1/13/2012 – Special Content for iPad Edition Includes:
- New Tricks From Old Dogs video – Watch a behind-the-scenes video of photographer Robert Clark shooting portraits of dogs at the Westminster Dog Show.
- The Calm Before the Wave video – View eyewitness footage revealing the horrifying power of the tsunami that reached Japan’s coast on March 11, 2011.
- Leonardo…Or Not? interactive and video – Touch hot spots on “La Bella Principessa” to see close-ups of the paintings details, and watch art historian Martin Kemp as he fits the mysterious portrait into a book from where he believes the painting was torn.
- Last of the Cave People audio – Listen as the National Geographic team tries to reach the the reclusive Meakambut clan by jungle telephone.
Writers and photographers are available for interviews Jan. 15-Feb. 15 (See specifics below)
New Tricks From Old Dogs, by Evan Ratliff, photographed by Robert Clark (Page 34) “For reasons both practical and whimsical, man’s best friend has been artificially evolved into the most diverse animal on the planet — a staggering achievement given that most of the 350 to 400 dog breeds in existence have been around for only a couple hundred years,” writes author Evan Ratliff. By combining traits from disparate dogs and accentuating them by breeding those offspring with the largest hints of the desired attributes, breeders have fast-forwarded evolution. In a project called CanMap, researchers found that many of these desired traits, such as body size and hair length, are controlled by a mere handful of gene regions. This revelation may help scientists understand human genetic disorders and diseases. Ratliff and Clark are available for interviews.
The Calm Before the Wave, by Tim Folger (Page 54) A tsunami strikes almost every year, and scientists are trying to determine when and where the next giant wave will hit. Caused by violent movement of rock below the Earth’s crust, tsunamis typically occur around the rim of the Pacific and Indian oceans, where colliding tectonic plates trigger large seafloor earthquakes, raising and lowering the water above them. Using radiometric dating, scientists are studying tsunami patterns and are finding these giant waves occur more often than once thought. With a world population of 7 billion, and many of us living near coastlines, a leading paleoseismologist fears this century could be the one in which we pay the consequences for living in areas where we simply can’t get away when tsunamis strike. Folger is available for interviews.
Leonardo…Or Not?, by Tom O’Neill (Page 102) When a chalk-and-ink portrait of a young woman was introduced to the art world on Jan. 30, 1998, little was known about it or the artist, and it sold for $21,850 to a New York dealer. Ten years later, the portrait caught the attention of a Canadian collector, who wondered if it could possibly be a previously unknown Leonardo masterpiece. He enlisted the help of renowned Leonardo scholar Martin Kemp, who embarked on an investigation into the origins of “La Bella Principessa.” Aided by Pascal Cotte of Lumiere Technology in Paris, Kemp studied the drawing’s layers and believes the portrait could be an original Leonardo and could have been a page from a book, possibly one commissioned 500 years ago by the Duke of Milan for the wedding of his daughter, which has a missing page. If it is a Leonardo work, it could be worth $100 million. O’Neill is available for interviews.
Last of the Cave People, by Mark Jenkins, photographed by Amy Toensing (Page 126) Unknown to the outside world until the 1960s, the Meakambut are one of the last cave- dwelling, nomadic people in Papua New Guinea, whose fiercest enemies are malaria and tuberculosis. Lacking basic medicines and adequate food supplies, the Meakambut are struggling to survive. Jenkins and Toensing are available for interviews.
Kazakhstan’s Tomorrowland, by John Lancaster, photographed by Gerd Ludwig (Page 80) In late 1997, the president of oil-rich Kazakhstan relocated the government to a new capital city, despite widespread skepticism. Fierce dust storms and extreme temperatures are common in the billion-dollar city of Astana, but the population has soared over the past decade to more than 700,000. With a median age of 32, Astana is wildly attractive to young strivers seeking success, and entrepreneurial energy seems to be stirring everywhere. Its eclectic architecture has become a billboard for Kazakh nationalism, and love it or hate it, Astana is here to stay. Lancaster and Ludwig are available for interviews.
Reclusive Rocks, by Verlyn Klinkenborg,photographed by Richard Barnes (Page 110) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is one of the Southwest’s best-kept secrets. Millions of years in the making, the colorful cliffs with their exquisite erosional formations tower nearly 3,000 feet. They were named a national monument in 2000, but the ruggedness of the terrain and the popularity of their neighbors — Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon — have kept them a little-known wonder. Klinkenborg and Barnes are available for interviews.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. It has won 13 National Magazine Awards in the past five years: for Magazine of the Year and Single-Topic Issue in 2011; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays, plus two Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community, in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008; and for General Excellence and Photography in 2007.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 33 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership to the Society.
Anna Kukelhaus Dynan