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Wright Tornado T-3, V-12 Engine

National Air and Space Museum
Type: Reciprocating, 12 cylinders, V-type, water-cooled

Power rating: 447 kW (600 hp) at 1,800 rpm

Displacement: 31.9 L (1947.48 cu in.)

Bore and Stroke: 146 mm (5.75 in.) x 159 mm (6.25 in.)

Weight): 526.2 kg (1,160 lb)

Wright Model T (for Tornado) development began in 1922 with a displacement of 32 liters (1947 cubic inches) and rated at 391 kW (525 shp); maintaining a reputation for many years as one of the most efficient water-cooled engines yet produced. T-3 development, produced in direct-drive and geared versions, began in 1923. It powered the Wright X0-3 Mohawk biplane, built for the 1924 Army competition for an experimental observation aircraft. However, proving to be overweight and under-powered for Army use, it failed to make the minimum required performance. Subsequently, for many years, this aircraft was used by Wright for engine flight testing.

The T-3 was also installed in place of a Liberty engine in three Douglas DT-2 torpedo bombers redesignated as SDW-1A; and a variation known as the T-M successfully introduced for marine work. Application in the Pulitzer Prize Race and Schneider Cup Race was not particularly successful, with two accidents suffered in the latter.

Writing Is Memory

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

“When I write, I am flying,” says Armenian calligrapher Ruben Malayan.

Pen poised on paper, eyes intent, he breathes as if aligning his body with his mind. When his hand graces the page, ink flies over paper in a dance of strokes and curves. Like choreography, there is rhythm and melody in the way he writes—as if the script were embodied in his person.

His words do not lie flat on the page. Instead, the letters appear alive, and the space between and around the letters feels charged. “Negative space,” he explains, “creates the air within which the letter lives and breathes.” To him, the written word is powerful because it is both image and text. The calligrapher’s art is to contemplate and create both form and meaning.  

“When I write, I often make the words slightly difficult to read. I want the brain to wrestle with the form in order to understand the living shape of a word.”

Words like journey and freedom, never cease to fascinate him. Like mantras, he writes the words over and over again. For both writer and reader, their meaning is always in flux.

Malayan grew up in Armenia in a home full of art. His late father, the renowned painter Petros Malayan, taught at the State Institute of Fine Arts of Armenia.

“As a boy, I would look at my father’s art books every night before falling asleep,” he recalls. “I was fascinated by the prints of the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. His pictures were so lively, and the Japanese writing filled my imagination. I could not read it, but the symbols excited me. I have been captivated by letterforms ever since.”

Camera and interview: Albert Tong
Story and editing: Kaylie Connors
Music: The Secret Trio
Photos: Ruben Malayan

After studying fine arts and graphic arts in Yerevan, Malayan moved to Israel and began working as an art director in Tel Aviv. His work involved developing digital typography, yet Malayan often found himself writing by hand.  All fonts, he explains, have calligraphic roots. “The experiment happens on paper.” He left the commercial world and began to teach himself calligraphy. In the absence of a tutor, once again, books became his teachers. He studied ancient illuminated manuscripts and scoured scholarly publications to teach himself the history of Armenian writing.

The earliest forms of Armenian calligraphy exist in illuminated Christian manuscripts. The alphabet, developed by linguist and ecclesiastical leader Mesrop Mashtots in 405 CE, allowed for both the recording and dissemination of theology to Armenians. A written language also protected Armenians against linguistic dominance in a region that, over centuries, fell to Byzantine, Persian, Ottoman, and Soviet rules.

Malayan is now one of two calligraphers left in Armenia. Last July, he demonstrated his artistry to an eager audience on the National Mall for the Armenia: Creating Home program at the Folklife Festival. For Armenian American visitors, his calligraphy seemed particularly meaningful. An Armenian American woman approached him to say, “These letters are sacred. And they’re ours.”  Her comment, though seemingly minor, reflects Armenia’s emotional relationship with its script.

Yet his experience at the Folklife Festival does not reflect general attitudes toward calligraphy and penmanship, which Malayan finds distressing and tragic. He routinely faces misconceptions of calligraphy as nostalgic handwriting in period style and penmanship as a decorative yet ultimately superfluous skill. Letter culture, he says, is suffering. 

Armenian calligrapher Ruben Malayan
Artwork by Ruben Malayan
Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Today, we type, tap, and swipe on keyboards and touchscreens. With smartphones and laptops, we send emails and texts, draft essays and reports. In the digital age, communicating messages and recording information has never been easier or faster. Typed letters all look the same—serif and sans serif. “Our writing is so impersonal. Now we all push the same buttons.” We still use letters, but we no longer create them.

“Handwriting is profoundly expressive,” Malayan urges. “Your handwriting is unique to you. Even a simple note that says, ‘Don’t forget the milk!’ will look different from person to person.”

Knowingly or unknowingly, we all make decisions on how to draw letters—from the size and spacing to the shape of a curve, or the speed with which we write. Our focus, posture, and breathing also affect our handwriting. Words penned by hand embody our individual traits, creating an almost intimate imprint of the self on the page. Malayan insists that handwritten words carry the writer’s emotion and energy—regardless of whether the text was penned yesterday or a thousand years ago.

“Writing is memory, both individual and collective,” he says. “When we write, we are intentionally making a record. We are putting down what matters to us—words we want to remember.” To him, written text is memory embodied and the act of writing expresses a will to remember. Early religious texts and current news stories alike are pieces of memory—expressions of lived experience. From the ancient world to the internet age, he believes all writing is connected. Although our tools and materials have changed, writing continues to record and shape our human story.

