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May 2003

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 May issue of NGM.

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Since 1953 when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first summitted, 1,200 men and women from all over the world have reached the top of Mount Everest. Another 175 have died in the effort, victims of everything from avalanches to crevasse falls to errors in judgment above 26,000 feet (8,000 meters) in the Death Zone, where there is less oxygen. So what is it about Mount Everest that calls adventurers to climb its unforgiving slopes? Why would they risk their lives? Enter>>

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Sherpas of Nepal's Khumbu region have been able to market their climbing successes on Mount Everest into a thriving segment of the tourism industry. That success has brought about unprecedented changes to their way of life. Sherpas are operating lodges, outdoor equipment shops, and cybercafés. Sherpa pilots transport foreign trekkers on Sherpa-owned airlines. But such prosperity comes at a price. Some youth are dropping out of secondary school and forgoing college to make their mark in trekking. Others are leaving the area to pursue different goals that, elders fear, will pull them away from their cultural traditions. How can traditional societies that quickly become tourism hubs balance their way of life with the lure of progress? Enter>>

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High Stakes in the Bluegrass

Debate over the wisdom of adding slot machines at horse racing tracks is picking up speed in different parts of the United States. Advocates believe the move not only will revive the flagging horse racing industry but also will increase state revenues. Opponents fear the addition of slots will put a strain on infrastructures and emergency services, increase crime, and attract an influx of people that includes a seedy element and those with gambling problems. What concerns do you have about gambling? Enter>>

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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, 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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