Category Archives: Culture

Ask Smithsonian: Why Do We Kiss?

Love snuggling up to a sweetie and smooching? That’s romantic, but—spoiler alert—kissing can be a disgusting and dangerous activity.  While kissing, couples exchange 9 milliliters of water, 0.7 milligrams of protein, 0.18 mg of organic compounds, 0.71 mg of fats, … Continue reading

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What Is Bertsolaritza And Who Are The Basque Poets Who Know It

Part poetry-slam, part hip-hop freestyling, part a cappella singing and 100 percent improvisational, the tradition of bertsolaritza has become a cultural signifier for the Basque diaspora. Read More.

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Journey to Mingering Mike’s Magical, Musical World

Lots of kids create their own fantasy worlds, populating them with monsters or superheroes—representations of friends and family, persecutors and allies, foils and alter-egos. For some, it’s a way of getting by when they don’t fit in, or of escaping … Continue reading

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U Street: The Corridor Is Cool Again

SAUNTER down U Street in northwest Washington almost any night and you’ll hear the pulsing beat of urban nightlife: the tinny pop of a snare drum, the caustic sneering of an indie rocker, the smooth melodies of a lounge singer, … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Cristian Samper: A Fascination With Forests Finds Fulfillment at Smithsonian

As a boy, Cristian Samper rambled through the tropical forests of his native Colombia, marveling at the diversity that surrounded him. Not content to view the flora and fauna only in the abstract, he began what was to become a lifelong obsession and vocation, cataloging the diversity and assembling it into collections that forcefully argue for its preservation. Continue reading

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Turning a Camera, Stress and the Wild Into a Sudden Hit

LESS than a decade ago Mark Burnett was competing in adventure races, an experience that led to his life plan: he would bring the sport to America, which was having a love affair with the outdoors, sport utility vehicles and … Continue reading

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