Skip to Content

Found 14,366 Resources

"... the Smithsonian is just the coolest thing ever ..."

National Museum of Natural History
Recorded onsite at NMNH's Centennial exhibit.

"... this has always been known as 'Daddy's Museum' and eventually 'Grandpa's Museum'"

National Museum of Natural History
Recorded onsite at NMNH's Centennial exhibit.

"A Right To The City" Symposium | "Facing the Future: Working Toward Equity in Our Cities"

Anacostia Community Museum
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum presents... "A Right to the City: The Past & Future of Urban Equity" Symposium PANEL - "Facing the Future: Working Toward Equity in Our Cities" October 26, 2018 What are the most pressing challenges facing urban communities today, and what strategies and opportunities exist for ensuring a more just future for our cities? MODERATOR Ramon Jacobson, Acting Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) PANELISTS Amanda Alexander, Founding Executive Director, Detroit Justice Center Gloria Bruce, Executive Director, East Bay Housing Organizations Dominic Moulden, Resource Organizer, ONE DC (Organizing Neighborhood Equity DC) Judge Victoria Pratt, Former Chief Judge, Newark Municipal Court (NJ)

"A Right To The City" Symposium | "From Urban Renewal to Gentrification"

Anacostia Community Museum
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum presents... "A Right to the City: The Past & Future of Urban Equity" Symposium PANEL - "From Urban Renewal to Gentrification: Planning, Housing, and Neighborhood Change" October 26, 2018 What policies and processes have been transforming cities, suburbs, and their neighborhoods in the 50 years since the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act? MODERATOR David Freund, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park PANELISTS Howard Gillette, Prof. of History Emeritus, Rutgers University — Camden Kimberley Johnson, Prof. of Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University Nancy Mirabal, Associate Prof. of American Studies and Director of U.S. Latina/o Studies, University of Maryland, College Park Gregory Squires, Prof. of Sociology and Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

"A Right To The City" Symposium | "Neighborhood Power: Organizing in the Aftermath of Civil Rights"

Anacostia Community Museum
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum presents... "A Right to the City: The Past & Future of Urban Equity" Symposium PANEL - "Neighborhood Power: Organizing in the Aftermath of Civil Rights" October 26, 2018 How have neighborhoods and communities been organizing for equity and justice in the midst of rapidly changing cities? MODERATOR Tanvi Misra, Staff Writer, CityLab — The Atlantic Panelists Amanda Huron, Associate Prof. of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of District of Columbia Rosemary Ndubuizu. Assistant Prof. of Africa American Studies, Georgetown University Diane Wong, Assistant Prof. and Faculty Fellow, New York University

"A Right To The City" Symposium | Keynote Conversation with Dr. Scott Kurashige

Anacostia Community Museum
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum presents... "A Right to the City: The Past & Future of Urban Equity" Symposium KEYNOTE - Conversation with Dr. Scott Kurashige October 26, 2018 A discussion of Dr. Kurashige's book, "The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit" (University of California Press, 2017). Dr. Scott Kurashige is a professor of American & Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington Bothell. He is also co-author (with Grace Lee Boggs) of "The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century." MODERATOR Dr. Samir Meghelli, Senior Curator, Anacostia Community Museum

"Alma (Soul/Spirit)" by Agustín Lira from Songs of Struggle and Hope

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
More info: http://goo.gl/L1OZML Smithsonian Folkways presents Songs of Struggle & Hope, featuring songs from the farmworker and Chicano Power Movement of the 1960s as well as new creations that speak to social justice. A powerhouse social activist, Agustín Lira spun out songs that fueled the pioneering political theater group Teatro Campesino. “Alma (Soul/Spirit)" became a Chicano anthem during the 60s, and the title works as both a salutation to the audience and a question about what is happening to them historically.

