Squirreled Away

Artist and illustrator Giulia Donati works under the moniker Pennepasta. Born in Italy and now based in London, she creates her pieces with calligraphy brush and India ink. For her Zócalo sketchbook she combines traditional ink drawing and digital colors to bring us her impressions of the urban winter.

“Walking through London parks this November I noticed how nature around me was changing every day. Different weather conditions also contributed to these different ‘moods.’ Squirrels are very funny and expressive and I chose them to represent this ever-changing flow. Meanwhile a …

Tropical Divine | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Tropical Divine

Miriam Castillo is an illustrator, graphic designer, and muralist who divides her time between New York City and the Mexican Caribbean.

Castillo draws upon her favorite climate—the tropics—for this month’s Sketchbook. …

What If We Used Play to Solve the World’s Biggest Problems? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What If We Used Play to Solve the World’s Biggest Problems?

From Foxes to Footballers, Animals Love Games. Let’s Use Competition to Everyone’s Advantage

Ours is a time of reduced civility, heightened political partisanship, and decreased faith in institutions. If we don’t figure out how to engage respectfully, we will all lose out. COVID …

Is It Possible to Be Just Terrified Enough This COVID Halloween? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is It Possible to Be Just Terrified Enough This COVID Halloween?

A Biologist of Animal Behavior Explains Why This Primordial Emotion Can Help Guide Us Through an Especially Spooky Season

It’s Halloween, the season when we go out and try to spook each other—at least in normal years. Indeed, fears of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus have drastically impacted …

In Bad Times, Every Dog Is a ‘Very Good Dog’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Bad Times, Every Dog Is a ‘Very Good Dog’

As Dogs Help Us Weather the Emotions of a Global Pandemic, We Should Reconsider What We Owe Them

I have found myself looking at Bella with great envy these past few weeks. As I try to tamp down my panic and get work done, Bella naps in her …

The Real Heroes of the Overland Trail Were the Oxen | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Oxen Were the Unheralded Heroes of America’s Overland Trails

Over Long Journeys, Westward Migrants Came to Love the 'Noble' Animals They Depended on

Between 1840 and 1869, approximately 300,000 people crossed the United States on their way to settle in Oregon, find gold in California, or practice religion as they desired in …