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September 2013

Smithsonian September 2013


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



This month our theme is color, from a new, blue greenback to a mysterious Roman chalice that changes color when held to light.

Passion Play

Al Pacino gets ready for the next act in his high-wire career—bringing live theater to the movie screen.

By Ron Rosenbaum

Tracking Balboa

Five hundred years after the explorer spied the Pacific, we retrace his epic slog.

By Franz Lidz

Smithsonian, Books, Fast Forward

What's new around the Mall


No Alpha Males Allowed

Peace-loving South American monkeys and the U.S. scientist who champions their future encourage us to rethink our aggressive nature.

By Steve Kemper

Music of the Spheres

David Hockney’s long, fierce love-hate relationship with technology is on display in a major new retrospective opening next month.

By Lawrence Weschler

The Ephemeral City

In India, the world’s largest gathering attracts tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims— and a team of Harvard researchers seeking answers of their own.

By Tom Downey

Replaceable You

The same technologies driving the revolution in personal electronics are ushering in a new era in bionic limbs and organs.

By Geoff Brumfiel