"Anoche Estuve Ilorando" by Hermanos Herrera

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Watch Hermanos Herrera perform "Anoche Estuve Ilorando" The gut-wrenching, cry-provoking canción ranchera is omnipresent in Mexican culture on both sides of the US–Mexico border. The Hermanos Herrera take their jarocho sound to parties and social occasions of all sorts, and this classic ranchera, written by the late, famed singer/songwriter Cuco Sánchez, takes you there. When the three voices come in at the refrain, audiences erupt with heartfelt "gritos" (yells). Learn more and purchase 'Sones Jarochos y Huastecos y Más:' https://folkways.si.edu/hermanos-herrera/sones-jarochos-y-huastecos-y-mas Driven by their family’s devotion to traditional music, the Mexican American siblings Hermanos Herrera immersed themselves in a quarter century of mentorship by pillar performers of son huasteco and son jarocho, two favorite forms of Mexico’s rich musical heritage. They then applied their passion to the music, supercharging signature sounds with their own sentiment and an aggressive approach to playing the regional instruments of Veracruz harp, huapanguera and jarana guitars, and the distinctive Huastecan-style violin. In this debut Folkways album, they make their mark on musical gems popular on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. 48 minutes, 40-page booklet with bilingual notes. This album is the 46th in the Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions Series of Latino music albums, produced with support from the Smithsonian Latino Center. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hermanos.herrera/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HermanosHerrera Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hermanosherrera/ Website: http://www.hermanosherrera.com/ Smithsonian Folkways: http://www.folkways.si.edu/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Folkways Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/smithsonianfolkwaysrecordings/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smithsonianfolkways/ The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy (/www.si.edu/copyright/). Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.

"Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" Behind-the-Scenes

National Air and Space Museum
Over 500,000 people joined us on the National Mall on July 19 and 20, 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 in spectacular fashion. The "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" projection show unfolded on the face of the Washington Monument and supporting screens, telling the story of the iconic mission from launch to landing and beyond. Let us take you behind the scenes of how a projection show of this scale comes together, featuring interviews with the Air and Space team and the creators of the show, 59 Productions. Go for the Moon was made possible by the generous support of Boeing, with additional support from Raytheon.

"Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" Full Show

National Air and Space Museum
Over 500,000 people joined us on the National Mall this July for the Apollo 50: Go For the Moon projection show on the Washington Monument. You can now relive this once-in-a-lifetime celebration in full. Go for the Moon captures the excitement of the first Moon landing and tells the story of the iconic Apollo 11 mission from launch to landing and beyond. "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" was commissioned by the National Air and Space Museum and produced by 59 Productions. The Museum's Apollo 50 programming was made possible by the support of Boeing with additional support from Raytheon. Apollo50.si.edu

"Art and Money; or, the Story of the Room": Whistler, the Peacock Room, and the Artist as Magus

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
"Art and Money; or, the Story of the Room": Whistler, the Peacock Room, and the Artist as Magus Sally-Anne Huxtable Lecturer in Design History, Department of Arts University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne Palaces of Art: Whistler and the Art Worlds of Aestheticism Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art October 27--28, 2011

"Baby Born Today" by Elizabeth Mitchell and Friends (from The Sounding Joy)

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
"The Sounding Joy" available here: http://goo.gl/hcoMOt The Sounding Joy is a spirited collection of folk carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger's 1953 songbook American Folk Songs for Christmas. Featuring Elizabeth Mitchell and a luminary list of her musical family, friends, and neighbors, this album celebrates the spirit of community and homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas. Natalie Merchant, Aoife O'Donovan, Amy Helm, John Sebastian, Dan Zanes, Happy Traum, and many others including special guest Peggy Seeger all add their voices to pay tribute to a collection revered in the canon of American Music. From the liner notes: This song is a "shout"—a traditional part of the all-night Watch Night services held on Christmas Eve at churches in the South. In Ruth's own words: "Song and sermon and prayer flow back and forth with little break from one to the other. Leader and group are joint worshipers and makers of song. A short phrase of music and a brief refrain fill long spaces of night, with each minute detail of the Christmas story lined out—new lines improvised, old lines remembered." Performed and recorded live at the The Pewter Shop at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. Performers: Amy Helm Byron Isaacs Daniel Littleton Natalie Merchant Mike Merenda Elizabeth Mitchell Simi Stone Ruthy Ungar Directed by Kale Kaposhilin Director of Photography: Chris Rahm Camera Operator: Ben Fundis Assistant Director / Gaffer: John Butters Recording Engineer: Guthrie Lord Editor: Chris Rahm Mixing Engineer: Guthrie Lord A Production of Evolving Media Network The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy (/www.si.edu/copyright/). Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.

"Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor" Symposium

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The simplified forms of Bill Traylor's artwork belie the complexity of his world, creativity, and inspiring bid for self-definition in a segregated culture. Join us for an afternoon of discussions and lectures on topics related to the exhibition, Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor. Exhibition curator Leslie Umberger leads a distinguished group of scholars who provide new insights and information abut how one man's visual record of African American life gives larger meaning to the story of the nation. Support for the Margaret Z. Robson Symposium Series is provided by Douglas O. Robson.

"Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Bill Traylor (ca. 1853–1949) is regarded today as one of the most important American artists of the twentieth century. A black man born into slavery in Alabama, he was an eyewitness to history: the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration, and the steady rise of African American urban culture in the South. Traylor would not live to see the civil rights movement, but he was among those who laid its foundation. Starting around 1939—by then in his late eighties and living on the streets of Montgomery—Traylor made the radical steps of taking up pencil and paintbrush and attesting to his existence and point of view. The paintings and drawings he made are visually striking and politically assertive; they include simple yet powerful distillations of tales and memories as well as spare, vibrantly colored abstractions. When Traylor died in 1949, he left behind more than one thousand works of art.

"Blue Clouds" by Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower from Smithsonian Folkways

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Purchase this recording from Smithsonian Folkways and support our mission as the non-profit record label of the national museum of the United States: http://www.folkways.si.edu/elizabeth-mitchell/blue-clouds/childrens/music/album/smithsonian The title-track from Elizabeth Mitchell's fourth Smithsonian Folkways album was written by her husband Daniel as a lullaby their daughter (and band-mate) Storey. Over the course of six beautiful albums in nearly 15 years, Elizabeth Mitchell has invited listeners to join her, husband Daniel Littleton, their daughter Storey, and other friends and relatives to become part of an extended musical family. On Blue Clouds (out October 23), she raises her special kind of family-centric music to new heights by bringing clarity and beauty to a surprising range of songs. The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy (/www.si.edu/copyright/). Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.

"Blue Clouds" by Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower from Smithsonian Folkways

Smithsonian Institution
Purchase this recording from Smithsonian Folkways and support our mission as the non-profit record label of the national museum of the United States: http://www.folkways.si.edu/elizabeth-mitchell/blue-clouds/childrens/music/album/smithsonian The title-track from Elizabeth Mitchell's fourth Smithsonian Folkways album was written by her husband Daniel as a lullaby their daughter (and band-mate) Storey. Over the course of six beautiful albums in nearly 15 years, Elizabeth Mitchell has invited listeners to join her, husband Daniel Littleton, their daughter Storey, and other friends and relatives to become part of an extended musical family. On Blue Clouds (out October 23), she raises her special kind of family-centric music to new heights by bringing clarity and beauty to a surprising range of songs. The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy (/www.si.edu/copyright/). Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.

"Bright Morning Stars" by Abigail Washburn and Ih Tsetsn

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Information of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival: http://www.festival.si.edu Inner Mongolian music ensemble Ih Tsetsn and American banjo player Abigail Washburn decided to meet on stage for a cross-cultural collaboration on the Appalachian folksong "Bright Morning Stars" at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Videography: Ed Fry, David Barnes, Abby Sternberg Editing: Charles Weber [Catalog No. CFV10651; Copyright 2014 Smithsonian Institution]

