My favorite non-book publication to read is National Geographic Magazine. The day it comes is definitely the most exciting mail day of the month! I lose miserably to Adam…every month… on the geo-quiz, but even that doesn’t temper my enthusiasm. No matter what else I may be reading when it comes, I pause and read the magazine, almost always cover-to-cover. I think for awhile after I started staying home with the kids it was the only way I felt intellectually connected to the world. For me, reading the magazine gives me the opportunity to learn about so many varied things and has really provided me with the means to stay “aware.” I can credit the magazine for teaching me the existence of such disparate things as Boko Haram—a Nigerian terrorist group which earlier this year pledged its allegiance to ISIS—and sea wolves (more below)! I love the magazine so much, I’m thinking—assuming you all find it interesting—that I’ll come post highlights of what I found interesting or enlightening from each month’s issue of the magazine.
Without further ado, Kristin’s NatGeo Highlights, October 2015
Mystery Man (on the cover, Almost Human: A New Ancestor Shakes up our Family Tree) — This month’s cover story is AWESOME. Basically, paleoanthropologists have discovered a new species of homo, disrupting the previously-held notions of how homo sapiens evolved. It’s an especially cool story because they bones were discovered by two random cavers who just happened to be skinny enough to drop into this previously-unexplored part of a well-known cave in South Africa. I love human bones—my favorite class in college was forensic anthropology—and human evolution has always fascinated me. It’s an area where science and theology have so much left to figure out. One of the greatest quotes in the article comes from an anthropologist: “What [this new species] says to me is that you may think the fossil record is complete enough to make up stories, and it’s not.” Basically, we don’t know the whole story of when/how humans came to be. There’s so much more to learn!
Lure of the Lost City – Researchers have found the untouched ruins of an ancient city in Honduras. It appears the inhabitants had a culture distinct from but similar to the Mayans, but basically nothing is known about them. More research trips are being planned, despite the fact that all the members of the first expedition were hospitalized for contracting leishmaniasis…
Sea Wolves – There are wolves in Canada who live entirely on food they find from the sea. It’s a whole new way of thinking about wolves; there’s even enough genetic diversity between them and inland wolves to consider them an “evolutionarily significant unit” worthy of conservation.
I’d love to hear what you think about these articles, National Geographic in general, or, really, anything!