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Wines of Honor Presentation Ceremony, no. 9 from the series Fêtes de Strasbourg

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
From a series showing the arrival of Louis XV to Strasbourg. Before the Episcopal Palace, festivities celebrating the offering of Wines of Honor to Louis XV. Horses pull barrels of wine toward palace gates along river. A crowd gathers with observers and performers.

Wings for the Eagle

National Air and Space Museum
Poster distributed to theaters showing movie; Actor (Dennis Morgan) and actress (Ann Sheridan) embrace while silhouette of airplanes bare down on industrial landscape; center of picture is silhouette of American warplane's wing with USA insignia

[Full text]

Wings for the Eagle

[at bottom in small print]

"This advertising material is the property of Vitagraph, Inc. and is leased pursuant to an agreement which provides: "The exhibitor agrees that the advertising materials are leased for use only in conjunction with the exhibition at the theatre specified of the respective motion pictures identified in such materials and only for the purpose of properly advertising and exploiting said respective motion pictures at said theatre and the exhibitor agrees that he will not trade, sublease sell, give away or otherwise use or permit others to use such materials."

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Wings of Steel

National Air and Space Museum
Airplanes swarm past banner reading the title of the movie. Two photographs below, one of airfield with airplanes and crew, the other with officer pinning on medal. Full text:

"Poland's Warriors of the Air

Like Knights of the Old Defend

The Freedom of the World

Polish War Relief"

"Wings of Steel in Technicolor

Produced in Cooperation with the

United States Army Air Corps

with

Douglas Kennedy

Herbert Anderson

Tom Neal- Ralph Byrd

Frank Wilcox"

Copyright: "This advertising material is the property of Vitagraph, Inc. and is leased pursuant to an agreement which provides: "The exhibitor agrees that the advertising materials are leased for use only in conjunction with the exhibition at the theatre specified of the respective motion pictures identified in such materials and only for the purpose of properly advertising and exploiting said respective motion pictures at said theatre and the exhibitor agrees that he will not trade, sublease sell, give away or otherwise use or permit others to use such materials."

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Winter or Summer Travel by K.L.M Royal Dutch Air Lines

National Air and Space Museum
WINTER OR SUMMER TRAVEL BY KLM Multicolor commercial aviation print. Airplane (Fokker F-VIIb-3m) flies over winter townscape with orange sun setting or rising in background; orange, blue, and yellow ink on paperboard with metal grommets protecting holes through which string hanger attached. Full text: "Winter or Summer Travel by KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines"; Offset Lithograph.

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

Winter's Enjoyment in Central Park

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
People sledding and skating on ice; bridge left, with observers, building beyond. Foreground left, man kneeling to fix his partner's skate. Artist's name and title, lower right.

Wisconsin - Nature and Scientific Wonders

Smithsonian Magazine

The first of the state's five newly created regional nature-viewing areas, the Great Wisconsin Birding & Nature Trail is a traveler's guide to the state's best bird- and nature-watching areas. A cooperative effort linking important wildlife sites within each region, the trails blend existing roads with customized maps to guide nature enthusiasts to Wisconsin's top wildlife areas, historic sites and bike trails.

Known worldwide for its breathtaking sandstone cliffs and accessible sea caves, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is ideal for exploring historic lighthouses, logging sites, old farmsteads and tranquil private beaches. Home to stunning rock formations and six of the country's finest lighthouses, this chain of 21 islands off the shores of Bayfield offers numerous kayaking and hiking opportunities for explorers.

One of the most picturesque and least-developed areas in the Midwest, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a haven for dramatic scenery, wildlife watching and countless recreational opportunities. Established to preserve the area's natural resources and provide outdoor recreation, this national treasure boasts a hearty supply of everything from islands, valleys and cliffs to eagles, osprey and beaver. The lush landscape provides the perfect backdrop for camping, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities.

One of only 80 national scenic byways in the U.S. and the state's first, Wisconsin's Great River Road National Scenic Byway is steeped in natural resources, history, recreational activities and cultural opportunities. Encompassing 250 miles of roadway along the mighty Mississippi, the byway offers countless breathtaking views best enjoyed while meandering through quaint river towns dotted with Victorian buildings, historic sites and antique shops. A paradise for boaters and anglers alike, the region's parks and nature preserves are a favorite destination for hikers, bikers, campers and birdwatchers.

A breath of fresh pine, endless miles of hiking trails and nature- and wildlife-viewing opportunities abound in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Covering more than 1.5 million acres, the forest is located in Wisconsin's Northwoods, where dense stands of pine and hardwoods surround hundreds of lakes and rivers. Feel the cool spray from whitewater, hike along a 41-mile segment of the Ice Age Trail and observe black bears, ruffed grouse and loons in their natural habitat.

Home to one of the nation's finest glacial imprints, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,200-mile tour of Wisconsin's glacial history. One of eight scenic trails in the country, the trail offers hikers striking vistas along glacial lakes and streams, remnant prairies and former lumber camps as they meander along 600 miles of trail. Spanning the state, the trail ambles from Potawatomi State Park, south through the Kettle Morraine State Forest, north to Devil's Lake State Park and Antigo Falls and then west, ending at Interstate State Park.

