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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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Artist Chakaia Booker Gives Tires a Powerful Retread

The first thing you notice is the smell. It’s a bit industrial, but also, maybe a tiny bit pleasant. The odor encapsulates Chakaia Booker’s latest massive sculptural work, displayed as part of the “Wonder” exhibition at the recently reopened Renwick … Continue reading

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How Thousands of Dead Bugs Become a Mesmerizing Work of Extraordinary Beauty

Jennifer Angus’ artwork is startling, especially when it dawns on you that what is on view is not beautifully drawn, patterned wallpaper. Depending on your mindset, it’s either a nightmarishly freakish, or beautifully mesmerizing assemblage, of insects Beyond the visceral gut … Continue reading

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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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