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March 2014

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Features

Garry Kasparov

Kasparov’s Gambit

The great chess champion brings his knowledge to the games of Sochi, global politics and computer intelligence

reindeer

Reindeer Games

Ecologists are racing across the ice to find out how climate change will affect the Arctic natives

Michael Rockefeller in the Baliem Valley

Journey into the Kingdom of the Spirits

A journey to the heart of New Guinea’s Asmat tribal homeland sheds new light on the mystery of the heir’s disappearance there in 1961

vikings

Revenge of the Vikings

A major new exhibition is reviving the Norse seafarers’ iconic image as rampagers and pillagers

Jeopardy

Buzzed

Champion Ken Jennings delves into what gives the virtually unchanged game show its lasting power

Sandhill Cranes

Flight Club

At the end of March, 80 percent of the world’s cranes will converge upon one 80-mile stretch of land

Carl Sagan

Star Power

No one will ever match his talent as the “gatekeeper of scientific credibility”

Departments

From the Editor

From the Editor

From the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Discussion

From our readers

From the Castle

From the Castle

And at the same time, the American History Museum celebrates its 50th birthday

Phenomena

Language

What makes this utterance the “universal word”?

Phenomena

In the Beginning was the Word

Artist John Hendrix finds divine inspiration every Sunday when he goes to church

Phenomena

The Write Stuff

Forensic linguistics can use powerful programs to track written text back to its author

Phenomena

Text Me Ishmael

Why someone would translate Herman Melville’s classic into emoticons

Phenomena

Sign Language

On the streets, a few words on a piece of cardboard can tell a life story

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You asked, we answered

Around the Mall

Fast Forward

A helicopter has just one rotor to provide lift. This machine has 18