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Sidedoor: A Podcast from the Smithsonian

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Sidedoor is a podcast only the Smithsonian can bring you. It tells stories about science, art, history, humanity and where they unexpectedly overlap. From dinosaurs to dining rooms, this podcast connects big ideas to the people who have them.

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Send us your thoughts about the show at or leave us a message at 202-633-4120. We look forward to hearing from you!


ep. 1 | tech yourself

Technology's grip on us: The 4-1-1 on what's behind your selfie; an artist's computer simulation shows humans aren't as unique as we think; and how the invention of standardized time made America tick.

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ep. 2 | special delivery

The payoff is all in the delivery: Sending mail via cruise missile; preparing a strong-willed orangutan for primate parenthood; and failing to land a joke from the "gag file" of Phyllis Diller.

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ep. 3 | confronting the past

This is the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre and why it's important that you know it.

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ep. 4 | masters of disguise

Tales of deception and trickery: A sneaky orchid seeks sexually frustrated pollinator; a battle fought by decoys; and a gender-bending zombie invasion of the Chesapeake Bay.

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ep. 5 | butting heads

Squabbles big and small: A dining room turns two besties into lifelong enemies; a researcher embraces the panda craze; and why some dinosaur skulls were built to take a beating.

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ep. 6 | gaming the system

Bending the rules: People sending their children through the U.S. Postal Service; a Sikh man in the early 1900s tries to use the Supreme Court's racist rulings to his benefit; and the little-known story behind the iconic folk song "Rock Island Line."

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ep. 7 | you do you

Identity in a complex world: A look at the many roles each person plays in daily life; a group of lesbian feminists create an entirely new culture, religion, and society in the 1970s; and Iraqi archaeologists work to preserve their cultural heritage after years of war.

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ep. 8

ep. 8 | shake it up

Transforming things we take for granted: An astronomer who has turned the night sky into a symphony, an architecture firm that has radically rethought police stations, and an audiophile who built a successful record company on underappreciated sounds.

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