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January 2013

Smithsonian December 2012


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



This month the theme is time, from how our brains perceive it to a new term for our current geological epoch.

Tunnel Vision

To study earth's ancient climate, a scientist goes underground.

By J. Madeline Nash

The Spy Who Came in Frome the Cold 2.0

Virtual-reality pioneer Jaron Lanier now warns of thedangers of being part of the web's "hive mind".

By Ron Rosenbaum

Land of the Rising Son

A mountain hamlet in northern Japan claims Jesus Christ was buried there.

By Franz Lidz

Around the Mall & Books, Fast Forward

What's new around the Mall


Born to be Mild

Brand spanking new to the world, babies represent the raw matherial of humanity. So how much do they aredy know about right and wrong?

By Abigail Tucker

Forever Free

The pen that President Lincoln used to sign his name to the Emancipation 150 years ago was mighty sword indeed.

By Louis P. Masur

Rio Revolution

The Brazilian government's bold efforts to clean up the city's notoriously dangerous, drug-gang-controlled slumns giving hope to people who live there.

By Joshua Hammer

Viva Moulin Rogue!

The 1950s hotel-casino broke the rules--and attracted top Las Vegas stars--when it opened as the first gambling palace in Sin City to allow black guests.

By Kevin Cook