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October 2010

Smithsonian October 2010

Opening Announcements, Cover, Contents

Departments: Now on, Letters, From the Editor, Wild Things, Indelible Images

Departments: My Kind of Town, This Month in History, Your, Around the Mall, From the Castle, The Object at Hand, Q & A, What’s Up

Defying the Godfather

Fed up with extortion and violent crime, Sicily’s citizens are rising up against the Mafia.

By Joshua Hammer

Before There Was Life

A Mineralogist believes he’s discovered how the basic building blocks of life formed and found each other four billion years ago.

By Helen Fields

Body of Work

Chris Rainer travels the globe in search of tattoos and other examples of the ancient urge to embellish our skin.

By Abigail Tucker

A Viking Mystery

Archaeologists digging at Oxford University have unearthed a mass grave—one they think holds victims of a key medieval massacre.

By David Keys

Running Dry

Dams, irrigation and now climate change have drastically reduced the once-mighty Colorado River.

By Sarah Zielinski

A Walk Through Old Japan

An autumn trek along the Kiso Road wends through mist-covered mountains and rustic villages graced by timeless hospitality.

By Thomas Swick

Presence of Mind

God Country: The Idea that America has always been a land of religious freedom in a myth.

By Kenneth C. Davis

The Last Page

My Big Hang-Up