify the 18th […]

One-Ton Boulder Returned to Arizona National Forest Following Brazen Theft

SmartNews Keeping you current The thief (or thieves) likely used heavy machinery to commit the crime “It’s unfortunate when we lose a treasure such as the Wizard Rock,” says district ranger Sarah Clawson. “These boulders belong to the public, and should be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come” (Courtesy of Prescott National […]

The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War

Editor’s Note, October 24, 2019: Earlier today, Spanish authorities exhumed the remains of dictator Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen, the Catholic basilica and tomb he built for himself during his 40-year rule. The site is also home to tens of thousands Civil War dead from both sides of the conflict, making it […]