HThe Smithsonian has 20 different museums, each with its own library, and over the past two decades the staff has digitized almost 40,000 of the institution’s volumes. That adds up to a whopping 14 million pages of rich, historical material, covering everything from biodiversity to the history of aeronautics to African art. Problem is, most people don’t realize that this wealth of (free!) information is available to the public.
To stoke public interest in the material, some of the Smithsonian Libraries’ staff have harnessed the magnetism of the GIF. For about a year now, animated versions of the archives have been popping up on the library’s social media channels. It’s a neat little hack: Richard Naples, the technical information specialist who makes them, looks for digitized images with simple backgrounds that can be easily chopped, copied, pasted, and animated into a few frames in Photoshop. Like any good librarian, Naples has a consummate, comprehensive knowledge of the images at hand. From there, it’s just a matter of “browsing through, looking for anything that might be compelling to tell a little story,” he says. “It’s what it was like to be a child, and the way you imagine things coming to life.”
Each Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.