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February 2012

Opening Announcements, Cover, Contents

From the Editor, Letters, Indelible Images, Wild Things, Now on our Website

Profile, Around the Mall

Gold Fever

Rapacious mining to satisfy worldwide lust for the precious metal is destroying pristine rainforest in the Amazon

By Donovan Webster

Mystique of the Mother Road

Foreign tourists and local preservationists are bringing stretches of storied Route 66 back to life.

By David Lamb

The Orchid Olympics

The exotic flowers seduce pollinators of every kind, from moths and birds to the extreme breeders at the 20th World Orchid Conference.

By Somali Roy

Mad for Dickens

In which our author revisits the haunts of the inimitable novelist on the 200th anniversary of his birth, revels in his astonishing life and work, and visits a theme park.

By Joshua Hammer

Ancient Modernism

Two thousand years before Picasso, artists in Egypt painted some of the most arresting portraits in the history of art.

By Smithsonian Magazine

Fast Forward

A Big Move

By Mark Strauss