Thursday, July 2, 2009
Every now and then, typically about once a year, National Geographic produces an issue just for me. Every article intersects with my interests and surprises me at once. I'm reminded of the issue that covered both cowboys and dinosaurs! Well, friends, the July 2009 magazine is such a gift.
Angkor Wat, one of my personal 7 Wonders of the World, is the cover story, followed by a snappy look at manta rays. But it gets better: Garrison Keillor drops by to enchant us with his appreciation of state fairs, accompanied by the photographer responsible for the picture above, Joel Sartore. As excited as I get for the local carnival, I can't imagine how I'd recover from visiting the esteemed State Fair of Texas. (I'm talking about my hyperventilating jag, not the stomach-kneading impact of murderous roller coasters.)
And then! And then! "Enter the otherworld of The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand's Tongariro National Park." Yes, ma'am! But only on the condition everyone respects the rules of the toy ring. When I'm wearing it, you can't see me. At the end, I'll throw it in a volcano. Or at least a red trash can.
Photograph by Christopher Anderson
The party ain't over, kids. Maybe it's because I just returned from Central Europe--I don't know if you heard. I went to Europe for three weeks. Yeah, it was whatever--but the article on the Serbian nation really piqued my interest. Ljubljana's been on my to-do list, but I'm throwing in Belgrade, Sarajevo, and Prishtina, if only so I can at least try to snap some of the stunning photographs in the article.
Photograph by Joe McNally
For dessert, humongous telescopes! As a child, I dreamed of one day enjoying the stellar cartography lab in Star Trek: Generations. Which is kind of a reality now in NASA's hyperwall-2. Buy me one?
You can find most of this online, of course, but you'd be killing the print industry. It's your decision, but I'm just saying you might want to think long and hard about the state of your karma. Maybe we can explore that together at Angkor. Or at least the Texas State Fair. Just throwin' that out into the universe.