"Bristlebots" with Space Explorer Anousheh Ansari

National Air and Space Museum
STEM in 30 hosts, Marty and Beth build simple painting robots out of the heads of toothbrushes with a special guest, Anousheh Ansari. For more FREE teacher resources from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum visit STEM in 30, the museum's Emmy nominated TV show for middle school students: https://airandspace.si.edu/stem-30

"Chasing the Moon" Panel Discussion - Highlights

National Air and Space Museum
Highlights from a panel discussion about the upcoming film series Chasing the Moon. Chasing the Moon, a film by Robert Stone, reimagines the race to the Moon for a new generation, upending much of the conventional mythology surrounding the effort. National Air and Space Society Members got a preview of the film and heard from experts involved at this special member evening.

"Check One" – Regie Cabico

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Read more: http://festival.si.edu/blog/five-minutes-of-political-theater-an-interview-with-spoken-word-poet-regie-cabico Production: Emma Cregan [Catalog No. CFV10926; Copyright 2017, Smithsonian Institution]

"Color in a New Light" Sneak Peek on Periscope

Smithsonian Libraries
On January 20th, 2016, we hosted a live Periscope broadcast to get a behind-the-scenes look at our new exhibit, "Color in a New Light". Exhibit curator Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi and book conservator Vanessa Haight Smith explained more about the exhibit, what books will be featured and the preservation work that goes in to displaying books. Learn more about "Color in a New Light" at http://library.si.edu/color

"Combing" Through Light May Give Us Faster, More Powerful Internet

Smithsonian Magazine

Fiber optic cables make up the backbone of modern communications, carrying data and phone calls across countries and under oceans. But an ever-expanding demand for data—from streaming movies to Internet searches—is putting pressure on that network, because there are limits to how much data can be pushed through the cables before the signal degrades, and new cables are expensive to build.

Now a team at the University of California, San Diego, might have a solution by borrowing a technique used in other fields as a measurement tool: the frequency comb. These laser-based devices allowed the team to remove distortions that would usually appear before the signal got to the end of a cable. The researchers sent data further than ever before—7,456 miles—without the need to boost the signal along the way.

If their experimental technique holds up in the real world, fiber optic cables would need fewer expensive repeaters to keep signals strong. In addition, greater signal stability within a data stream would mean more channels could be stuffed into a single transmission. Right now, a fundamental trade-off in fiber optics is the more data you want to transmit, the shorter the distance you can send it.

Fiber optic signals are simply encoded light, either generated by a laser or an LED. This light travels down thin glass cables, reflecting off their inside surfaces until it comes out the other end. Just like radio broadcasts, a laser beam will have a certain bandwidth, or range of frequencies, it covers, and a typical strand of fiber optic cable can carry more than one bandwidth channel.

But the signals can't travel forever and still be decoded due to so-called non-linear effects, specifically the Kerr effect. For fiber optics to work, the light inside the fiber has to refract, or bend, a certain amount as it travels. But electric fields will alter how much glass bends light, and light itself generates a small electric field. The change in refraction means that there are small changes in the wavelength of the transmitted signal. In addition, there are small irregularities in the glass of the fiber, which isn't an absolutely perfect reflector.

The small wavelength changes, called jitter, add up and cause cross-talk between the channels. The jitter appears random because a fiber optic transmission carries dozens of channels, and the effect on each channel is a bit different. Since the Kerr effect is non-linear, mathematically speaking, if there's more than one channel you can't just subtract it—the calculation is much more complex and nearly impossible for today's signal processing equipment. That makes the jitters hard to predict and correct.

"We realized that the fuzziness, ever so slight, causes the whole thing to appear as though it is not deterministic," says Nikola Alic, a research scientist from the Qualcomm Institute at UCSD and one of the leaders of the experimental work.

In the current fiber optics setup, channel frequencies have to be far enough apart that jitter and other noise effects don’t make them overlap. Also, because the jitter increases with distance, adding more power to the signal only amplifies the noise. The only way to deal with it is to put costly devices called repeaters on the cable to regenerate the signal and clean up the noise—a typical transatlantic cable has repeaters installed every 600 miles or so, Alic said, and you need one for each channel.

