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category_outlined / Science
National Geographic MagazineNational Geographic Magazine

National Geographic Magazine

February 2019

The latest news in science, exploration, and culture will open your eyes to the world’s many wonders. Get a National Geographic digital magazine subscription today and experience the same high-quality articles and breathtaking photography contained in the print edit.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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how can big data make a difference?

“Big data” lives up to its name:We produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day through the staggering array of digital connections that link people, objects, and devices. Every email, text, post, online search, app interaction, card transaction, and doctor’s visit contribute to the three V’s that define big data: volume, velocity, and variety of information, in greater amounts than ever before (it’s estimated that 90 percent of all data in existence was generated in the last two years). But to be useful, another V is needed: value. Extracting value takes powerful computers, complex algorithms, and extraordinary brainpower, a combination that saw “data scientist” hailed as the world’s sexiest job. But is big data really making a difference?Many believe it is. Retailers are using it to enhance our shopping experience,…

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what’s coming

NAT GEO BOOKS100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas Showcases the Best of U.S. and Canadian ParksNational Geographic pairs stunning photography with expert travel advice about 100 national, state, and city parks in this sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 Ideas. Consult the book’s top-10 lists to find the best destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. Available February 12 where books are sold and at shopng.com/books.TELEVISIONNew Episodes of Life Below ZeroIntrepid residents of remote spots in Alaska pit their survival skills against carnivorous wild animals, whiteout storms, and other perils in the Emmy Award–winning series. New episodes air Tuesdays at 9/8c on National Geographic.NAT GEO WILDNight Stalks Animals in Dead by DawnMother Nature shows her sadistic side in TV’s first nature horror series, Dead by Dawn. Inspired by…

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technology’s peaks and valleys

Because of the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley, many people turn to living in RVs—here, lining El Camino Real in Palo Alto next to Stanford University’s campus.I WAS AN EDITOR at the San Jose Mercury News in 1989 when, at 5:04 p.m. on October 17, tectonic plates shifted under the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California and the ground started rumbling. When the magnitude 6.9 earthquake finally stopped, scores of people had lost their lives; parts of the Bay Area would not fully recover for a decade.At that same time, other forces were shaking Silicon Valley, though many of us didn’t realize it. The information industry was being radically transformed by technologies coming to life all around us—an upheaval that continues today, with enormous implications.Technology reporter Michelle Quinn…

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south africa’s majorettes

LOOKING AT THE EARTH FROM EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLESchools typically provide uniforms, though parents pay a fee. The color of a busby hat signifies which routine the girls will perform or in some cases designates rank.Keisha Ncube, nine, has been a drum majorette for three years. Girls who join at a young age often stay into their teens, using their experience to guide other girls through intense practices and competitions.While many drummies are from low-income families, the girls on the highly ranked Fairmont High School team represent a wide range of backgrounds. ■…

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the backstory

KNOWN AS DRUMMIES, drum majorettes began appearing in Cape Town street parades in the 1970s. Today they’re part of competitive clubs, often in schools. Though open to everyone, these teams tend to attract girls from marginalized communities. The long hours of repetitive practice are appreciated as a way to build confidence, pride, and a positive work ethic.Girls as young as five and women into their 20s are drawn to the mix of cheerleading and marching band. They rehearse elaborate routines for regional competitions, where their appearance and precision earn them accolades. But they’re also judged on leadership and character.South African photographer Alice Mann started taking pictures of drummies in 2016. She was attracted by their energy, femininity, and empowerment. Mann watched the girls practice and perform. She noticed how a…

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how ketchup made food safer

THE DISCOVERIES OF TODAY THAT WILL DEFINE THE WORLD OF TOMORROWKETCHUP—THAT CHEERFUL RED SAUCE sold in handy glass bottles—first came on the American market in the 19th century. But its ingredients were shockingly different than they are today.Food advocates complained that the sauce was frequently made from tomato scraps thickened with ground pumpkin rinds, apple pomace (the skin, pulp, seeds, and stems left after the fruit was pressed for juice), or cornstarch, and dyed a deceptive red. One French cookbook author described the ketchup sold in markets as “filthy, decomposed and putrid.”By the late 19th century, it would become less putrid, as manufacturers added chemical preservatives to slow decomposition in the bottle. But the real change—the invention of modern ketchup—occurred in the 20th century, and it’s a story of both…

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