Armenian calligrapher Ruben Malayan
Ruben Malayan’s booth at the Folklife Festival was lined with canvases.
Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Throughout that story, certain changes have endangered calligraphy traditions. In addition to the digital shift, Malayan says that the widespread popularity of the ballpoint pen in the 1960s had a detrimental effect on calligraphic traditions. With a ballpoint, writing by hand required less skill than with a fountain pen. Regardless of the direction or orientation of the pen, the width of line remained consistent. The convenience was unparalleled and the ballpoint eventually became ubiquitous around the world. As a result, “we lost the plasticity and elasticity of lines, and many traditional scripts were no longer produced,” Malayan laments.

Now, sustaining the art of Armenian calligraphy requires considerable effort. Malayan believes the revival of letter culture will start in the classroom. In fact, he thinks children are unique in that they take the alphabet seriously. As kids learn to read and write, they examine the shapes of letters, learn the sounds they make, and practice drawing freeform symbols. Though penmanship has been increasingly phased out of formal education, schools provide an opportunity for revival. Malayan is currently developing a comprehensive first-of-its-kind primer to support those who wish to learn Armenian calligraphy. He plans to found a school where students can learn Armenian calligraphic traditions as well as experiment with letterforms.

Currently, Malayan is an adjunct lecturer at the American University in Yerevan. In his visual communications course, he teaches his students to generate and express visual ideas. His students are English majors with little to no background in the arts. Yet his curriculum, which draws from calligraphy and typography, is practice-based. Over the course of a semester, his students must learn formal composition—proportions, contrasts, and balance—to create works of their own.

“After developing technical skill comes the question of substance,” he says. Beautiful letters are not enough. An artist must have something to say. “If I have nothing significant to say, I will not write a word. We don’t need more visual pollution.”

Armenian calligrapher Ruben Malayan
Ruben Malayan demonstrates his art for visitors at the Folklife Festival.
Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

For Malayan, advertising exemplifies visual pollution. Billboards, commercials, pop-ups, and flyers plaster our daily lives with consumerist messaging. “Ads are often sexy, funny, or visually appealing. Some use cheap tricks, others are well thought out campaigns. But the message is the always same: buy.”

Discourse and dialogue have little relevance in consumer culture. Malayan urges his students to consider visual messaging that contributes to a larger public conversation. For their final projects, he tasked them to create a poster that responded to the following question: what message is urgent for you to say to Armenia, to the world? This is Malayan’s call to action: to participate in visual culture not as consumers but as citizens.  

During the protests of the recent nonviolent revolution, Malayan worked round the clock to create placards to fuel demonstrations and marches. He felt a sense of responsibility not only to reflect his personal opinions, but also to echo those of others. He observed and listened to the way political discontent played out in the public and private realm. “I wanted to capture what we all were feeling, what was on our minds,” he says.

In this way, his efforts were both anthropological and activist in nature. His work created a feedback loop, capturing the public sentiment and expressing it back on the street. Along with the compelling slogans, his posters featured eternal words like freedom and journey.

Armenian calligrapher Ruben Malayan
“Journey,” created by Ruben Malayan at the 2018 Folklife Festival.
Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Maya Potter is a cultural sustainability project assistant at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. At the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, she worked with Ruben Malayan and other artisans in The Workshop to facilitate craft activities and classes for the public.

Wye Level

National Museum of American History
This precise level is marked "J. Kern Aarau" and "U.S.C.&G.S. #36." It has a high-power inverting telescope and a delicate striding bubble level. A mirror above the level lets the observer read the bubble with one eye while sighting the rod with the other. A micrometer screw under one wye permits fine adjustments. This was made by J. Kern of Aarau, Switzerland, whose precise levels had been recommended by the International Geodetic Commission in 1864. To enhance his position in the American market, Kern mounted a display at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. This example was made after 1878, when the U. S. Coast Survey became the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and before 1889, when J. Kern began trading as Kern & Cie. Ref: Randall Brooks and Heather Bajdik, "Precise Levels in Surveys of North America," Rittenhouse 10 (1996): 48-57.

X-ray flares observed by Chandra are asteroids being torn to pieces in a black hole

Smithsonian Insider

A new study provides a possible explanation for the mysterious flares. The suggestion is that there is a cloud around Sgr A* containing hundreds of trillions of asteroids and comets, which have been stripped from their parent stars.

The post X-ray flares observed by Chandra are asteroids being torn to pieces in a black hole appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

Xochimalco, Mexico, 1895

Smithsonian Field Book Project
The drawings and notes document the field work of William Henry Holmes in Xochimalco [Xochimilco], Mexico, during 1895. Drawings depict layouts of buildings and portions of the deserted settlement, structural details of buildings, sections, terrain. Drawings often contain detailed annotations. Field notes are headed with location and describe observations and measurements.

Xyrichtys splendens

NMNH - Vertebrate Zoology - Fishes Division
Adult. SL = 36 mm.

Xyris platylepis Chapm.

NMNH - Botany Dept.

YES! Intern 2012 - Tho Tran

National Museum of Natural History
Observing dental and skull structure under a microscope to identify an unknown specimen. Image courtesy of Tho Tran. By Tho Tran, YES! 2012 Intern Where are you from and what brings you to the Museum? My name is Tho Tran, and I am a rising sophomore from Annandale High School...

YOU HELP BUILD THE B-29

National Air and Space Museum
Photo Relief Halftone/Screen print: Black and white photographic image superimposed on blue, white, red, and black military aviation print promoting aircraft production. Photographic image of a B-29 with illustration of moving propellers, and a black and white schematic illustration of the plane's components on a blue background.

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.