A hiking path linking seven northern states, the North Country National Scenic Trail winds through Northern Wisconsin with 103 miles of exploration-ready trail. From the rocky outcroppings and overlooks of the Penokee Hills in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to the series of waterfalls and serene forests of the Copper Falls State Park, the route offers hikers no shortage of picturesque scenery.

A sanctuary for species ranging from egrets and blue heron to Whooping Crane and American White pelicans, Wisconsin's National Wildlife Refuges offer many waypoints and observation areas ideal for witnessing flora and fauna in their natural habitat. The 32,000-acre Horicon Marsh is the largest cattail marsh of its type in the U.S. and home to more than 265 bird species. Porcupines, wolves, bears and more than 220 bird species, including the training grounds for the Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project, are some of the highlights of the 44,000-acre Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. A resting grounds for migrating ducks, geese and American White Pelican, the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge is complete with a barrier-free observation deck and five-mile drive showcasing the refuge's different habitats.

Once part of Glacial Lake Wisconsin, the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge consists of more than 43,000 acres of wetlands and open water areas; pine, oak and aspen forests; grasslands; and savannahs, all of which support a rich diversity of fish and wildlife. Visitors can observe a treasure house of wildlife, including Canada geese, trumpeter swans, ducks, sandhill cranes and more than 220 other bird species, as well as deer, wild turkey, wolves, coyotes, bears, porcupines and beaver.

A short drive from Madison, Governor Nelson State Park is one of the most easily accessible parks in the Wisconsin State Park System. The 422-acre park is located on the northern shore of Lake Mendota and is a popular summertime destination providing hiking, swimming and boating opportunities. In winter, the park's hiking trails become a hotbed for cross-country skiers, while its forests and prairies draw snowshoe enthusiasts.

Covering more than 968 acres, Yellowstone Lake State Park has the unique benefit of having very few mosquitoes, thanks to its unique residents. During the summer, the park is home to more than 4,000 brown bats that roost in 31 bat houses throughout the park. As the sun begins to set, campers are treated to a spectacular display as the bats take to the sky to feed on as many as 600 mosquitoes each, virtually eliminating the population.

With 1844 first edition, Smithsonian Libraries completes its collection of Charles Darwin’s three-volume geology series

Smithsonian Insider

Smithsonian Institution Libraries has recently acquired a rare first edition of Darwin's Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands, Visited During the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle.

The post With 1844 first edition, Smithsonian Libraries completes its collection of Charles Darwin’s three-volume geology series appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

With Boats Stuck in Harbor Because of COVID-19, Will Fish Bounce Back?

Smithsonian Magazine

The commercial fishing industry has hit rough seas. In Croatia, fishing boats bob listlessly at the docks while 80 percent of the country's whitefish remains unsold. In France, safety rules designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, coupled with reduced demand because of unemployment and closed restaurants, have forced fleets to stay in port. Border closings prevent Greek fishermen from getting their fish to market. Satellite data and observations indicate activity is down as much as 80 percent in China and West Africa.

“The demand for fresh fish as well as the selling prices have collapsed,” the Mediterranean Advisory Council, a Rome-based industry group, announced in a March 23 report. Even where there is demand, such as for canned tuna in the U.S., travel constrains on crews, supplies and equipment keep the boats in the dock. “And some ports where the boats would offload or transship fish are simply closed to them,” Bill Gibbons-Fly, with the American Tunaboat Association said in a statement.

A global slowdown of the commercial fishing industry is bad news for anyone who makes their livelihood from the sea, and fishermen will no doubt suffer. However, for the world’s beleaguered fish populations—and the scientists trying to revive them—this unplanned fishing pause presents a research opportunity, one that could demonstrate a better, more sustainable way to manage the oceans in the post-COVID-19 era.

Fishing boats set sail to East China Sea for fishing on August 1, 2017 in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province of China. Over 3,500 fishing boats set off from Shenjiamen fishing harbor. (Getty Images)

Past Pauses

In the past few decades, several trends have conspired to reduce the world’s fish stocks to record-low levels. A 2019 study published in Science determined that climate change was diminishing fish populations in some areas by 35 percent and reducing the global catch by 4 percent. Meanwhile, overfishing has reduced stocks of large high-demand predators such as the Pacific bluefin tuna and Mediterranean Swordfish by about 90 percent compared to their pre-industrial fishing populations. According to annual United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization figures, fishing fleets stay out longer and return with fewer fish while consumption increases every year.

Many scientists have in the past called for moratoriums on certain species to allow their numbers to recover. For example, Daniel Pauly, an influential marine biologist and a professor at the University of British Columbia, has previously advocated for a global moratorium on high-seas fishing outside a country's exclusive economic zone to allow populations to grow back. “Let's stop and let the stocks recover,” he told me before the pandemic. “It will lead to more cost-effective fishing because we won't have to search all over for fish.”

