Science and Nature

Finding the ordinary amid North Korea’s extravagant propaganda displays

This story appears in the May 2020 issue of National Geographic magazine. Even by North Korean standards, the final event of the country’s 70th-anniversary celebration in 2018 was a jaw-dropping spectacle. Many thousands of torch-wielding students marched in waves around Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square. The electric flame on top of Juche Tower glowed while…

The pandemic may fuel the next wave of the opioid crisis

There’s usually a stream of people headed into the unassuming brick building in the Cedar Rapids neighborhood where Sarah Ziegenhorn runs the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition. In 2016 when she moved back to Iowa to begin medical school, Ziegenhorn started the small nonprofit to help people who use drugs. Today, the drop-in center provides medical…

Ten years later, BP oil spill continues to harm wildlife—especially dolphins

On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig released over 130 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the biggest oil spill ever in U.S. waters and remains one of the worst environmental disasters in world history. Eleven rig workers lost their lives. So did…


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