Copyright Disclosure for Orphaned Works

Whenever possible, the museum provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in its records and other texts related to the collections. For many of the images in this collection, some of which were created for or by corporate entities that no longer exist, the museum does not own any copyrights. Therefore, it generally does not grant or deny permission to copy, distribute or otherwise use material in this collection. If identified, permission and possible fees may be required from the copyright owner independently of the museum. It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when copying, distributing or otherwise using materials found in the museum's collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected materials beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Users must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

If you have any more information about an item you've seen in the Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection, or if you are a copyright owner and believe we have not properly attributed your work to you or have used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact pisanod@si.edu with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.

View more information about the Smithsonian's general copyright policies at http://www.si.edu/termsofuse

Yawning Spreads Like a Plague in Wolves

Smithsonian Magazine

Chimps do it, birds do it, even you and I do it. Once you see someone yawn, you are compelled to do the same. Now it seems that wolves can be added to the list of animals known to spread yawns like a contagion.

Among humans, even thinking about yawning can trigger the reflex, leading some to suspect that catching a yawn is linked to our ability to empathize with other humans. For instance, contagious yawning activates the same parts of the brain that govern empathy and social know-how. And some studies have shown that humans with more fine-tuned social skills are more likely to catch a yawn.

Similarly, chimpanzees, baboons and bonobos often yawn when they see other members of their species yawning. Chimps (Pan troglodytes) can catch yawns from humans, even virtual ones, as seen in the video below. At least in primates, contagious yawning seems to require an emotional connection and may function as a demonstration of empathy. Beyond primates, though, the trends are less clear-cut. One study found evidence of contagious yawning in birds but didn’t connect it to empathy. A 2008 study showed that dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) could catch yawns from humans, and another showed that dogs were more likely to catch the yawn of a familiar human rather than a stranger. But efforts to see if dogs catch yawns from each other and to replicate the results with humans have so far had no luck.

Now a study published today in PLOS ONE reports the first evidence of contagious yawning in wolves (Canis lupus lupus). “We showed that the wolves were able to yawn contagiously, and this is affected by the emotional bond between individuals, which suggests that familiarity and social bonds matter in these animals the same way as it does in humans,” says study co-author Teresa Romero, who studies animal behavior at the University of Tokyo.

The prevalence of contagious yawning in primates and other mammals could give us some clues to the evolution of empathy—that’s in part what makes the phenomenon so interesting and so controversial. If dogs can catch yawns from humans, did they pick up the behavior because of domestication, or does the trait run deeper into evolutionary history?

The Tokyo team took a stab at those questions by looking at contagious yawning in dog’s closest relatives, wolves. For 254 hours over five months, they observed twelve wolves (six males and six females) at the Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo. They kept tabs on the who, what, when, where, how many and how long of every yawn, then separated out data for yawns in relaxed settings, to minimize the influence of external stimuli.

Next, they statistically analyzed the data and looked for trends. They found that wolves were much more likely to yawn in response to another’s yawn rather than not, which suggests that contagious yawning is at play.

In image A, an individual (right) yawned during a resting period, and a few seconds later, image B shows the subject (on the left) yawned contagiously. (Teresa Romero)

Wolves were more likely to catch the yawn if they were friends with the yawner. Females were also quicker on the yawn uptake when watching the yawns of those around them—possibly because they’re more attuned to social cues, but with such a small group it’s hard to say for sure.

The results seem to add to the case for empathy as the primary function of contagious yawning. “We have the strongest responses to our family, then our friends, then acquaintances, and so on and so forth,” says Matt Campbell, a psychologist at California State University, Channel Islands. “That contagious yawning works along the same social dimension supports the idea that the mechanism that allows us to copy the smiles, frowns and fear of others also allows us to copy their yawns.”

Empathy likely originated as an ancestral trait in mammals, and that’s why it emerges in such disparate species as wolves and humans. “More and more research is supporting this idea that basic forms of empathy are very ancient, and they are present in a wide number of species, at least in mammals,” says Romero. Elephants, for example, comfort their upset friends. Even rats exhibit a basic helping behavior toward other friendly rodents.

Why does contagious yawning between members of the same species show up in wolves and not dogs? The difference probably comes down to study design, not biology. "Most likely, dogs also catch yawns from [other dogs], as now shown for wolves," says Elaine Madsen, a cognitive zoologist at Lund University in Sweden. Further studies might reveal the extent to which human interaction has affected present-day dogs' susceptibility to catching another species' yawns, she says.

It’s impossible to say what true function contagious yawning serves in wolves, but the researchers argue that such behavior could cultivate social bonds. “If an individual is not in sync with its group, it risks being left behind. That is not good,” says Campbell. Just watching wolves yawn can’t definitively prove that empathy drove the behavior, but it's certainly compelling evidence that wolves might feel for their fellow lupines.

Year of the Pig

Smithsonian Magazine

For billions of people, January 1—the traditional start of the New Year for those following the Gregorian calendar—is just a simple dress rehearsal. The fall of the Waterford crystal ball in Times Square, those earnest declarations of short-lived resolutions, Dick Clark's New Year’s Rockin' Eve, for many, these are not the hallmarks of a new year. The real festivities begin when, according to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, the new moon makes its appearance in the night sky, marking the start of the Chinese New Year. China and many other East Asian countries like Vietnam, Korea and Mongolia will celebrate the lunar New Year on February 18.

Chinese New Year, one of three, state-sanctioned "golden" weeks of holidays in China, is primarily a time for family reunion, prompting what will become the world’s largest human migration. Hundreds of millions of people in China, and hundreds of thousands elsewhere, hurry back to their hometowns for the celebrations. Many will camp out at terminals and stations in order to obtain a coveted ticket home on cramped buses, boats and trains. China's railways alone are expected to carry over 150 million people during the course of the 15-day festival.

