America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Crops

America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Crops

For practically a century after its founding, the United States still couldn’t lay claim to any distinct cuisine. The emergent nation generally relied on a meat, potatoes and cheese diet, with fruits and vegetables often left off the dinner plate. Moreover, commonly held wisdom said that too many spices or condiments might just ruin one’s […]

January Happenings At the Smithsonian

January Happenings At the Smithsonian

Whether you’re a music lover, movie maven, civil rights warrior or yoga practitioner, January at the Smithsonian is sure to appeal. Check out these awesome, affordable (often free) events unfolding in and around the Smithsonian’s D.C. museums over the weeks to come. SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1 – 7 PM National Portrait Gallery (Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard) Spend your Saturday afternoon taking […]

Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine

When Todd Gitlin went to Chicago at the end of August 1968 to join the protests outside the Democratic National Convention, he told friends he was going “with the instinct of the moth for the flame.” Political activism was nothing new for Gitlin, a 1959 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science who had […]

How Science is Peeling Back the Layers of Ancient Lacquer Sculptures

How Science is Peeling Back the Layers of Ancient Lacquer Sculptures

The three seated figures stare contemplatively outward, their legs folded and their torsos swathed in simple one-shoulder robes. Once resplendent in gold leaf-plated skin, the statues have degraded over the centuries, the eye-popping color of their bodies and dress giving way to earthy browns and blacks, the craftsmanship underlying them laid bare at the expense […]

Thomas Edison’s Forgotten Sci-Fi Novel

Thomas Edison’s Forgotten Sci-Fi Novel

When Thomas Edison died in 1931, he held more than 1,000 patents in the United States alone. He was credited with inventing, or significantly advancing, electric lighting, storage batteries, the motion picture camera, the phonograph and even cement making—among many other things.  Edison nearly added another item to his résumé that’s all but forgotten today: […]

Albino Mexican Woman Bullied As A Child Is Now A Top Model

Albino Mexican Woman Bullied As A Child Is Now A Top Model

Ruby Vizcarra, 24, is an albino model from Guadalajara, Mexico. Throughout her life, Vizcarra got bullied for her pale skin and silverlike hair. No one explained to her why she looked different from all the rest, or why she should embrace those differences. Her mother just told Vizcarra the name of her disease. She never […]

Britney Spears Just Joined The DREAMer Movement In A Huge Way

Britney Spears Just Joined The DREAMer Movement In A Huge Way

The 90’s pop sensation, Britney Spears, recently shared an Instagram post in an unapologetic sign of support for DREAMers. Spears, pictured with a cropped t-shirt reading, “We are all Dreamers,” told her fans, “We are all Dreamers. Tell Congress to pass the #DreamAct.” Instagram The image got posted on the singer’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, […]

Photos Celebrate the Lives of Gender Non-Conforming Spirit Mediums in Southeast Asia

Photos Celebrate the Lives of Gender Non-Conforming Spirit Mediums in Southeast Asia

Mariette Pathy Allen has often been called the unofficial chronicler of transgender life. The award-winning photographer and activist has spent the last three decades putting a lens on the many and varied trans and gender nonconforming communities in the United States and abroad. Since publishing her groundbreaking 1990 photobook, Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love […]

'Armenian Pizza' Is the Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Were Missing (Recipe)

'Armenian Pizza' Is the Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Were Missing (Recipe)

The New Yorker in me always feels at home in Armenia, a country where thin-crust pies reign supreme and everyone folds their slice. Folding is the only mess-free way to eat lahmacun (“lah-ma-joon”), the inhalable, hubcap-sized flatbread spread with spiced meat that’s sometimes called Armenian pizza. Like its Italian counterpart, lahmacun is soul-satisfying desert-island fare, […]

Watch This Tear-Jerking Ad About Helping Immigrants Crossing The Border

Watch This Tear-Jerking Ad About Helping Immigrants Crossing The Border

“Nice is something you say, whereas Kind is something you do. If we had to sum it up, we’d say this: Nice is passive, but kind is active.” This phrase is from the newest commercial campaign of snack bar company, “Kind.” ‘Kind’ partnered with Academy Award winner, Emmanuel Lubezki, who is part Mexican, to spread […]