The Smithsonian's National Zoo will be closing at noon Wednesday, November 26, due to inclement weather.

Skip navigation
Share this page

December 2012

Smithsonian December 2012

Departments

Opening Announcements, Cover and Contents, Contributions, From the Editor, Discussion, From the Castle



Phenonmenon

Fire

This month the theme is fire, from its evolutionary role in shaping the human mind to its beguilingly odd behavor in space.



The Gonzo Neurologist

Oliver Sacks explores the strange, often scary world of hallucinations.

By Ron Rosenbaum



The Father of Invention

"Super inventor" Dr. NakaMats claims more than 3,300 patents to his name.

By Franz Lidz



National Treasure   

Preston Tucker saw his futuristic 1948 car as a vehicle for change.

By Abigail Tucker



Fast Forward

Puente de vida

By Mark Strauss





Features



2012 American Ingenuity Awards & Benh Zeitlin: Lights & Magic

Nine brilliant people who've harnessed what Abraham Lincoln called "the fire of genius" receive the new Oscar of innovation for their recent achievements.

The young indie director lets his imagination fly in an accalimed debut film.

By Franz Lidz



Pardis Sabeti: Natural Selection

Her work in genetics points toward new ways of treating infectious diseases.

By Seth Mnookin



New Life: Bryan Stevenson

His legal crusade has given juvenile prisoners a second chance at life.

By Chris Hedges



The Prodigy: Jack Andraka & Elon Musk: Rocket Science

The teenager has developed a new method that may detect a lethal cancer.

The entrepreneur hopes to launch a revolution with his spaceship and electric car.

By Abigail Tucker & Carl Hoffman



Esperanza Spalding: Beyond Jazz

The innovative bassist and singer is taking jazz to a whole new place.

By Dream Hampton



Jim Anderson: Solar Flair

Ozone depletion may get worse, the chemist has discovered.

By Sharon Begley



Anne Kelley Knowles: Mapping the Past

Using new mapping tools, the geographer is rewriting history.

By Tony Horwitz



Sebastian Thrun: Class Uprising

The artificial intelligence expert is transforming online learning.

By Tom Vanderbilt