September 22, 2010
More New Lion Cubs! Three weeks ago, the National Zoo’s 5-year-old lion Shera gave birth to four healthy cubs. This morning, Shera’s sister Nababiep gave birth to three more lion cubs to add to the growing pride! Check out a clip of the new babies on YouTube.
Happy Birthday, George Gustav Heye—This week, SIRIS celebrated the birth of George Gustav Heye, the namesake for the Smithsonian’s Heye Center in New York City, part of the National Museum of the American Indian. Born on September 16, 1874, Heye developed an affinity for collecting Native American cultural objects after buying a hide shirt from a Navajo woman in Arizona. From there, Heye’s collection slowly grew to eventually contain over 225,000 objects made by indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere. In 1916, Heye founded the Museum of the American Indian, where he displayed his collections. In 1990, Heye’s museum became the National Museum of the American Indian, with the museum here on the Mall opening in 2004. The SIRIS post includes silent footage of Heye at work cataloguing artifacts in his office. Apparently, smoking cigars while handling artifacts was not unacceptable at the time.
Fashion at Your Fingertips—American fashion designer Cynthia Rowley is known for creating flirty dresses in vibrant colors. Now, she’s taking on an as-yet untapped niche of the fashion market: adhesive bandages. Rowley, who just showed her new clothing line at New York City’s Lincoln Center, also has a new line of “dress-up” Band-Aids. The Design Blog reports that the bandages are available in the Cooper-Hewitt museum store and Cynthia Rowley stores, in case you want some bandage bling for that pesky paper cut.
Saving the Coral Reefs—Last week on ATM, we looked into the coral sperm bank that a few Smithsonian scientists have created in Hawaii. This week, the Smithsonian Science Web site has posted a video interview with one of the lead researchers on the project, Mary Hagedorn. The first to ever try out cryopreservation on coral, Hagedorn discusses how she’s been freezing and preserving coral sperm, eggs, embryos and stem cells to ensure the future of many different Hawaiian coral species.
Rebuilding Haiti’s Cultural Heritage—This past week, the American History Museum hosted a choir of 30 school children from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who are on a goodwill tour of the country to gain support for rebuilding their music school. The choir, featured this week on Oh Say Can You See, is singing traditional Haitian songs to communicate the country’s rich musical history and hope for the future. An article in the September issue of Smithsonian magazine covers the Smithsonian’s initiative to recover and preserve Haiti’s artistic culture after the devastating earthquake in January, 2010.
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