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National Geographic Magazine

National Geographic Magazine November 2017

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.

United States
National Geographic Society
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stories of service and sacrifice

For more than a century this magazine has told stories of war and its consequences. That’s also what journalist Martha Raddatz (right) did in The Long Road Home, her book about a deadly Iraq War ambush, its casualties, and its survivors. A scripted series based on the book premieres November 7 at 9/8c on National Geographic. Susan Goldberg: You covered the Iraq War from the beginning. Why was this the story that you wanted to tell? Martha Raddatz: On April 4, 2004, in Baghdad, a platoon of the 1st Cavalry Division was ambushed and lost eight guys—the largest loss of life for the division since Vietnam. Just hearing the details later, I had to write about it. Truly, even after years of doing this kind of work, it was my first time…


INDONESIA Mount Bromo, on the volcano-dotted island of Java, erupted for exactly one year, from November 12, 2015, to November 12, 2016. The cone emitted varying levels of ash and heat, disrupting flights and local tourism. YOURSHOT.NGM.COM SUSTAINABILITY ASSIGNMENT We asked to see your images of sustainability, the idea that the future of our planet depends on the way we live today.…

kelp is on the way

Name the last place where you saw seaweed on the menu, not including a Japanese restaurant. Drawing a blank? That may be because, outside of Japan and other parts of Asia, seaweed’s unique flavor and mouthfeel have not been widely embraced. These marine plants and algae are sometimes called “sea vegetables”—but there are reasons beyond gastronomy to appreciate them. Kelp, in particular, has the potential to greatly reduce ocean acidification. Naturally occurring in cold, coastal marine waters, kelp grows quickly without the need for fertilizer, and it takes up carbon dioxide—which can exacerbate climate change— as well as excess nitrogen and phosphorus. The problem, though, is that there’s not enough of it. Enter kelp farming. China currently leads the industry, having produced more than seven million metric tons in 2015, says University…

how to know urine paris

Along with haute cuisine and chic fashion, there’s another long-standing tradition in Paris that’s decidedly less pleasing. Since before the days of Napoleon, the city of love has battled the odorous scourge of les pipis sauvages, or wild peeing. The widespread practice of public urination is technically illegal. But that hasn’t seemed to stanch the streams that pour into the streets, into planter boxes, and onto lampposts. What’s a city to do? Try to turn a public misdeed into something resembling a public service. Earlier this year, officials partnered with Faltazi, a French design agency with a fresh idea: installing public urinals in areas known for abundant urination. The receptacle, known as a Uritrottoir, or “sidewalk urinal,” is filled with odor-fighting straw or sawdust. When it’s full, after about 200 “deposits,”…

grown at home

In 1991 the United States attempted to undermine illegal drug production in Andean countries by boosting legal industries, like flower growing, with duty-free imports. Roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and orchids began to be shipped north—and U.S. flower farming was hit hard. The trade agreement has since expired, and U.S. floriculture is bouncing back. Consumers are being encouraged to select local flowers by groups like Slow Flowers, founded by writer Debra Prinzing, and Certified American Grown, which allows farmers to label their blooms as U.S.A. grown. “The more awareness the American consumer has about where flowers come from, the better for all of us,” says Andrea Gagnon, a flower farmer in Gainesville, Virginia. “It’s just like asking, Is this a local tomato for my BLT? Now people can ask, Oh, is this a local…

strawberries preserved

Every fruit and vegetable breathes. Once a piece of produce is picked from a tree or plant, it continues to respire, aging slowly, until it begins to break down. Microorganisms then move in, causing it to spoil. Refrigeration can delay the process, but only so much. Some scientists now think they can make your bananas, avocados, and other fresh produce last up to twice as long by delaying spoilage. Apeel, a start-up in Santa Barbara, California, has created a way to extract lipids from several popular crops and transform each type into a powder. Dissolved in water and applied to fruit or vegetables, it forms an edible barrier to lock moisture in and microorganisms out. Farmers can apply a version of the solution in the field, or distributors can use the rinse…