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November 2002

Browse our online feature offerings, from field adventures and factoids to maps and multimedia. On every feature screen you can Zoom In on Web-exclusive photo galleries and get the tech facts behind the frames. Then enter the world of writers and photographers with behind-the-scenes tales of life On Assignment. Finally, find full resource listings from links to printable maps in More to Explore. Be sure to check out this month’s Sights & Sounds—our multimedia showstopper.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction
They redefined warfare in the 20th century and could redefine civilization itself in the 21st. A closer look at the ugly legacy of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons—and their unimaginable threat.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of United States and Russian weapons facilities.

Highlight: FORUM What price are you willing to pay for protection against weapons of mass destruction? Enter>>

Highlight: MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Discover why U.S. and Russian citizens exposed to hazardous agents are frustrated by their governments' lack of accountability.

Highlight: ONLINE EXTRA  Meet the "downwinders," victims of fallout from the Nevada Test Site.

Highlight: ONLINE EXTRA Learn what safety measures to take in the event of a weapons attack in this practical guide.

Highlight: POSTCARDS This crowd-gathering afterglow at an atomic bomb test makes an explosive e-greeting to send to a friend.

Unmasking Skin

Unmasking Skin
Equal parts armor, air-conditioning system, and genetic heritage, skin is more than skin-deep. Scientists are probing beneath the surface of the body's largest organ.

Highlight: MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Go farther than skin-deep as photographer Sarah Leen describes the challenges of covering the assignment.

Highlight: ONLINE EXTRA Learn about the evolutionary factors behind skin color variations across the globe.


A swimming head, a pizza pie with eyes, a platter of parasites—that's a mola, the colossal fish that has at least one researcher wrapped around its little fin.

Highlight: RESOURCES Learn how marine biologists are getting to know this "giant pancake of a fish," and expand your knowledge with this listing of links and publications.

Highlight: POSTCARDS E-greet a friend with a big, wet ,mola kiss.


By 2030, two out of three people will live in an urban world, with most of the explosive growth occurring in developing countries. For a preview of the future, the last in the Challenges for Humanity series explores São Paulo, Brazil; Lagos, Nigeria; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hyderabad, India.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of the world's most rapidly growing cities.

Highlight: MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Explore these seam-busting cities with photographer Stuart Franklin.

Highlight: FORUM How can developers design or revive communities to relieve the underprivileged of some of their burdens and give them more access to quality housing and other local amenities? Enter>>

Kings of the Hill?

Kings of the Hill?
In a male-dominated world, a female-run society is decidedly refreshing. Check out gelada monkeys—but don't mess with the queens: They bite.

Highlight: MAP Downloadable, printable, high-resolution map of Ethiopia's Simen Mountains National Park, home to one percent of the world's geladas.

Highlight: MULTIMEDIA VIDEO Join author Virginia Morell in a high-five salute to the matriarchal society of geladas.

Highlight: SIGHTS & SOUNDS Journey into the world of gelada monkeys, where fanged males put on a tough act but females call the shots.

Highlight: MISSED THE PRESS Can Pete continue to fight off the competition? Find out how the family male featured in the National Geographic article is faring in this update from the field.

Highlight: VIDEO Watch a bachelor gelada try to sidle up to females by showing a youngster a little TLC in this online video.

Highlight: FINAL EDIT A photo of a gelada mom and baby is this month's Final Edit.

Highlight: WALLPAPER From boisterous babies to chiding females, these geladas bring a bit of monkey business to your desktop.

Highlight: POSTCARDS E-greet a friend with this image of a baby gelada riding its mother jockey-style.

ZipUSA: Boys Town, Nebraska

ZipUSA: Boys Town, Nebraska
Give them homes, schools, families, and some old-fashioned religion, and troubled kids might just pull themselves together. This is their place.

Highlight: FORUM By employing a model based on family values, Girls and Boys Town has established a successful track record in addressing teen problems. How could a model similar to Boys Town benefit your community? Enter>>

Highlight: NOMINATE your own wonderful, weird, or wacky choices for this magazine series.


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