The spread of COVID-19 has forced such a stop upon the world. The question now is what effects, if any, a slowdown will have on fish populations. A slowdown that lasts a couple of months would not have much long-lasting impact. However, if demand for fish dropped because of a wider recession, operations could take longer to restart. A slowdown of at least a year would allow most fish to go through their spawning cycle—and that may be enough for some species to flourish.

HMT Swansea Castle, a fishing trawler pressed into service during the First World War

“Most European fish stocks (whitefish, flatfish, herring) will nearly double their biomass within one year without fishing. So, reduction in catch caused by coronavirus will lead to an increase in fish biomass,” says Rainer Froese of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany. Froese says this could benefit about 40 percent of the stocks currently being overfished.

“This involuntary closure of fisheries will certainly have a beneficial effect on fish stocks, and later on fisheries,” UBC's Pauly added in an email. “The same thing happened during World War I and World War II: Our wars (another disease we have) are good for the fish.”

Indeed, past catastrophes illustrate what occurs when fishing is suddenly impossible. During WWII, many European and North American fishing boats were pressed into military service as supply or patrol vessels. For the rest, mines and submarine attacks often made it too dangerous to venture out. “The war brought temporary reprieve for ocean life and allowed commercial stocks of cod, haddock and plaice to replenish after heavy fishing pressures during the interwar period,” says a 2012 paper in Environment and Society. In Europe, catch records for some fish dropped 60 to 80 percent.

After the war, though, fishermen reaped the bounty as catch records exceeding the prewar years. The fish they caught were bigger and older, a sign of a healthy population, but the gains were short-lived—and not only because fishing resumed after the fighting stopped. The war spawned technologies like sonar that were soon applied to fishing, and catch records grew through the ensuing decades.

Where We’re Headed

In the short time commercial fishing has slowed down because of COVID-19, fish behavior has begun to change. Pauly's colleagues in China have reported that because of the decrease in fishing boats, smaller fish are appearing on the ocean surface and predators are becoming more active. Tuna that originally followed the Kuroshio Current through the China Sea to Japanese fishing grounds appear to be stopping in the China Sea for feeding.

The majority of the enormous Chinese commercial fishing fleet has been docked for a month, according to David Kroodsma, director of research and innovation at Global Fishing Watch, which monitors fishing activity via satellite. Chinese activity traditionally drops off around the Chinese New Year in January or February. This year, that slowdown coincided with the pandemic lockdown and activity never restarted. “They are down by about a million fishing hours,” Kroodsma says, adding that they are starting to see a small uptick of activity.

The pandemic shutdown presents specific overfishing dangers, according to Bradley Soule, chief analyst for the non-profit Ocean Mind. Large fishing boats that can process and freeze fish are staying out at sea. Meanwhile, the patrols that monitor them have been reduced.

“We're in the process of reviewing data right now, but anecdotally it looks like there are slowdowns in more coastal fisheries,” Soule said. “However, some off-shore fisheries look like they are going very strong. Certain fleets that are designed to stay out are not coming home and they will fish more. The cops aren't watching as closely in some areas, and everyone knows this.”

Soule remains skeptical that any benefit from a fishing slowdown would have a lasting impact because it doesn't change the main driver of overfishing: increasing human consumption. The slowdown “is a bump,” Soule said.

It's not likely that a temporary and involuntary shutdown would fundamentally alter the behavior of an entire industry. But it does offer a glimpse of what could be—and a moment's pause to consider what’s ahead.

With Breathtaking Pictures, Citizen Scientists Help Map Auroras

Smithsonian Magazine

In October, 2011, Elizabeth MacDonald from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center noticed a spike in Tweets about the dazzling show put on by the aurora borealis, according to a NASA press release. It got her thinking—what if she could add geolocation data to all those social media hits and collect them in a single database?

Enter Aurorasaurus—a project that ground truths the aurora forecasts put out by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

MacDonald and a few colleagues launched the project the next month and began signing up citizen scientists on its website, asking them to keep tabs on when and where they experienced the ethereal glow of the northern and southern lights. Now, a new paper published earlier this month in the journal Space Weathershows that the project is improving how researchers predict when and where skygazers can view that midnight glow.

After a large geomagnetic storm that hit the Earth around St. Patrick’s Day 2015 and few other smaller events, MacDonald and her team found that 60 percent of the 500 Aurorasaurus participants observed the dancing lights outside the range of visibility predicted by the Space Weather models. Researchers are using the data to produce a more accurate forecast engine.

Most current aurora forecasts are based off measurements of solar wind by NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer Satellite, according to Betsy Mason at Wired.com. Since the satellite is so close to Earth, however, it only offers about an hour’s warning before geomagnetic events. The Aurorasauraus data won’t improve early detection, but NASA says over time it will help researchers understand how to predict when and where geomagnetic events occur and how intensely those events affect the earth.

In fact, Andrea Tapia, a professor of information science at Penn State and a member of the Aurorasaurus team, tells Laboratory News that she is investigating ways of using the network of citizen scientists as an early warning system for geomagnetic events. “We can watch the sun much more accurately than we can predict its effects on Earth 93 million miles away,” Tapia says in a press release. “Our goal is to collect new data from citizen scientists and crowdsourcing to allow actionable, up-to-the-minute understanding of auroral activity.”  