The celebration stems from an ancient Chinese legend about a man-eating beast called Nian. To scare off the predatory creature, people covered their homes with the color red and filled the air with loud noises. Those very traditions led to the first New Year celebrations, which have continued for over 5,000 years. Observers today still paint parts of their homes red, hang red paper couplets expressing sentiments of wealth and happiness, and set off thousands of exploding firecrackers. Other traditions include the giving of red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults, family-filled feasts of dumplings, chicken and fish and parades of dancing dragons and lions.

Every Chinese New Year is associated with one of the 12 animals found in the Chinese zodiac: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. One legend explains that in order to determine the order of the animals, the gods decided to hold a race across a river. Whoever finished first would be the head of the cycle. The clever rat won by jumping on the back of the ox, who was leading all the other animals. The pig was very lazy and finished last.

2007 is the Year of the Pig, or better yet, a "golden pig year" which only comes around every 60 years. A baby boom is expected to hit parts of Asia with many parents trying to conceive and give birth during the auspicious year. It is believed that a child born during this lucky time will have a happy and wealthy life. Countries like South Korea, suffering from low birth rates, are hoping to capitalize on the special occasion. Said South Korea health ministry official Shin Min-sik in recent news reports, "We hope this golden pig year will bring more babies."

One doesn't have to go abroad to participate in one of the biggest holidays in the world. Chinese New Year has made its presence felt in countries like the United States, where large populations of ethnic Chinese have made their home. The Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, originating in the 1860s during the California Gold Rush, is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Many Americans will gather to watch a parade featuring martial arts groups, stilt walkers, lion dancers and a 200-foot long, brightly colored dragon followed by an explosion of 600,000 firecrackers. Now who wouldn't want to celebrate New Year's all over again?
 

Year of the Rat

Smithsonian Magazine

For billions of people, January 1—the traditional start of the New Year for those following the Gregorian calendar—is just a simple dress rehearsal. The fall of the Waterford crystal ball in Times Square, those earnest declarations of short-lived resolutions, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, for many, these are not the hallmarks of a new year. The real festivities begin when, according to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, the new moon makes its appearance in the night sky, marking the start of the Chinese New Year. China and many other East Asian countries like Vietnam, Korea and Mongolia will celebrate the lunar New Year on February 7.

Chinese New Year, one of three, state-sanctioned "golden" weeks of holidays in China, is primarily a time for family reunion, prompting what will become the world's largest human migration. Hundreds of millions of people in China, and hundreds of thousands elsewhere, hurry back to their hometowns for the celebrations. Many will camp out at terminals and stations in order to obtain a coveted ticket home on cramped buses, boats and trains. China's railways alone are expected to carry over 150 million people during the course of the 15-day festival.

The celebration stems from an ancient Chinese legend about a man-eating beast called Nian. To scare off the predatory creature, people covered their homes with the color red and filled the air with loud noises. Those very traditions led to the first New Year celebrations, which have continued for over 5,000 years. Observers today still paint parts of their homes red, hang red paper couplets expressing sentiments of wealth and happiness, and set off thousands of exploding firecrackers. Other traditions include the giving of red envelopes filled with money to children and unmarried adults, family-filled feasts of dumplings, chicken and fish and parades of dancing dragons and lions.

Every Chinese New Year is associated with one of the 12 animals found in the Chinese zodiac: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2008 is the Year of the Rat. One legend explains that in order to determine the order of the animals, the gods decided to hold a race across a river. Whoever finished first would be the head of the cycle. The clever rat won by jumping on the back of the ox, who was leading all the other animals.

One doesn't have to go abroad to participate in one of the biggest holidays in the world. Chinese New Year has made its presence felt in countries like the United States, where large populations of ethnic Chinese have made their home. The Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, originating in the 1860s during the California Gold Rush, is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. Many Americans will gather to watch a parade featuring martial arts groups, stilt walkers, lion dancers and a 200-foot long, brightly colored dragon followed by an explosion of 600,000 firecrackers. Now who wouldn't want to celebrate New Year's all over again?

Years 1895-1904

Smithsonian Field Book Project
Covers preparations for field work, as well as travel May – August 1895 to Alaska. Entries are dated, and usually a few sentences in length. They describe travel details and route, accommodations, people with whom worked, weather, daily activities, short descriptions of field work collecting fossils (including names of individuals with whom collected), short observations of locations where collected.

Yes, Lions Will Hunt Humans if Given the Chance

Smithsonian Magazine

Earlier this week, a female African lion attacked and killed a 29-year-old American woman on safari outside Johannesburg, South Africa. It's a tragedy, but given what zoologists know about lions, not one that's totally unexpected.

While visiting a lion reserve on a car tour, the woman rolled her window down to take some pictures, according to Brent Swails and Dana Ford of CNN. She likely did not see the lioness approach. The animal stopped three feet from the vehicle before lunging through the window. A guide, who was also in the car, tried to fight the animal off, sustaining injuries to his arm. Staff chased the lioness away, and the woman died at the scene. Signs in the park warn visitor to keep their windows rolled up, and the part has had previous incidents stemming from open windows.

While the facts of the attack are horrible, the lioness didn't do anything that's inconsistent with her biology, as Mary Bates explains for National Geographic. Lions are extremely accomplished predators and adept hunters. For them, humans count as prey. Ignoring their prowess in this department is a big mistake. Luke Dollar, a conservation scientist who directs the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative, told Bates. "Almost any organism around lions might be a potential prey item, and for people to think that they are an exception is folly" Dollar said.  "I would imagine that every other primate that co-exists with big cats is acutely aware of the position they hold relative to the top predators of the world."

Given the intersection of tourism and conservation at sites like the lion park, humans sometimes acquire a false sense of security. As society expands to less developed areas, humans, lions and other predators have also inevitably crossed paths more frequently.