The UCSD researchers wondered whether they could find a way to make jitter look less random. If they knew exactly how much the wavelength of light in every channel would change, then they could compensate for it when the signal got to a receiver. That's where the frequency comb came in. Alic says the idea came to him after years of working in related fields with light. “It was sort of a moment of clarity,” he says. A frequency comb is a device that generates laser light at lots of very specific wavelengths. The output looks like a comb, with each "tooth" at a given frequency and each frequency an exact multiple of the adjacent ones. The combs are used in building atomic clocks, in astronomy and even in medical research.

Alic and his colleagues decided to find out what would happen if they used a frequency comb to calibrate the outgoing fiber optic signals. He likens it to a conductor tuning an orchestra. “Think of the conductor using a tuning fork to tell everyone what the middle A is,” he says. The team built simplified fiber optic systems with three and five channels. When they used the comb to calibrate the outgoing signal wavelengths, they still found jitter, but this time, all the channels were jittering in the same way. That regularity allowed the signal to be decoded and sent at a record distance with no repeaters. “It makes the process deterministic,” says Alic, whose team reports the results this week in Science.  

Sethumadhavan Chandrasekhar, distinguished member of the technical staff at the global telecom company Alcatel-Lucent, is one of many scientists who have been working on the fiber optic jitter problem for a number of years. His published work involves transmitting phase-conjugated signals—two signals that are exactly 180 degrees out of phase with each other. This setup means that any of the nonlinear effects that cause noise would be canceled out.

The UCSD work is important, but it isn't a complete solution yet, Chandrasekhar says. "What is missing is that most systems now have dual polarization," he says, meaning that the systems boost capacity by sending light signals that are polarized differently. "Most systems today transmit information in the two polarization states of light, and the UCSD team needs to demonstrate that their technique works as well under such a transmission scenario," he says.

Alic says that the team's next set of experiments will address that very issue. So far, they think this technique can be adapted for real-world use, though it will require building and deploying new hardware, which will take time. Either way, increasing the reach of signals will allow for a much more aggressive build-out, yielding more data and more distance without worries over signal loss. "There's no reason to be afraid anymore," he says.

"Cradle Hymn" by Elizabeth Mitchell and Friends (from The Sounding Joy)

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
"The Sounding Joy" available here: http://goo.gl/hcoMOt The Sounding Joy is a spirited collection of folk carols drawn from Ruth Crawford Seeger's 1953 songbook American Folk Songs for Christmas. Featuring Elizabeth Mitchell and a luminary list of her musical family, friends, and neighbors, this album celebrates the spirit of community and homespun traditions that existed in times before the commercialization of Christmas. Natalie Merchant, Aoife O'Donovan, Amy Helm, John Sebastian, Dan Zanes, Happy Traum, and many others including special guest Peggy Seeger all add their voices to pay tribute to a collection revered in the canon of American Music. From the liner notes: Amy and Teresa knew this melody from the hymn "Ten Thousand Charms." Daniel arranged it for guitar. We worked it out around our kitchen table, and then we walked down the hall and recorded it. Performed and recorded live at the The Pewter Shop at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. Performers: Larry Campbell Byran Isaacs Amy Helm Elizabeth Mitchell Daniel Littleton Teresa Williams Directed by Kale Kaposhilin Assistant Director: John Butters Director of Photography: Chris Rahm Camera Operator: Ben Fundis Assistant Director / Gaffer: John Butters Recording Engineer: Guthrie Lord Editor: Chris Rahm Mixing Engineer: Guthrie Lord A Production of Evolving Media Network The content and comments posted here are subject to the Smithsonian Institution copyright and privacy policy (/www.si.edu/copyright/). Smithsonian reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove any content at any time.

"Cubo" chair, no. 7012

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Cube-form armchair on bent stainless steel base; tan leather upholstery with channel back; base and chair on spring construction.
1-24 of 14,366 Resources