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October 2021

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Features

Orcas

In Their Element

A photographer takes the plunge into forbidding waters off Norway for an extraordinary encounter with orcas

Atsuo Sakurai

Sake in the USA

The ancient Japanese art of brewing a fragrant alcoholic drink from rice is being reinterpreted by Atsuo Sakurai in an unlikely setting

Illo Opener

The Plague Among Children

It was highly contagious, lethal and mysterious. Then medical experts developed treatments and vaccines, and the affliction disappeared—but not entirely

Illo Opener

The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Departments

What It Takes

A successful Secretary must acknowledge the Institution’s failures as well as successes—and celebrate its capacity for change

Prologue

The Storm Problem

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

Prologue

Material Witness

For historians, the textiles are much more than just decorative covers for a bed

Prologue

The Other Sparta

Fierce? Yes. Tough? You bet. But the true history of the Greek civilization had a lot more nuance

Prologue

They Were Lyrical, Too

Poets and lyricists populated the Greek civilization

Prologue

Play the Past

On campuses across the country, professors are putting historically based games into the classroom

Prologue

Key to a Lost Language

The Tuxtla Statuette illuminates an endangered Latin American culture

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