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June 2013

Smithsonian June 2013


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



We build our bodies with water, but build our homes and cities to resist it.

Welcome to the Dark Side

A cosmologist unveils her latest theories on the invisible universe, extra dimensions and human consciousness.

By Ron Rosenbaum

Pyramid Scheme

The long-reigning king of Egyptian antiquities has been forced into exile—but he’s plotting a return.

By Joshua Hammer

Smithsonian, Books, Fast Forward

What's new around the Mall


The Mind on Fire

A million or so years ago, the amazing evolution of the human brain was sparked by a breakthrough that people everywhere still enjoy every day: cooking.

By By Jerry Adler

Burning Desire

Chiliheads crave the heat that hurts so good, a pleasure-pain riddle science is solving. But nothing compares to the gutwrenching agony of the legendary superhot that spices life in remote India.

By Mary Roach

10 Epiphanies

Sometimes a meal is just a meal. Other times, a single bite can change everything.

By Mimi Sheraton

Accounting for Taste

You know what foods you like. But why? That’s always been one of the toughest questions in perception research. Now psychologists and others, from Ivy League labs to the U.S. Army, are serving up fresh answers.

By Tom Vanderbilt

Yeasts of the Southern Wild

A star baker in New Orleans, the city of king cake and buttermilk drops, is about to deliver his sweet treats to Harlem.

By Roy Blount Jr.

Two Kids in a Candy Store

How Philadelphia confectioners Eric and Ryan Berley are giving new life to America’s oldest sweet shop.

By Franz Lidz

The American Table

What’s it like to have dinner with food writers Michael Pollan and Ruth Reichl as they discuss American food culture? Something like this. (Well, without the food.)

By Ruth Reichl