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April 2013

Smithsonian April 2013


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



This month our theme is borders, from mapping gang violence to breaking the cold barrier to reaching the outer limits of our solar system.

Burning Man

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang is shaking up the world with his explosive works

By Ron Rosenbaum

Flights of Fancy

Playwright-pilot David Mamet faces the plane truth about his family

By David Mamet

The Secret Life of Dirt

A researcher on the Russian-Finland border tests the "hygiene hypothesis"

By Andrew Curry

National Treasure

Up and Away

In the 1930s, the legendary DC-3 persuaded American to take to the skies

Smithsonian, Books

What's new around the Mall

"In the Sistine Chapel"

A new poem by Scott Brennan

Fast Forward

The Future in the Making


The Twenty Best Small Towns In America

Past and present coexist in this charming college town and site of the Civil War's bloodiest battle

By Tony Horwitz

Kon-Tiki Sails Again

A new movie reimagines Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's daring 1947 expedition by balsa raft from South America to Polynesia

By Frank Lidz

Birthplace of the American Vacation

Excape to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, a breath of fresh air for a harried city dwellers since the Gilded Age

By Tony Perrottet

Into the Okavango Delta

The renowned travel writer explores Botswana's spectacular wildlife-rich wetlands from the back of a many-ton beast

By Paul Theroux