But all of that is still a ways off. Until then, the project is mainly a great boon for sky watchers, with participants like Chris Ratzlaff in Calgary and Jason Grustra creating beautiful images while collecting data.

“The short term vision for Aurorasaurus is to become an interactive hub for aurora enthusiasts at the intersection of citizens and science,” MacDonald tells NASA. “Long term, this engaged community can be sustained and evolve together—and the tools can be expanded to be useful in other disciplines within our technological society.”

With Humans Away, Animals in National Parks Are Having a Ball

Smithsonian Magazine

As people stay home, animals have national parks almost entirely to themselves.

At the end of April, the Yosemite National Park Facebook page shared a video sharing the events of the last month. The video shows foxes, deer, bears and a bobcat wandering the park. Some were unusually close to the roads and other infrastructure that are usually populated with visitors. The appearance of animals in usually busy areas might prompt changes in how the space is used when the park reopens.

“As you get people off trails and reduce the amount of human activity and movement in some of these rural-urban areas, wildlife really seem to key into that,” says Montana State University wildlife researcher Tony Clevenger to Discover magazine’s Leslie Nemo.

Elk have been spotted using sidewalks in Canadian towns like Banff, near Banff National Park, CBC reports. In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, park ranger Richard Sowry spotted lions napping along the road, per the BBC. And bear sightings have increased near Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel.

“It’s not like they aren’t usually here,” Dane Peterson, who works at the hotel, told the Los Angeles Times in April. “It’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.”

The presence of humans can impact animal behavior in substantial ways, Kaitlyn Gaynor, a wildlife ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, tells Discover magazine. Her research shows that human activity, including hiking, seems to have pushed mammals, including coyotes and deer, to become more nocturnal than they are when humans aren’t around. And roads, when used frequently, cut up national park habitats, so without traffic, animals can safely cross the road to reach food, shelter and mates.

The change could be especially beneficial to bears that are now emerging from winter hibernation and looking for food. In Banff National Park, bears forage south-facing hillsides for snacks, which often leads to conflicts with tourists on the same sunny hillsides, Discover reports.

"Probably the wildlife are really rapidly getting used to having a place to themselves and using areas closer to where people would normally occur but are not found now," University of Alberta biologist Colleen Cassady St. Clair tells CBC. "So I think the big surprises are going to come when those areas reopen."

Gaynor tells Discover that human-wildlife conflicts will probably increase once shelter-in-place orders are lifted and people return to the parks. People are supposed to give national park wildlife a wide berth, exemplified by television reporter Deion Broxton’s reaction to an approaching herd of bison in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone normally opens on the first Friday in May, but this year the park remains closed with plans for a staged opening, Ruffin Prevost reports for the Billings Gazette.

Clevenger tells Discover that visitors are the primary conservation concern for the protected habitats—the National Park Service saw record numbers of visitors in total in 2016, with 330 million visits across the United States national parks. Wildlife cameras and GPS collars that were already in use before shelter-in-place orders were declared may reveal new parts of the parks that need added protection, Gaynor tells Discover.

"A lot of the animals that are known to be urban exploiters, as they're sometimes called, are really tremendously flexible in their behavior," St. Clair tells CBC. "They're masters of observing changes in their environment and they respond to them really quickly."

When parks open up again, St. Clair says, “We should be ready to cut [the animals] some slack and to use extra precautions and just double down on all the things we know we should do."

With This Smartphone Microscope, You Can Play Soccer and Pac-Man With Microbes

Smithsonian Magazine

Left. No, right. Wait, a little more to the left again. Go for it, go for it! Score!

This excited chatter could easily take place during a rowdy game of foosball, but it could also be the banter of students testing a new learning tool that mixes the thrills of the gaming world with microbiology. With LudusScope, live microbes turn into players in a soccer match or Pac-Men in a maze, which the students direct with the use of LED lights.

The open-source, 3D-printed, smartphone-integrated microscope is the brainchild of Stanford engineer Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, who developed the device in a quest to find new ways for students to interact and learn about the microscopic world that surrounds us. The inventor has been working to this end for some time, having patented an earlier setup that uses different single-celled organisms and a different stimulus.

Until now, microscopy was a sit-back-and-watch-type of activity, Riedel-Kruse explains. “You can look through a microscope and see,” he says. “But you can’t really interact with what you see.”

The LudusScope is a simplified microscope, consisting of a base that holds the sample slide. The microscope’s lenses and a bracket for viewing through a smartphone are both attached to the upper arm of the device. Once the smartphone is attached, the user opens an app. Through one view, students can measure individual microbes and track their movement.

But Riedel-Kruse and his team didn’t stop there. Not only is the sample slide illuminated from behind like many standard microscopes, but four LEDs also surround the LudusScope slide. Users can control these LEDs using an attached joystick. Add some light-sensitive microbes—Euglena, for example, which are robust and easily purchased from school supply companies—and you can actually interact with the tiny creatures. The games are basic—a Pac-Man-like game or microbe “soccer”—but allow the students to try their hand at directing a hoard of eukaryotes to do their bidding.

