June 23, 2010
Roses are Red, Bees Are… Not Blue..: Channel your inner Shakespeare to celebrate the arrival of the National Zoo’s new honeybee colony. The Zoo is asking visitors to send in original honeybee poems and favorite honey recipes to display on the Zoo’s Pollinarium website. And that’s not all—the Zoo will randomly select one entrant from each category to win a tour of the Zoo’s Pollinarium and Invertebrate Exhibit (with their family, of course) on the Zoo’s Garden Day event on July 10. If you’re looking for inspiration: Honeybees in the United states pollinate more than $10 billion worth of crops; and when the colony becomes too large, half of the hive will leave to search for a new home, with the queen in tow. You have until July 6 to enter. (Our working title is “My Queen Up And Left Me.”)
Snap and Go: You can help digitize Smithsonian Institution buildings during the upcoming Folklife Festival (which starts tomorrow, June 24) with the new PhotoCity “Reconstruct the Mall” game. Visitors earn points for taking pictures of the museums with their cell phones or digital cameras and uploading them to the game’s map. You can also compete against other teams of visitors to see who can reconstruct all the buildings on the mall first. At the end of the festival, on July 5, winners will receive prizes. Get your cameras ready! But please, don’t try to run between buildings and upload your photos at the same time—crashing into Mariachi bands could get messy.
Pieces of the Puzzle: Do you have an eye for detail? Test it with the new PixPop Smithsonian Air & Space app, which brings users through a virtual tour of the National Air and Space museum one picture at a time. It’s a cross between a puzzle and a matching game: The app provides users with select tiles from an image of a scene inside the museum, and users match the tile to where it appears in the larger picture. The game lets you choose how many tiles you have to match (from an easier 4 to a challenging 20) as well as the size of the tiles, making it both a child and adult-friendly game, even for those of us whose eyes aren’t as sharp as we’d like them to be. You can purchase the app for $0.99 from the iTunes store. Let the matching begin.
Digitizing Art Stories: The Archives of American Art has more than 2,000 oral interviews. But what do you do when some of those interviews, which date back to the 1950s, begin to deteriorate, or their medium becomes obsolete (When was the last time you saw someone use a sound reel)? Over at Archives of American Art Blog, Jennifer Snyder walks us through what it takes to preserve oral stories. See how she keeps artists’ voices alive.
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