Five Things We’ve Learned Since Brazil’s Devastating National Museum Fire

Update, October 26, 2018: Luiza, the oldest human fossil in the Americas, has been recovered from the rubble of Brazil’s National Museum. The 200-year-old Rio de Janiero institution burned down in September, taking with it most of the museum’s 20 million artifacts. But the remains of Luiza, which were held in a metal urn, have been successfully identified by researchers. […]

With AI Art, Process Is More Important Than the Product

With AI becoming incorporated into more aspects of our daily lives, from writing to driving, it’s only natural that artists would also start to experiment with artificial intelligence. In fact, Christie’s just sold its first piece of AI art—a blurred face titled “Portrait of Edmond Belamy”—for $432,500. The piece is part of a new wave […]

17 Inventions That Will Put You in the Halloween Mood

Here are some bizarre costume ideas, decorations and supplies culled from the U.S. patent archives (Patent from USPTO/Design by Shaylyn Esposito) smithsonian.com October 28, 2015 | Updated: October 25, 2018 4:13PM The National Retail Federation suspects that Americans will spend $9 billion this Halloween. About $3.2 billion will go toward store-bought costumes and the props, […]

The Puerto Rican Roots of the Mega Millions Jackpot

As the newest Mega Millions jackpot breaks the billion-dollar mark, Americans are once again flocking to corner markets in the hopes of hitting it rich. But most U.S. citizens could have nothing to do with the first modern American lottery, no matter how much they wanted to be involved, because it happened in the territory […]

The Best Places Around the World to See Bats (by the Millions)

Bat tourism might sound creepy, but it may be the best way to help bat conservation around the world Mexican free-tailed bats near Bracken Cave, Texas. (© Aerie Nature Series, Inc./CORBIS) smithsonian.com October 31, 2014 | Updated: October 18, 2018 5:40PM It’s hard out there for a bat: not only do the flying mammals suffer […]

Roberto Clemente: The King of Béisbol

Editor’s Note, October 12, 2018: In honor of today’s Google Doodle recognizing the remarkable achievements of Roberto Clemente, we’re resurfacing this 2011 story about the Puerto Rican baseball star. After Roberto Clemente disappeared in a plane crash off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on New Year’s Eve 1972, his body was never found. […]

Today’s Whales Are Huge, But Why Aren’t They Huger?

We live in an age of giants. That might sound strange, given the lack of enormous dinosaurs or giant ground sloths trundling around. But it’s true: The blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, is the largest animal that has ever lived, stretching over 100 feet long and weighing about 100 tons. And this giant isn’t some holdover […]

Time to Get Jiggily With it, Fat Bear Week Is Upon Us

Update, October 10, 2018: After seven days of fierce competition, voters have determined which of the chubby cubbies of Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve reigned supreme for this year’s Fat Bear Week. And your 2018 winner is… 409 Beadnose. “What does the she win for all this hard work? Stronger chances of living through the winter,” Katmai National Park’s […]

Maldivian Government Destroys World’s First Intertidal Art Gallery

(Cat Vinton) (Jason deCaires Taylor) (Cat Vinton) (Jason deCaires Taylor) SmartNews Keeping you current Before President Abdulla Yasmeen lost the country’s election, his government ordered the demolition of the conservation-minded underwater sculpture garden smithsonian.com July 27, 2018 | Updated: an hour ago Update, September 24, 2018: The world’s first semi-submerged art gallery space is no […]

The Cardiganed Fred Rogers Was Every Kid’s Cozy Comfort Zone

Editor’s Note, September 21, 2018: In honor of today’s Google Doodle recognizing Fred Rogers from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, we’re resurfacing this article from 2001. At the outset of each episode, he zipped on that trademark sweater, inaugurating a new day on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the Pittsburgh-based children’s TV program that would become the longest-running series […]

The First Academy Awards Had Its Own Version of the “Popular” Oscar

Editor’s note, September 7, 2018: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will not move forward with the “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film” category for the 91st Academy Awards in February 2019. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson tells the Hollywood Reporter: “There has been a wide range of reactions to the […]

The U.S. Military Has Been in Space From the Beginning

The words “Space Force” conjure up images of plastoid-alloy-clad soldiers firing ray guns at aliens, but military activities in space aren’t just science fiction. The U.S. military has been involved with space since the beginning, just, perhaps, not under that name. Today, Vice President Mike Pence revealed that the administration hopes to have Space Force […]

Google Doodle Honors Little-Known Math Genius Who Helped America Reach the Stars

Editor’s note, August 9, 2018: In honor of today’s Google Doodle recognizing the achievements of Mary Golda Ross, we’re resurfacing this 2017 story about Ross. In 1958, a woman stumped the panelists on “What’s My Line?” It took the actors Arlene Francis and Jack Lemmon, journalist Dorothy Kilgallen and publisher Bennet Cerf, celebrity panelists of […]

You’ll Soon Be Able to Stay in This Historic California Ghost Town

Update, July 24, 2018: Travel + Leisure reports that Cerro Gordo, the California ghost town put up for sale earlier this summer, has new owners, Brent Underwood, who owns a backpacker hostel in Austin, Texas, and his business partner, Jon Bier. The investors say they plan to refurbish the 22 buildings left standing with 21st-century accommodations like Wi-Fi, […]