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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This week's digest offers some suggestions for finding new perspectives: on the virus that has changed our lives, on some of the most enduring works of Western art, and why some familiar consumer brands are getting a new look (and sound).

They're among the offerings designed to make sure you continue to enjoy what you've come to value from Smithsonian Associates: programs and experiences that are entertaining, informative, eclectic, and insightful.

Anthony Fauci and Alan Alda Talk Science

As head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci knows his way around the intricacies of complicated viruses. Actor Alan Alda, host of the Clear+Vivid podcast and co-founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, knows how to share information on tough scientific topics in clear and engaging ways. Together, they're a perfect pairing to parse the intricacies of the virus that has held us in sway since March. Join them for a thoughtful, informative discussion and Q&A session on the topic gripping the country in a special Smithsonian Associates Streaming event on Wednesday, September 23.

Register for the Program

Be a Conservation Hero!

If there are young animal lovers and budding conservationists in your life, the National Zoo has a mission for them: Saving species. Zoo Guardians is a mobile game in which players build their own zoos, interact with animals through augmented reality, and learn what species need in order to thrive under human care and in the wild. Guided by their animal-keeper mentors, players can choose from among 58 species to adopt, care for, and conserve. Along the way, they learn fun facts from Smithsonian animal care and conservation experts. And grown-ups will be happy to give the go-ahead to adopting a cheetah (at least in an animated version).

Play Zoo Guardians

Art in a Wider Frame

Great art is timeless, and speaks to us across time and cultures. Yet great works come from real people living real lives-whether their work was made 5 minutes or 500 years ago. In a four-part Art+History series, popular Smithsonian Associates speaker Paul Glenshaw looks at great works of art in their historical context. In each, he delves into the time of the artist, explores the present they inhabited, and what shaped their vision and creations. Picasso's searing Guernica is spotlighted on Wednesday, September 2, with The Railway by Edouard Manet, Gassed by John Singer Sargent, and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment featured in subsequent Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs.

Art + History: Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Shark Tales

Still feeling a bit down that Shark Week 2020 is officially over? Perk up by learning about how a rare megamouth shark landed at the Natural History Museum-in specimen form-and what it will tell researchers. For marine conservation biologist David Shiffman, every week is shark week. In a conversation with the Smithsonian's Conservation Commons, find out why he's optimistic about what the future holds for maintaining a healthy shark population. And see him show off the appropriate attire for saving sharks during COVID.

More Sharks in the Water? That's a Good Thing

Rare Megamouth Shark Arrives at the Smithsonian

A Brand Changes its Tune

For many, an indelible sound of summers past is the melody of “Turkey in the Straw” wafting from a Good Humor truck as it makes its way through neighborhood streets. This summer, the history behind that song-a racist one-has received renewed attention. As a result, Good Humor collaborated with singer, musician, and producer RZA to come up with a contemporary jingle for the music boxes in the beloved trucks. NPR reports on how that change came about, and traces how a sprightly 19th-century fiddle song acquired overtones that could no longer be ignored. Good Humor joins other familiar brands that have revamped identities in response to the moment. Smithsonian magazine examines Quaker Oats' decision to remove a familiar face-that of Aunt Jemima-from their breakfast products.

Read NPR's Article

Read Smithsonian Magazine's Article