Since not all attacks are reported, it's hard to put numbers on the number of lion attacks seen globally. Estimates range from 20 to 250. Tanzania has the highest population of lions in Africa, and between 1990 and 2004, the country saw 593 deaths and 308 injuries from African lion attacks.

Aside from lack of awareness on the part of the human, there are a few things that might drive a lion to attack a human. The first and most obvious is hunger. Without horns or fangs, humans also look like easier targets to older or sick lions. In certain instances, females might perceive humans as a threat to their cubs. If the animal is injured, it also might feel threatened by the presence of a human.

Though an investigation of the attack continues, park officials told SABC News that they do not plan to execute the lioness involved in this week's attack. Instead, she will be moved to a private part of the park.

Dollar told Bates he hopes that the attack can at least raise awareness among tourists and encourage people to be careful while out observing the impressive predators in the wild.

Yes, Tropical Forests Tragically Burned This Summer, but Here’s What You Can Do

Smithsonian Magazine

In August, the world’s attention turned towards the fires in the Amazon, and even as those continued to burn, fires erupted across Borneo and Sumatra. Alarm is warranted—the estimated emissions from burning to date of more than one billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) will have a greater impact on Earth’s climate than if every U.S. adult drove an additional 30 miles per day for a year. And that loss is not reversible within the time frame remaining to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, or live with severe consequences of warming over 1.5 degrees Celcius.

These numbers don’t count the risk of upsetting regional and even global rainfall generated by these great forests pumping water into the atmosphere. They don’t count the fact that we’re losing some of Earth’s most biodiverse forests. They don’t include the infringement these fires have had on the one million indigenous peoples living in the Amazon, including uncontacted communities, that are seeing their lands burned and their homes threatened. And they don’t account for the sickening of thousands of people—especially children—subjected to smoke that turned skies black in Brazil and red in Indonesia.

Although this year's fires are dying down, such events happen every year, with some years worse than others. It is critical that we understand the significance of these fires and how we can best respond. Solving this problem will require collective awareness and action.

This problem isn’t caused so much by the people of Brazil—a country that I’m honored to have married into; my husband is from the small town of Itaquara, Bahia—or the people of other tropical countries. People from these countries have far more to lose than we do in North America.

In fact, the fires are driven by consumption patterns here and around the world. The tragedy is that only a few people—or corporations—gain at the expense of just about everyone else on the planet—and of course at the expense of incredibly biodiverse and climatically important forests.

Much of the burning is linked to deforestation, and sometimes the fire spreads beyond land being torched for agriculture into the surrounding forest. In the Amazon, deforestation is being driven by a sudden increase in demand for soy, and encouraged in Brazil by anti-environmental rhetoric. In southeast Asia, it’s driven primarily by expansion of the palm oil, pulp and paper industries.

The Amazon, the world’s largest tropical forest, is often referred to as the lungs of the world, and while the forest does produce a lot of oxygen, a much more critical function is its ability for “breathing in” and storing the carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise be in the atmosphere and contribute to warming.

If we examine a typical patch of Amazonian rainforest the size of a parking spot, about 9- by 18-feet, the living trees that have been growing there over the decades or centuries have removed 615 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere. The dead organic materials and the soils contain an additional 470 pounds that would be vulnerable to loss upon deforestation.

When the trees are felled and subsequently burned and the land converted to agricultural use, this carbon is immediately or eventually released as CO2, along with the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) in the smoke. Moreover, the forest stops sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2).

But it goes beyond carbon. As forests “breath” in CO2, they release water vapor to the air. Like human sweating—this water vapor cools the land surface as liquid water is converted to vapor.

Altogether, the climate cost of clearing this parking spot-sized forest patch would ultimately be about equivalent to driving a car with average U.S. gas mileage approximately 5,500 miles—about the distance of a round trip between New York City and San Diego, California. And the 2019 Amazon fires burned more than 1.2 billion parking spot spaces, much of which was previously intact rainforest.

Much of the burning is linked to deforestation, and sometimes the fire spreads beyond land being torched for agriculture into the surrounding forest. (Getty Images, NurPhoto, Contributor)

Further still, the water vapor that’s been released by the “breathing” of the forest goes on to form clouds and, eventually, precipitation elsewhere. In our parking space-sized patch of forest, trees draw water from the soil and release it as vapor to the atmosphere at a rate of about 10 gallons per day. This moisture is absorbed by air passing over the Amazon, and this air will eventually produce at least twice as much rain as air that has not passed over extensive forest.

Much of this precipitation falls within the Amazonian region, and some of it falls elsewhere in South America—especially regions to the southeast, including Brazil’s most populous and agriculturally productive region. But the precipitation travels further still. Through global “teleconnections” in the climate system, the moisture produced by the Amazon influences global circulation patterns, affecting growing season precipitation in the Midwestern U.S. and snowfall in California and the Pacific Northwest.

And this is where it gets really serious. If too much of the Amazon is lost, this critical moisture pump will weaken and may become insufficient in providing the needed moisture to the remaining forest, resulting in a feedback cycle of drying, forest loss and further drying. This drying could affect agricultural regions elsewhere in Brazil, impacting millions.

How much forest loss would push us over this dangerous tipping point? Scientists who are best equipped to make a judgement call on this critical estimate are saying that the forest that we have right now is right at the size that it needs to be. We can’t afford to lose much more of it.

And that’s just the climate story.