The name LudusScope comes from the Latin word Ludus, which is associated with games, play and school. The scope combines the engineering skills of instrument building with real-life microbe play. Teachers—or anyone interested in a little DIY microbiology—can 3D print the parts to the microscope using downloadable plans. Students can then assemble the device themselves. The final step in assembly is clamping a smartphone on top of the microscope, lining the phone’s camera up with the microscope’s eyepiece. This way, multiple students huddled around the screen can simultaneously view the larger-than-life microbes.

The team tested the scope with focus groups of both teachers and students, with the device meeting overall approval, says Riedel-Kruse. While most teachers said they would use the games to generate initial excitement, or act as a stopgap for students to play with while others finish their work, many thought the interactive components, such as measuring or tracking microbes, of the scope, as well as the possibility for students to build the device themselves were the most attractive features.

That’s likely because these games tip slightly too far to the “fun” side of the tricky balance required for successful instructive games, explains Lee Sheldon, educational game writer and designer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Sheldon was not involved in the project, but read about the LudusScope. He has developed a wide range of educational games and written several books on the topic of gamifying learning.

These game hybrids must somehow meld the world of math, science or history with the fast-paced, all-consuming experience of a video game, he explains. “It’s not an easy balancing act.”

The LudusScope is part of the growing trend of “gamifying” education. Since video games made their first appearances in homes across America during the 1970s, they’ve grown by leaps and bounds both in complexity and abundance—with the industry now valued somewhere around 1.8 trillion dollars. And as increasing numbers of students spend hours or even days adventuring through virtual worlds, educators hope to tap into the thrill of these games in their classrooms.

But this burgeoning field is still new. Game developers and educators alike are trying to figure out how to successfully gamify education. Oftentimes, explains Sheldon, these new games focus too much on extrinsic rewards—leaderboards, points, new hardware. “But what really involves the player and what really gets the students to learn without realizing it are intrinsic rewards,” he says.

These types of rewards involve teamwork and collaboration and require more than a gold star for doing a good job. “They’re not just the top dog on the leaderboard,” he says. The students are building skills as well as developing a desire to improve and succeed together.

“We get [extrinsic rewards] all the time,” he says. “We get paid for a job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we liked the job. The intrinsic reward makes it fun and makes it worthwhile. [It] creates a good, powerful emotion in the people that are involved.”

LudusScope is in its early days of development, and it is a first step to shift learning about the microscopic world from observation to actual interaction. The team is now working with an educational game company in hopes of making their games even more worthwhile and fun for future players. They are also ensuring that LudusScope aligns with Next Generation Science Standards—state-developed K-12 science content standards.

The authors also encourage others to improve upon what they have already created. “We put this paper out with all the building plans,” says Riedel-Kruse. “We hope that other people just pick this up and develop it further for their own needs and publish their modifications online.”

Sheldon, too, sees many potential applications for LudusScope.

“I’ve never found a subject matter that cannot be taught with a game,” he says.

Witness a Real-Life Wild West Buffalo Roundup

Smithsonian Magazine

Dust kicks up on a hill in the distance. The pasture vibrates, taking the abuse of thousands of feet stamping into the ground. A crowd on the other side of the range feels the energetic air and cheers in approval. The first cowboy crests the hill, snapping his whip in the air, rearing back on his horse and hollering into the wind. Three more join him, yelling and cracking whips into the widening dust cloud. A buffalo charges through the dirty mist. The leader of the pack runs down the hill with 1,300 more buffalo behind him. The crowd screams in excitement.

Every fall, this scene is repeated in South Dakota’s Black Hills during the annual Buffalo Roundup, when about 60 volunteer cowboys and cowgirls ride across the 71,000-acre range, funneling the American Bison herd into pens for vaccinations and herd maintenance before the winter season arrives. The roundup is part of a larger event with an arts and crafts festival, live entertainment, and meals. Custer State Park, where the buffalo roam, was originally founded as a game preserve in 1914, with 36 buffalo on a protected range to prevent overhunting and loss of habitat. By the 1940s, the buffalo population grew to more than 2,500. A range management plan—the Buffalo Roundup—had to be instituted to keep control of the herd and its health. The first roundup was in 1966. 

American Bison—named the national mammal earlier this year—haven't always had such booming numbers as they do here at Custer State Park. They were once nearly extinct from overhunting, but conservation efforts boosted the population to the current roughly 500,000 bison throughout the country. Custer State Park’s herd is one of the largest—second only to the herd at Yellowstone.

The Buffalo Roundup unofficially begins at 6:00 a.m. when a caravan of cars makes its way through Custer State Park to the viewing area. A pancake and sausage breakfast at 6:15 kicks off the festivities. The parking lots close at 9, and then you’re stuck until the entire herd is safely in the corrals, at about noon. Observers can either walk or take the shuttle bus to the viewing areas—the two hilltops overlook the corrals and the pasture the buffalo have their final charge through. When the show is over, most attendees eat an on-site lunch, then head out to the art festival.

