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December 2010

Smithsonian December 2010

Opening Announcements, Cover, Contents

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



Departments:Your Smithsonian.com, Digs>



Departments:Around the Mall, From the Castle, Behind the Scenes, The Object At Hand, Q & A, What’s Up, This Month in History



Mission Orangutan

Birutè Mary Galdikas has devoted her life to saving the great ape. But the animal now faces its greatest threat yet.

By Bill Brubaker



Searching for Buddha

An Afghan archaeologist insists a third giant statue lies near the cliffs where the Bamiyan Buddhas once stood.

By Joshua Hammer



Dinosaurs’ Living Decendants

Extraordinary fossils found in China show once and for all that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

By Richard Stone



The Gift

Seventy-five years later, the writer discovered an astonishing secret about his grandfather’s yuletide generosity during the Great Depression.


By Ted Gup



Marvel Arch

A photographer chronicles the construction of the Hoover Dam’s breathtaking new bypass.

By T.A. Frail



Under the Spell of San Miguel de Allende

Ever since American Stirling Dickinson arrived there in 1937, the Mexican town has been a magnet for the artists and U.S. expatriates.

By Jonathan Kandell



Picturing Tomorrow

Bad weather is on the horizon in artist Alexis Rockman’s eerie yet riveting paintings.

By Cathleen McGuigan



Presence of Mind

Rehabilitating Cleopatra: The Egyptian queen was more than just a seductress.

By Stacy Schiff



The Last Page

Daughter Knows Best