The Smithsonian-led Forest Global Earth Observator (ForestGEO) has three large forest research plots in the Amazon—Amacayacu in Colombia (above), Yasuni in Ecuador and Manaus in Brazil. (Pipe Jiménez)

These forests are incredibly diverse. The Smithsonian-led Forest Global Earth Observator (ForestGEO), for which I lead the Ecosystems and Climate research program, has three large forest research plots in the Amazon—Amacayacu in Colombia, Yasuni in Ecuador and Manaus in Brazil. In any one of these plots, each roughly 62 acres in size, there are as many as 1,000 different species of tree, more than in all of North America combined. Because there’s little species overlap across sites, the three plots together have about three times as many species. The entire Amazon Basin has an estimated 16,000 tree species. That’s just trees—other biological taxa have outstanding diversity as well. This biodiversity isn’t even fully characterized yet; only about 70 percent of the tree species in our ForestGEO plots have been fully identified, and biological expeditions are constantly discovering new species. We don’t even know what we’re losing, but we do know that this incredible biodiversity is important for maintaining ecological function—particularly under a changing and more extreme climate—and that it provides multiple ecosystem services.

The tropical forests of Indonesia are similarly valuable for climate, biodiversity and people. These are peat forests, which have the highest climate regulating values on a per-area basis of any ecosystem on Earth—more than three times that of Amazonian tropical forest. Once again, the flora of the region is highly diverse and includes the world’s tallest tropical trees, and the fauna includes orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos and elephants.

The scale of this problem is enormous. There are no quick and easy solutions. In the immediate term, the loss of so much Amazonian and southeast Asian forest is an unmitigated disaster. But how can we take this tragedy—and the attention it brings to the issue of tropical deforestation—and use it as a lesson?

An important first step is understanding how tropical forests worldwide, climate, and the food and other products that we consume are all interconnected on the global scale. Collectively we can have a real impact.

Land is an increasingly limited resource, and how we use it has a big impact on our climate, as has recently been documented in the IPCC report on climate change and land. “Human use directly affects more than 70% (likely 69-76%) of the global, ice-free land surface,” the report points out. “Land also plays an important role in the climate system.”

There’s a fundamental competition between using land for agriculture, which altogether contributes 21 to 37 percent of total net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting or restoring forests, which of course are valuable for protecting Earth’s climate. Agricultural land emits greenhouse gases—primarily the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide as a biproduct of nitrogen fertilizer and methane from enteric fermentation by cattle and sheep—and of course it also takes up land that could be covered by forest.

What we eat can have a big impact on our carbon footprint. According to a recent study summarized in a New York Times interactive report, meeting the typical body’s need for about 50 grams of protein per day through beef for one year would have about the same climate impact as driving all of the way around the Earth, whereas getting the same protein from tofu, nuts or beans would have a small fraction (less than four percent) of this climate cost.

Conserving mature forests, with their enormous climate regulation values, is among the most effective things we can do to slow climate change, and forest restoration is also effective, as young, rapidly growing forests suck a lot of CO2 out of the air. Allowing tropical forest regrowth in a parking space-sized patch of land has a climate impact over 50 years as avoiding driving about 2,000 miles.

There are ways to help, including supporting groups that buy and protect forested land in the tropics. For the price of a fast food hamburger or a latte, you can protect enough land in the Peruvian Amazon to offset over 9 million driving miles.

While it is impossible to live in a modern society without consuming products that have contributed to deforestation or other environmental damage, being aware of what’s behind various products can allow us to make choices that reflect our values. Responsible consumer choices add up to a real impact, and consumer pressure can and does alter business practices for the better.

Take the time to do research and find information on how various products and companies score in terms of their impact on environment and human rights. Product labeling campaigns, such as the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal helps to indicate rainforest-safe products. The Forest Stewardship Council identifies responsible sources of forest products. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certifies more sustainable palm oil practices. And the Bird Friendly coffee certification of the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center helps to identify more sustainable alternatives.

The 2019 fires in the Amazon and southeast Asia greatly surpassed those in the two previous years and this is deeply disturbing. The forces driving this are powerful. However, we all face everyday choices that matter, and choosing to forego a hamburger and instead donate $5 to conserve Amazonian forest will make a difference.

ForestGEO postdoctoral fellows Nobby Kunert, Daniel Zuleta and Camille Piponiot made contributions to this article.

Yet Another Study Finds No Link Between Measles Vaccine and Autism

Smithsonian Magazine

A study of more than 600,000 children in Denmark has found that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella does not increase a child’s risk of developing autism, adding to a substantial body of evidence that refutes some parents’ fears about a possible connection.

The new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is one of the largest of its kind, according to NPR’s Rob Stein. Using data from population registries, researchers looked at 657,461 children born in Denmark between 1999 and 2010; the children were followed from the age of one until August 2013. Ninety-five percent of the young study subjects were vaccinated, reports Lisa Rapaport of Reuters. Of the children involved in the study, 6,517 were diagnosed with autism.

But the researchers did not find any increased risk of autism in children who received the MMR vaccine, compared to those who did not. Crucially, the study authors also looked at subgroups of children considered susceptible to the disorder due to several risk factors, like having siblings with autism and being born prematurely. “A concern about observational studies is that they do not often take into account the possibility of MMR vaccination triggering autism in susceptible subgroups of children,” the study authors acknowledge. But even among these subgroups, the researchers did not observe any connection between MMR vaccination and autism risk.

Fears about possible connections between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder can be traced back to a now-retracted 1998 Lancet study, involving only 12 children. The study was led by the British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, who was later banned from practicing medicine after Britain’s General Medical Council concluded he had shown “callous disregard” for children in his work. After the paper’s publication, it was revealed that Wakefield had been paid by a law firm hoping to sue the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine, and that he had “altered or misrepresented” his results, according to CNN’s Edith Bracho-Sanchez.