Sometimes the roundup takes much longer than anticipated. Last year, the buffalo proved hard to catch. As soon as they’d arrive at the gates of the corral, the herd would linger for a moment, then about-face and run back up the way they came. The riders would turn and go after the buffalo, starting the entire process over again. Last year the herd tricked the riders four times. Each time, the crowd hollered and laughed in a joyous frenzy. It’s always more fun for the crowd when the buffalo tease the cowboys, one volunteer rider told Smithsonian.com.

Over the following four days, crews maintain the herd. They administer vaccinations to new-to-the-herd buffalo, brand the calves, check for pregnancy, and select about 200 to be sold at an auction in November. It’s all part of a management plan to keep a healthy balance between animals and available range. 

“The annual roundup and working event is the one time each year that we handle the herd,” herd manager Chad Kremer tells Smithsonian.com. “The size of the herd must be managed so that the forage resource in the park is not overgrazed.”

When the roundup isn't in full swing, the buffalo live and graze year-round in Custer State Park. Kremer's responsibility extends throughout that entire time—he maintains the herd population, runs the park's annual auction, participates in the roundup and monitors the herd's health. About 14,000 people each year gather in the park to watch the show and, thanks to Kremer, get a little education about bison safety.

“There’s the selfie movement,” he told the Grand Forks Herald last year. “People want to get a picture, and they think they have to be within five or six feet. They’re big, and they’re furry, and they look kind of cumbersome, but they can run 35 mph, and I’ve seen that bull that weighs a ton jump over a five-foot fence.” Translation: Don't get too close to the buffalo, unless you're a trained rider.

Want to come see one of the nation’s largest buffalo herds in action? This year’s event is September 30.

Wodarch's introduction to the study of conchology : describing the orders, genera, and species of shells : with observations on the nature and properties of the animals and directions for collecting, preserving, and cleaning shells

Smithsonian Libraries
"W. McDowall, printer"--Verso of t.p.

Frontispiece signed: E.A. Crouch, lithog.; other plates signed: J. Mawe.

Three leaves of letterpress are "explanation of the plates."

Plates are hand-colored.

Errata: p. [iv].

Also available online.

Elecresource

SCNHRB copy (39088013476858) with pencilled bibliographical markings on front free endpaper.

SCNHRB copy has bookplate: Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Purchased from the Alice E. Kennington Rare Book Fund.

SCNHRB copy half bound in green calf and marbled paper boards, gilt-decorated spine, red leather spine label with title in gilt.

Wodarch's introduction to the study of conchology : describing the orders, genera, and species of shells : with observations on the nature and properties of the animals; and directions for collecting, preserving, and cleaning shells / by J. Mawe

Smithsonian Libraries
"London: W. McDowall, printer"--Verso of t.p.

Plates accompanied by leaves with explanatory letterpress.

Frontispiece signed: Crouch lith., printed by Engelmann; plates I-VI signed: J. Mawe.

Plates are hand-colored.

Also available online.

Elecresource

SCNHRB copy (39088013486220) has bookplate: Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Bequest of S. Stillman Berry.

SCNHRB copy has [4] p. of publisher's advertisements bound-in at end.

SCNHRB copy has inscribed in ink on t.p.: Harriet Innes.

SCNHRB copy bound in original paper boards, spine rebacked with green cloth, original printed paper spine label; uncut.

Wodarch's introduction to the study of conchology : describing the orders, genera, and species of shells; with observations on the nature and properties of the animals : and directions for collecting, preserving, and cleaning shells

Smithsonian Libraries
Frontispiece signed: E.A. Crouch lithog.; plates I-VI signed J. Mawe.

Plates accompanied by leaves with explanatory letterpress.

Colophon: W. McDowall, printer.

Plates are hand-colored.

Includes index.

Also available online.

Elecresource

SCNHRB copy (39088013486261) has bookplate of William Healey Dall, Division of Mollusks Sectional Library. Stamped on front free endpaper and t.p.: Division of Mollusks Sectional Library.

SCNHRB copy has stamped on verso of t.p.: Smithsonian Institution National Museum Feb 20 1939 [acc. no.] 311205.

SCNHRB copy bound in recent green marbled paper boards, marbled edges; older green cloth spine, stamped in gilt at foot of spine: U.S.N.M.

Wodarch's introduction to the study of conchology: describing the orders, genera, and species of shells: with observations on the nature and properties of the animals; and directions for collecting, preserving, and cleaning shells

Smithsonian Libraries
"W. McDonall, printer ... Gough Square"--P. [6] (2nd group).

Frontispiece is signed: E.A. Crouch lith.; printed by W. Day; J. Mawe, 149 Strand.

Also available online.

Elecresource

SCNHRB copy 39088010383586 has bookplates: Alfred Wallis, Esq., F.R.S.L. ... Heavitree, Exeter; Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Purchased from the Cullman Endowment; pencil autograph of a former owner is on front free endpaper: Gertrude H. Wallis, June 4, 1916.

SCNHRB copy has some pencil and ink notes, apparently made by booksellers, on front free endpapers.

SCNHRB copy has old brown paperboard binding with ms. ink spine label.

