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April 2002

We invite you to speak your mind on these hot topics and global issues plucked from the pages of National Geographic magazine. For more on the subject go to the online feature page, or read the April 2002 issue of NGM.

A Life Revealed

For 17 years her staring green eyes have compelled onlookers to ask her identity. Until recently, the name and fate of the Afghan girl remained a mystery. What has Sharbat Gula’s childhood photograph meant for you? And how has her story affected you?  Enter>>

Most Chinese view their government’s 1959 takeover of Tibet as the liberation of a backward people. Tibetans, however, see the Chinese presence as nothing short of occupation and an orchestrated effort to suppress Tibetan religious and cultural traditions. As Chinese experience more freedom and independent mindedness, Tibetans cautiously follow their lead—a big step for a people unaccustomed to economic development. What are the positive—or negative—affects of Chinese intervention? How would life be different for Tibetans had they been left to advance their culture on their own?  Enter>>
Lewis and Clark

When James Harlan, a University of Missouri geographer, meticulously plotted maps of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s explorations along the Missouri River, his findings raised some peoples’ hackles. Towns with markers that proudly proclaimed “Lewis and Clark Camped Here” found out that the pair didn’t. Thanks to changes in the Mississippi River’s course, Harlan’s maps even claim that Camp Dubois—the expedition’s 1804 departure point in what would become Illinois—is now located in Missouri. Why are historical revisions difficult for some to accept?  Enter>>
Bat patrol

They stalk the night skies on skeletal wings, following a primal directive: to feed. For some people anatomically peculiar bats illicit paralyzing terror, evoking gothic tales of bats transforming into blood-sucking vampires, twilight walks of the undead, and stakes through the heart. Why do bats conjure fear? Do less-than-cute creatures get a bad rap?  Enter>>
Zip: Pickstown, SD

Television journalist Tom Brokaw reminisces about Pickstown, South Dakota, a small town by any measure where he lived “a Tom Sawyer boyhood, swimming in the Missouri, collecting fossils and Indian artifacts, hunting small game with my friends.” But Brokaw found his future in the big city. What are the pros and cons of living in a small town?  Enter>>
Hip Zips

Nominate your favorite zip or postal code for coverage in the pages of National Geographic. Our magazine series—ZipUSA—takes a periodic peek at special corners of the country by zip code. We like the concept so much that we’re going global and extending our stories to include international postal codes as well. So describe a weird, wacky, or wonderful locale of your own choosing—it just might make it into the magazine—and read postings from other folks too.  Enter>>

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