Subsequent studies have repeatedly found no link between the MMR vaccine and increased autism risk. However, so many parents have nevertheless declined to vaccinate their children that the World Health Organization deemed “vaccine hesitancy” one of its top ten global health threats for 2019. Just last month, a measles outbreak sparked a state of emergency in Washington state, and experts are concerned about the possibility of other outbreaks in “hotspots” of vaccine opposition across the country. If a high percentage of a given population is immunized, the MMR vaccine can protect even those who are not immune. But as little as a five percent reduction in “vaccination coverage” could triple the number of measles cases in the United States, one study found.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can have serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. In some cases, these complications prove fatal. And as the new study and others like it indicate, there is no reason for parents to put their children at risk of contracting this illness due to autism fears.

“We believe that our results offer reassurance and provide reliable data on which clinicians and health authorities can base decisions and public health policies,” the researchers write.

Or as Anders Hviid, lead study author and epidemiologist at the Staten Serum Institute in Copenhagen, succinctly summarized in an email to NPR’s Stein: “MMR does not cause autism.”

You Are What You Buy

Smithsonian Magazine

At a Wal-Mart, James Twitchell, professor of 19th-century poetry at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, is energized as any dedicated scholar would be upon entering an archive packed with new material. Twitchell loves this stuff so much that he has switched from teaching and writing solely about Romantic poetry to buzzier issues, such as adolescents wearing dungarees slung low to reveal their Joe Boxers, and whether the Jolly Green Giant is an avatar of Zeus.

His study of mass culture, especially advertising, began 15 years ago, when he was teaching a class on the Romantic poets. "I suddenly realized my students had no interest in what I had to say." He asked them to complete a line from Wordsworth: "My heart leaps up when I behold a ______ in the sky." Nobody could supply the missing "rainbow," but his students could flawlessly recite the contents of a Big Mac: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun.

"It was an epiphany," he says, and he was determined to find out why the stuff his students knew was so powerful that it pushed his stuff out of the way.

Since then, he has been observing himself, his family and his colleagues, students and neighbors. He has invited himself into advertising agencies and has explored advertising's history. And he has learned that the average adult now encounters some 3,000 advertisements every day, from bus flanks to messages over the telephone as the caller waits on hold. He has probed the impact of all that mass marketing in such works as ADCULTUSA and his latest book, Twenty Ads That Shook the World.

"My own take," he says, "is that humans love things and we've always been materialistic, but until the Industrial Revolution only the wealthy had things now the rest of us are having a go at arranging our lives around things."

You Belong

National Air and Space Museum
Offset Photolithograph: Multicolor National Guard recruiting print. Reproductions of pen and ink/watercolor sketches of Charles Lindbergh Atlantic flight and reception in France; next to each sketch, artist has handwritten description of scene; Missouri National Guard logo at bottom left; primarily green, brown, pink, mauve ink on yellow paper.

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.

Copyright Disclosure for Orphaned Works

Whenever possible, the museum provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in its records and other texts related to the collections. For many of the images in this collection, some of which were created for or by corporate entities that no longer exist, the museum does not own any copyrights. Therefore, it generally does not grant or deny permission to copy, distribute or otherwise use material in this collection. If identified, permission and possible fees may be required from the copyright owner independently of the museum. It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when copying, distributing or otherwise using materials found in the museum's collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected materials beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Users must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

If you have any more information about an item you've seen in the Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection, or if you are a copyright owner and believe we have not properly attributed your work to you or have used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact pisanod@si.edu with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.

View more information about the Smithsonian's general copyright policies at http://www.si.edu/termsofuse

You Can Now Download 150,000 Free Illustrations of the Natural World

Smithsonian Magazine

Botanical illustrations offer mesmerizingly detailed and vividly colored glimpses of the natural world. Now, reports Hakim Bishara for Hyperallergic, more than 150,000 such artworks are freely available for download via the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an open-access digital archive that preserves images and documents related to botany, wildlife and biodiversity.

Captured in watercolor paintings, lithograph prints and black-ink linework, the collected illustrations demonstrate the diversity of Earth’s wildlife as observed over hundreds of years. The BHL’s earliest texts date to the mid-1400s; its digital collection includes illustrations as recently created as the early 1900s.

The practice of creating detailed illustrations of flora and fauna, whether to document an expedition or a medical practice, gained popularity well before photography was up to the task. Even today, an illustration can offer more clarity than a photograph.

Small red Siberian apples from New York (Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library)

“An illustration can show various parts of a plant at the same time, something a photo really can’t,” Robin Jess, director of the New York Botanical Garden’s Botanical Art and Illustration program, told the Associated Press’ Katherine Roth in 2019. “It can show extra details of the fruit, for example, and what it looks like bisected.”

Founded in 2006 by a consortium of natural history libraries, among them the Smithsonian Libraries, the BHL launched its online portal the following year. Then 300 titles strong, the database has since grown to more than 200,000 volumes, 150,000 illustrations and information on some 150 million species. Per Hyperallergic, selections range from animal sketches to historical diagrams and botanical studies.

Collected illustrations and digitized pages of preserved plants, called herbaria, provide insights for researchers studying the ways plants have adjusted to a changing climate. Other works, like the zoological sketches of Joseph Wolf, show how societal norms have shaped the ways people imagine animals.

Joseph Wolf's African Elephants reflects a Victorian family structure rather than actual wild elephant behavior. (Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library)

Wolf illustrated two volumes of rare animals depicted in their natural environment rather than the London zoo where they actually lived. In one lithograph, a trio of African elephants stands by a river. As BHL’s Elisa Herrmann points out in a blog entry, the illustration “reflects the ideal of a Victorian family,” with two parents and a child, but fails to capture actual wild elephant behavior. Unlike what’s shown in the illustration, bull elephants are rogue, and adult female elephants have tusks.

The Flora Graeca, compiled by botanist John Sibthorp between 1806 and 1840, exemplifies the importance of illustrators’ field notes. Described by 20th-century botanist W.T. Stearn as “the most costly and beautiful book devoted to any flora,” the text features drawings printed with hand-colored engraved plates based on Austrian artist Ferdinand Lukas Bauer’s trove of 1,000-plus field sketches.