Wolbachia modification of sperm does not always require residence within developing sperm

Smithsonian Libraries
Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacteria known to manipulate the reproduction of their arthropod hosts. Wolbachia commonly affect the sperm of infected arthropods. Wolbachia-modified sperm cannot successfully fertilize unless the female is infected with the same Wolbachia type. A study of spermatogenesis in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis reveals that Wolbachia are not required in individual spermatocytes or spermatids to modify sperm. In N. vitripennis, Wolbachia modify nearly all sperm, but are found only in similar to 28% of developing sperm, and are also found in surrounding cyst and sheath cells. In the beetle Chelymorpha alternans, Wolbachia can modify up to 90% of sperm, but were never observed within the developing sperm or within the surrounding cyst cells; they were abundant within the outer testis sheath. We conclude that the residence within a developing sperm is not a prerequisite for Wolbachia-induced sperm modification, suggesting that Wolbachia modification of sperm may occur across multiple tissue membranes or act upstream of spermiogenesis.

Wolf Tracker

Smithsonian Magazine

In the summer of 2005, Austrian-born field biologist Gudrun Pflueger set out on a quest to find the elusive Canadian coast wolves. With only an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 wolves inhabiting the dense forest along some 15,500 miles of shoreline, she scoured the coast of British Columbia by boat and foot in hopes that the rivers, bubbling with salmon during the spawning season, would draw the wolves into her view. Just before the end of her six-week expedition, she experienced her longed-for encounter. A small pack of wolves spotted her in a field, crept up close to her as she lay passively in the grass and ultimately accepted her presence, staying close for about an hour. Pflueger— the focus of a Smithsonian Channel documentary titled "A Woman Among the Wolves"—talks about her forays into the wild and her unique connection with wolves.

What first drew you to studying the Canadian coast wolves?
My interest in wolves started mainly because I heard about a wolf research and education organization [Central Rockies Wolf Project] based out of Canmore in the central Canadian Rockies. I wanted to support them so I sponsored or bought a partnership for one of their radio-collared wolves. If you do that you get an update about what your wolf is up to, where she's traveling and what she's experiencing. Suddenly I got this update that even if she was in a national park, wolves face high human-caused mortalities. Wildlife is under pressure because more and more people move to wild places. I actually introduced myself to this organization, and they hired me as a volunteer for snow tracking the Kootenay National Park wolf pack. I loved it so much that I decided that I'd like to make that my career. Since I was just about finished with my master's degree in biology in Austria, I thought once I'm done, I'll return to Canada and try to find another similar wolf research project. It happened that I met Chris Darimont, who leads the Coastal Wolf Research Project. He said he was just establishing a new wolf project, and the rest is history. 

What makes them such an elusive pack?
First of all, the access. As a human, getting into their landscape and environment is already hard. But that's our problem. The forest is very thick, and they spend most of their time in the forest. They come out, however, along the beaches when there's low tide and along the rivers, mainly when the salmon run. They very rarely have human contact. Just in the last years, some sport hunters and outfitters moved into this area because wildlife turned out to be pretty easy to hunt or to shoot. Outfitters just went along the shorelines with their boats and shot from the boats and that made them [the wolves] very, very vulnerable and also very spooked by boats. They learn very quickly. They're social animals. They live in a pack, and if someone has a bad experience, it gets passed on to other individuals and other generations pretty quickly. That was really a high threat they started to encounter because they were pretty naïve to human hunting.  The Raincoast Conservation Society bought the hunting outfitter license off the local outfitters. So the conservation society—and this is unheard of worldwide—is now also a big outfitter in Canada. Of course, they won't shoot wolves and bears.

Can you describe what it took for you to get to the area of B.C. for the film?
It's one of the wildest areas in the whole of Canada, and surely along the whole coast of North America. There are no roads and very few small native communities that are all just accessible by boat or by small float planes. Since I was working in this area already for three summer seasons, we started to think: what's the best way to travel around to find wolves? We have to be mobile. The captain of the sailboat we hired was a long-term friend and supporter of our wolf research so for me it was a no-brainer to ask him.  We went with maps, and just by looking at certain topographies you can kind of predict, okay, this could be a potential wolf site, this could be a potential estuary where salmon spawn.  We contacted lots of local people—local river walkers and the local communities—because the people who live there are the most connected to the land.

Image by Gudrun Pflueger. Just before the end of her six-week expedition, Gudrun Pflueger experienced her longed-for encounter. A pack of wolves surrounded her in a field and began to play. "I always try to find better words, but all that I can come up with is calm and just very wonderful," says Pflueger. "They just accepted me." (original image)

Image by Matthey Film Production. In a remote estuary on the northern coast of British Columbia, Gudrun Pflueger howls to attract coast wolves. On learning how to mimic the "eerily beautiful" howl, Pflueger says, "Mainly [I'd practice] when I was by myself in the car driving along the highway when no one can listen." (original image)

What was your average day like on the trip?
They were long days. Especially when we found some wolves, we got up around 4:30 a.m., had a quick breakfast on the boat and then went on land and set up a blind. Then there was lots of waiting. Then during the days we did lots of traveling, just hopped off in high amounts of bays and rivers to check for any kinds of wolf signs.

