January 5, 2011
Nurturing An Anteater—On December 7, the night the new baby anteater was born at the Zoo, Maripi the mother, experienced in caring for her young, had tucked her baby warmly beside her for the night. Watchful keepers left late that evening after assuring themselves that mother and infant were safely snuggled together and bonding. But something went wrong and by morning, the baby was on the floor, cold to the touch. The keeper Marie Magnuson reports that she hastily grabbed a towel and gently wrapped the little youngster up, holding him warmly to her body. Magnuson says that when the team arrived, Maripi “raised her head to acknowledge us but then curled back up with her head under her tail.” Veterinarians rushed both baby and mom to the Zoo’s hospital. Both are doing fine now. But the keepers’ firsthand account of the dramatic story and what may have happened in the night to cause separation of the mother and the pup can be found at the Bulletin From the Barn.
Muscle Man—And if you love behind-the-scenes stories at the museums, check out the Smithsonian Collections Blog, where we learn that heavy lifting is apparently a skill set for archivists. David Haberstich, a staffer at the National Museum of American History Archives Center, recalls the day in 1988 when a voluminous collection arrived in cartons at the museum’s loading docks. These contained thousands of copies of published sheet music assembled by collector Sam DeVincent (1917-1997) and Haberstich was the strong man who go to move all the cartons into the Archives Center. He says the collection is not organized as one would suspect by musician or composer but by topic or theme. “Songs about transportation—planes, trains, and automobiles—were grouped together. . . .The ease of viewing and comparing popular songs devoted to narrow themes and subjects—both in terms of their lyrics as well as cover illustrations—has thrilled many Smithsonian fellows and researchers.” Researchers, I know this because I am one, are easily entertained.
Toy Story—Stressed out at work? Overwhelmed at home? Well, take a moment to feel like a kid again. You may be too old to play with toys, but you’re not too old to watch someone else do it. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s Design Blog features a new electronic toy from Norwegian designer Lars Marcus Vedeler that promises to brighten up your day. Literally. And, the best part? You can watch it play all by itself.
Back to the Future—Did you miss World Expo 2010, held in Shanghai back in October? Me, too. But thanks to our friends over at O Say Can You See?, you don’t also have to miss out on the conversation. Find out what may lie ahead for cities around the globe by doing the next best thing and taking a virtual tour.
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