Magazine

A bustling street in Hanoi, Vietnam, in March 2023, when retired Colonel Robert Certain (pictured in inset) returned as part of a special trip with other veterans.

Fifty Years After Their Release, Former Vietnam POWs Journey Back to Hanoi

A group of American veterans return to the infamous compound where they and hundreds of other service members were held captive and tortured during the war

Can every living thing be traced to a single cell?

Can Every Living Thing Be Traced to a Single Cell? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

With a baby in tow, a gray-headed flying fox uses her large eyes to navigate, rather than relying on echolocation as other bat species do. 

Why Australians Are Growing to Appreciate These Giant, Threatened Bats

Once seen as a menace, the gray-headed flying fox brings new life after recent devastating wildfires

An illustration of the Aztec calendar stone surrounds a young portrait of anthropologist Zelia Nuttall. “Mrs. Nuttall’s investigations of the Mexican calendar appear to furnish for the first time a satisfactory key,” wrote one leading scholar.

The Globe-Trotting Scholar Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aztecs

Anthropologist Zelia Nuttall transformed the way we think of ancient Mesoamerica

In an exhibition on ancient Egyptian-inspired fashion at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a relief depicts the wife of Amenhotep wearing a kalasiris, or long linen dress, juxtaposed with a white jersey gown designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2019.

Was Ancient Egypt's Most Lasting Influence in the Field of Fashion?

An exhibition in Cleveland showcases millennia-old designs and the more modern creations they inspired

William Matthew Prior, a white abolitionist, painted both Nancy Lawson and her husband, William, as well as a few other African Americans. “Skin may differ, but affection dwells in white and black just the same,” he wrote.

These Portraits Made a Bold Statement in 19th-Century America

A new exhibition exploring artistic representation of Black subjects includes a work that subverted cultural expectations

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Readers Respond to the July/August 2023 Issue

Your feedback on quilts, Los Alamos and more

Brother Jonathan attacks John Bull—an avatar for the Brits—with a flagon of pear cordial in this c. 1813 cartoon by Amos Doolittle of Connecticut.

Meet Brother Jonathan, the Predecessor to Uncle Sam

Older, but by no means wiser, the political cartoon character symbolized a mischievous young nation

Austin West visits Kindred Spirits, a monument to the Choctaw in County Cork. The 20-foot-high steel feathers symbolize those used in Choctaw ceremonies.

The Unlikely, Enduring Friendship Between Ireland and the Choctaw Nation

One act of generosity during the Great Famine forged a bond that transcends generations

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The Revolutionary Influence of the First English Children’s Novel

"The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes" told the tale of a bold heroine who forged her own path

A pod of ancient Nacional cacao offers hope for reforesting Ecuador’s Pacific coast, which by some estimates has lost 98 percent of its original forest cover over the past century.

Planet Positive

The Quest to Save the World’s Most Coveted Chocolate

For these ambitious scientists in the rainforests of Ecuador, helping the environment has never tasted so sweet

Sholes and Glidden gussied up an early model with floral ornaments, in imitation of sewing machines.

Where Did the QWERTY Keyboard Come From?

From laptops to iPhones, the first successful typewriter’s keyboard layout lives on

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Ten Wildlife Photographers Zoom In on Their Favorite Birds

Get up close and personal with a birder’s-eye view of the United States, as reflected by our beloved feathered neighbors

One ancient graffiti artist carved this creature at the Philae temple complex—most likely a horse.

Archaeologists Are Using Modern Tools to Learn About Visitors to an Ancient Egyptian Temple

Pilgrims who left behind ancient graffiti are the subject of new research in the middle of the Nile

Caribbean reef sharks are as comfortable cruising coastal coral reefs as diving 1,000 feet into the depths. 

Efforts to Bring Back the Caribbean Reef Shark May Become a Conservation Success Story

The endangered creature is a target for fishing off the coast of the Bahamas—and a magnet for ecotourists who just might save it

Outside of Earth, is there any place a human could survive unprotected for even ten seconds?


 

Could Humans Survive Unprotected Outside of Earth's Atmosphere for Even Ten Seconds?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Rocks, an undated oil painting by Skinner, reflects the artist's penchant for juxtaposing the earthy tones of the Western desert with icy blue shadows and sky. 

Celebrating a Hidden Artistic Visionary of the American West

Charlotte Butler Skinner spent decades chronicling glorious mountains and deserts, in the company of Dorothea Lange and other influential friends

Left, a few of the ingredients used to build flavor throughout the mead making process at Charm City Meadworks in Baltimore, including honey, hops, comapeño peppers, oak chips, cinnamon sticks and juniper berries. Right, Lynn Pronobis, head mead maker at Charm City, must carefully oversee every step of the production process.

The Nectar of the Gods Is Coming to a Bar Near You

How mead, one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages, could become the drink of the future

The fishing village and beach resort of Agua Amarga, in Almería, is part of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, the largest protected coastal area in Andalusia.

From Fabled Palaces to Ancient Medinas, a Journey Through Spain's Islamic History

Amid snowcapped mountains, sandy dunes, a wild seacoast and more, the legacy of the country's Moorish past can still be explored across the peninsula

The indomitable Lady Columbia defends the United States with her snazzy patriotic shield, c. 1890.

Before Lady Liberty, There Was Lady Columbia, America's First National Mascot

The forgotten figure symbolized the hopes—and myths—of the early United States

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