An Intimate Portrait of a Coronavirus

Biologist David Goodsell Uses Watercolors to Explore Viruses and Cells Molecule by Molecule

Humans have probably always known about what viruses can do: throughout the ages, people have endured the familiar sniffles of a cold, the tell-tale rashes of measles, the occasional devastation of brand-new illnesses like today’s COVID-19.

But scientists didn’t have a hint of the true nature of viruses until 1892, when a Russian botanist realized tobacco plants were getting sick because of an unknown, invisible, and incredibly tiny pathogen—something far smaller, even, than bacteria.

Even today, with advanced microscopes and imaging technologies at researchers’ fingertips, it remains nearly impossible to …

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How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Turned New York Into the Center of the World | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture Turned New York Into the Center of the World

Though the Wisconsin-Born Architect Called the City a ‘Pig Pile’ and ‘Incongruous Mantrap,’ It Made Him a Superstar

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is architecture as sculpture—a smooth, creamy-colored, curved form that deliberately defies its square, gray urban context, and succeeds by harnessing the pure abstraction …

The Horrifying Hollywood Movie About Thermonuclear War That Determined U.S. | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Horrifying Hollywood Movie That Determined U.S. Nuclear Policy

Operation Ivy Provoked Such Controversy That Future Nuclear Test Films Were Kept Secret From the Public

On a hot June day in 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sat down in the cool confines of a White House screening room to watch a horrifying movie. Produced by …

Waltzing With Polar Bears | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Waltzing With Polar Bears

The Unexpected Joy of Viewing Photos From a Forgotten German Fad

Combing through photographs at flea markets brings its own particular thrill. The act carries a voyeuristic delight, akin to reading a stranger’s diary or listening in on someone else’s confession.

Every …

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing

Archival Photographs Reveal an Engineered Labyrinth of Civic Optimism

Below our city streets lies an ad-hoc world of subterranean tunnels and pipes. The oldest are brick and concrete sewers that once carried waste streams in one direction, rainfall overflow …