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Latest Smithsonian Institution Stories

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2011-01-05 13:25:00

Scientists suggest that an extinct flightless bird from Jamaica fought rivals and predators using wings which evolved into clubs. The boney bludgeons the bird carried are unlike anything else known in the bird world. The scientists report finding bones that had apparently been broken by another bird's club. The species may have survived until less than 10,000 years ago. The bird was probably about the size of a chicken, but with an infinitely more robust armory. Fossils show that the...

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2010-12-07 14:25:00

Our Sun can be a menace when it sends out powerful solar blasts of radiation towards the Earth. Astronomers keenly watch the Sun to learn more about what powers these solar eruptions, in hopes of being able to predict them. New research shows that one-third of the Sun's blasts are "sneak attacks" that may occur without warning. "If space weather forecasters rely on some of the traditional danger signs, they'll miss a significant fraction of solar eruptions," said Suli Ma of the...

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2010-11-19 09:13:15

Dr. Brian Geoffrey Marsden passed away Thursday, Nov. 18 at the age of 73 following a prolonged illness. He was a Supervisory Astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Director Emeritus of the Minor Planet Center. "Brian was one of the most influential comet investigators of the twentieth century," said Charles Alcock, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, "and definitely one of the most colorful!" Dr. Marsden specialized in celestial mechanics and...

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2010-11-12 08:26:05

The steamiest places on the planet are getting warmer. Conservative estimates suggest that tropical areas can expect temperature increases of 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Does global warming spell doom for rainforests? Maybe not. Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and colleagues report in the journal Science that nearly 60 million years ago rainforests prospered at temperatures that were 3-5 degrees higher and at atmospheric...

2010-11-08 10:11:00

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following event was announced by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History WHAT: In commemoration of Veterans Day 2010, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Gardens will conduct a special ceremony in collaboration with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to dedicate an oak sapling to honor recipients of the Medal of Honor. WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 10, 9:30 a.m. WHERE: National Museum of...

2010-10-27 03:00:00

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp.'s Partners in Learning today announced a strategic partnership, called Shout, with the Smithsonian Institution and TakingITGlobal at an elite gathering of 500 educators attending the sixth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum (IEF). The event, held in Africa for the first time, recognizes educators who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way students learn. This worldwide...

2010-10-25 15:23:00

NEW YORK, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- To mark the 50th anniversary of the donation of the world's most famous diamond to the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Channel will premiere a one-hour special, MYSTERY OF THE HOPE DIAMOND on Sunday, November 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Academy Award® and Golden Globe®-winning actress Kim Basinger will narrate the special. The film tells the definitive story of the gem, mixing history, science and legend. It...

2010-10-20 11:38:00

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host its annual Native Art Market Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 - 5, at its Washington, D.C., and New York City locations. Featuring the work of more than 35 Native artists at each venue, the two-day event includes traditional and contemporary jewelry, ceramics, beadwork, hand-woven baskets, prints, photography, sculpture, pottery and fine apparel from North and South...

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2010-10-12 23:31:21

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Bocas del Toro Research Station and Galeta Point Marine Laboratory are reporting an anomalous sea temperature rise and a major coral bleaching event in the western Caribbean. Although the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, issued an advisory in July announcing above-average sea surface temperatures in the wider Caribbean region, there had been no clear indication of increased sea temperatures in Panama and the western...

2010-10-08 14:40:00

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- China's economy is growing at the fastest rate of any major power, yet some specialists think the Asian giant could stumble. Should we cheer if it does? In the Autumn 2010 issue of The Wilson Quarterly, on sale October 10, Harvard's Ross Terrill argues that not all failures are alike, and some may be desirable. We should hope that China finds a future that "balances economic growth with political freedom." David M. Lampton, director of China...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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