Why is it important to make human contact with the wolves?
I highly believe that due to all our technology—remote cameras, satellite, collaring, DNA samples—we get a very good theoretical idea about wildlife but the good old classic observation of what we actually study is getting less and less. It's a worldwide trend. Observation is very time consuming, and time is money. Nowadays, we want to have data right away and in high concentration. But I really think that good observation of our animals is still a very important and necessary part of understanding them so we know what they need, why they need it and to make good decisions on how to protect them and their habitats. It's especially interesting in a very social animal like the wolf.  There are some sociologists who state that the social behavior of wolves is even closer to that of the human than that of the primate.

Was this your longest foray into the wild looking for the coast wolves?
I always came back to some kind of hut or park warden cabin. The longest I've camped out was five months, but every second week, I'd come out to get groceries or gas and stuff. To really get in tune with nature, it takes me a few days. The longer you are uninterrupted, just in the rhythm of nature, the easier it is to become in tune and pick up and see more and smell more and just open all your senses. When you are returning in the evening to a civilized place, it kind of slows this process down a bit.

And all you bring for protection is insect repellant and pepper spray?
I believe that if you carry around a shotgun or a gun, you approach it with the wrong mindset. We have a saying in German, which translated word for word is something like "The tone you shout into the forest, it echoes back." So if you carry around a rifle, it means ‘I am ready for fighting you.' I am sure that animals pick that up and approach someone with a rifle more aggressively than an unarmed, harmless person.

How close had you gotten to a coast wolf prior to this trip?
Two to three times actually I surprised wolves while I was walking on their wolf trails. Again, it's a very dense forest so we kind of ran into each other. It's always by surprise. That was the big difference with the film because I was sitting in the open and they saw me from a distance and decided to come towards me.

Watch this video in the original article

How did you feel lying in the field with the wolves surrounding you?
I always try to find better words, but all that I can come up with is calm and just very wonderful. I felt like I was just lying in the air, that it was ok, that whatever happens now it's okay. The situation kind of carefully evolved. It was always their decision to come closer and closer. They didn't rush. They took their time. They tried to smell me. They tried to figure out with all their senses what I was and what I was for them — if I was harmful or harmless. They never showed any sign that they would even remotely consider me as prey.

Their approach towards me was a very new situation. Even for them this was a very new situation. They really kept their structure. The younger wolves stayed behind and came later on—basically, when they got the green light from the alphas. So it was really interesting to see and to document how they started to relax and to play beside me even when I sat upright. They just accepted me. They know when they have to spend the energy running away, chasing something away or threatening something. In this case, they decided it was not necessary to spend their energy on dealing with me.

Did you go into this thinking that you could be risking your life?
Some things like that you just can't plan for. It just happened. The cameraman and his soundman were far away. They were on the other side of the river beyond the fringe of the forest so the wolves didn't know there were more people there. They told me afterwards that they started to be uneasy and had thoughts like what if something goes wrong in the next second, we are too far away to help her in any way. For whatever reason, it was never in my mind.

What do you hope people take away from the film, "A Woman Among Wolves?"
I hope I give them a realistic image of the wolf. At the beginning [of the film], you see wolves attacking bear and chasing caribou. In the last century, most everywhere it was the big bad wolf, threatening whatever is ‘civilized.' It was a very dark, negative image. Just in the very last decade, suddenly wolves took on another image; they became a symbol of freedom, grace and diminishing wild places. So positive attributes. But the wolf itself is an animal, and it doesn't care about all that. We tend to categorize things in good and bad; nature doesn't.

I have to ask. How did you learn how to mimic the wolf's howl?
A wolf howl—and you can ask anybody who's ever heard one—gives you goose bumps. It still gives me goose bumps. I'm not sure what it is, if it's the frequency or just the tone. It's eerily beautiful.

With other research colleagues you kind of talk about what's the typical characteristics of the wolf howl. So mainly [I'd practice] when I was by myself in the car driving along the highway when no one can listen. It's bizarre and kind of ironic.

Woman Dressing

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Woman observing flowers

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Woman with back to observer playing samisen

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Woman's Linen Skirt (Mosi Chima)

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
"Late 19th century. Linen. The skirt is blue and the waistband and the tying string white. Chima may be long or short, narrow or wide requiring fewer or more pleats, lined or unlined and varicolored, depending upon the prescribed styles associated with certain occasions, seasons and age of the wearer. A dress skirt can have gold-leaf stamped decorations along the hemline (Kim, 1988b: 482 for style variations). This wraparound skirt has a full-length opening and overlaps on the left side, with only a small amount of the material tucked into the waist band. Hough makes the curious observation that: "The appearance of this garment has led Korean women to say that they dress like western women." Bernadou Field Notes 123 "... Tch'ma [chima] or dress of blue cotton stuff. This is put on like a long apron, the strings taken around the waist and fastened behind. In walking, the folds are generally gathered by hand and tucked under the waistband." Collected in Seoul. Ref: Hough Korean Catalog p. 449; Bernadou Field Notes 123" [from: "An Ethnography of the Hermit Kingdom: The J.B. Bernadou Korean Collection 1884-1885", Chang-su Cho Houchins, 2004, number 34]
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