The BHL is currently cataloging thousands of field books in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Smithsonian Libraries and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Since the project began in 2010, the group has cataloged more than 9,500 field books and digitized some 4,000.

Estimates of the number of animals lost in Australia's recent wildfires do not include insects. (Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library)

In its mission statement, the BHL cites swiftly changing ecosystems and extinctions as reasons for bringing together a body of knowledge about biodiversity that may help researchers track how the world is changing today. In the wake of Australia’s wildfires, for instance, scientists could make use of this 1907 catalog of Australia’s insects.

Today, writes Adrian Higgins for the Washington Post, botanical illustrators are “rare and becoming as endangered as some of the plants they draw.” The fruits of their labor, however, have and continue to be “essential” for botanists detailing new species or assembling lists of regions’ native plants.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Jess of the New York Botanical Garden explained, “Contemporary botanical artists share a concern for the environment, particularly in light of climate change, as well as for drawing attention to plants.”

You Can Now Get High-Speed Internet on the Moon

Smithsonian Magazine

The Moon may now have a better wireless signal than your local coffee shop. In a test last fall, NASA and MIT researchers showed off a fancy new rig that uses pulses of laser light to shoot data across the vast distances between Earth and our satellite some 238,900 miles away. The results of this first test are set to be presented by the researchers at a conference on June 9th, says Wired UK.

NASA's laser-based long-distance internet has been under development for the past 3 years, and last fall it was put to the ultimate long-distance upload test, says the Optical Society:

The team made history last year when their Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) transmitted data over the 384,633 kilometers between the moon and Earth at a download rate of 622 megabits per second, faster than any radio frequency (RF) system. They also transmitted data from the Earth to the moon at 19.44 megabits per second, a factor of 4,800 times faster than the best RF uplink ever used.

A 19.44 megabits per second upload speed is not only much faster than the radio frequency data transmission typically used in space exploration, it's actually nearing the upper end of what you can get at home, according to Yahoo. A 10 to 15 megabit per second transfer speed gives you more than enough juice to stream high definition TV or have video chats. Downloading from the Moon to the Earth was even faster, with transfer speeds pushing 622 megabits per second.

The setup required to get NASA's space laser internet to work is a bit different than just running some ethernet cables, though, says Wired UK. The system uses four satellites in New Mexico to shoot pulses of infrared laser light across 238,900 miles.

Though the high-speed transfer rates could theoretically be used to stream movies to bored Moon-bound astronauts, the system could actually have some really important uses. Higher data transfer speeds means that larger and better images and satellite observations can be streamed back to Earth in near real time, which could potentially revolutionize everything from forest fire monitoring to weather prediction to solar flare tracking.

You Can Still Stay a Night at These Grand Hotels From the Gilded Age

Smithsonian Magazine

"It may add years to one's life to spend a season in the mountains," crowed one 1902 brochure about America's Rocky Mountain resorts. Another extolled the health benefits of spa visits for Victorian city slickers with "weak hearts, disabled lungs, and worn-out nerves." Colorado's pioneering role as a wellness destination has left it today with a rich concentration of stately Victorian hotels, including the Stanley in Estes Park, the Cliff House in Manitou Springs and the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs—plus such creative originals as Dunton Hot Springs, a ghost town that has been reborn as a quirky boutique hotel property.

But Colorado's resorts were part of a broader American phenomenon. By the end of the 19th century, as taste for domestic travel flourished, every beach, mountain or hot spring across the country seemed to sprout a grand hotel offering luxuries once only seen in Europe, with rates starting at a princely $3 a day for lavish room, haute cuisine and high tea. Housing up to 1,800 guests, these hotels were like self-contained miniature cities, with shops, gardens, courtyards and marble driveways. One awe-struck French traveler observed in 1887 that these sumptuous resorts were destinations themselves, becoming to Americans "what cathedrals, monuments and the beauties of nature are for us."

Sadly, as holiday tastes changed, many of these plush hotels could not keep up. Some were demolished during the Great Depression, others burned to the ground (most were made of wood and went up like tinder boxes), still others were taken over by the military during World War II. Americans' tastes shifted, and most hotels that clung to their 19th century fashions went broke, unable to maintain their vast structures and grounds. "Hotels have to change with the times, or the public will pass them by," observes Chris Donovan, the official historian of the famed Hotel del Coronado (built in 1888) in San Diego. "It's not colonial Williamsburg!"

And yet, despite this Darwinian travel climate, a surprising number of Gilded Age resorts have managed to endure into the 21st century, often after pulling back from the brink of disaster or bankruptcy. These great survivors offer travelers a rare chance to immerse themselves in Old World pleasures amongst luxuries that have been updated for contemporary tastes. The following are some of the era’s classics.

You Give Him Wings!

National Air and Space Museum
Offset Photolithograph/Screen print: Multicolor print of painting; image: pilot getting into plane, lumber pile in foreground.

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.

Copyright Disclosure for Orphaned Works

Whenever possible, the museum provides factual information about copyright owners and related matters in its records and other texts related to the collections. For many of the images in this collection, some of which were created for or by corporate entities that no longer exist, the museum does not own any copyrights. Therefore, it generally does not grant or deny permission to copy, distribute or otherwise use material in this collection. If identified, permission and possible fees may be required from the copyright owner independently of the museum. It is the user's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when copying, distributing or otherwise using materials found in the museum's collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected materials beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Users must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use.

If you have any more information about an item you've seen in the Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection, or if you are a copyright owner and believe we have not properly attributed your work to you or have used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact pisanod@si.edu with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.

View more information about the Smithsonian's general copyright policies at http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
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