EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine

Novembre 2020

Smithsonian Magazine takes you on a journey through history, science, world culture and technology with breathtaking images from around the world.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institute
Frequency:
Monthly
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11 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
a legacy of honor

IN MY FAMILY, Veterans Day was one of the most important days of the year. My father served in Germany at the end of World War II; every year, he took me into town to see the local parade. I was always captivated—not just by the tanks and the spectacle of the event (although I certainly enjoyed those), but by the people. As a kid growing up in the wake of the war, I was always moved by the sight of older men marching with a limp. I sensed that these people had sacrificed something for the country. Honoring them was not only about valor and victory; it meant recognizing that they carried a burden for my freedom. To me, Veterans Day has always brought the unimaginable scope of war to…

4 min.
prime time

IN 1925, THE Brooklyn-born entrepreneur Clarence Birdseye invented a machine for freezing packaged fish that would revolutionize the storage and preparation of food. Maxson Food Systems of Long Island used Birdseye’s technology, the double-belt freezer, to sell the first complete frozen dinners to airlines in 1945, but plans to offer those meals in supermarkets were canceled after the death of the company’s founder, William L. Maxson. Ultimately, it was the Swanson company that transformed how Americans ate dinner (and lunch)—and it all came about, the story goes, because of Thanksgiving turkey. According to the most widely accepted account, a Swanson salesman named Gerry Thomas conceived the company’s frozen dinners in late 1953 when he saw that the company had 260 tons of frozen turkey left over after Thanksgiving, sitting in ten…

1 min.
vintage takeout

BRITISH INGENUITY The fourth Earl of Sandwich reportedly slapped meat on bread so he could eat without leaving the card table. The innovation fed his gambling obsession and revolutionized hand-held food in the West. Now Americans eat more than 200 million sandwiches a day. AZTEC SAVVY Tamales were a common portable food for warriors and hunters in prehistoric Mesoamerica. News of the delicacy spread after Spanish friars visited Aztec street markets in the 16th century and found vendors stuffing corn husks with rabbit and honey. INDIAN PANCAKES These crispy crepes made from fermented rice and lentils are described in Tamil literature as early as the sixth century. Originally a popular South Indian breakfast food, dosas have now become an affordable street-food option around the world, often served with a choice of chutneys. WHEN IN ROME Snack bars,…

1 min.
not so gonzo

BEST KNOWN in the States for collaborating with the “gonzo” writer Hunter S. Thompson in the 1960s and ’70s, Ralph Steadman provided that era with a signature visual style: satirical, strung out and suspicious of authority. A new book, Ralph Steadman: A Life in Ink, reveals the U.K.-based artist as more than just a counterculture documentarian. His early sketches of London street life show a knack for capturing character in a few quick, precisely chosen pen strokes, and as an art student at East Ham Technical College in the ’50s, Steadman tried his hand at abstract watercolors that evoked the playful canvases of Joan Miró. Throughout his career, the artist—who at 84 still relishes turning his sharp pen on contemporary politicians—has remained open to serendipity. “Your white sheet of paper,…

9 min.
you’re so vain

BARRY AND MARLENE BOGLE run a farm in southern Ontario, and each summer they produce about 1.6 million shoulder-high sunflowers. It’s a gorgeous sight, so in 2018 the Bogles decided to open a side business, charging $7.50 per adult to visit the farm and take photographs among the blooms. Young women came in droves to pose for selfies in sundresses; bearded men in sunglasses would snap shots of their faces poking cheekily out of the crops. It quickly spun out of control. Soon, thousands of visitors were arriving each day, trampling the crops as they sought the perfect selfie. Their cars clogged nearby roads, causing accidents; one car door was ripped off. It soon became clear to the Bogles that many of these smiling visitors were coming not to see the…

1 min.
glass acts

C. 1524: Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. The Italian painter Parmigianino worked on a convex wooden panel to create this work, celebrated for its distortion of perspective. C. 1555: Venus with a Mirror. Titian and his apprentices produced at least 30 versions of this scene. The mirror highlights the goddess’s epic self-regard. 1646: Self-Portrait. This playful performance by Johannes Gumpp allows a strikingly intimate view of an artist at work—possibly through the use of a second, unseen mirror. C. 1790: Naniwa Okita Admiring Herself in a Mirror. In this woodcut by Kitagawa Utamaro, a girl studies herself using a relatively new tool in Japan: a large mirror. C. 1905: Woman with a Sunflower. The sunflower was a symbol of suffrage; Mary Cassatt depicts a mother urging her daughter to see herself as powerful. 1960: Triple…