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Popular Culture

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Fri, December 15 2017

How Star Wars Revolutionized Entertainment

The three ways that the Star Wars franchised changed the entertainment business. 

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Thu, December 14 2017

That’s no moon. (It's also not the Death Star.)

With its spherical shape and piecemeal construction, it’s easy to see similarities between the Telstar satellite and the infamous Death Star of the Star Wars films. Aside from a passing resemblance in design, both pieces of technology also address a larger question that has been a focal point for humankind in reality and fantasy: what does space mean for humanity?

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Wed, December 13 2017

Light Speed Delivery: The Smithsonian’s R2-D2 Mailbox

On display in a galaxy not so far, far away: the National Postal Museum's R2-D2 mailbox, currently on view at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

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Mon, November 6 2017

Exploring Duty and Social Class in World War I

La Grande Illusion is widely regarded as a masterpiece of French cinema and is often cited as one of the greatest films ever made. The story explores class relationships among a small group of French soldiers who are prisoners of war during World War I (WWI) and are plotting to escape. 

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Wed, November 1 2017

Real Stories of LEGO's "Women of NASA"

A new generation of aspiring astronauts and researchers can find inspiration in the LEGO® “Women of NASA” set. These scientific pioneers are part of our collection here at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, too.

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Tue, October 31 2017

Astronauts’ Candy-Coated Space Snacks

What do astronauts do when they need a sugar fix? Chocolate candy and other desserts have been staples of the astronaut experience since the Apollo program. 

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Mon, October 16 2017

Bringing WWI Air Battles to the Big Screen

The Blue Max (based on the 1964 critically acclaimed novel of the same title by Jack D. Hunter) brings a new complexity to the flying ace protagonist.

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Thu, October 5 2017

Blade Runner’s Spinners: The Shape of Things to Come?

The “Spinners” flying cars from Ridley Scott's 1982 darkly dystopian Blade Runner film reappear in the sequel, Blade Runner 2049. But are there any hopes for flying cars that can operate from rooftops by 2049?

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Fri, September 29 2017

Rum Runners to Cocaine Cowboys: Barry Seal and the Legacy of Aerial Smuggling

The use of aircraft in smuggling was not simply a niche application, but a booming business through Prohibition and beyond, and one of the first drivers of aerial regulations.

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Mon, September 11 2017

Sharing the Story of the World War I Gallipoli Campaign 

Gallipoli sets a classic tale of innocence lost in war during the World War I (WWI) Gallipoli Campaign against the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). One of the few Hollywood movies to illustrate that WWI took place not only on the Western Front in France, Gallipoli tells the story of this major campaign through the experience of several Australian young men who travel halfway around the globe to fight for their country.

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Sharing the Story of the World War I Gallipoli Campaign 

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